Operating just like the security agencies of such paragons of freedom as the USSR, Red China, Cuba, and North Korea by using personal information gleaned from illicit spying to destroy their enemies.
The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as exemplars of how personal vulnerabilities can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target's credibility, reputation and authority.
The NSA document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, repeatedly refers to the power of charges of hypocrisy to undermine such a messenger. A previous SIGINT" -- or signals intelligence, the interception of communications -- "assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent, the document argues.
American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer had this reaction:
This report is an unwelcome reminder of what it means to give an intelligence agency unfettered access to individuals' most sensitive information. One ordinarily associates these kinds of tactics with the secret police services of authoritarian governments. That these tactics have been adopted by the worlds leading democracy and the worlds most powerful intelligence agency is truly chilling.
Either Obama has become a tyrant or he has shown himself to be utterly incapable of controlling the agencies that supposedly work for him. You make the call.
I'm left speechless by Obama's response to heckling by supporters of border-jumping immigration criminals.
"The easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws," the president responded.
"We're a nation of laws, that's part of our tradition," he added.
Did he REALLY say this?
Does he really expect us to believe that he doesn't believe he has the power to executive order violations of federal law any time he wants to?
After all, Obama has already executive ordered violations of immigration law, violations of the ObamaCare law, violations of the First Amendment...
For the Left, which believes in bigger and ever more expansive government power, the notion of a "do-nothing Congress" being a failure seems logical. So once again we hear this term resurrected.
It's not quite a "do nothing" Congress but it's not far off.
With only a handful of remaining legislative days on their calendar, this current Congress is on track to go down as one of the most unproductive in modern history.
The paltry number of bills Congress has passed into law this year paints a vivid picture of just how bad the gridlock has been for lawmakers, whose single-digit approval rating illustrates that the public is hardly satisfied with their trickle of legislative activity.
According to THOMAS, the legislative tracking service, this Congress has passed just 52 public laws since it gaveled into session in January.
If that sounds like a small number, it is.
And in my book, it does not matter that this is a small number. After all, "more laws" does not mean "better laws". Indeed, my Ideal Congress would pass new laws in the single digits, and repeal statutes in triple -- or even quadruple -- digits. More laws generally means less freedom, while fewer laws generally makes for increased liberty.
And the mere fact that we have had fewer laws passed doesn't mean that there has been little work done.
There have been serious investigations into executive branch wrong-doing.
There have been several efforts to pass substantive legislation on the part of the House GOP -- efforts which were thwarted by the Democrats in the Senate. And the Democrats in the Senate have trashed the filibuster in a brazen fit of partisan hackery and hypocrisy.
I'll take fewer bad laws passed, even without my desired mass repeal of unnecessary laws, over more laws that stifle liberty.
When I find the claims of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran at least as credible as those that are coming from the White House.
Iranian officials say that the White House is misleading the public about the details of an interim nuclear agreement reached over the weekend in Geneva.
Iran and Western nations including the United States came to an agreement on the framework for an interim deal late Saturday night in Geneva. The deal has yet to be implemented
The White House released a multi-page fact sheet containing details of the draft agreement shortly after the deal was announced.
However, Iranian foreign ministry official on Tuesday rejected the White Houses version of the deal as invalid and accused Washington of releasing a factually inaccurate primer that misleads the American public.
What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action, and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham told the Iranian press on Tuesday.
Afkham and officials said that the White House has modified key details of the deal and released their own version of the agreement in the fact sheet.
After repeated assertions that the attack at Benghazi was provoked by an obscure YouTube video, is there any reason to believe foreign policy assertions by this administration?
At least we know that the Iranians tell the truth -- they want to spread their malignant religion around the world and seek to finish the work begun by Hitler. So why shouldn't we believe them when they tell us what they understand this agreement -- one which sells out the interests of Israel, a nation hated by Iran -- means something other than what Obama and Kerry claim it does?
And doesn't it say a lot that we have reached the point where those of us who love America and oppose the Islamist regime in Iran find it reasonable to consider the possibility?
Game, set, and match to Stockman.
"Give us Barabbas!" MT @WhiteHouse Obama: If youve got a majority of folks who believe in something, then it should be able to pass."— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) November 21, 2013
I'm becoming more and more proud that Steve Stockman is my congressman.
The campaign manager for Rep. Bill Cassidy's (R-LA) Senate campaign tweeted out a link to a photo of Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) face superimposed on the body of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini an hour after a conservative Louisiana blog posted the image.
Cassidy is one of the Republicans running against Landrieu in 2014.
The image was posted by the Louisiana politics blog The Hayride in a post with the headline "Mary Voted To Kill The Filibuster Today" referring to Landrieu joining Democrats in voting to change Senate rules to remove the filibuster option from judicial and executive nominees in the Senate. The photo's title was "MussoLandrieu."
Landrieu supporters and apologists have gone apoplectic, demanding apologies and more.
I tend to agree this crosses all sorts of lines.
Perhaps the Cassidy campaign should have just sent out a tweet suggesting that someone whip Landrieu and then shit and piss in her mouth. After all, the same Leftists outraged by this picture were silent when Martin Bashir suggested the same be done should be done to Sarah Palin just last week.
The nations largest news organizations lodged a complaint Thursday against the White House for imposing unprecedented limitations on photojournalists covering President Barack Obama, which they say have harmed the publics ability to monitor its own government.
The organizations accuse the White House of banning photojournalists from covering Obama at some events, and then later releasing its own photos and videos of the same events.
Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the president while he is performing his official duties, according to a letter the organizations sent to the White House. As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalists camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the executive branch of government.
The Obamunist Regime finds it is no longer able to control the press as much as in the past, so now they keep the press away to control the media by ensuring only the Obamunist spin reaches the reporters and the people.
In a 52-to-48 vote that substantially altered the balance of power in Washington, the Senate changed its most infuriating rule and effectively ended the filibuster on executive and judicial appointments. From now on, if any senator tries to filibuster a presidential nominee, that filibuster can be stopped with a simple majority, not the 60-vote requirement of the past. That means a return to the democratic process of giving nominees an up-or-down vote, allowing them to be either confirmed or rejected by a simple majority.
But that is not what the New York Times editorial page said back in 2005, during the days when Harry Reid was declaring the nuclear option to be an unconstitutional abuse of power.
The Senate, of all places, should be sensitive to the fact that this large and diverse country has never believed in government by an unrestrained majority rule. Its composition is a repudiation of the very idea that the largest number of votes always wins out. The members from places like Rhode Island, Maine or Iowa know that their constituents are given a far larger say than people from New York simply by virtue of the fact that each state has two votes, regardless of population. Indeed, as a recent New Yorker article pointed out, the Democratic senators who have blocked that handful of judicial nominees actually represent substantially more Americans than the Republican majority that wants to see them passed.
While the filibuster has not traditionally been used to stop judicial confirmations, it seems to us this is a matter in which it's most important that a large minority of senators has a limited right of veto. Once confirmed, judges can serve for life and will remain on the bench long after Mr. Bush leaves the White House. And there are few responsibilities given to the executive and the legislature that are more important than choosing the members of the third co-equal branch of government. The Senate has an obligation to do everything in its power to ensure the integrity of the process.
Though to its credit, that same editorial board recognized that the paper has long served as the mouthpiece for the Democrats.
A decade ago, this page expressed support for tactics that would have gone even further than the "nuclear option" in eliminating the power of the filibuster. At the time, we had vivid memories of the difficulty that Senate Republicans had given much of Bill Clinton's early agenda. But we were still wrong. To see the filibuster fully, it's obviously a good idea to have to live on both sides of it. We hope acknowledging our own error may remind some wavering Republican senators that someday they, too, will be on the other side and in need of all the protections the Senate rules can provide.
In other words, the New York Times editorial page vacillates with the election returns, insisting that majority rule in the Senate is essential when Democrats control that body but that the protection of minority rights is critical when Republicans hold a majority in the Senate. If anything, this is proof that the New York Times has forfeited any deference as the so-called paper of record. It is a partisan tool staffed by partisan tools, and will engage in political toolery on behalf of the Democrats at every opportunity, good of the Republic be damned.
And think happy thoughts of the next administration and the speedy confirmations of Justice Ted Cruz, Justice Miguel Estrada, Secretary of State John Bolton, Attorney General Mark Levin. . . .
Here's what Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid had to say about the nuclear option back when Democrats were in the minority and sought to keep President George W. Bush's incredibly well-qualified judicial nominees off the bench by use of the filibuster.
"The American people have rejected the nuclear option because they see it for what it is an unconstitutional abuse of power."
Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader, April 26, 2005
Well, here's what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did today in the face of Republicans using the same tactic to keep Barack Obama's highly ideological nominees off the bench -- despite bipartisan opposition to the move.
The Senate voted Thursday to change its rules to prevent the minority party from filibustering any nominations other than nods to the Supreme Court.
The change was approved after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) triggered the nuclear option, which allows a change to Senate rules by majority vote.
The 52-48 vote dramatically changes the rules of the Senate and limits the minority party's ability to prevent confirmation of presidential nominees. Sens. Carl Levin (Mich.), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) were the only Democrats to vote against Reid's rules change.
In other words, Harry Reid and his minions decided to follow the lead of Barack Obama in doing to the Constitution what Martin Bashir suggested should be done to Sarah Palin.
The die is cast -- and there will be consequences in the future.
I'm looking forward to the GOP getting the Senate back -- and even more to the advent of the next GOP president. Democrats will get NOTHING after this move -- not a crumb. And their precedent will be extended to Supreme Court nominees the moment that the Democrats even hint at a filibuster of a Republican nominee for the High Court.
All because the Democrat President and Democrat Majority Leader and a majority of Senate Democrats decided to take a path that they declared to be "an unconstitutional abuse of power" just a few short years ago.
Now that they -- and Barack Obama -- have declared this move to be perfectly constitutional and completely acceptable, there is no obstacle to putting Democrats on the receiving end of such filibuster limitations.
For my Democrat friends, I have some cheery words for you.
Justice Ted Cruz.
And you just made it possible.
From November 8:
And from November 15:
You may have noticed that my blogging has been erratic in recent months, sporadic in recent weeks, and non-existent in recent days. There are a number of reasons for this change, my friends, and I think I should explain.
Over the summer, I just decided spend some time on other things besides blogging. This included some time doing education-related stuff both teaching and testing, on both the high school and college level), more reading (both for pleasure and for professional purposes), some needed things around the house, and a bit of revitalizing my relationship with my wife. The last was particularly important to me, given that between August of 2012 and the spring of 2013 my Darling Democrat had dealt with skin cancer, a fractured knee and a broken hip. My shortcomings as a spouse had become quite apparent during this time, and I wanted to make sure that I did all I could to see what could be done to work on the single most important relationship in my life. Frankly, the blog had to take a back seat. because I recognized that it isn't that important in the grand scheme of things.
As August rolled around I began looking forward to the new school year -- and then the two of us were blind-sided. During a one-year check-up with the dermatologist, several suspicious spots were noted and biopsies conducted. Only one turned out to be cancerous, and fortunately it was so small that the biopsy removed the entire cancer and its margins. Having reached our out-of-pocket max for the year on our insurance (and having only a few days before our benefit year ended), we asked the neurologist if it would be possible to schedule MRIs on her back and neck because of increased pain in both areas.
What came next was a shock. The day after one of the MRIs, I got a phone call from my dear wife telling me to come straight home because we had been summoned to the neurologists office. The news was grim -- the MRI of the cervical spine had turned up serious issues that would require surgery as soon as was feasible. We began the process of finding a neurosurgeon, scheduling appointments, and determining exactly what would be entailed in dealing with this latest bombshell. In the midst all this my wife was sidelined with a case of bronchitis that threatened to turn to pneumonia. When she recovered we got with first one and then a second expert in spinal surgery (since we live in Houston we are blessed with great doctors and great hospitals) and she was offered the alternative between surgery now or paralysis in the future. My wife decided which surgeon and surgery she was more comfortable with and began what we thought would be a rapid move towards surgery.
Unfortunately, our expectations were not met. The surgeon insisted upon a visit to a cardiologist for clearance before surgery. There were concerns after the first test, which led to still more tests. In mid-October my wife had to undergo a cardiac catheterization to rule out a cardiac problem which might have to be addressed before the spinal surgery. Here we encountered a blessing -- no problems were found and she was cleared to move forward with the surgery.
The surgery happened last week. I'll spare you the details, sand will just say that the surgery involved work on five of my wife's seven cervical vertebrae and the associated discs. She came home at the end of last week and is recuperating. There will be therapy and, we expect, surgery on the back in the spring.
Needless to day, the past 15 months have placed my blogging in its appropriate perspective. I hope you understand why this has necessitated the fluctuation in my blogging that you have experienced -- and if you can't understand, I hope you never have to go through the sort of experience that gives you such perspective firsthand. Some things just matter more than putting thoughts and opinions out on the internet.
One last thing -- please indulge me as I make a request that I find a bit uncomfortable, one that I hope you will understand and respond to. Could you hit the tip jar?
George Zimmerman is being held without bail on charges that he threatened his girlfriend with a shotgun.
Zimmerman, 30, was taken into custody Monday afternoon following a disturbance call at a home in Apopka, Fla., about 15 miles from Orlando, according to Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma of the Seminole County Sheriff's office.
In July, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
In a 911 call released later Monday, Samantha Scheibe told police that Zimmerman had smashed a glass table, broken her sunglasses and pointed a shotgun in her face.
Yes, I supported George Zimmerman in his trial over the Martin shooting. I dont regret that support in the least. I believe that the circumstances of that shooting were such that he should not have been charged, that the charges that were brought were due to political calculation rather than good law, and that the acquittal was appropriate due to the evidence. I believe that the ongoing federal investigation is as political as can be, and is designed to further some purpose other than the interests of justice.
This case? Lets see what comes out here. It may well be that George Zimmerman is convicted in this case in which case he will lose his Second Amendment rights. But whatever the outcome in this case, it has no bearing on the prior case.
But never mind, we dont need to secure the border such talk is racist. Give the illegals amnesty instead. Or so we hear from the advocates for the lawbreaking aliens.
And so they want to ignore cases like this.
A Mexican national who entered the U.S. illegally to kill a U.S. Border Patrol agent has been given a hefty sentence after prosecution by the U.S. Attorneys Office.
Marcos Rodriguez-Perez was previously given "supervised release" by U.S. authorities for illegally smuggling human beings into the US. While on supervised release, the illegal alien participated in the 2009 killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas, Jr., along with three other Mexican nationals who had also entered the U.S. illegally or otherwise played a role in the killing. The four admittedly took advantage of the unsecured U.S./Mexico border and lured, trapped, and murdered the young Border Patrol agent for the purpose of stealing his night-vision goggles.
We need a strict deportation policy for all illegals until such time as we have achieved full border security. Anything else is an invitation to commit crimes like this one.
And for folks like this, who kill Americans while illegally in this country? The death penalty, with an expedited appeal process.
If our government isnt able to stop illegal aliens here, why should we even consider passing immigration legislation that does not enhance border security?
How secure are U.S. military installations? You would think the answer is: very.
But, as the News 4 Tucson Investigators uncovered, one installation, right here in southern Arizona, continues to face potential outside security risks, and the problem doesn't seem to be getting any better.
Fort Huachuca is only 15 miles north of our state's border with Mexico.
The Army post covers more than 73,000 acres. In many parts, the terrain is steep and rugged.
Much of the work that goes on at Fort Huachuca is classified but, as the News 4 Tucson Investigators learned, keeping people who don't belong there out, proves to be a difficult mission.
Fort Huachuca is home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command. It's also the site of hundreds of apprehensions of illegal immigrants each year.
It isnt about race it is about national security. And if this situation does not say it all, then I dont know what we can do to make the problem clearer. No "path to citizenship" or "legal status" for illegals without border security!
Did he really say this?
Education Secretary Arne Duncan faced heated criticism Monday for reportedly dismissing foes of so-called Common Core standards as "white suburban moms" who are worried their schools or children don't measure up to the new benchmarks.
Duncan made the comments on Friday in Richmond, Va., discussing academic standards which have become highly controversial at the state level.
"It's fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who -- all of a sudden -- their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn't quite as good as they thought they were, and that's pretty scary," Duncan said, according to an account from Politico. "You've bet your house and where you live and everything on, `My child's going to be prepared.' That can be a punch in the gut."
At first I was troubled by the comment, but thought folks (like my congressman) who were calling for Duncan to resign or be fired might be over-reacting. After all, the resistance to Common Core is coming from suburban areas and is especially strong among white conservative voters who dislike what amounts to the nationalization of educational standards.
But then I sat back and thought about it a bit longer and realized that what Duncan had done was make yet another Obama Administration racial attack on those opposed to one of the Presidents policies and one that not only attacked the opponents, but also their children. Imagine if a Republican official had stated that those who insisted that the federal government look at disparities in discipline rates between black and white students as black ghetto mommas whose children are little thugs the outrage would be such that such a hypothetical individual would be branded a racist, repudiated by all sides, and driven from public life. Shouldnt the same standard apply to Duncan who, after all, has a history of condoning child abuse committed against minority students by teachers during his tenure as superintendent of Chicago Public Schools?
By the way, I haven't come down either way on Common Core, so I'm not one of those who is looking for an excuse to kill it and who is therefore seizing on the Duncan comments to wound it.
Her own claim about herself, not mine.
Back in 1996, Wendy Davis lost an election for the Fort Worth, TX City Council. After the election, she sued the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the local newspaper, for defamation. In short, Davis did not like being criticized by the media (something she wont have to worry about this go round), so she sued for those criticisms claiming they defamed her.
The Texas Court of Appeals and then the Texas Supreme Court both threw out her case. But it is worth noting that Davis, in making her case, claimed that the nasty newspaper, by virtue of criticizing her, damaged her mental health.
More worrisome regarding her mental stability, Davis sued the newspaper months after losing her city council and claimed that she ha[d] suffered and [was] continuing to suffer damages to her mental health.
Seems to me that Wendy Davis is too unstable mentally and emotionally to be governor -- after all, she clearly can't stand the heat of a tough political race or criticism of her positions.
Of course, I suppose the media could treat her like they have Obama for most of his career in office.
If you are going to tag the story with a line about the Astrodome vote, use a picture of the Astrodome. If you are going to talk about the state constitutional amendments having to do with killed and wounded service members, use one like was used. Don't talk about one and show a picture related to the other, lest you end up with this disrespectful combo.