FL Reps. Edwards (D) and Gaetz (R) pushers of Drug Addiction in Children?

Florida Representative Katie Edwards (D-FL District 98) sent out an email quoting an article by the Sun Sentinel’s Susannah Bryan. The article states, “Two Florida representatives, Katie Edwards and Matt Gaetz, are taking steps to help families statewide gain access to a strain of marijuana that’s shown promise in treating children who suffer from seizures.” Representative Matt Gaetz is a Republican representing District 4. Gaetz is Chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee.

Bryan notes, “Although 21 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana, the federal government still lists cannabis as a highly addictive and dangerous ‘Schedule 1’ drug, along with heroin and LSD.”

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration:

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.

Floridians must realize that what Edwards and Gaetz are really pushing: Drug addiction in minors.

gaetz mug shot

Matt Gaetz mug shot.

Gaetz was arrested for violating Statute 316.193-1DUI Alcohol or Drugs 1st offence, in Okaloosa County, FL in 2008. Gaetz was released after paying a $500 bond. So Gaetz has some personal experience with addiction? Not sure Floridians want this man telling us that children should be using marijuana. I guess being arrested qualifies you to be Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee.

Florida has a growing problem with drug abuse, especially among children. FL Attorney General Pam Bondi is concerned about drugs in general, including prescription and synthetic drugs sold in Florida. AG Bondi stated in an October press release, “I will remain vigilant in my efforts to keep these drugs off store shelves and will continue to outlaw emergent synthetic drug compounds. These drugs pose a serious threat to Floridians, particularly our youth. I thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their continued partnership in the fight against synthetic drugs.”

The Tampa law firm of Morgan & Morgan is pushing the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida. Morgan & Morgan partner Charlie Crist is also promoting a medical marijuana amendment to the Florida Constitution.

Canada has decided to end their Marihuana Medical Access Program effective March 31, 2014. According to CBC News in Canada, “The Canadian Medical Association is worried that as large medical marijuana grow facilities get federal licences, more patients will be clamouring for a drug many doctors are uncomfortable prescribing. Starting April 1, medical marijuana users in Canada will no longer be able to grow their own. Instead, they’ll have to get pot from producers licensed by Health Canada.”

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Katie Edwards

Dr. Louis Francescutti, president of the Canadian Medical Association, stated, “We’re asking them [Canadian doctors] to prescribe a product that really has not been tested as rigorously as any other product that’s out there and basically writing it with your eyes blindfolded and assuming all the risks that go with it.” Francescutti also has concerns about marijuana’s potential dangers, especially when there are other proven medications for controlling pain and nausea available.

The Providence Journal’s Ellen Jean Hurst writes, “Even though 20 states have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, swayed in part by thousands of personal testimonies, current research hasn’t nailed down exactly if, and how, marijuana alleviates all the specific diseases the drug is being legalized to treat, experts say.” Hayes titled her column “Health effects of medical marijuana still hazy.”

The legalization of medical marijuana is the first step to the full legalization of marijuana in Florida, as happened in Colorado.

BizPac Review reports, “Amid the universal celebration of the legalized sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado this week, a two-year-old there has tested positive for pot.” Jason Salzman from the Huffington Post reports, “Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) delivered a major buzz kill on the radio Wednesday, saying he’s worried that pot legalization might keep Fortune 500 companies out of Colorado and drive down the state economy.” Gee how with that fit in with Governor Rick Scott’s “Here’s What’s Working” campaign?

Are Edwards and Gaetz nothing but drug pushers of the worst kind? Time will tell as we observe the downsides of drug use in other states and the iffy nature of its medical uses.

RELATED COLUMNS:

Will Colorado regret legalizing marijuana?

Alaska Group Takes Next Step to Legalize Marijuana

Detroit Police Chief: Gun owners deter crime

Who would have guessed that James Craig, Detroit Chief-of-Police, would say, “If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them.”

George Hunter from The Detroit News reports:

If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.

Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.

Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.

“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

Craig’s statements Thursday echoed those he made Dec. 19 on “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR (760 AM), when he said: “There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”

Read Hunter’s full column here.

RELATED COLUMN: Gun Control, the Jews, and the Third Reich

Meet the Humble Nuns Who Just Shook Up Obamacare

The Little Sisters of the Poor are an international Roman Catholic Congregation of women, which was founded in 1839 by St. Jeanne Jugan. They operate homes in 31 countries, where they provide loving care for over 13,000 needy elderly persons.

Although the Little Sisters’ homes perform a religious ministry of caring for the elderly poor, they do not fall within the government’s narrow exemption for “religious employers.” Accordingly, beginning on January 1, the Little Sisters will face IRS fines unless they violate their religion by hiring an insurer to provide their employees with contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.

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Sarah Torre and Amy Payne from the Heritage Foundation wrote the following report:

Who takes care of poor people when they get old—when they are on their deathbeds? For thousands of people, the answer is Little Sisters of the Poor.

“The elderly are at risk, with no one to speak up for them, no one to stand up and to express to the world and show the world that these people are still valuable,” explains Sister Mary Bernard.

The Little Sisters take care of more than 13,000 poor men and women around the world who are elderly. They dedicate their lives to running homes for these most vulnerable.

As you can imagine, this isn’t a profit-making venture, providing free care for the needy.

Starting in the new year, Obamacare would force these sisters to direct their insurance provider to include abortion-inducing drugs and contraception in their health insurance plan—something that goes against their beliefs. If they don’t, the fine (up to $100 per employee per day) would be in the millions of dollars.

But Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted the sisters a temporary halt on this Obamacare mandate just hours before the New Year’s Eve countdown. The Obama Administration has until 10 a.m. today to respond to the stay.

The Obamacare mandate (also known as the HHS mandate, for Health and Human Services) punishes people like Little Sisters of the Poor for holding beliefs that spur them to compassionate service in the first place.

And they are far from alone. There are now more than 300 individuals, charities, schools, and family businesses suing over the coercive rule.

So far, things aren’t looking good in court for the Obama Administration. To date, federal judges have granted temporary stays against the mandate in nearly 90 percent of the cases they’ve considered, including a flurry of injunctions for non-profit charities and schools over the past week.

This is only one of the many reasons Americans need relief from Obamacare. We need health reform that respects people’s values and allows us the freedom to choose health care in line with our beliefs.

IGNORED: The Global Persecution of Christians

”Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone, or in community with others, and in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” –  Article 18, United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

C. P. Nagasaki has written extensively on the global persecution of Christians. The following is his research on this ignored global genocide of the Judeo-Christian religion.

Christian Persecution is any hostility, experienced from the world, as a result of one’s identification with Christ. From verbal harassment to hostile feelings, attitudes and actions, believers in areas with severe religious restrictions pay a heavy price for their faith.   Beatings, physical torture, confinement, isolation, rape, severe punishment, imprisonment, slavery, discrimination in education and in employment, and even death are just few examples they experience on the daily basis. According to The Pew Research Center, over 75% of the world’s population live in areas with severe religious restrictions.  Many of these people are Christians. Also, according to the United States Department of State, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in the person of Jesus Christ.

WHERE IT OCCURS?

Map of countries, where Christian Persecution is the worst.

In the United States, it’s easy for believers to take for granted the rights they so regularly enjoy. From praying and worshiping in public to attending Sunday worship services, practice of one’s faith is generally accepted in America. But this isn’t the case in many nations such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali, Syria, etc. in which religion, itself, is banned or where one faith system is permitted and touted, with all others being continually denigrated.  The persecution is so severe in many localities, Christians are systematically targeted and mistreated because of their religious beliefs.   According to The Pew Research Center, The Economist, Christians today are the most persecuted religious group in the world.

WHERE CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION IS WORSE 

Every year, Open Door USA releases its annual “World Watch List,” a ranking of 50 countries that exposes the places Christians are most persecuted across the globe. World Watch List includes individuals in all Christian denominations within an entire nation.

INDEX OF CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION IN THE MOST UNFRIENDLY COUNTRIES  Index of Christian Persecution in the most unfriendly countries.

According to the above graph, the statistics show the index of the persecution of Christians in the top unfriendly countries around the world in 2013.  North Korea is the country with the strongest suppression of Christians with an index value of 87. The survey for the World Watch List included various aspects of religious freedom: the legal and official status of Christians, the actual situation of Christians living in the country, regulations from the state as well as factors that can undermine the freedom of religion in a country.

WHY IT OCCURS?

The cross (still standing) after the church in Cirebeum (Indonesia) was bulldozed by authorities.

AUTHORITARIAN GOVERNMENTS SEEK TO CONTROL ALL RELIGIOUS THOUGHT AND EXPRESSION

There are variety of reasons why Christians are persecuted.  One of the reason it occurs, is when severe abuse of Christians takes place under the authoritarian government.  In the case of North Korea and other Communist countries, authoritarian governments seek to control all religious thought and expression as part of a more comprehensive determination to control all aspects of political and civic life. These governments regard some religious groups as enemies of the state because they hold religious beliefs that may challenge loyalty to the rulers.

HOSTILITY TOWARDS NON TRADITIONAL AND MINORITY RELIGIOUS GROUPS

Another reason why Christians are persecuted is hostility towards non traditional and minority religious groups. For example, in Niger more than 98 percent of the population are Muslims and hostility comes more from society than from the government. Historically, Islam in West Africa has been moderate, but in the last 20 years dozens of Islamic associations have emerged, like the Izala movement which aims to restrict the freedom of ‘deviant Muslims’ and minority religious groups like Christians.

THE LACK OF BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS

The lack of basic human rights is another significant part of persecution in some countries. For instance, in Eritrea violations such as lack of freedom of expression, assembly, religious belief and movement; extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, extended incommunicado detention, torture and indefinite national service cause many Eritreans to flee the country. In 1966, the United Nations developed the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights in addition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 18 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights focuses on four elements of religious freedom:

  • Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
  • No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
  • Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
  • The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions

The Bible calls us to be advocates of human rights. Psalm 82:3 says:

“Stand up for those who are weak and for those whose fathers have died. See to it that those who are poor and those who are beaten down are treated fairly.”

As Christians we need to see that all people are entitled to basic human rights.

WHY WE SERVE PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS? 

As Christians in the free world, we are to take stand for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.  It is a simple matter of compassion and justice to speak up for the suffering (Zechariah 7:9, Luke 11:42, Matthew 25:35-36). In following Christ’s example, we are to show mercy to those who are suffering, especially those in the household of faith (I Corinthians 12:26-27).

Related articles by C.P. Nagasaki:

Source: OpenDoorsUSA.org

100% PROOF! Obama is a KEYNESIAN!

Julie Borowski has posted a YouTube video that has gone viral. In it Julie presents irrefutable proof that President Obama is a Keynesian.

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Julie states, “I cannot believe there are some Americans who still don’t believe that he is a Keynesian. Just because the mainstream media never calls him a Keynesian. Time to wake up and look at the proof. Obama is a Keynesian if I’ve ever seen a Keynesian. This video is 100 percent proof that he is a Keynesian. Do your own research!”

Here are Julie’s sources:

If you wish you may “LIKE” Julie on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JulieBorowski and follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JulieBorowski

Common Core Cronyism in Florida

Members of the Appropriations Committee on Education are hugely “invested” in Common Core. Representative Erik Fresen (R-FL District 114) is chair in the Florida House. Fresen was heavily involved in the Florida Race-To-The-Top (RTTT) application, getting federal funding and approval of implementation of Common Core in Florida. The same goes for Senator John Legg (R-FL District 17).

Both of their handprints are all over RTTT and education funding in Florida. Just do a Google search of “RTTT and John Legg” to read multiple news hits. The Education Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education are two separate committees, although some members serve on both. Obviously, those members have to be pushed extremely hard by concerned citizens to stop Common Core in Florida.

Listed below are all the legislators. The Chair & Vice Chair of the Committees; Committee Members; Education Commissioner Stewart and Governor Scott must be called before March.

Florida parents, teachers and concerned citizens may contact committee members and find out if they support HB-25 filed by Representative Debbie Mayfield (R-FL District 54). HB-25 is a bill to stop Common Core in Florida. HB-25 reads:

Public School Curricular Standards and Assessments: Prohibits State Board of Education from continuing to implement common core standards until certain requirements are met; provides requirements for adoption or revision of curricular standards; requires state to withdraw from PARCC; prohibits state from implementing certain assessments & requires state to adopt & implement new assessments; prohibits state board from entering into certain agreements.

For those interested in contacting the members of these committees their contact information is provided:

CCSSAppropriationsEdCommitteeSenate

CCSSAppropriationsEdCommitteeHouse

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The Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians for 2013

Judicial Watch today released its 2013 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

Dishonorable Mentions for 2013 include:

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH):

House Speaker John Boehner has apparently become a master at what Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer calls the “Tollbooth Strategy.” As Schweizer explains in his new book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets: “You pay money at a tollbooth in order to use a road or bridge. The methodology in Washington is similar: if someone wants a bill passed, charge them money to allow the bill to move down the legislative highway.”  According to Schweizer, Boehner apparently used the Tollbooth Strategy to collect more than $200,000 in political donations from executives just days before holding votes on bills critically important to their industries.

The first bill was the Wireless Tax Fairness Act. Strongly supported by big phone companies like AT&T and Verizon, it sailed through the House Judiciary Committee, and was expected to immediately come to the floor for a full House vote. Instead of scheduling the bill for a vote, however, Boehner allowed it to languish on the calendar for the next three months. What finally prompted Boehner to bring the bill to a vote? As Schweizer explains it: “The day before the vote, Boehner’s campaign collected the toll: thirty-three checks from wireless industry executives, totaling almost $40,000.”

According to Schweizer, two more bills on which Boehner employed the Tollbooth Strategy were the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act and the Small Company Capital Formation Act. Brokers and venture capitalists and investment firms strongly supported the proposed law. Explains Schweizer in Extortion: “The Speaker of the House took in $91,000 in the forty-eight hours of October 30 and 31 from investment banks and private equity firms, two days before the vote.  During the same time period, he took in $46,500 from self-described ‘investors’ and another $32,450 from bank holding companies. With the tolls paid, the votes took place on the full House floor. Both passed easily.”

CIA Director John Brennan:

In mid-December 2013, Judicial Watch obtained and released the full transcript of a May 7, 2012, teleconference between then-White House top counterterror adviser (now CIA Director) John Brennan and various TV terrorism consultants in which Brennen revealed that the U.S. and its allies had “inside control over any plot” in its efforts to thwart a May 2012 terrorism bomb plot, thus blowing the cover on undercover agents within al Qaeda.

The Brennan revelation of “inside control” – an intelligence community euphemism for spies within an enemy operation – reportedly helped lead to the disclosure of a previously well-kept secret at the heart of a joint U.S.-British-Saudi undercover terrorism operation inside Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). According to a Reuters May 18, 2012, report:

The next day’s headlines were filled with news of a U.S. spy planted inside Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who had acquired the latest, non-metallic model of the underwear bomb and handed it over to U.S. authorities.

At stake was an operation that could not have been more sensitive — the successful penetration by Western spies of AQAP, al Qaeda’s most creative and lethal affiliate. As a result of leaks, the undercover operation had to be shut down.

In the transcript obtained by Judicial Watch, Brennan led the teleconference where he addressed the top terror consultants for ABC, NBC, CNN, and CBS including Caitlin Hayden, Frances Townsend, Richard Clarke, Roger Cressey, and Juan Zarate. In an apparent attempt to soft-peddle the thwarted terrorist attack, Brennan twice exposed the covert operation; first at the outset of the call, then as the conference drew to a close:

BRENNAN: The device itself, as I think the FBI statement said quite clearly, never posed a threat to the American public or the public … Well, as we, well know, Al Qaeda has tried to carry out simultaneous types of attacks, and so we were confident that we had inside control over the – any plot that might have been associated with this device.

CLARKE: If it gets asked. There was no active threat because we had insider control …

BRENNAN: I would not disagree with the way you put that, at all.

It should also be noted that records obtained by Judicial Watch in May 2012, through a Freedom of Information lawsuit, indicate that Brennan helped orchestrate the administration’s attempt to influence the storyline of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty.” A transcript of a July 14, 2011, meeting between Defense Department officials, including Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers, and filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reveals that Boal met directly with White House officials on at least two occasions regarding the film: “I took your guidance and spoke to the WH and had a good meeting with Brennan and McDonough and I plan to follow up with them; and they were forward leaning and interested in sharing their point of view; command and control; so that was great, thank you,” Boal said according to the transcript. During Brennan’s February 2013 CIA confirmation hearings, he confirmed he had met with Boal “on how White House officials viewed the opportunities and risks associated with a film about the raid that killed bin Laden.”

Brennan, of course, was not the only Obama administration official who attempted to curry favor with “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmakers. In early December Judicial Watch released more than 200 pages of documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including a previously unreleased CIA internal report, confirming that former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed classified information at a June 24, 2011, bin Laden assault awards ceremony attended by filmmaker Mark Boal. Significantly, the entire transcript of the Panetta speech provided to Judicial Watch by the CIA was classified “Top Secret.”  More than 90 lines are redacted for security reasons, further confirming that significant portions of the speech should not have been made in front of the filmmaker who lacked top security clearance.

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA):

Sen. Saxby Chambliss makes the “Ten Worst” list for what he actually did in 2012, but which was finally exposed in 2013. Just as with House Speaker Boehner, Chambliss’s misdeeds were revealed in Peter Schweizer’s book Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. In fact, Chambliss is highlighted as one of the key abusers who used leadership PAC loopholes to convert campaign cash into lavish lifestyle upgrades for themselves and their family members.

As the New York Times reported:

The book details the extravagant expenses of Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, for instance, whose leadership PAC spent $10,000 on golf at Pebble Beach, nearly $27,000 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and $107,752 at the exclusive Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla. The amount Mr. Chambliss spent at the Breakers in the 2012 election cycle, the book reports, is three times what the senator gave to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the same period.

When Chambliss’s campaign was asked about the flagrantly lavish spending, they responded that all spending was reported according to the law. Though it may be legal, it is a clear abuse. And one has to wonder if the hardworking Georgians who sacrificed their scarce funds to support Chambliss’ re-election would be comfortable knowing their campaign contributions were used to support the “lifestyles of the rich and famous.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

On January 23, 2013, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified to congressional committees regarding the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which led to the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American citizens. At times evasive, at other times defensive and aggressive, Clinton delivered her version of events in the days before and after the murders in Benghazi. And, in the end, the Secretary of State pretended to take “responsibility,” but gave a predictable response regarding who is to blame: “…the level of responsibility for the failures…was set at the Assistant Secretary of State level and below,” Clinton said, referring to an investigation of the incident. In other words, this was not my fault.

At one point in her testimony, in what is, perhaps, the epitome of Obama-era contempt for accountability, Clinton yelled“What difference does it make?” in response to a reasonable question about why the attack transpired and why the administration told an obvious lie about an obscure Internet video as the cause of the attack.

If the mere mention of the contrived video scenario triggered Clinton’s emotional outburst, it is certainly understandable. Remember, it was Clinton herself who was instrumental in advancing the false narrative that the video sparked the attacks. For example, at a September 14, 2012, event honoring the victims, Clinton said, “We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen the rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful video that we had nothing to do with.” To this day, she has not set the record straight.

In addition to Hillary Clinton’s apparent cover-up of the role she played in the Benghazi tragedy and its aftermath, she left office in another ethical cloud about conflicts of interest in the activities of her longtime top aide Huma Abedin. Abedin left the State Department in February 2013, and in May 2013, Politico broke the story that, since June 2012, she had been working as a “special government employee” (SGE), a consultant position allowing her to represent outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. While working as an SGE, Abedin’s outside clients included Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant to Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 SGE compensation.

And compounding the corruption scenario were the potential for conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State and Bill Clinton’s international ventures, which grew increasingly controversial in late 2008 when the former president released a list of donors to his library and foundation in what he termed “a deal between” Obama “and Hillary.” According to an Associated Press wire story,   “Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the foundation. Other government donors include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman …”

Attorney General Eric Holder:

Attorney General Holder has become a regular on the Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians list.

In May 2013, Holder may well have committed perjury when he was involved in a back-and-forth with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) about whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) could prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act for publishing classified material. In response to Johnson’s interrogatories Holder made the following statement: “In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material – this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

Since Holder made that statement, NBC news reported that the attorney general had approved a search warrant for the email account and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen.  As Hotair.com said at the time: “There is no other way to view this except as a lie.  Even if Holder wasn’t under oath, that would constitute a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.  It certainly should produce at least a resignation, and almost assuredly would require the appointment of a special prosecutor ….”

Time and again in recent years, Judicial Watch has had to take legal action to prevent Holder’s DOJ from bludgeoning states over taking steps to prevent voter fraud. After a June Supreme Court ruling striking down a Voting Rights Act requirement requiring certain states and local jurisdictions to get permission from the DOJ or a federal judge before enacting voting law changes, Holder announced his intention to skirt the law. In a speech in September at a convention of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Holder vowed that the DOJ would find ways to try to accomplish the goals of the section of the law that was struck down.

As a result, Judicial Watch went to court in North Carolina in early December to defend the State of North Carolina against a DOJ lawsuit to prevent enforcement of the state’s recently passed law HB 589, which simply requires that voters present a photo ID before casting their ballots. As PJ Media explains it:

Judicial Watch uncovered collusion between radical leftist groups and the administration to attack voter integrity laws around the nation. Indeed, the [Judicial Watch] brief notes:

On July 29, 2013, a group of political activists attended a meeting at the White House with Attorney General Holder, Labor Secretary (and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights) Tom Perez, and President Obama. Those attending included representatives from the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Mr. Sharpton told an interviewer for MSNBC that, based on what he heard at that meeting, he expected action regarding North Carolina ‘when this governor signs the bill.’

The DOJ is similarly assaulting Texas in federal court as part of this ideological effort to suppress efforts to protect election integrity.

More than a dozen states—including Kansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin—have similar laws that require voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls, and Obama’s attorney general has launched a campaign to challenge them all.

The Holder DOJ is clearly hostile to the idea of one person, one vote, one time.

Yet, even with all of that, Holder’s malfeasance doesn’t stop there.  In August Judicial Watch released DOJ documents highlighting over $4.2 million in accrued travel expenses by Mr. Holder from March 2008 until August 2012; of which $697,525.20 were personal travel expenses. All, of course, at taxpayer expense. Add to this Holder’s continued stonewalling on the “Fast & Furious” gun-running scandal and it is all too obvious that Eric Holder’s corruption knows no limits.

Former IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller / Former IRS Official Lois Lerner:

Steve Miller, then head of the IRS, resigned in May 2013, after admitting to the targeting of anti-Obama Tea Party groups during the 2012 presidential election, which he offhandedly tossed off as “horrible customer service.” Under Miller, the IRS purposely stonewalledthe approval of nonprofit applications from “Tea Party” and other conservative groups that were seeking tax exempt status. According to a report by the agency’s inspector general released in May 2013, for more than 18 months beginning in early 2010: “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.”

As reported by CNN:

Among the criteria used by IRS officials to flag applications was a “Be On the Look Out” list, or a BOLO, which was discontinued in 2012 according to the report. The criteria on the BOLO included:

  • Whether “Tea Party,” “Patriots” or “9/12 Project” was referenced in the case file.
  • Whether the issues outlined in the application included government spending, government debt or taxes.
  • Whether there was advocating or lobbying to “make America a better place to live.”
  • Whether a statement in the case file criticized how the country is being run.
  • Whether it advocated education about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Miller was eagerly aided in his suppression of conservative groups by former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner. Subpoenaed to testify before Congress in May 2013, Lerner disdainfully refused to answer inquiries, demanding full immunity concerning her role in the targeting scandal. Eventually, the IRS acknowledged that while she was in charge, IRS agents improperly targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status from 2010-2012. Lerner retired from the IRS on September 23 with full benefits, even after an internal investigation found she was guilty of “neglect of duties” and was going to call for her firing, according to news reports.

Subsequent to Lerner’s lavish retirement, Judicial Watch, in October 2013, obtained email exchanges between her and enforcement attorneys at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicating that under Lerner’s direction, the IRS provided detailed, confidential information concerning the tax exempt application status and returns of conservative groups to the FEC – in violation of federal law.

Not only did Miller and Lerner deliberately target conservative organizations for IRS harassment, they both lied about it in separate appearances before Congress. In July 2012, Miller was asked at a congressional hearing, “What kind of … action is taking place at this time that you are aware of” to address complaints that groups seeking nonprofit status were being harassed. Claiming that an overload of applications had caused the problem, Miller covered up the fact that he had learned two months earlier that conservative groups were being inappropriately singled out for extra scrutiny. In May 2013, Lerner told a congressional committee that she found out about the harassment when she read about it “in the press” in early 2012. But, according to the IG report timeline, she was informed in June 2011 about the IRS’s BOLO criteria that included words such as “Tea Party” or “patriots.”

The true damage wrought by the Miller/Lerner witch-hunt may never be fully known. One can certainly speculate as to impact the Tea Party movement could have made had Miller and Lerner not cowed much of it into silence with their ruthless, reckless assault on Barack Obama’s political opponents. In short, the Obama IRS duo may have perfected the formula for stealing an election in plain sight.

Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano:

In August 2013 Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stepped down from her post expressing both “pride and regret” – the regret stemming from her failure to help push through the so-called Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The truth is, however, that Napolitano actually played a major role in doing an end run around existing immigration law by helping President Obama implement his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive in lieu of DREAM Act passage.

Documents obtained by Judicial Watch in June 2013 revealed that Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) abandoned required background checks in 2012, adopting, instead, costly “lean and lite” procedures in effort to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications resulting from the DACA directive.

The documents also revealed that, contrary to Napolitano’s claim that DACA applied only to minors who came to this country illegally “through no fault of their own,” the directive actually created a new avenue of chain migration, whereby immediate relatives of DACA requesters could be approved for amnesty. As a result, according to an agency memo from District 15 Director David Douglas, “some of the districts closer to the U.S./Mexico border have been inundated.”

The Obama/Napolitano stealth amnesty policy received a setback in July 2013 when the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas left DACA hanging by a string as he dismissed a challenge strictly due to jurisdictional issues. While the court determined that it did not have authority to hear the case, Judge Reed O’Connor agreed that program is likely unconstitutional, saying, “[T]he Court finds that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim challenging the Directive and Morton Memorandum as contrary to the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

In an earlier ruling handed down in April, Judge O’Connor stated clearly that, “DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings when the requirements of Section 1225(b)(2)(A) are satisfied.” That section requires the agents to place aliens who are not “clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted” to the United States into removal proceedings.

DHS malfeasance did not stop there. And, in fact, according to a court order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on December 13, DHS has actually enabled cartel trafficking of minors, delivering those minors to illegals living inside the United States and completing criminal transactions for illegal immigrants. The court document details a guilty plea from Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez for being paid to smuggle a 10-year-old El Salvadoran female into the United States. Nava-Martinez was hired by Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos, the mother of the 10-year-old, who was living illegally in Virginia after being denied legal entry into the U.S. in 2001. According to U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen who wrote the court order: “The DHS officials were notified that Salmeron-Santos instigated this illegal conduct. Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron-Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivers the child to her – thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her. This DHS policy is a dangerous course of action.”

Napolitano’s legacy is one that has gutted, for political reasons, the very immigration laws she swore to uphold.

President Barack Obama:

President Barack Obama actually tops this “Top Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list for 2013 as the driving force behind so many of the misdeeds. This is Obama’s seventh straight year on the list, dating back all the way to 2007 (in 2006, he earned a “Dishonorable Mention”). He is a master at catch-me-if-you-can, corrupt politics.  This year, he has again acted as a one-man Congress, rewriting entire sections of federal law on his own.  Not only is his administration secretive and dishonest; its callous disregard for the rule of law undermines our constitutional republic. Examples include:

  • Perhaps Obama’s most outrageous actions over the past year were his continual lies about the ability of Americans to keep their own health insurance under Obamacare. According the Free Beacon, Obama misled the American people a total of 36 times between 2008 and 2013 with his promise, “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” And according to NBC News, Obama knew, even as he repeated his lie, that “more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them:”

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date – the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example – the policy would not be grandfathered.

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

  • Throughout 2013, the Obama family continued to use the White House as its own personal travel bureau and the taxpayers as their personal expense account.
  • Though Obama quickly disavowed any knowledge of the IRS assault on Tea Party and other conservative groups leading up to the 2012 presidential election, the fact is that it was the president himself who fingered the groups for what might be called “special handling.” Consider Obama’s own hostile and aggressive statements, made just as his IRS officials were gearing up their assault:

August 9, 2010: During his weekly radio address, Obama warned of “attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names.” The President said:  We don’t know who’s behind these ads and we don’t know who’s paying for them . . . you don’t know if it’s a foreign controlled corporation. … The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”

September 20, 2010:  Speaking in Philadelphia, Obama once again warned that “nobody knows” the identities of the individuals who support conservative groups.

September 22, 2010: Speaking in New York, Obama warned against groups opposing his policies “[posing] as non-for-profit social and welfare trade groups” and he claimed such groups were “guided by seasoned Republican political operatives” and potentially supported by some unidentified “foreign controlled entity.”

October 14, 2010: Obama attacked organizations with “benign sounding” names as “a problem for democracy.”

Little wonder that after their boss sounded the call to attack, Obama’s IRS appointees obeyed the command. And even less wonder that, caught red-handed, Obama first claimed total ignorance and, when the ploy failed, simply labeled it all a “phony scandal.”

  • According to the Galen Institute, Obama has now unilaterally rewritten the Obamacare law as passed by Congress 14 times by executive fiat, with the majority of those changes coming in 2013. Those changes include such major overhauls as the congressional opt-out, eviscerating the individual mandate, and delaying the employer mandate. The latest Obama fix came on December 20, when he suddenly moved to allow hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bone “catastrophic” plans. As National Reviewobserved, “Of course, like every other exemption from Obamacare the latest fix is supposed to last only a year, raising the prospect that people will be kicked off their catastrophic coverage as soon as the 2014 election is safely in the political rear-view mirror.”

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV):

Last year, Harry Reid made the Judicial Watch Ten Worst list for his influence-peddling scandal involving ENN Energy Group, a Chinese “green energy” company for which Reid “applied his political muscle” – and which just happened to be a major client of the Nevada law firm in which Reid’s son, Rory, is a principal.

This year Reid makes the Ten Worst list again.  His “friends” list is examined by Frontpage.com:

On Monday, Harry Reid’s close friend and donor, Harvey Whittemore was sentenced to two years in prison for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election committee in 2007 …

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Reid and Whittemore go way back; four of Reid’s sons were hired by the law firm in which Harvey Whittemore was a senior partner. Sen. Reid and Whittemore were involved in very big land deals, including federal legislation to help the development of Coyote Springs.

None of which is surprising, since Reid has long-since made funneling money to his family’s enterprises his stock-in-trade. According to Peter Schweizer, writing for Fox News, “Sen. Reid has sponsored at least $47 million in earmarks that directly benefitted organizations that one of his sons, Key Reid, [RW1] either lobbies for or is affiliated with.”

While not teaming up with family members to fleece taxpayers, Reid was teaming up with President Obama to use executive authority to skirt the law. Obama and Reid have long opposed a proposed nuclear waste dump in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has already cost U.S. taxpayers an astounding $15 billion, according to various federal audits. So, Obama simply instructed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC) to decline to conduct the statutorily mandated Yucca Mountain licensing process, essentially destroying the project.

In mid-August, a federal appellate court ruled that Obama “is simply flouting the law.” According to the court, “It is no overstatement to say that our constitutional system of separation of powers would be significantly altered if we were to allow executive and independent agencies to disregard federal law in the manner asserted in this case by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

Topping off the year, on November 21, 2013, – a day which should live in congressional infamy – Reid gutted the long-standing filibuster rules of the U.S. Senate in order to grease the path for Barack Obama’s court appointees. The new Reid rule prevents the minority party from filibustering any nominations other than nods to the Supreme Court. And to effect the change, Reid first triggered the “nuclear option,” which allows a change to Senate rules by majority vote (and which he had adamantly opposed in 2005, calling it “illegal” and “unAmerican”). Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Reid of attempting “break the rules of the Senate … in order to change the rules of the Senate.” Not surprisingly, as the Wall Street Journal editorialized, an ancillary benefit of the rule change is that it will get judges on the DC Court of Appeals who are more friendly to Reid’s agenda.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:

It’s a wonder Secretary Sebelius was still around to do damage in 2013 after last year’s fiasco for which she appeared on the Ten Most Wanted list. The Obama administration’s own lawyers determined Sebelius could be fired for violating federal law when reports surfaced that she had campaigned for Obama while acting in her official capacity as an executive branch official during the last presidential campaign. This made Kathleen Sebelius the first member ever of a president’s cabinet to be found guilty of violating the Hatch Act.

In 2013, rather than solicit votes, Sebelius solicited financial support for President Obama’s huge health care disaster. In May, Secretary Sebelius was caught hitting health care companies up for cash to fund Obamacare after Congress rejected all of the administration’s requests.

But, that was just for openers – because in October Sebelius redefined the term “incompetence” when she oversaw the disastrous launch of the Obamacare website. As Mercedes Schlapp wrote in US News:

She refused to listen to the IT experts who expressed serious concerns about the launch as early as March of 2013. Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer said in a meeting that he was “pretty nervous” about the exchanges being ready for October 1. Prior to the launch, one insurance executive also stated, “the extent of the problems was pretty enormous.”

Yet the American people are forced to settle for mediocrity from their leaders who play political games rather than deliver effective products.

Pressed by Congress to explain the disastrous, costly website rollout, Sebelius rolled her eyes, shrugged her shoulders and caustically replied, “Whatever” blithely dismissing the lies and the fraud that have become part and parcel of Obamacare. The fact is, were Sebelius in the private sector, she would probably be prosecuted for fraud.

Dishonorable Mentions

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

In late December, documents obtained by Judicial Watch revealed that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently used his top mayoral staff to work on Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) – of which Bloomberg is a co-founder – at taxpayer expense. Included in the documents were emails revealing that Bloomberg aid John Feinblatt worked closely with MAIG executive Mark Glaze on the following:

  • On December 14, 2013, Glaze and Feinblatt discussed MAIG lobbying efforts in the state of Colorado.
  • On the day following the Sandy Hook tragedy, Glaze and Feinblatt conferred on how they could “”keep the mayor ahead of congress, the white house, the press.”
  • On December 17 and 18 and email exchange makes it clear that Feinblatt was involved in the day-to-day operations of MAIG, including media buys by the organization.
  • On December 19, an email from Glaze to Feinblatt indicates that Feinblatt was directly involved in MAIG finances.

Outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) / Incoming Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D):

The citizens of Virginia got a dubious “twofer” in 2013, as both their outgoing and incoming governors were revealed as having been embroiled in apparently shady dealings, to put it mildly.

In April 2013, outgoing Governor McDonnell became the subject of an FBI probe because of his possible quid-pro-quodealings with Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the chief executive of Star Scientific, a company that makes a tobacco-derived dietary supplement. Williams allegedly paid $15,000 to cover catering expenses at the June 2011 wedding of McDonnell’s daughter at the time the McDonnell family was actively promoting the supplement. And that’s just the beginning. According to The Washington Post report on the relationship, “Williams’s company donated $28,500 worth of flights to McDonnell’s successful 2009 campaign for governor and $80,000 worth of air travel to his political action committee after the election, the Post reported. Williams also allowed the governor’s family to borrow a Ferrari and stay at a western Virginia vacation home he owns in July 2011.”

In mid-December, federal prosecutors told McDonnell that he and his wife would be charged in connection with the scandal. Senior Justice Department officials delayed the decision, however, reportedly to wait until after McDonnell leaves office.

For his part, incoming Governor Terry McAuliffe is preparing for his inauguration with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation hanging over his head. Perhaps Mother Jones magazine best explains the latest McAuliffe scandal:

When McAuliffe in 2009 created GreenTech, a now-troubled electric-car company, he turned to an old pal for assistance in courting foreign investors: Tony Rodham, who is best known as one of Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing brothers. A former repo man, prison guard, and private eye, Rodham by then had a long history of trying to cash in on his famous sister’s connections and generally causing problems for her…

But McAuliffe somehow thought Rodham was just the guy to help him with his electric-car venture. Rodham owns a company that solicits foreign investors for American projects (deals that allow these foreign investors secure US visas). GreenTech relied heavily on foreign investors.

According to The Washington Post: “In May, the SEC subpoenaed documents from GreenTech Automotive and bank records from a sister company, Gulf Coast Funds Management of McLean. The investigation is focused, at least in part, on alleged claims that the company ‘guarantees returns’ to the investors, according to government documents.”

Former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ):

Former three-term Republican Congressman Rick Renzi first made the Judicial Watch Ten Worst list back in 2008, when was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, extortion, money laundering and wire fraud. At the time, we said, “He allegedly used his influence on a House Natural Resources Committee to orchestrate a land swap with the federal government that financially benefited himself and his associates. The 49-year-old lawmaker, who owns an insurance business, is also charged with embezzling more than $400,000 from insurance clients to fund his congressional campaign.” Well, now we can drop the “allegedly” – because in June, 2013, Renzi was convicted on 17 counts of extortion, racketeering and other federal charges. And in October, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice:

Last year, Susan Rice shared Ten Worst dishonors with Hillary Clinton for their dual roles in the high-profile campaign toportray the deadly attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as solely related to a privately produced YouTube video that was offensive to Muslims. On the Sunday following the attack, Rice repeatedly stated on five different network TV news programs that the Benghazi assault had been a spontaneous reaction to an obscure online video mocking Mohammed, rather than a planned terrorist attack.

This year, Rice makes the Ten Worst list all on her own by joining with Barack Obama to add insult to injury by pulling an end-run around the United States Congress. Realizing that after her campaign of deception involving Benghazi, she could not be approved by the Senate for the job of Secretary of State she so clearly coveted, Rice accepted the position of National Security Advisor, which requires no Senate approval. Thus, her duplicity could be rewarded – without the American people having any say whatsoever in the matter.

Shouldn’t Federal Judges be subject to their own un-Constitutional rulings?

Today I read a ruling by a Reagan appointee Federal Judge Edward R. Korman (pictured above). Judge Korman ruled, “that the government does not need reasonable suspicion to examine or confiscate a traveler’s laptop, cellphone or other device at the border.” He stated that its legal for law enforcement to peruse through laptop computers, cell phones, text messages, and other means of communication within 100 miles of the United States border and without a warrant and with no probable cause.

This means if you are walking down the street in San Diego, according to Korman’s ruling, a police officer can take your phone and look through it. If you are at Starbucks relaxing at a border town in Arizona working on your lap top emailing your girl friend, a police officer can confiscate your computer with no probable cause and can look through your hard drive without a warrant. He can also confiscate your private property and hold it indefinitely.

Today I called Judge Korman’s chambers in the East side of New York phone number and spoke to his personal secretary. His secretary said he was told not to comment on the ruling and he said its public record. I stated “You do understand this is a direct violation of the 4th Amendment and NOBODY looks through my stuff on my computer or phone without a warrant”, well excluding the NSA, those spies who read and save everything I send out anyway.

I then said that the Judge lives within 100 miles of the Hudson River which is a entry point into the United States and he falls into the “No warrant clause” Hey its his ruling. I said I will fly up there as a retired military official and I would like to take a look at his cell phone text records and peruse through his emails. No warrant required and as a private citizen maybe I feel like pressing a citizens arrest on the judge for treason against the Constitution.

The secretary said I cannot do that and the request is denied. Oh so very proper and the guy was so wanting me to hang up the phone. He then said I have no authority to do that.

Hah! I said and the same rule applies to me and the other 197 million people that live within his self appointed 100 mile border searches. He can’t do this. Its illegal!

Tomorrow I will call the local FBI office in New York and ask them to mosey on over to his office and ask to look at his emails, phone records and text messages as per his own ruling. Lets see what happens. I have had just about enough of these un-Constitutional rulings from the bench and not from the rights given to me by God. The 4th Amendment is non negotiable.

Oh, by the way, it was Judge Korman who ruled that age restrictions on over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill are “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” and must end. The ruling means consumers of any age (like underage children) could buy emergency contraception without a prescription — instead of a girl first having to prove she is 17 or older, as they do today.

Shock survey: Men would rather be men

Recently the Los Angeles Times lamented that “the gender revolution has passed men by.” While women have broken into fields once dominated by men such as business, medicine and law, men have remained in stereotypically “male” jobs. Oh no!! This is terrible news for the progressives trying to re-engineer society.

But it gets even worse! According to Reyes:

In a recent survey, 51 percent of Americans told the Pew Research Center that children were better off if their mother was at home. Only 8 percent said the same about fathers.

Say it isn’t so! And what does this mean for same-sex couples raising children? (I guess it’s okay for the lesbian couples, because they’ve got two mothers to choose from.)

But it took a Harvard professor (no less) to come to the conclusion that “boys stick with typically masculine toys and games much more consistently than girls adhere to feminine ones.”

Gee, well maybe it’s because that’s the way it’s supposed to be!

As a female, I am personally delighted I’ve grown up in a generation where I can vote, own property, choose not to have a family and choose from many different career options. However, as we wrote about women in the military, there are simply some things I will NEVER be able to do as well as a man. And I’m totally okay with that.

I never thought I would find myself enthusiastically agreeing with über-feminist Camile Paglia, but even SHE recently wrote about the “defense of masculine virtues.”

Paglia says ignoring the biological differences between men and women is undermining Western civilization – in fact she says, “What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide.”

According to an interview Paglia gave to the Wall Street Journal, this feminization of our culture is occurring because “manliness” is no longer valued.

She starts by pointing to the diminished status of military service. “The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service—hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster,” she says. “These people don’t think in military ways, so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we’re just nice and benevolent to everyone they’ll be nice too. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality.”

Paglia says the feminizing indoctrination starts as early as kindergarten:

“Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It’s oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys,” she says, pointing to the most obvious example: the way many schools have cut recess. “They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters.”

You know, a couple years ago, my boss (whom you might know), was pilloried by the Left when he suggested liberal progressive women and policies were neutering men. Turns out even a liberal progressive woman who voted for Obama agrees with him. Funny how that happens.

Boys will be boys and men should be men because that’s the way nature (and God) intended it.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

Wasserman Schultz Anti-TEA Party New Year’s Resolution

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL District 23) has openly stated the funniest, yet disturbing resolution of them all. Her resolution is disturbing because of its sheer blind ignorance, but could, and probably will be the basis of the Republican line of attack moving into this year mid-term elections.

Here is what Wasserman Schultz said:

“In my view, to combat the paralysis caused by tea party Republican intransigence, we need to elect Democrats up and down the ballot and ensure Democrats hold the Senate and take back the House. As we head into an election year, it is within the power of each and every voter to end the gridlock that has plagued our legislative process. In 2014, let’s resolve to end obstructionism and push for a more constructive dialogue with each other… Let’s talk to one another and try to find common ground, even when it seems difficult. The single most important way that we can all resolve to do better in 2014 is to vote — and vote for candidates who are willing to work together, put aside ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ attitudes and get things done.”

It’s easy for Wasserman Schultz and friends to blame Republicans for their political screw ups, especially with their signature Obamacare law, which has turned out to be nothing more than a disaster, than to own up to the truth that the only “transigence that has been going on in Washington,D.C., has been on the part of the President and his minions, who have refused to consider a compromise on anything the GOP led House have proposed.

While ‘DWS’ believes that Democrats will run and win on Obamacare in 2014, so do the Republicans, who are banking that Democrat incumbents and candidates in both the Senate and House of Representatives, will embrace the failing Obamacare law, and make it the centerpiece of their respective political campaigns.

But like most, if not all past winning opportunities handed down to the Republicans, confidence is high that the GOP and their establishment friends will find a way to squander this golden opportunity.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Shark Tank.

Obama’s 2014 Big Lie: Income Inequality

As the liberal disaster called Obamacare unfolds, President Barack Obama is already embarked on his next Big Lie: income inequality.

It’s useful to visit some of the planks of Karl Marx’s 1848 Communist Manifesto. They included abolition of private property—the keystone of capitalism—and the application of all rents of land to a public purpose. Marx advocated a heavy progressive or graduated income tax whereas a fair tax that treats all Americans fairly by taxing what you spend instead of what you earn. The current tax code is more than 73,000 pages! Marx wanted to eliminate all rights of inheritance and centralize credit by means of a national bank.

What Obama is talking about is socialism/communism when he claims that income inequality must be altered by more government intrusion into our lives and his claims are false. He said that “a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility” is “the defining challenge of our time”

His objective is to further divide Americans by promising what government cannot and should not deliver. This is now the Democratic Party theme leading up to the midterm elections in November. He is right about one thing, only economic growth can provide the opportunity for Americans to increase their personal incomes, provide a choice of investments, and save more for the future. In his first five years in office, economic growth has been historically slow.

In a Wall Street Journal opinion commentary by Robert A. Grady he cites a 2011 study by Lee Ohanian and Kip Hagopian, “The Mismeasure of Inequality”, that concluded that “[I]nequality actually declined 1.8% during the 16-year period between 1993 and 2009.” According to studies by the U.S. Treasury, the capitalist system in America, providing mobility (up or down), found that “considerable income mobility” in the decades 1987-1996 and 1996-2005, found that approximately half of those in the bottom income quintile in 1996 had moved to a higher quintile by 2005. They were decades, the 1980s and 1990s, in which the vast majority of Americans gained higher incomes.

In the past four and a half years since the recession officially ended, poor people and the middle class were hurt the most and opportunity slowed. Under Obama millions of Americans are out of work and dependent on government programs such as food stamps and unemployment compensation. The later ended for many on December 31. The inequality that Obama cites is the direct result of the failure of his economic programs as well as a dramatic surge in federal regulations that harm economic growth.

The Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—is discouraging full-time employment. According to Gallup’s payroll-to-population ratio, the proportion of the American population working full-time, has dropped almost two percentage points in the last year to 43.8%. Wall Street Journal columnist noted that Obama spent 2013 fund-raising for the Democratic Party “making 30 separate visits to wealthy donors” at “more than twice the rate of the President’s two-term predecessors. On the day following the September 11, 2012 attack that killed an American ambassador and three others in Benghazi, Obama flew to Las Vegas on a fund-raising trip.

In the year ahead you will hear him cite figures based on 1979 income rates to justify his call for more opportunity, but in 1979 the mean (average) household income of the bottom 20% of wage earners was $4,000. By 2012, it was $11.499, an increase of 186%. For the middle class, the increase was 211%. Despite the 2008 financial crisis, it still rose.

Did the rich get richer? Yes. But the rich earn their money from inheritance, from business development (jobs) and investment. Under communism there is no inheritance; the state gets it all. And the state owns the factories and instruments of production, as well as collectivizing agriculture. It maintains a “progressive” or graduated income tax.

Does the political theme of income inequality work? Bill de Blasio, New York’s new mayor, ran on an income inequality platform and will be sworn in by former President Bill Clinton who will be accompanied by his wife, Hillary.

Income inequality will be the theme of Obama’s forthcoming State of the Union speech, but like everything else he says it will be a Big Lie.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

An American Bride in Kabul: My Life in Hell in an Afghan Harem

Want to know what it is like to live as a non-Muslim woman under Islamic gender apartheid? Dr. Phyllis Chesler, noted feminist author and defender of universal women’s rights, experienced sharia first hand during a brief marriage to an Afghan Muslim husband and troubled sojourn in Kabul, Afghanistan. During this time she was a virtual prisoner in purdah, the women’s enclosure, in a polygamous household of a wealthy prominent family. For Chesler this was a defining moment in her subsequent professional career which was largely motivated by her flight from the failed fantasies of a brief marriage to an Afghan college classmate, Abdul Kareem. Her virtual imprisonment, administered by her Afghan mother-in-law intent on either converting or killing her is described in chilling detail in her latest book, An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoir.

This reviewer had first heard the elements of this memoir over a decade ago from the author. Like many others who had we urged her to record this fascinating encounter with Islamic gender apartheid that had endangered her life in Afghanistan. Chesler subsequently wrote limited treatments of the episode in a chapter her book, The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom and a Middle East Quarterly article in 2006, “How Afghan Captivity Shaped my Feminism.”

Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Five decades ago as a naïve young scholarship student at an elite northeastern college Chesler succumbed to bohemian fantasies and enticements of traveling the world when she married the “debonair, dapper” scion of a wealthy Afghan family, Abdul Kareem. There could not have been an odder misalliance. Chesler, raised in Brooklyn, came from an Orthodox Jewish background. Abdul Kareem was allegedly a non-practicing Muslim from the exotic Central Asian country of Afghanistan who had been sent abroad by his wealthy family for a decade of education in private schools and colleges in the West.

Afghanistan was and still is one of the poorest countries in Asia, despite having vast stores of undeveloped minerals and oil reserves. Under Islamic rule since the 14th Century Afghanistan’s women were largely uneducated and had virtually no rights under a patriarchal system. Only privileged sons of the wealthy were educated and sent abroad.

In the company of other Afghan companions in New York, Abdul Kareem plied Chesler with the piquant cuisine of his homeland and visions of world travel and grand adventures. After a civil marriage, the bridal couple took off bound east by ship, first to London and Paris, then flying from Munich to Tehran to Kabul for what Chesler thought would be a brief stop to visit her husband’s family compound. Kabul, the ancient capital of Afghanistan is nestled 6000 feet up in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped mountain ranges of the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs.

Upon arrival at Kabul airport, Chesler’s passport was “smoothly” taken away from her by an Afghan immigration official as she was now an Afghan national. Greeted by an entourage of her extended Afghan in-laws at the airport and whisked off to enter a palatial complex. She  immediately entered purdah the women’s enclosure occupied by her father-in-law’s three wives and 23 children under the control his first wife, Bebgul. Chesler’s husband, Abdul Kareem, succumbs to the patriarchy of his father and virtually disappears, disdaining her complaints about her sudden lack of freedom. Her bohemian fantasies had evaporated. She experiences the slave-like treatment of a household servant, denied of her personal liberties. Public male homosexuality was evident in the slavery of Afghan “dancing boys.” She was continually frustrated by US Embassy officials who offer no assistance in helping her to return to America, as she is considered an Afghan national. Instead a Marine detail accompanies her back to the family compound. Starving from lack of adequately prepared food, ill with hepatitis from contaminated water, pregnant with Abdul Kareem’s unborn child, Chesler, in desperation, confronts Ismail Mohammed, the family patriarch and Afghan bank magnate. He relents to her request delivering an Afghan exit passport and a ticket on an Aeroflot flight that, takes her home via, Tashkent, Moscow and Copenhagen. Upon arrival at Idlewild, now JFK airport, she calls her overjoyed parents who retrieve her. With the assistance of her parents and a battery of lawyers, Chesler eventually succeeds in obtaining an annulment of her marriage to Abdul Kareem and her US citizenship is renewed. He continuously entreats and badgers her with correspondence to come home. Because of her illness and lack of medical attention in Afghanistan Chesler loses their unborn child in a miscarriage. If that hadn’t occurred, then the child of that union would have been declared a Muslim under sharia and custody sought by Abdul Kareem. Three years following her return, an annulment is successfully granted in 1964. One phase of her life is ended. A decade of education and development of a psychoanalytical practice and specialization in women issues ensues.

American Bride also tells the story of another flight in the late 1970’s to freedom by her former Afghan husband and his family and the 25 year relation with his second wife, as new Americans living in New Jersey. He escapes to Pakistan from the draconian Soviet era occupation of Afghanistan as a former deputy cultural minister by masquerading as a peasant with the aid of smugglers. Chesler reports on dialogues and interviews with him. On those occasions he expresses denial of sharia restrictions on the freedom and rights of Muslim women. He disavows secularism in the Islamic world reflected in the lapsed Kemalism of Turkey. He criticizes the US for not having come to the aid of Afghanistan refugees but rejects continued US presence there. There is his unfortunate expression of anti-Semitism reflected in his “money grubbing Jews” comparison to charges of Ottoman Genocide of Armenians during WWI. That is also reflected in the Anti-Israelism expressed by the couple’s two children on the Palestinian questions. This is in contrast with the ironic bonding of Chesler with his second wife, Kamile, an accomplished professional who had escaped purdah in Afghanistan. In the company of Chesler, she met international Muslim and ex-Muslim women activists. In the quarter century of renewed relations between Chesler and her former husband and his second family they share frequent conversations, meals and are invited guests at Chesler’s son Ariel’s wedding.

Chesler’s research for her memoir uncovers the history of Afghan royalty and the constant internecine   murders over several hundred years producing violent changes in succession. She cites the example of an Afghan king, Amanullah who l survived only to be exiled to live out his days in Rome. In 1928, he urged Afghan women to remove their veils, “condoned shooting of interfering husbands” and was reported to have spotted and torn off a burqa and burned it. He went further and advocated co-education. That reform episode didn’t last long. Afghan tribes rebelled and forced Amanullah into exile in Rome in January 1929. Chesler notes in her book her encounter with a number of Germans in Kabul. In the 20th century, German advisers and companies entered Afghanistan to engage in development of the country’s rail system. In the 1930’s with the onset of the Hitler era, Nazi influences were encouraged under Royal auspices. This paralled with Chesler own research into the 2000 year history and archeology of Afghan Jewry stemming from encounters with the émigré Afghan Jewish community in New York City. Through those encounters Chesler makes the startling discovery that Nazi influence on Afghan royalty in the 1930’s and 1940’s may have led to her Afghan father-in-law’s banking fortune from a forced takeover of an Afghan Jewish bank headquartered in Herat. Chesler also reveals for the first time that as a result of her Afghan mother-in-law’s ruthless intentions in purdah that she may have committed the Muslim shahada, profession of faith and become an inadvertent convert to Islam.

Threading through her memoir are references to similar experiences of foreign wives of Afghans and Middle East Muslims some of whom who have lost custody of children, while others have, like her, successfully escaped. Perhaps the worst instances have been American wives of Saudi husbands who have kidnapped offspring of these marriages forcing the daughters into purdah in the Saudi kingdom, subject to arranged marriages to clan cousins. View this Power Point presentation on “America’s Stolen Children,” here. Chesler suggests the Afghan experience described in her memoir triggered her career as a feminist and psychoanalyst. It is also evident in her recent activism as an expert witness in custody battles and honor shame episodes under sharia in US court proceedings involving Muslim women plaintiffs. She also believes that the Afghan episode as a young woman enabled her to understand the patriarchal clan structure that deprived Muslim women of basic freedoms and civil rights placing them in thralldom behind what she calls the “isolation and sensory deprivation chamber and mobile body bag environment” of the burqa. She now advocates the burqa should be banned.

On the afternoon of 9/11 Chesler remarked to German correspondent for Der Spiegel, who was a neighbor in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, “now we are all Israelis.” That was reference that Americans, like Israelis, were no longer safe in their own countries. Those Israel civilians had suffered egregious casualties from suicide bombings and Intifadas, and more recently rocket attacks by Islamic terrorists surrounding the Jewish nation. In this 9/11 discussion she expressed the irony that Islamic terrorism on 9/11 was perpetrated by 19 young and well educated Egyptian, Saudi and Yemeni men. They were indoctrinated as jihadis by the reclusive late Osama bin Laden from his base in Afghanistan living under the protection of Taliban leader Omar Mohammed. The Taliban who had viciously and violently deprived Afghan women and children of basic human rights even resorting to disfigurement, execution, rape and death. She notes:

These jihadists viewed the West and Western values as repulsive and dangerous. They despised the idea of human and individual rights, free speech, religious freedom, separation of state and religion, women’s rights, gay rights and a host of other rights and privileges.

Chesler noting one American intellectual saying the 19 jihadis were blameless for perpetrating the holocaust on 9/11 in lower Manhattan writing:

She was among those who swiftly demonized anyone who dared say that Muslim Islamists had launched a war. Anyone who criticized Islamist terrorism was a “racist conservative” and an Islamophobe…a label applied to ex-Muslim dissidents like Somali–born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Egyptian-born Nonie Darwish and the Syrian Americans Dr. Wafa Sultan and Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

At the conclusion of a chapter on American concerns for the plight of Afghan women and discussion of honor killings, she poses two rhetorical questions about the hard lessons drawn from her memoir:

Is my unexpected captivity in Kabul something of a cautionary tale about what can happen to any Westerner who believes she can enjoy a Western or modern life in a Muslim country?

In terms of Afghanistan: Can a tribal, religious, impoverished, corrupt people, beaten down by war and without an industrial infrastructure; a county with a strong warrior and anti-infidel tradition; a country theologically and geographically vulnerable to al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups become modern and Western?

A partial answer comes in her final chapter, Hard Lessons, when she says:

We cannot rescue every woman in Afghanistan or stem the tide of Islamist violence against civilians everywhere, not only in Afghanistan, without defeating the Islamists, ideologically, economically and militarily.

Honor–related violence and gender apartheid are human rights violations and cannot be justified in the name of cultural relativism, tolerance, antiracism, diversity, religious custom or political correctness. The battle for women’s rights is central to the battle for a Judeo-Christian, post-Enlightenment civilization.

At the conclusion of Mozart’s opera The Abduction from a Seraglio, about the rescue of another damsel in distress, the Turkish Pasha Selim instead of sentencing the captives to death forgives and frees them to live.

We submit that Chesler’s brief sojourn and flight from an Afghan seraglio facilitated by her pasha, her father-in-law, resulted in her freedom and a life of commitment to the universal and natural rights of all women.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Billy Graham’s son Franklin: Homosexuality is ‘a sin,’ and ‘I want to warn people’

“In a Meet the Press interview Sunday, Franklin Graham, the son of famed preacher Billy Graham, refused to back down from his Biblical stance against homosexuality. “It’s sin,” he said, and added that he wanted to warn people about it because they will have to stand before God who will judge,” Life Site News reports.

The younger Graham was speaking in the NBC interview about his father’s legacy, as the elder Graham, 95, is ‘very weak’ and eating little. He described how he helped to arrange a final sermon for his father that aired in November. He felt it was God’s will that he help his father “finish well.”

In the context of about Pope Francis’ “who am I to judge” comment, Franklin Graham was asked if he would shift his position on “gays.”

“God would have to shift, and God doesn’t,” Graham replied. “God’s word is the same yesterday and today and a million years from now, that it’s sin.”

“To wink at sin, and to tell somebody that it’s okay, I know the consequences of what will happen one day when they have to stand before God,” Graham continued. “I want to warn people.”

But, he added, “I think the Pope is right when he says he is not the judge. He is not the judge. God is the judge.”

Graham’s stance is the same as that of the Catholic Church.  A Vatican document on the pastoral care of homosexual persons notes that, “There can be no doubt of the moral judgement made there against homosexual relations.” The document, written under John-Paul II and signed by Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict), notes that the Bible “in the course of describing the conditions necessary for belonging to the Chosen People, the author excludes from the People of God those who behave in a homosexual fashion.”

That 1986 Vatican document also encourages speaking out on the immorality of homosexual activity as the younger Graham has done.  “No authentic pastoral programme will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral,” it says.

The document stresses, “we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral.” It adds: “Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church’s position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.”

For Graham, it’s also a matter of truth. “I’ve never really been one to try to be politically correct,” he said. “I just feel truth is truth, and sometimes I probably offend some people.”

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The Big Political Issue for 2014: “Income Equality”

Amy Payne from the Heritage Foundation reports, “Do a Google News search for ‘income inequality’ and it will remove any doubt that this is already the political issue of 2014.”

Both parties has been gearing up for months. The liberal Center for American Progress launched a new center devoted to the subject, and President Obama has been making it a centerpiece of his speeches. Even Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) and challenger former Governor, now Democrat candidate, Charlie Crist have made income inequality an issue in their campaigns.

“Get ready to hear about “fairness”—because some people make more money than others, and this isn’t fair. How can you sit by and watch this happen? What is the government going to do about it?”, writes Payne. “It’s a popular argument because everyone—even Warren Buffett—wants to make more money. When someone tells you that what you’re being paid isn’t fair, it’s easy to agree. And if that someone tells you that you can march in a protest and instantly make more money—well, that’s a lot quicker and easier than working toward your next promotion.”

Payne warns, “Quick and easy—that’s the allure of the left’s argument. But there are two things you should know about it.”

1. It’s too good to be true.

The income inequality outrage is based on the idea that the people at the bottom of the economic ladder are stuck there indefinitely. But America isn’t “Downton Abbey”—you’re not stuck in the place where you were born. The chauffeur’s son can become…whatever he wants to be in America.

This uniquely American advantage is called mobility. People can move up—and down—the income ladder. In fact, “the recent rise in income disparities has not caused a decline in upward mobility,” reported Heritage’s Rea Hederman and David Azerrad in an in-depth study of the issue. They debunked the foundation of the left’s assumptions:

Standards of living have increased for everyone—as have incomes—and mobility, however one measures it, remains robust. Simply put, how much the top 1 percent of the population earns has no bearing on whether the bottom 20 percent can move up.

A focus on minimum-wage workers can also be a red herring. Heritage’s James Sherk and John Ligon note that “Over two-thirds of workers starting out at the minimum wage earn more than that a year later.”

2. It hurts people.

The left’s income inequality argument has a sad and destructive irony: If it’s made into public policy, it makes it more difficult for people to get a job and achieve their American Dream.

President Obama and his allies in Congress are already pushing for a minimum wage increase in the new year. Heritage’s Sherk and Ligon are very clear when it comes to the possible consequences of doing this: It “would force employers to curtail hiring.”

Less hiring. Fewer job opportunities. That does not help the men and women looking for work, who need to put food on the table and shoes on their kids’ feet.

The New York Times notes, however, that the issue of the minimum wage could help liberal politicians looking for voter turnout in the upcoming midterm election. And that’s all it is: a political ploy that manipulates Americans in the name of power.

EDITORS NOTE: Income equality is all about coveting what someone else has. Coveting has been recognized for centuries as a powerful force for political and social evil. That is why it is a sin and one of the Bible’s Ten Commandments as written in Exodus 20 (NIV version):  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Is Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16) Sugar Coating his Vote for the Ryan-Murray Budget deal?

I sent an email to Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL District 16) regarding his vote in favor of the Ryan-Murray Budget. I received a reply and decided to analyze what Rep. Buchanan said in his letter. This is important because Rep. Buchanan sits on the House Ways and Means Committee and is co-Chair of the Florida Congressional Delegation. Both are key positions in developing fiscal and spending policies at the federal level.

Here is a point by point analysis of Rep. Buchanan’s reply using a variety of resources including the Washington Post, Heritage Foundation and Breitbart:

Dear Dr. Swier:

Thank you for contacting me about the federal budget that passed the Congress last week.  Although far from perfect, this agreement is a positive step toward restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington.

ANALYSIS – RESTORING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: WaPO, ‘The total deal is $85 billion. About $45 billion of that replaces sequestration cuts in 2014. About $20 billion replaces sequestration cuts in 2015. About $20 billion is deficit reduction atop sequestration.” Heritage, “[T]he deal increases spending immediately while delaying deficit reduction until later and trades some spending cuts for more revenue.” Breitbart, “The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2013 would increase the discretionary spending caps established by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) by $45 billion in 2014 and $18 billion in 2015,” the opening paragraph of the analysis reads. “The $63 billion in higher spending is not offset over the BCA window of 2014–2021; during that period, the legislation increases spending by almost $25 billion, as 53% of the offsets in the BBA realized during the BCA window come from higher fees and revenues.'”

The budget reduces the deficit and cuts spending by eliminating waste, stripping corporate welfare and trimming benefits for federal employees.  And it does this all without raising taxes.

ANALYSIS – ELIMINATING WASTE, STRIPPING CORPORATE WELFARE AND TRIMMING BENEFITS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: WaPO, “The new policies in the deal are split between revenue through fees — travelers will see higher prices on airline tickets and federal workers will have to contribute more to pensions — and spending cuts.” Heritage, “The budget deal ends a cost-shared partnership called the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research Program, which researches ultra-deepwater architecture and unconventional drilling technologies. Ending the program is an important recognition that the federal government allocates billions of taxpayer dollars to activities that the private sector should be fully funding. Congress should go much further and remove all of these funding streams for all energy sources and technologies … The budget deal’s provision to improve the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) $36 billion deficit is a step in the right direction, but the allocation of increased premiums is misguided. The budget deal increases both the per-participant premium as well as the variable-rate premium assessed on plans’ unfunded liabilities. Increasing the per-participant premiums forces financially sound pension plans to pay for the financially unsound plans.” Breitbart, ” [T]his plan is not even really a budget since Ryan and Murray abandoned commitments to a budget conference—making the legislation actually just a spending bill.”

The agreement replaces some of the arbitrary cuts under sequestration with more targeted spending reductions, while achieving deficit reduction greater than under current law.  The budget also preserved 92 percent of the original spending cuts required under sequestration.

Specifically, the budget deal includes some of the following provisions:

  • Reduces the deficit by $23 billion without raising taxes.
  • Reduces borrowing by $85 billion through a combination of mandatory savings and increased non-tax revenue.
  • Repeals corporate welfare policies, saving taxpayers $8.1 billion.
  • Ends the special carve-out for student-loan servicers saving taxpayers $3 billion.

ANALYSIS – ACHIEVING DEFICIT REDUCTION AND INCREASING NON-TAX REVENUE: WaPo, “Spending will be $45 billion higher in 2014 than it would’ve been absent the deal. The deal replaces about half of sequestration’s cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary spending in 2014. It replaces about a fourth of them in 2015. That means most of sequestration will go into effect in both years.” Heritage, “Under Title VI section 601, the proposal calls for an increase in aviation passenger security fees. This fee increase would take the current amount from $2.50 per passenger to $5.60. Unlike the original fee, this increase is not being used to fund or improve security. Instead, the revenue collected is being proposed to replace automatic spending cuts set to begin in January. The revenue, however, will not be directly distributed to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); instead it will be deposited annually into a general fund of the Treasury. This increase is yet another way that the Administration and Congress are using the travel industries as an open pocketbook.” Breitbart, “Much of the spending increase in this deal has been justified by increased fees and new revenue. In other words: it’s a fee increase to fuel a spending increase—rather than reducing deficits. Disappointingly, CBO’s analysis states that $47 billion out of the $85 billion in offsets occur outside the original BCA window, and the spending cut portion of those outyear offsets are of dubious validity. It is not disputable that net spending in the BCA window is increased.”

Although far from perfect, this agreement is a positive step toward restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington.

Again, thank you for contacting me.  If you want to receive congressional updates on this issue click here.

Sincerely,

Member of Congress

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