Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘The Obama Administration’

At least 12 released Guantanamo detainees implicated in attacks on Americans


 Authored by Adam Goldman and Missy Ryan of The Washington Post

An American flag flies behind the barbed and razor wire at the Camp Delta detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

© Brennan Linsley/AP An American flag flies behind the barbed and razor wire at the Camp Delta detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

 

The Obama administration believes that at least 12 detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have launched attacks against U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan, killing about a half-dozen Americans, according to current and former U.S. officials.

In March, a senior Pentagon official made a startling admission to lawmakers when he acknowledged that former Guantanamo inmates were responsible for the deaths of Americans overseas. The official, Paul Lewis, who oversees Guantanamo issues at the Defense Department, provided no details, and the Obama administration has since declined to elaborate publicly on his statement because the intelligence behind it is classified.Bull

But The Washington Post has learned additional details about the suspected attacks, including the approximate number of detainees and victims involved and the fact that, while most of the incidents were directed at military personnel, the dead also included one American civilian: a female aid worker who died in Afghanistan in 2008. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter, declined to give an exact number for Americans killed or wounded in the attacks, saying the figure is classified.

Lewis’s statement had drawn scrutiny on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers see the violence against Americans as further evidence that the president’s plans for closing the prison are misguided and dangerous. They also describe the administration’s unwillingness to release information about the attacks as another instance of its use of high levels of classification to avoid discussion of a politically charged issue that could heighten political opposition to its plans.you think

One U.S. official familiar with the intelligence said that nine of the detainees suspected in the attacks are now dead or in foreign government custody. The official would not specify the exact number of detainees involved but said it was fewer than 15. All of them were released from Guantanamo Bay under the administration of George W. BushPicture4

The official added: “Because many of these incidents were large-scale firefights in a war zone, we cannot always distinguish whether Americans were killed by the former detainees or by others in the same fight.”Leftist Propagandist

Military and intelligence officials, responding to lawmakers’ requests for greater details, have provided lawmakers with a series of classified documents about the suspected attacks. One recent memo from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which was sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee after Lewis’s testimony, described the attacks, named the detainees involved and provided information about the victims without giving their names.Picture5

But lawmakers are prohibited from discussing the contents of that memo because of its high classification level. A similar document provided last month to the office of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), a vocal opponent of Obama’s Guantanamo policy, was so highly classified that even her staff members with a top-secret clearance level were unable to read it.

“There appears to be a consistent and concerted effort by the Administration to prevent Americans from knowing the truth regarding the terrorist activities and affiliations of past and present Guantanamo detainees,” Ayotte wrote in a letter to Obama this week, urging him to declassify information about how many U.S. and NATO personnel have been killed by former detainees.

Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has also written legislation that would require greater transparency surrounding the transfer of Guantanamo detainees. Royce and Ayotte are among the lawmakers who opposed a road map for closing the prison that the White House submitted to Congress earlier this year. That plan would require moving some detainees to U.S. prisons and resettling the rest overseas.

“The administration is releasing dangerous terrorists to countries that can’t control them, and misleading Congress in the process,” Royce said in a statement. “The president should halt detainee transfers immediately and be honest with the American people.”AMEN

Just under 700 detainees have been released from Guantanamo since the prison opened in 2002; 80 inmates remain.

Secrecy about the top-security prison, perched on an inaccessible corner of Cuba, is nothing new. The Bush administration for years refused provide a roster of detainees until it was forced to do so in a Freedom of Information Act case in 2006. To this day, reporters have never been able to visit Camp 7, a classified facility that holds 14 high-value detainees, including the five men on trial for organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations have provided only limited information on current and former detainees; most of what the public knows about them comes from defense lawyers or from documents released by WikiLeaks.

According to a 2012 report from the House Armed Services Committee, the Defense Intelligence Agency ended the practice of naming some suspected recidivists in 2009 when officials became concerned that it would endanger sources and methods.

National Security Council spokesman Myles Caggins said it was difficult to discuss specific cases in detail because the information was classified.

“But, again, we are committed to being forthcoming with the American people about our safe and responsible approach to Guantanamo detainee transfers, including about possible detainee re-engagement in terrorist activities,” he said.Picture6

One Republican aide who has reviewed the classified material about the attacks on Americans said the information has been “grossly overclassified.”REALLY

Administration officials say that recidivism rates for released Guantanamo inmates remain far lower than those for federal offenders. According to a recent study, almost half of all federal offenders released in 2005 were “rearrested for a new crime or rearrested for a violation of supervision conditions.” Among former Guantanamo detainees, the total number of released detainees who are suspected or confirmed of reengaging is about 30 percent, according to U.S. intelligence.

Nearly 21 percent of those released prior to 2009 have reengaged in militancy, officials say, compared with about 4.5 percent of the 158 released by Obama.

Human rights activists say the statistics are suspect and cannot be verified because the administration provides almost no information about whom it is counting and why.

Most of those suspected of re-engagement are Afghan, reflecting the large numbers of Afghans detained after the Sept. 11 attacks and the ongoing war there. More than 200 Afghan prisoners have been repatriated from the prison.

Officials declined to identify the woman killed in Afghanistan in 2008. But there are two female aid workers killed that year who might fit the description. Cydney Mizell, a 50-year-old employee of the Asian Rural Life Development Foundation, was abducted in Kandahar as she drove to work. Her body was never recovered, according to a former colleague who said he was told about a month later that she had died.

Another woman, Nicole Dial, 30, a Trinidadian American who worked for the International Rescue Committee, was shot and killed the same year south of Kabul, along with two colleagues. Relatives of Mizell and Dial said they have not been in touch with the FBI for years. Dial’s brother said he was unaware of a former Guantanamo detainee being involved in his sister’s killing. Mizell’s stepmother said she was never told the exact circumstances of her daughter’s death or who abducted her.

“She was definitely killed,” Peggy Mizell said. “I figured she was shot.”

Julie Tate contributed to this report.

Picture1 true battle Picture1 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

Obama’s Transgender Bathroom Decree Appears To Violate Multiple Federal Laws


waving flagAuthored by Herbert W. Titus and William J. Olson May 14, 2016

The Obama Administration has done it again.  In an effort to strip school children of their modesty and morals, Obama has issued new instructions governing use of rest rooms, locker rooms, and showers in every government-funded school in the country.  And, in predictably lawless fashion, Obama has violated not one, but two federal laws.  First, he took a 1972 law, Title IX, which was designed to prevent sex discrimination in education, and says that as of today, the word “sex” in the statute does not mean the “sex” you were born with.  It means whatever “gender” you feel like on a given day.  And, if that was not bad enough, the manner in which the Obama Administration acted was to legislate by letter, not just usurping legislative power, but Obama violating another federal law — the Administrative Procedures Act.Picture2

Purporting to act according to what are known as official “good guidance” practices, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education issued a transgender “good guidance” letter, dated May 13, 2016.  Such a “good guidance” letter can only be issued if it does not add requirements to applicable law, but provides information and examples to inform recipients about how the Departments evaluate whether covered agencies are complying with their legal obligations.

However, like a newly enacted statute or promulgation of a new regulation, the May 13 good guidance letter includes list of new terms, never previously adopted by Congress or the Administration.  Not only that, but the letter contains rules governing the interpretation of those new legal terms.  For example, the letter defines “gender identity” to be “an individual’s internal sense of gender,” but then forbids the use of any objective standard – such as “medical diagnosis or treatment” — to verify any individual claim.   One’s gender identity is, thus, established solely by a person’s subjective claim.  And that claim can change from day to day.  Keys taken

Additionally, the good guidance letter indicates that the rules governing “sex segregated activities and facilities” are not the same.  As for restroom and locker use, “transgender students “must have access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity,” but with respect to “athletics,” gender identity is not the sole determinant of access.  That is, for athletics, a boy who feels he should be a ‘transgender girl” could be excluded from the girl’s basketball team, but not put out of the girl’s locker room.   What did you say 05.jpg

None of these examples merely “provides information and examples” of existing regulations — which is all that guidance letters may do lawfully.  This letter presents brand new interpretations of the word “sex” and new applications of new terms.  And, they are binding.  The guidance letter reads:  “The Departments treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for the purposes of Title IX and its implementing regulations.  This means that a school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.”More Liberal Gibberish

According to the federal government’s own rules for Agency Good Guidance Practices, guidance letters may not be used to establish “new policy positions that the agency treats as binding. Rather, the government agency must apply with the APA’s notice-and-comment requirements.”  OMB Final Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices at 3.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has observed that such guidance letters can be abusive, for under them:  “Law is made, without notice and comment, without public participation, and without publication in the Federal Register or the Code of Federal Regulations.” Appalachian Power Co. v. EPA, 208 F.3d 1015 (D.C. Cir. 2000).  That is not law — it is “fiat.”  Picture3

Moreover, the DOJ and DOE guidance letter misleads.  Masquerading as a “Dear Colleague” letter, the two departments act as if they are just co-workers with the nation’s college presidents and university provosts, school superintendants and principals — laboring together “to make educational programs and activities safe, and inclusive for all students.”  In fact, however, this “dear colleague” letter represents a threat, not an invitation.  If it were collegial, it would have been penned and signed only by the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, the federal co-worker.  Instead, the letter is also signed by the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney for Civil Rights in the Department of Justice — the federal enforcer.Leftist Giant called Tyranny

Both signers pretend that the newly hatched transgender student policy is not worthy of public debate and decision by the people’s elected representatives in Congress.  Rather, it is a done deal. It is time for the people to call on their elected state officials and representatives to fight for their rights not to be governed by two leftist unelected bureaucrats.  Now, the only question is whether the supposedly sovereign states will cave to federal threats, and whether the federal courts will look the other way, as they have done all too frequently in the past.pure socialism

Just Tuesday, we filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit case of G.G. v. County of Gloucester.  This brief was filed for Public Advocate of the United States, the United States Justice Foundation, and Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund.  Our brief was in support of an effort to have the Fourth Circuit reconsider its decision upholding the Obama Administration’s order that the boys’ restrooms in Gloucester County, Virginia schools be opened to girls, and, by the logic of the decision, would open the girls’ restrooms to boys.  One would have thought that the Obama gang would have awaited a decision from the Fourth Circuit, but it was not to be.  The Obama Administration sees that with each turn of the calendar there are fewer and fewer days to remake America, as President Obama promised in his inaugural address.  So much damage to be done, and so little time to do it.More

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Herbert W. Titus taught Constitutional Law for 26 years, and concluded his academic career as the Founding Dean of Regent Law School.  William J. Olson served in three positions in the Reagan Administration.  Together they have filed over 85 briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, and dozens more in lower courts, addressing important public policy issues.  They now practice law together at William J. Olson, P.C.  They can be reached at wjo@mindspring.com  or twitter.com/Olsonlaw.

PC Trans Picture1 true battle Picture1 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

Obama reinstates ‘catch-and-release’ policy for illegal immigrants


/

Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

 – The Washington Times – Thursday, February 4, 2016

Newly arrived people who were caught in Arizona by the U.S. Border Patrol are initially processed at Tucson Sector U.S. Border Patrol headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., on Aug. 9, 2012. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Newly arrived people who were caught in Arizona by the U.S. Border Patrol are initially processed at Tucson Sector U.S. Border Patrol headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., on Aug. 9, 2012. (Associated Press) **FILE** more >

illegalalienvoters-300x300

The Obama administration has revived the maligned illegal immigrant “catch-and-release” policy of the Bush years, ordering Border Patrol agents not to bother arresting and deporting many new illegal immigrants, the head of the agents’ labor union revealed Thursday.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Congress that Homeland Security was embarrassed by the number of illegal immigrants not showing up for their deportation hearings, but instead of cracking down on the immigrants, the department ordered agents not to arrest them in the first place — meaning they no longer need to show up for court.

Mr. Judd said the releases are part of President Obama’s “priorities” program, which orders agents to worry chiefly about criminals, national security risks and illegal immigrants who came into the U.S. after Jan. 1, 2014. Mr. Judd said illegal immigrants without serious criminal convictions have learned that by claiming they came before 2014 — without even needing to show proof — they can be released immediately rather than being arrested.

“Immigration laws today appear to be mere suggestions,” Mr. Judd testified to the House Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee. “That fact is well known in other countries.”Oh good

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, did not deny Mr. Judd’s claim but said agents have been instructed to prioritize whom they arrest.

“The Border Patrol’s resources are most effectively focused on the border — prioritizing the apprehension and removal of individuals attempting to unlawfully enter the United States,” said Michael Friel, a CBP spokesman. “Our removal numbers reflect that. Border Patrol agents are issuing notices to appear, consistent with law, regulation and the department’s enforcement priorities.”

The White House declined to comment. Spokesman Josh Earnest said he hadn’t seen the testimony.Illegal Immigration Giant

Mr. Obama has pushed for Congress to grant citizenship rights to most illegal immigrants, but after Capitol Hill failed to deliver he took action on his own to carve most illegal immigrants out of danger of deportation.

He and Mr. Johnson said deportation and border agents should worry chiefly about dangerous immigrants and new arrivals. Those with deeper ties to the U.S. who have not amassed criminal records should be passed over, Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Judd said there are holes in that policy. He said agents have been ordered not to ask for proof when an immigrant says he or she has been in the U.S. since 2013, and migrants have quickly learned to assert that claim without having to worry about having it challenged.Oh good

He said on the northern border, where he is stationed, agents arrested an illegal immigrant who had recently been charged with felony domestic violence. He had to be released because he hadn’t gone to trial yet, so he hadn’t been convicted.

“Under the law, he should have been set up for removal proceedings, but under the policy he was let go,” Mr. Judd testified. “And he was let go even though he first proved that he cared so little about our laws that he entered the United States illegally, and once here, he proved further disdain by getting arrested for a serious violent act against another.”What did you say 02

Mr. Judd was testifying at a hearing called to examine the surge of illegal immigrants — unaccompanied children and families traveling together — who have overwhelmed agencies. After peaking in early summer 2014, the numbers dropped. But 2016 is on pace for a record year. Mr. Judd and Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said criminal cartels are using the families and children to flood the border to distract agents and create chances to smuggle drugs. The cause of the surge is heatedly debated

Immigrant rights advocates said the children and mothers are fleeing horrific violence and should be considered asylum-seekers, not illegal immigrants. The advocates point to spiking homicide rates. El Salvador leads the Western Hemisphere with 103 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Honduras is third worst with a rate of 57 homicides, and Guatemala is fifth worst with 30 per 100,000 people. San Pedro Sula in Honduras recorded 885 homicides out of a population of just less than 800,000 people last year, according to a Mexican nongovernmental organization that tracks the statistics. San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, recorded 1,918 homicides among its 1.8 million people — a rate of 109 per 100,000.

The U.S. city with the highest homicide rate per capita, St. Louis, recorded a rate of 59 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Wendy Young, president of Kids in Need of Defense, which handles cases of children applying for protection in the U.S., detailed horrific stories of children being enslaved by gangs, tracked down if they try to leave and being killed as retribution for crossing the gangs.

She recounted the story of one 14-year-old girl who was abducted by a gang and gang-raped for four days before she escaped. Her family fled to another location inside the country, but the gang tracked her down, and her family sent her north to the U.S.

“These children are doing the only thing they can — they are running for their lives,” Ms. Young said.Picture2

Mr. Judd said children wanting to claim asylum can go to a border entry point and present themselves to CBP officers. Instead, the cartels deliver them to some of the remote parts of the border before sending them to find Border Patrol agents, keeping the agents occupied while the cartels smuggle their goods, the agent said.

Border Patrol agents used to interview the children and ask them why they came, and the overwhelming majority said they believed enforcement was lax and they would be allowed to stay.

Ms. Young said the children were likely frightened by agents and officers in uniforms, so the information they gave was not to be trusted. Regardless, Mr. Judd said, agents have now been banned from asking those questions.Leftist Propagandist

stupid Picture1 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

Cartoon: An Omnibus Chistmas


waving flagCommentary By Glenn Foden / / December 18, 2015

PastedGraphic-3
Several Heritage Foundation researchers gave their reaction to the spending bill that was announced this week:

Early Wednesday morning, the House Rules Committee posted text for the Consolidated Appropriations Act of the 2016 fiscal year (FY). This $1.1 trillion spending package, known as the omnibus, shows Washington at its worst.

Lawmakers are being asked to sign off on 2,200 pages (with an additional 1,000 pages of explanatory materials), at the 11th hour, without having had sufficient time to analyze its contents.

The House plans to begin consideration of the bill on Friday morning, with final votes expected to come Friday afternoon before the House leaves town until Jan. 5. Exact timing of when the Senate will vote on the bill is unclear, but lawmakers are expected to wrap up consideration quickly and begin their vacation, perhaps as early as Friday night. In the meantime, another short-term continuing resolution will be necessary to avoid a government shutdown at midnight.

The omnibus spending package, along with the tax extenders package, is full of provisions that were negotiated behind closed doors.

Heritage experts have combed through the bill’s numerous provisions and have provided their analysis on several key issues below:

Higher Spending

Once again, Congress has missed a critical opportunity to abide by the Budget Control Act spending caps and will not rein in wasteful and excessive spending. Base spending for the omnibus comes in at $1.066 trillion, the level agreed upon in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The defense and non-defense subcategories are at the agreed upon levels as well.

Overall, FY2016 base discretionary spending in the omnibus is $50 billion higher than the original Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) levels.

The Bipartisan Budget Act set a maximum amount of discretionary spending, not a spending goal that had to be obtained. Since its enactment in 2011, the Budget Control Act caps set by the law have been exceeded each year.

With the Bipartisan Budget Act’s revised FY2017 spending level already set to bust the caps and be above the FY2018 cap, unless Congress starts making the tough spending decisions and abiding by the Budget Control Act, we are poised to continue this trend in the future.

War Account as Slush Fund

Funding for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) is also at the $73.7 billion level agreed upon in the Bipartisan Budget Act, with defense receiving $58.8 billion and non-defense receiving $14.9 billion in FY 2016. The Bipartisan Budget Act increased Overseas Contingency Operations funding by $16 billion for each of the next two years.

The $8 billion designated for non-defense is likely to be used to cover base budget needs of the State Department rather than for continuing war efforts, once again using Overseas Contingency Operations money as a slush fund to increase non-defense discretionary spending up to the president’s requested level while defense remains underfunded.obama- Marxist tyrant

Even Higher Spending With Gimmicks

On top of the base discretionary funding and Overseas Contingency Operations funding agreed upon in the Bipartisan Budget Act, the omnibus also includes other above-the-cap spending for purposes such as disaster and emergency declarations and program integrity initiatives.

The bill includes $7.1 billion in disaster spending, which funds responses to presidential declarations for natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires, among other purposes.

The omnibus also provides $1.5 billion for program integrity initiatives that aim to combat Medicaid waste, fraud, and abuse. An additional $698 million is also appropriated to the Department of the Interior for emergency declarations. While some of these may be worthwhile and necessary purposes, these expenses (which recur almost every year) should be accounted for in the base budget. Funds in excess of the discretionary cap should be appropriated only when a true emergency or unforeseen disaster occurs. They should not be used as another gimmick to circumvent the spending caps.Propaganda Alert BS Alert

The omnibus also relies on Changes in Mandatory Programs (CHIMPs) to bust through the (already inflated) spending caps. These are changes to mandatory spending and entitlements that affect current-year budget authority and are treated as changes in discretionary spending for the purpose of scoring appropriations bills.

Sometimes these are real savings and may be used as an acceptable offset, but most of the time they are simply a way to increase discretionary spending in the current year with no real savings ever being realized.

The FY2016 Conference Budget Resolution took a first step in reining in CHIMPs spending by limiting the total amount that could be used as an offset over the each of the next four years. However, the agreement still allows for over $19 billion in additional spending this fiscal year. This is purely additional discretionary spending over the agreed upon budget caps. Moving forward, the use of CHIMPs should be eliminated completely.

—Justin Bogie, senior policy analyst, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

Sanctuary Cities Spared

The omnibus does not restrict Department of Homeland Security or Department of Justice grants to cities that resist the enforcement of federal immigration law, also known as sanctuary cities. Federalism gives local governments some latitude in choosing to oppose or not assist the federal government in enforcing immigration law, but the federal government does not have to reward or pay for the results of such policies.

No Additional Assurances on Vetting RefugeesDo you want

The omnibus also does not request additional assurances, intelligence assessments, or risk-based plans for the refugee process. If Congress is genuinely concerned about the vetting of refugees, then it should have requested additional information with which to oversee such vetting programs.

Similarly, while the bill makes small improvements to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), it also adds largely unhelpful and even counterproductive restrictions to the program by denying Visa Waiver Program to individuals who have travelled to Iraq, Syria, or other countries. Importantly, it also does not expand the program in order to reap additional security benefits.

—David Inserra, policy analyst for homeland security and cybersecurity, Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy

Risk Corridor Bailouts Avoided

The bill also continues a provision to prohibit the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Program Management funds from being used to make payments under Obamacare’s risk corridor program. This will prohibit the administration from using undedicated funds to bail out unprofitable qualified health insurance plans in the individual and small group markets.Complete Message

Planned Parenthood Affiliates Still Fundedhow many body parts

The trillion-dollar budget deal would continue to allow hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, from both discretionary funding under Title X and from Medicaid reimbursements, to flow to Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliates—despite recent disturbing videos showing Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of body parts of aborted babies.

No federal funds should be going to Planned Parenthood Federation of America or any of its affiliates or health centers. Disqualifying Planned Parenthood affiliates from receiving Title X family planning grants, Medicaid reimbursements, and other federal grants and contracts should not reduce the overall funding for women’s health care. The funds currently flowing to Planned Parenthood affiliates should be redirected to health centers that offer comprehensive health care without entanglement in abortion on demand. Members of Congress had the opportunity with the year-end funding bill to end both mandatory and discretionary federal funding of Planned Parenthood and end taxpayer entanglement with the largest abortion provider in the country, but they failed to do so.

Failure to Protect Conscience Rights

While long-standing pro-life riders are included in the omnibus, a much-needed policy to address serious conscience violations is missing from the spending bill.

In August 2014, the Department of Managed Health Care in California mandated that almost every health plan in the state include coverage of elective abortions, including those plans offered by religious organizations, religious schools, and even churches. The Weldon Amendment prohibits federal, state, and local governments that receive certain federal funds from discriminating against health care entities, including health care plans, that do not “provide, pay for, provide coverage of or refer for abortions.” While that policy has been included in appropriations bills since 2004 (including the current omnibus), enforcement of the conscience policy is left to the discretion of officials in the Department of Health and Human Services, which has a poor track record of moving quickly (if at all) on complaints. The Obama administration has so far effectively ignored requests to HHS for help obtaining relief from California’s mandate.Picture2

In response to this urgent problem, Congress should provide victims of discrimination the ability to defend their freedom of conscience in court, not leave them to wait on bureaucrats in the Obama administration. The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act would do just that. The act is currently part of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, H.R. 940, a bill that would address other conscience issues in Obamacare.

—Sarah Torre, policy analyst, DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society

More Bad Than Good on Energy Provisions

If you were to put a jelly bean for each energy provision on a two-sided scale, one side being good free-market provisions and the other being corrupt energy provisions, the bad side of the scale would be hitting the floor.

The good provision is a very good provision, indeed. Lifting the crude oil export ban would generate more jobs for Americans, supply the United States and the world with more affordable energy, and provide important geopolitical benefits for Washington and its allies.

But the numerous bad provisions waste taxpayer money and provide targeted tax credits to politically connected companies. They include:

  • A five-year extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC). The wind PTC, which has been around since 1982, artificially propped up an industry, advanced special interests, and allocated labor and capital away from more competitive uses in the marketplace.
  • A five-year extension of the solar investment tax credit (ITC), which companies can now take when they begin construction rather than when they start producing power. Solar companies would be better off in the long run without the ITC. They would understand their true price point to be competitive in the short and long run.
  • A ramp up in Department of Energy spending for renewables, energy efficiency provisions, fossil fuels, and nuclear. The Department of Energy has ballooned by subsidizing and forcing energy technologies into the marketplace. The private sector has demonstrated countless times that it is far better equipped than government to allocate resources and develop commercially viable technologies.
  • A handout for the oil industry. The legislation would provide a targeted tax credit for small, independent refiners and allow independents to exempt 75 percent of transportation costs when calculating their Section 199 manufacturing deductions. This is nothing more than obvious compensation for lifting the ban on crude oil exports. Further, the energy tax provisions in the omnibus speak to the need for the federal government to stop using the tax code to pick winners and losers for all energy sources and technologies.
  • A three-year extension of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The massive amount of land owned and managed by the U.S. government has resulted in land mismanagement, stifled opportunities for recreation and resource production, and poor environmental stewardship. Reauthorizing the LWCF is a recipe for prolonging mediocre and often poor federal control of America’s land. Permanently eliminating the LWCF is recognition that improved economic growth and environmental quality are born not out of Washington, but in the states.

Absent from the text are provisions that would block the Obama administration’s climate change regulations, regulations that will drive up energy costs no climate benefit. Instead, the federal government has hundreds of millions of dollars to dole out internationally through the Climate Investment Fund and Strategic Climate Fund. Notably missing from the omnibus spending bill is a provision prohibiting spending on the Green Climate Fund.

This is no compromise, but instead a large extension of government intrusion in energy markets where it does not need to be.Ponzi Scheme

—Nick Loris, Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

Failure on WOTUS (EPA Water Rule)

The omnibus bill fails to prohibit funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps’ controversial “waters of the United States” rule, which would greatly expand the types of waters that could be covered under the Clean Water Act, from certain man-made ditches to so-called waters that are actually dry land most of the time.

In addition to this rule being an attack on both property rights and the states’ role in protecting the environment, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) just ruled that the EPA broke the law in developing it.

The policy problems and the agency overreach should have been more than enough to block funding for the rule. Both the House and the Senate have already passed different bills that would repeal the rule (the same bill still needs to be passed by both chambers). Attorneys general and agencies from at least 31 states are suing the federal government regarding the rule. Even environmental groups are suing.

If it somehow wasn’t a no-brainer to block funding for the water rule before, then it certainly should have been after the GAO’s opinion. The GAO found that the EPA violated the law when developing the rule by trying to inappropriately gin up support for the rule through improper lobbying activities and covert propaganda. Their illegal actions, according to GAO, were focused not just on the regulatory process, but also on encouraging opposition to legislation that would have blocked efforts to undermine the rule. The legislative process itself, and the work of many members of Congress, was itself being undermined by EPA’s actions. Yet Congress still allowed the rule to go forward. If Congress won’t use the power of the purse to block this rule, when will it ever use the power of the purse to block any rule?

Funding Barred for Unrelated Dietary Guidelines

Every five years, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services issue dietary guidelines to advise the public on healthy eating. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) submitted its scientific report, which helps to inform the final guidelines, in February. Throughout the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee process, there has been a focus on non-dietary issues such as sustainability, climate change, and other environmental factors.

The omnibus bill does prohibit funding for guidelines that are not limited to nutritional and dietary information (Division A, Sec. 734). It would also direct the Secretary of Agriculture to work with the National Academy of Medicine to study the Dietary Guidelines process (Division A, Sec. 735). The problem, though, is that any new Dietary Guidelines, even if claimed to be based on nutritional and dietary factors alone, will have no legitimacy, because the process was dominated by environmental concerns, not dietary concerns.

Repeals Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling

The mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for certain meat products has been the subject of significant controversy. Both Canada and Mexico have correctly alleged that COOL has a discriminatory effect on their livestock exports to the United States, violating trade obligations. COOL is merely a non-tariff trade barrier, having nothing to do with health or safety, which is supposed to provide consumers information.

Yet the government doesn’t need to impose such a requirement if consumers value such information; the market will respond accordingly. As it turns out, consumers don’t value this information. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has repeatedly agreed with Canada and Mexico. After just receiving WTO authorization, Canada and Mexico are about to impose over a billion dollars in retaliatory tariffs on the United States. The omnibus bill would repeal COOL before this costly retaliation is imposed on a wide range of industries (Division A, Sec. 759).

—Daren Bakst, research fellow in agricultural policy, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

Small Steps on School Lunch Funding

The omnibus continues funding for the USDA’s new school lunch standards, which were implemented as part of the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010.

However, these standards have been burdensome to schools and should not be funded. For example, a January 2014 report by the GAO shows that since the implementation of the new standards, participation in the school lunch program has declined, there has been an increase in food waste among students, and some schools have dropped out of the program at least partially due to the new standards.

The new standards have also imposed greater costs on schools, such that some have even have had to draw from their education funds to cover them.

The omnibus takes small steps in the right direction by

1) allowing states to exempt schools from the whole grain requirement if a state can “demonstrate hardship, including financial hardship, in procuring specific whole grain products which are acceptable to the students and compliant with the whole grain-rich requirements,” and by

2) prohibiting funds to go toward rules that would require a reduction in sodium in school meals until scientific research can establish that such a decrease is beneficial to children.

The decision of what children eat is best left to parents, not bureaucrats in Washington. Congress should prohibit any funding from going toward these costly and heavy-handed standards.

—Rachel Sheffield, policy analyst, DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society; and Daren Bakst, research fellow in agricultural policy, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

Congress Is at It Again With Tax Extenders

The tax extenders are a yearly exercise that Congress is long overdue to end. Lawmakers should go through the various policies in the package, extend those that are sound policy, and eliminate those that are not, all in a revenue-neutral manner. Once again, Congress did not follow this sensible approach.

To its credit, Congress made several policies permanent. Importantly, it made the Research and Development Credit, section 179 expensing for small businesses, and the exemption from subpart F income of active financing income permanent. These are all necessary policies, given the dilapidated state of the tax system. It will be a relief in future years that they are no longer set to expire.

The price of these permanent extensions was steep. Congress also made permanent the stimulus’ expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Credit. These permanent expansions increase spending by nearly $160 billion over the next 10 years. Congress should have offset this spending with spending cuts in other areas.

The bill also extends bonus depreciation, better called 50 percent expensing, for five years. It would have been better had Congress made it permanent, too, but a five-year extension is better than a two-year continuance.

Disappointingly, Congress also included a five-year extension of other policies that are not sound, including the New Markets Tax Credit and the Work Opportunity Credit. These policies are examples of Congress using the tax code to pick winners and losers. They should have been among the first extenders to be permanently excised instead of receiving an expanded extension.

The rest of the extenders get the at-this-point standard two-year extension. Since the extenders were expired for 2015, the two-year bill extends them retroactively for 2015 and through 2016. Congress will be back at this game either in the lame duck session at the end of 2016 or sometime in 2017.

Obamacare’s Taxes

A two-year moratorium on Obamacare’s medical device tax, for 2016 and 2017, is also included in the tax bill. It is a bad tax, but suspending it should not be confused with repealing Obamacare.

Strangely, the omnibus spending bill includes a two-year delay of the beginning of the Cadillac tax on high-cost health insurance plans from 2018 to 2020, as well as the delay of the tax on health insurers, and an extension of various alternative energy credits, including the production tax credit. The policies should not have been extended, especially since Congress did not adopt equivalent Obamacare spending cuts.

Delaying the start of the Cadillac tax was the wrong approachespecially since Congress did not adopt equivalent Obamacare spending cuts. Congress should instead use it as a pivot to capping the tax exclusion of employer-provided health insurance.

Even though it is long past time for Congress to end its practice of dealing with the extenders semiannually, it did make certain important policies permanent. That will make the extenders easier to deal with next time and lowers the revenue baseline for tax reform. These are steps in the right direction after years of standing still.

Curtis Dubay, research fellow for tax and economic policy, Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

burke In God We Trust freedom combo 2

Obama Admin Will Not Reveal to Congress Number of Americans Killed By Iran


waving flagBY:  / September 18, 2015

URL of the original posting site: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/obama-admin-will-not-reveal-to-congress-number-of-americans-killed-by-iran

John Kerry

John Kerry / AP

muslim-obamaIn a series of on-the-record responses obtained exclusively by the Free Beacon, and provided in written form to Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Kerry sidestepped the questions on all of the three separate occasions he was asked to provide the figures. The questions come as the United States prepares to unfreeze more than $100 billion in Iranian assets under the terms of the recently inked nuclear deal. Experts fear the Islamic Republic will funnel the cash windfall into its rogue terror operations and proxy groups.

Lawmakers and experts also have expressed concern about portions of the deal that will lift international sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as well as Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s financial empire.

In the list of questions submitted to Kerry, Rubio asks: “How many U.S. citizens have been killed by Iran, including by Iran’s terrorist proxies, since 1979?”

The secretary of state declined to provide an answer, instead saying that the administration takes the murder of American citizens “very seriously.”Picture1

“The death of any U.S. citizen due to acts of terrorism is a tragedy that we take very seriously,” Kerry writes. “As the President said in his Aug. 5 speech, a nuclear-armed Iran is a danger to Israel, America and the world.”

“The central goal of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] is to eliminate the imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran,” Kerry continued.

When asked a second time by Rubio to specify “How many U.S. troops and soldiers were killed by Iranian-provided weapons or by Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Kerry said, again sidestepping the question.

“We are extraordinarily grateful for the service of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, and we mourn the loss of every service member,” Kerry writes. “The JCPOA is not about a change in the broader U.S. relationship with Iran. It is about eliminating the biggest and most imminent threat—a nuclear-armed Iran.”Lies Lies and More Lies

When separately asked to detail “how many Israelis have been killed by Iran, including by Iran’s terrorist proxies since 1979,” Kerry again declined to respond.

“The central goal of the JCPOA is to eliminate the imminent threat that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon,” Kerry said. “But the JCPOA cannot erase decades of Iranian anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric and actions.”I am from the US Government Israels-Back-590-LI IranIraselNukes Israel-Tied-600-LI

A State Department official told the Free Beacon that no further information on these questions could be provided beyond what Kerry wrote.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R., Texas) told the Free Beacon that the administration’s reluctance to provide information about Iran’s efforts to kill Americans is “unconscionable.” “It is a fact that Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and that they have killed and maimed thousands of upstanding military men and women at the hands of sheer hate,” said Gohmert, who has been a vocal critic of the Iran deal.

“It is unconscionable that the Obama administration is refusing to answer questions on just how many Americans have been killed or maimed by Iran,” the lawmaker said. “One thing we know— Iran says they will continue their efforts to destroy the United States and its people so one hundred billion dollars will allow Iran to kill and maim multiples of the numbers of Americans they already have killed and maimed, making the Obama administration knowing accessories.”ObamaIranian-Flag-WORD-ART

Michael Pregent, director of the advocacy organization Veterans Against the Deal, called it shocking that the administration would not release these figures.

“We find it absurd that the Obama administration and the State Department would deny information on Iran’s direct role in the deaths of Americans in Iraq from sitting U.S. senators,” said Pregent, whose organization has released several ads highlighting Iran’s terror operations against U.S. soldiers.

“For the State Department to protect Iran by keeping information detrimental to Iran’s Quds force and [IRGC Leader] Qasem Soleimani from the American people is an affront to veterans affected by this enemy and service members currently in harms way in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Pregent said.

Recent estimates by U.S. intelligence officials put the number of American soldiers killed by Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan at around 500.

The issue of Iran’s terror funding has emerged as a key concern among critics of the nuclear accord.

A Free Beacon report revealed that Iran has been spending billions of dollars to pay the salaries of terrorists. This includes potentially millions of dollars in monthly payments to pro-government forces in Syria, more than $1 billion in military aid to fighters in Iraq, and about $20 million annually to Hamas terrorists, according to a private report commissioned by Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.).

The report was assembled following a request by Kirk for the Obama administration to disclose its estimates of “Iranian military spending, as well as Iranian assistance to Houthi rebels in Yemen, Shiite militias in Iraq, the Assad government, Hezbollah, and Hamas,” according to a copy of that report.

Kerry additionally discloses in his responses to Rubio that Iran is permitted to test fire ballistic missiles under the nuclear accord.What did you say 07.jpg

“It would not be a violation of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] if Iran tested a conventional ballistic missile,” Kerry disclosed in the document.

Destroyed for lack of knowledge 95b119e45c50cbea1e7a4fbfa33415f3 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

Obama Punishes Kansas for De-Funding Planned Parenthood by Cutting Its Medicaid Funding


waving flagReported by Steven Ertelt   Aug 26, 2015   |   Washington, DC

Abortion monster

The measure has the state budget directing over $300,000  in Title 10 money to local full-service health clinics instead of Planed Parenthood and it places $300,000 into the Stan Clark grant-matched fund for pregnancy support and adoption counseling. The funding cuts eventually resulted in the Planned Parenthood abortion business closing one of its centers.

PP MonsterNow, the Obama administration, in the wake of additional states cutting Planned Parenthood funding following the massive scandal, is going after one state that already cut tax-funding to the abortion company. According to an AP report: “The federal government reduced its Title X funding to the state by about the $370,000 annually in Title X money that two Planned Parenthood facilities in Wichita and Hays and an unaffiliated clinic in Dodge City had been receiving.”

While Kansas revoked taxpayer dollars for an abortion business, the Obama administration’s decision hurts women’s health and deprives them of legitimate medical and health care.

As AP reports, “Medical providers say that means low-income patients are finding it harder to access birth control, cancer screenings and other reproductive health care services. People have fewer places to go, and for those with limited means that may make utilizing those services even more difficult,” said J’Vonnah Maryman, director for public health at the Sedgwick County Health Department.Bull

In terms of the pro-life law de-funding Planned Parenthood, the insurance portion of the legislation prohibits private health insurance companies from forcing enrollees to pay for abortions and it makes those who want to potentially have abortion coverage pay for an insurance rider. It also ensures abortions can’t be paid for with taxpayer dollars through the state exchanges set up under the federal Obamacare health care law.

ACTION: Thank Governor Brownback at https://governor.ks.gov/

how many body parts I AM A PERSON with Poem Which kills more blacks comparison In God We Trust freedom combo 2

Revealed: 276 ‘sanctuary cities’ let 8,145 illegal offenders free in just 8 months, 17,000 total


waving flagBy Paul Bedard 7/13/15

Some 276 “sanctuary cities,” nearly 50 percent more than previously revealed, released over 8,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records or facing charges free despite federal requests that they be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, according to an explosive new report. The Center for Immigration Studies, revealing new numbers it received under the Freedom of Information Act, said that those releases from cities that ignored federal demands came over just eight months and are just part of an even larger release of 17,000 illegals with criminal records.Only Reason

RELATED: Map — Over 200 ‘sanctuary cities’ in 32 states and D.C.

Author Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy Studies for the center, also reported that many of those illegals have been rearrested after their release and charged with nearly 7,500 new charges, including child sex abuse.

Francisco Sanchez, right, is lead into the courtroom for his arraignment in the shooting death of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle. (Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, Pool)
The report, titled “Ignoring Detainers, Endangering Communities State/local agencies release criminals rather than obey law,” provided to Secrets, is expected to fuel U.S. anger over sanctuary cities and the murder by one freed illegal of a San Francisco woman earlier this month.

“The Obama administration has given sanctuaries free rein to ignore detainers by ending the successful Secure Communities program and replacing it with the Priority Enforcement Program. This new program explicitly allows local agencies to disregard ICE notifications of deportable aliens in their custody by replacing detainers with ‘requests for notification,'” wrote Vaughan. “The only truly effective and lasting solution is for Congress to spell out in federal law that local law enforcement agencies must cooperate with ICE by complying with all detainers or face sanctions in the form of disqualification from certain kinds of federal funding,” she added.

The new federal documents show that there are at least 276 sanctuary cities, more than the 200 previously believed, and are in 43 states, also more than previously revealed. Instead of turning illegal immigrants facing criminal charges over to ICE under its “detainer” rule, the sanctuaries simply ignore the request in many cases let the illegals go. Many of those released had more than one ICE “detainer” request.

The majority, 5,132, had past criminal records, like Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the illegal previously deported five times and now charged with murdering 32-year-old Kate Steinle. Of those, 2,984 had a prior felony conviction or charge. And, 1,867 offenders who were released were re-arrested, accumulating 7,491 new charges, including child sex abuse. Vaughan’s report found that 10 percent of the new charges involved dangerous drugs and seven percent were for driving under the influence of alcohol.Illegal Immigration Giant

freedom combo 2

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: