Jon Stewart and Christian Amanpour expose the evil side of Egypt (+ video)

Bassem Youssef, the “Egyptian Jon Stewart”

PHOENIX (April 4, 2013) – Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and author of “A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith” issued the following statement on behalf of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) on the prosecution and persecution of Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef.

“The Egyptian government’s decision last week to arrest Bassem Youssef, the “Egyptian Jon Stewart”, has once again clearly displayed the threat posed to the people of Egypt by an Islamist Constitution and Islamist ideologues leading.

Youssef was arrested for criticizing Egyptian President Morsi and for criticizing Islam, despite the fact that he is a devout Muslim himself and professes a deep love of his faith and his country.

Morsi’s allies in the Muslim Brotherhood are using the tool of religion and blasphemy to hammer dissent into submission. The arrest of Youssef and several other comedians is just the latest example of political Islam in action. The ideology is based in a supremacist mindset that holds the Islamist interpretation of Islam higher than any individual right to freedom of thought, expression or faith.  It quickly becomes the tool of the dictator to secure power through intimidation.  Youssef himself appeared with CNN’s Christian Amanpour labeling the brotherhoods actions as “fascistic”.

At long last the American Left appears to be stepping to the plate in condemning these actions and awakening to the threat of Islamism upon every citizen. Youssef, a heart surgeon turned comedian, and television host comes from within their ranks.  His arrest sparked Jon Stewart to do a 10 minute monologue that highlighted some of Morsi’s direct statements calling Jews ‘descendants of Pigs and Monkeys’ and Morsi’s hypocrisy on religious freedom.

The Obama Administration continued to falter on the principle of defending religious freedom, when it initially condemned the arrest and actually tweeted the Stewart monologue from a US Embassy Cairo twitter account, only to have Ambassador Anne Peterson soon thereafter remove the post and delete the twitter account.  Peterson is the Ambassador who forbade US Marines from carrying live ammunition when US Embassy Cairo was besieged by protesters and the walls were actually breached.

We cannot condemn the actions of religious suppression and then send $190 million to the government to secure its infrastructure.  We cannot stand with Bassem Youssef and send the Egyptian Government airplanes and tanks.  We cannot call for greater tolerance of religious freedom and label President Morsi an ally in the region all the while his henchmen enforce some of the most repressive restrictions on free expression seen in Egypt in generations.

There is no ambiguity in the intent of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  Their Constitution clearly lays out their vision for a new Egypt that does not embrace religious freedom or individual rights. Recent scores of arrests of  Bassem Youssef and many others provide a stark reminder of this fact.  The Administration needs to take the lesson that his brothers and sisters on the left side of the aisle are learning and stand on the principles that built this country.

It’s time to cut off all aid to our non-ally Egypt and let the Muslim Brotherhood fail, fall into the dustbin of history and make room for Revolution 2.0 in Egypt for our real allies–those who believe in and represent real freedom.

About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website athttp://www.aifdemocracy.org/.

Who will be Governor Scott’s choice as a running mate? Maybe Allen West?

Governor Rick Scott is running for reelection in 2014. Currently he does not have a running mate, as Jennifer Carroll resigned as Lieutenant Governor. Early indications are that former Governor, and former Republican, Charlie Crist and Senator Bill Nelson will run in the Democrat primary.

Who will Governor Scott pick to fill the Lieutenant Governor’s position?

Will his pick be a safe one or will it be a bold move that changes the game?

The WDW grapevine says the following are candidates being pushed by various groups to become the Lieutenant Governor.

Former Congressman Allen West

Allen West – West is the former Congressman from Florida District 18. West is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. West joined the United States Army in 1982, a year before receiving a B.A. in political science. In 1986, West earned an M.A. in political science at Kansas State University.  Deployed for the Iraq War in 2003, West was involved in a controversial interrogation incident, which led to his resignation and retirement in 2004. After retiring, West moved to Florida. In 2010, West won the FL District 20 seat, coinciding with historic Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections. On January 3, 2011, West took office as the first black Republican Congressman from Florida since Josiah T. Walls left office in 1876. In his brief congressional career, West served on the Armed Services and Small Business Committees. He was also a member of the Tea Party Caucus and has been referred to as one of the champions of the Tea Party movement.  He is currently the host of Next Generation TV with PJ Media. He is a nationally known figure who has been characterized as having gravitas.

Representative Doug Holder

Doug HolderRepresentative Holder was first elected to office in 2006 and serves southern Sarasota County as the State Representative for Florida House District 74. As a small business owner, Holder is focused on economic development for his district and Florida. He believes in hard work, perseverance, and the value of good business practices from stories of his great grandfather who bartered to survive the Great Depression and from his father who became a successful business man using these same principles. Public service has been a part of Doug’s life since he was a teenager when he was active in student government as the Student Body President, and served as the Student Ambassador for George Herbert Walker Bush. Born in Marietta, Georgia, Doug is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minors in Art, Psychology and Public Relations. Representative Holder currently is a member of the Florida House Leadership Team and serves as Chairman of Regulatory Affairs Committee which oversees DBPR, Energy & Utilities and Insurance & Banking. In addition, he sits on the Rules & Calendar Committee as well as the Ethics & Elections Committee.

Senator Anitere Flores

Anitere Flores – Senator Flores has been representing District 37 since 2010. She previously served in the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 114th District from 2004-2010. She served as House Deputy Majority Leader. Senator Flores was named Senate Majority Whip while also serving as the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In addition, Senator Flores sits on the Budget Committee, Budget Subcommittee on Education PreK-12 Appropriations, Commerce and Tourism Committee, Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities Committee, Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, Reapportionment Committee, and Rules Committee. In 2011, Senator Anitere Flores worked with her colleagues to introduce a Florida style immigration law focusing on ensuring that Florida has a legal workforce and working with the federal government to repatriate undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of crimes and are in prison. These 5,500 individuals cost the state of Florida over $100 million each year to incarcerate.

Raquel Regalado

Raquel Regalado

Raquel Regalado – Represents District 6 on the Miami-Dade School Board. District 6 encompasses the areas of Key Biscayne, the Roads, East Little Havana, Shenandoah, Silver Bluff, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, South Miami and Westchester. In the Board, Ms. Regalado is the Chair of the Facilities and Construction Reform Committee, and a member of the following committees: Instructional Excellence & Community Engagement, School Support & Accountability, and Innovation, Efficiency & Governmental Relations. Ms. Regalado is admitted to practice law in Florida state courts, as well as in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. She is an active member of several bar associations, including the American Bar Association, the Cuban American Bar Association, and the Intellectual Property Law Association of Florida. She was also an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus. Ms. Regalado was named a Rising Star in Intellectual Property Litigation by Florida Trend and in 2009, was ranked among the top 40 attorneys in Miami-Dade County under 40 years old by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

WDW will continue to monitor this process of the selection of a running mate for Governor Scott. If you have a tip on a candidate being considered send it to us.

RELATED COLUMN: Who Makes the Most Sense to Replace Jennifer Carroll?

Wealth is coming to Florida from guess where?

Governor Rick Scott is working to make Florida business friendly. One part of what is happening, missed by the media, is the transfer of wealth from other states to the sunshine state.

The website HowMoneyWalks.com has an application that tracks how money moves between states and between counties within states. This is a great resource for anyone interested in how wealthy individuals literally vote with their feet, and bank accounts.

Below is the over view of the wealth gain for Florida from 1995-2010:

Florida

Wealth Migration 1995-2010

Gained $86.39 billion in annual AGI*

*AGI – adjusted gross income as defined by the IRS. For most people AGI is the starting point in calculating their taxable income.

Gained Wealth From:

$16.76 billion   New York
$10.20 billion   New Jersey
$6.22 billion   Illinois
$5.89 billion   Ohio
$5.68 billion   Pennsylvania

 

Lost Wealth To:

$1.38 billion   North Carolina
$710.67 million   Tennessee
$465.83 million   South Carolina
$413.47 million   Arizona
$345.49 million   Texas

 

Looking at the sixty-seven counties in Florida we find that Miami-Dade is the only county that has lost wealth between 1995-2010. Here is the view of wealth loss by Miami-Dade County, FL:

Miami-Dade County (FL)

Wealth Migration 1995-2010

Lost $2.18 billion in annual AGI*

AGI – adjusted gross income as defined by the IRS. For most people AGI is the starting point in calculating their taxable income.

Gained Wealth From:

$312.84 million   New York County, NY
$159.88 million   Queens County, NY
$105.37 million   Middlesex County, NJ
$88.39 million   Kings County, NY
$83.80 million   District Of Columbia, DC

 

Lost Wealth To:

$2.15 billion   Broward County, FL
$299.04 million   Palm Beach County, FL
$121.28 million   Orange County, FL
$107.22 million   Collier County, FL
$107.19 million   Hillsborough County, FL

 

Planned Parenthood calls for killing babies born after botched abortion (+ video)

According to Breitbart, “Alisa Laport Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified before Florida legislators considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion.” Snow was testifying against HB/SB 1129 the Infants Born Alive Act.

HB/SB 1129 states:

Provides that infant born alive during or immediately after attempted abortion is entitled to same rights, powers, & privileges as any other child born alive in course of natural birth; requires health care practitioners to preserve life & health of such infant born alive, if possible; provides for transport & admittance of infant to hospital; provides certain services for infant; requires health care practitioner or employees who have knowledge of any violations with respect to infants born alive after attempted abortion to report those violations to DOH; provides penalty; provides for construction; revises reporting requirements.

Snow stated the decision to allow an infant to live or die following an abortion gone awry should be “left to the mother and her abortionist”.

Here is a short video of the exchange:

Committee members where shocked by this position. Rep. Jim Boyd (R-FL 61) said, “So, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I’m almost in disbelief. If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?” Snow replied, “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family and the physician.”

BizPac Review reports:

Rep. Jose Oliva [R-FL 110]  pressed Snow further when she repeated that the decision “should be between the patient and the health care provider,” asking: “I think that at that point, the patient would be the child struggling on the table. Wouldn’t you agree?”

“That’s a very good question. I really don’t know how to answer that,” Snow said. “I would be glad to have some more conversations with you about this.”

Dr. Kermit Gosnel is currently on trial in a Philadelphia courtroom for murder — for killing babies born alive after late-term abortions.

George Mason University report ranks Florida 23rd in freedom

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University released its Freedom in the 50 States report. The report ranks states on personal and fiscal freedom, primarily based upon taxes and business climate.

Governor Scott has made it his mission to improve the business climate in Florida. He has said that the axis of unemployment are : regulation, taxation and litigation.

According to the survey Florida has improved +5 in freedom since 2009.

Florida is ranked 23rd in overall freedom, 11th in fiscal freedom, 36th in personal freedom and 32nd in regulatory freedom. Florida is ranked 23rd overall.

Governor Scott likes to compete with Governor Rick Perry from Texas. Texas is ranked 14th overall in freedom. It appears Governor Scott and the Florida legislature have some work to do.

To see where your state ranks use the below map:

RUBIO: NO DEAL ON IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION YET

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding the status of immigration reform legislation being developed in the Senate:

“I’m encouraged by reports of an agreement between business groups and unions on the issue of guest workers. However, reports that the bipartisan group of eight senators have agreed on a legislative proposal are premature.

“We have made substantial progress, and I believe we will be able to agree on a legislative proposal that modernizes our legal immigration system, improves border security and enforcement and allows those here illegally to earn the chance to one day apply for permanent residency contingent upon certain triggers being met. However, that legislation will only be a starting point.

“We will need a healthy public debate that includes committee hearings and the opportunity for other senators to improve our legislation with their own amendments. Eight senators from seven states have worked on this bill to serve as a starting point for discussion about fixing our broken immigration system. But arriving at a final product will require it to be properly submitted for the American people’s consideration, through the other 92 senators from 43 states that weren’t part of this initial drafting process. In order to succeed, this process cannot be rushed or done in secret.”

George Borjas’ book “Heaven’s Door” pointed out that during the late 1990s, the U.S. took in over one million immigrants annually. This inflow was most harmful to low-wage workers.

Now, more Americans are treading water in the very part of the job market that is most vulnerable to immigration. Given the current economic downturn, people with advanced degrees are searching out low-skilled, low-wage jobs. Increasing competition with low-skilled immigrants would further crowd the narrow avenues of subsistence.

“Back in 1986 it was ‘unrealistic’ to round up and deport the three million illegal immigrants in the United States then. So they were given amnesty – honestly labeled, back then – which is precisely why there are now 12 million illegal immigrants,” Thomas Sowell in 2007 noted, when an amnesty proposal was rejected. In 2007, conservatives and many Republicans recognized that amnesties were simply going to continue until they were stopped.

NumbersUSA, a think tank that supports sustainable levels of legal immigration, notes seven amnesties in recent history:

  1. Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket amnesty for some 2.7 million illegal aliens
  2. Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens
  3. Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994
  4. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America
  5. Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti
  6. Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens
  7. LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens

Immigration policies are often not as advertised.

The president pledged that the Affordable Care Act would not cover undocumented aliens. However, if those undocumented aliens are given amnesty, they could easily receive Obamacare, along with Medicaid and a range of other social services.

Veteran group’s ad calling for gun control is misleading (+ video)

The group VoteVets.org is running television ads calling for “background checks” for all firearm purchases. The veteran in the ad is Glenn Kunkel, a Marine who fought in Iraq and is a recipient of the Purple Heart.

In the ad Kunkel states that he “… had to get a background check before joining the Marines” to use an AR-15 (M-16) style rifle. Kunkel then states that anyone can get such a rifle. He goes on to say that anyone who wants a similar AR-15 style rifle should be required to have a “background check“.

This ad is misleading for the following reasons:

  1. To join the military a background check is required to determine the person (enlistee) is qualified to serve. This has nothing to do with the type of weapon a person will carry, or in some cases not carry a weapon at all while serving in our military.
  2. Once in the military background checks are conducted if the service member is required to have a security clearance above confidential. This is necessary to insure there is nothing that would make the service member a security risk.
  3. There is no relationship to a weapon and the induction or security clearance background checks.
  4. The video makes a direct correlation between the type of rifle and the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. The video makes no mention of the mental status of Adam Lanza, the killer.
  5. There is no record that Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook killer, purchased any of the guns he used in the shooting.

The New Haven Register reported:

Two former top investigators who are now on the faculty at the University of New Haven offered insight into the statement by a witness that Sandy Hook School was Adam Lanza’s “life.” Lanza had attended the school as a child.

“I found that very interesting,” said Peter Valentin, a lecturer in the forensic science department at UNH. “Why would a person his age consider an elementary school his life?”

William Tafoya, a retired FBI agent and a professor at UNH known for his accurate profiling in the Unabomber case, said the school probably had some importance in Lanza’s life, something he either associated with very happy or very unpleasant memories.

The video is misleading in its basic premise that it is the gun and not Adam Lanza that is to blame.

All firearm purchases from Federally licensed gun dealers require a database check. A background check would require a law enforcement agent to investigate each and every person wishing to purchase a fire arm. A very costly and time consuming process. Background checks are an intrusion into the privacy of the individual and would require that person to give authorization for the purpose of purchasing a firearm.

BTW, the weapon shown in the Vote Vets video is not a military grade weapon, the one shown is simply a semi-automatic look alike of the one Kunkel carried in the Marine Corps (usually an M-4 carbine). The one Kunkel carried is not the same as the one he is firing. It appears from the video that that weapon he is firing is his personal firearm, which he purchased.

Be wary when anyone who uses the term “background check”. It connotes government expansion and control on an entirely new level.

Here is the video ad from VoteVets.org:

RELATED COLUMN: Sen. Jeff Flake: Universal background checks ‘a bridge too far’

Happy Easter from the Watchdog Wire – Florida team

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Happy Easter to all from the Watchdog Wire – Florida team.

VIDEO: Buchanan Tax Reform panel raises disturbing future without major changes

Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-13) hosted a panel on Tax Reform on March 29, 2013. Buchanan is the only member of the powerful US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee from Florida. The panel members were:

  • Neal Boortz is a former nationally syndicated radio talk show host who co-wrote the Fair Tax Book with former Congressman John Linder. The book calls for the replacement of the income tax with a consumption tax.
  • Dan Mitchell is a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, which is a public policy research organization dedicated to the principals of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Mitchell is an expert on tax reform and a strong advocate of a flat tax.
  • National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)/Florida Chairman Jerry Pierce. The NFIB is is the leading small business association representing small and independent businesses. The NFIB supports modifications to provide tax relief and certainty to small businesses.
  • Susan Nilon is the general manager of WSRQ radio, a radio show host and writer who advocates a progressive tax that taxes wealthy individuals at a higher rate than low income individuals.

The forum was moderated by WWSB/ABC 7 news anchor John McQuiston.

Watch the METV video of the entire panel discussion:

Every panel member opened by saying the current income tax system is broken. Susan Nilon asked if there was the political will to actually fix it. Each panel member addressed their solution to fix the system, ranging from repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment (which created the progressive income tax) to returning to a simpler form of taxation.

Of note was all agreed the current progressive tax system has failed. Boortz pointed out that progressive taxation was first outlined in the Communist Manifesto. Boortz, speaking for the Fair Tax, said that repeal was the best solution long term. Both CATO’s Dan Mitchell and NFIB’s Jerry Pierce agreed. Pierce noted that this was not the official NFIB position but his alone.

John McQuiston, the moderator, asked if changing the current system in any meaningful was was politically possible. Mitchell noted that during the 1990s Congress passed meaningful welfare reform and likened the tax reform challenge as doable. Congressman Buchanan indicated that from his meetings with President Obama and others that there is a six month window of opportunity to make meaningful changes.

The Fair Tax was most discussed by panel members. Mitchell noted that even though he was on the panel to represent the flat tax he had debated in favor of the Fair Tax. Nolan was concerned that the low income taxpayers would be negatively impacted. Boortz pointed out that under the Fair Tax, those making minimum wage would see a negative 23% tax while those making $31,000 would have a zero tax bill.

The issue of tax loop holes for corporations came up  repeatedly. Corporations like GE have lobbyists who are paid to insure they pay no taxes and these lobbyists have been successful. Boortz pointed out that corporations pay no taxes. Rather individual stockholders and the consumers bear the burden of the taxes levied on the products and services provided by corporations.

The question of charitable deductions came up. Mitchell pointed out that all academic studies of charitable giving show that two things drive individuals to give – wealth and disposable income. For example the bill signed by President Obama in January limits itemized deductions for those making over $450,000 to 3%. The closing of loopholes already includes limiting deductions for high wealth individuals.

During the presentation the audience showed its appreciation for the panel and Rep. Buchanan by their applause. Boortz pointed out this type of event is critical if tax reform is to take place. Without the power of the people nothing will happen. Boortz pointed out that with the implementation of the Fair Tax and elimination of the progressive income tax, “it will be the greatest transfer of power from government to the people since the American revolution.”

At the end of the discussion both Rep. Buchanan and Jerry Pierce warned that the United States faces a financial meltdown in the next 3 to 8 years. Mitchell noted that by 2040 Greece spending will be at 300% of their GDP, while America’s spending will be at 450% of GDP. The disaster is eminent noted Rep. Buchanan but he believe a bi-partisan agreement is possible within the next six months.

If none is reached then America’s fiscal downfall is set. The question is not if, but when.

Transparency Florida Website Earns High Marks

On Tuesday, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) released its 2013 Following the Money report, which gave Florida a grade of A-minus for overall transparency based on my Department of Financial Services’ Transparency Florida website. PIRG ranked Florida third in the nation for state government transparency.

According to PIRG, ‘No state made a more dramatic improvement in its letter grade this year than Florida.’

Jeff Atwater, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, stated, “Our tireless efforts over the past two years to increase government transparency and accountability for Florida taxpayers have been recognized. Last year, we launched the Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS), making the state’s contracting practices transparent for the first time. We have maintained a commitment to improving Transparency Florida by making it more user friendly along with linking to partner sites to provide more information about government spending in Florida. All of these efforts are driven by one objective – to make transparency an inherent part of government in Florida.”

“We have worked hard to change the culture in Tallahassee by fostering an open government that promotes greater accountability and holds elected officials to a higher standard. This is the yardstick by which we measure the success of our transparency efforts on behalf of our fellow Floridians,” noted Atwater.

Stomp Jesus Professor placed on leave, FAU promotes anti-Semitic hate (+ video)

Deandre Poole, FAU professor and vice-Chair of Palm Beach Democrat Party

Lisa Metcalf, Director, Media Relations for Florida Atlantic University (FAU), said in a Friday statement:

FAU instructor Deandre Poole, Ph.D., has been placed on administrative leave effective immediately for safety reasons. As a result of the reaction to a recent exercise in Dr. Poole’s intercultural communications class, the instructor’s personal safety has been compromised.

In addition, this decision will prevent further disruption to the day-to-day operations of Florida Atlantic University.

Because of this, Dr. Poole will not teach any classes, conduct office hours, or be present at any of FAU’s campuses or sites. Alternate instructors have been assigned to teach Dr. Poole’s classes. Students have been notified and classes will continue as scheduled.

FAU has a history of supporting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic events. During the week of February 13, 2013 FAU hosted Israel Apartheid Week. Tom Trento an investigative journalist and radio talk show host, tried to enter this public event on a state funded campus but was denied access. According to Trento, “I and my TrentoVision radio/TV internet team was aggressively prohibited by the police from videotaping or audio recording pro-Palestinian Josh Ruebner during his Jew-hatred ‘teach-in’,at a publicly advertised, public event on campus at the Florida Atlantic University.”

The below video report captures the history of hate at FAU:

FAU has active chapters of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). MSA is a HAMAS front organization and SJP is listed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as one of the top 10 anti-Israel groups in the United States. Last year Muslim students posted eviction notices on the dorm room doors of Jewish students and this year called for the destruction of Israel.

As first reported on BizPac Review, Poole is vice-chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party and his recent actions add to a disturbing pattern of religious intolerance displayed by the local party.

Rubio stands against effort to infringe on Second Amendment rights

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), this week joined Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) expressing his opposition to any legislation with additional restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance,” the senators write. “The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ right to self-defense. It speaks to the history’s lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times, and history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries.”

In joining this effort, Rubio added, “We should look for ways to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill prone to misusing them, but I oppose legislation that will be used as a vehicle to impose new Second Amendment restrictions on responsible, law-abiding gun owners. We should work to reduce tragic acts of violence by addressing violence at its source, including untreated mental illness, the lack of adequate information-sharing on mental health issues, and the breakdown of the family.”

A PDF of the letter is available here.

Florida: Concealed Carry Permits Up, Violent Crime Down

Clash Daily reports:

The recent report from ABC News that in Florida, where there are more concealed weapons permits than anywhere else in the country, violent crime has dropped to the lowest point in history.

Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry, Inc. said, “We’re happy to have facts and statistics put into these debates, because every time they do, we win.”

Firearm-related violent crimes in Florida have dropped by one-third in just four years, 2007 to 2011, while concealed carry permits jumped by 90 percent in that period. Further, violent crime of any kind dropped almost as much, 26 percent.

There were naysayers, but their voices are becoming muted as more and more states have adopted “shall-issue” carry laws and have seen their own crime rates drop as well. One of the naysayers was Gary Kleck, a Florida State criminologist who calls himself “as liberal as they get.” He said the link between more permits and less crime might just be a coincidence.

Kleck said that nationally, crime has been falling steadily since 1991 and Florida’s numbers might just be part of that trend. He warned against drawing too hasty a conclusion that one statistic caused the other. “The real problem there in drawing conclusions is that you’re guessing why that decline or change in gun violence has occurred,” Kleck stated.

Learn more about Clash Daily by clicking here.

IG Report: Enterprise Florida’s corporate welfare process a mess

Governor Rick Scott today released the Florida Chief Inspector General’s report on Digital Domain. Digital Domain received $20 million in taxpayer funding to “create jobs” in the state. According to the Executive Summary:

The process designed to award economic development incentive funding under the Quick Action Closing Fund (QACF) statute did not result in a recommendation by Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development (OTTED). Concurrent to that statutory process, Digital Domain sought alternative means to obtain funding. In 2009, the funds for QACF that were unexpended in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008-2009, were reverted by the Legislature, appropriated within the same fiscal year to OTTIED and were awarded to recipients including Digital Domain, without the requirement to follow the statutory process for awarding QACF awards.

Although a statutorily prescribed process in place for determining Digital Domain’s eligibility for a QACF award did not result in a recommendation to fund Digital Domain an award of $20 million to Digital Domain still occurred. [My emphasis]

“There needs to be more oversight and accountability of the public’s money,” said Dan Krassner, executive director of the independent government watchdog group Integrity Florida.

Krassner states, “The report makes it clear that Enterprise Florida offered Digital Domain more than $6 million from the closing fund. Unfortunately, Enterprise Florida still appears to be utilizing an insufficient vetting process. Enterprise Florida made several incentive deals with companies just in the last year that have gone bankrupt, including one headed by a convicted cocaine trafficker.”

Companies should not be allowed to circumvent the process but they continue to do so.

“Gov. Scott guaranteed 1,000 new jobs from Northrop Grumman in his State of the State speech. After the speech, Enterprise Florida sat down with the company to negotiate how much money the company wants. How could taxpayers possibly get a good deal with that flawed process? Integrity Florida is encouraged to see bipartisan efforts by lawmakers to increase accountability and transparency of incentive deals,” notes Krassner.

The IG report states, “Testimony supported that although improvements have been made to statutes and processes since 2009, an award similar to the one to Digital Domain could happen again today if the Legislature appropriates funds and gives the Executive Branch the discretion to expend those funds.”  [My emphasis]

The Chief Inspector General made the following recommendations:

Therefore, We recommend that the DEO conduct a formal evaluation of the current statutory provisions to ensure the incentive authority, waiver authority and time frames for evaluation and decision making adequately protect the state’s interests and determine if recommendations for enhancements should be made to the Legislature.

We also recommend that DEO and EFI conduct a review of the economic development incentive processes so that recommendations for improvement may be considered such as documentation and codification of the complete decision making process.

Finally we recommend that DEO and EFI define and codify the process to be followed when DEO’s Division of Strategic Business Development and EFI staff disagree on whether to fund a project. At a minimum, this process should include full disclosure in writing to ensure transparency of the rationale for the ñnal decision.

Governor Scott issued the following statement:

“This Inspector General report shows two things – first, our current economic project vetting process is in place for a reason, and second, that process was clearly circumvented by the previous administration for the Digital Domain deal. We must ensure Florida has the tools needed to compete for economic investment, but we must also ensure that competitive process includes protocols to safeguard taxpayer dollars by focusing on a return on investment.”

Author Challenges ACLU in New Book

The ACLU is ingraining itself in the very fabric of everyday life. From topics such as education, abortion, marriage, and even the Super Bowl, the organization is leaving its mark. But some argue that their effort impacting the freedom of religion is the area of greatest concern. In March 2013 alone, a case was brought forth to challenge a portrait of Jesus Christ at a middle school in Ohio, a North Carolina county has been sued over its traditional Christian invocations at meetings, and Mississippi’s pending school prayer law is being threatened.

In a new book releasing in April, Bad Samaritans: The ACLU’s Relentless Campaign to Erase Faith from the Public Square (Thomas Nelson, Inc.), New York Times bestselling author Jerome Corsi dares to tackle the issues to enlighten families about things they need to know about the ACLU to protect their rights.

Since the organization was created in 1920, so many constitutional battles have been lost to the ACLU that time has grown short to stop the onslaught. Over its history the ACLU has been the archetypal Bad Samaritan-a stranger to the nation’s religious tradition, whose founders instilled within the organization values designed to erase all vestiges of the nation’s Judeo-Christian roots and replace them with a transplanted godless vision that draws its energy not from Moses or from Jesus Christ, but from Marx and Lenin. Even more insidiously, the ACLU strategy devised by its founders was predicated on a determination to wage its War on God in a stealth fashion in which the ACLU intends to destroy religious freedom by appearing on the scene as a defender of religious freedom.

“For decades, the Bad Samaritan of the ACLU has beaten and robbed the First Amendment’s statement of religious freedom to the point that Judeo-Christian believers have been left lying by the side of the road, as if abandoned to die,” notes Corsi. “Our Founding Fathers aptly reminded us, only a moral people can preserve the liberty required to build a bright future for America in which individual initiative and free enterprise can thrive once again. In a Judeo-Christian nation, Good Samaritans are not only welcome; they are possible. In the world desired by the ACLU, Good Samaritans will not only be rare, they are likely to be persecuted, if not prosecuted.”

Since its founding, the ACLU has set out to pervert the First Amendment, written to preserve religious freedom, into a twisted interpretation where “freedom of religion” is now read to mean “freedom from religion,” a reinterpretation made necessary if the ACLU is to accomplish its long-standing goal of removing God from America’s public square. The founding principles of the ACLU make it apparent that their goal is to wage a War on God and undermine liberties.
Cont.

“The protection and rights of the individual-conceived as an eternal soul given life by a Supreme Being, endowed with unalienable rights, and governed by a code of natural right built into human consciousness by our Creator-are the fundamental construct that drove our Founding Fathers to write the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights,” says Corsi. “The ACLU understands correctly that attacking God is the only way the American people would ever permit these sacred documents to be so deeply rewritten as to subvert their original meaning. If the American people can be driven from believing in God, the consequence is that our rights are no longer unalienable, but instead our rights, such as they may be, are bestowed by a state that can as easily take away the rights as grant them in the first place.”

“The point of the Bad Samaritans book is that the hour is late, but the battle is not yet lost,” explains Corsi. “It’s not intended as a comprehensive compendium of Supreme Court cases dealing with religion. Instead, I want to unmask the ACLU’s hypocritical fade of defending civil liberties that the organization strives to sell to a secular public unable to appreciate how deeply liberty will be lost if God is abandoned. I will expose the secret history of the ACLU in order to encourage supporters of our faith to enter the war on God’s side. We must win the war against our faith if we are to preserve for future generations the heritage of liberty our Founding Fathers so generously left for us. If the ACLU wins its War on God, our founding documents-including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights-will not be worth the parchment on which they were written.”

Told in a straightforward, no-nonsense style, Corsi lays out the history of this struggle, its communist roots, and the court cases that are serving to slowly erode the foundations of our freedom. Today we see the fruits of the ACLU’s master plan-a culture flooded with pornography, placing little worth on the value of a human life, and one in which protection and special treatment seem to exist for everyone except those of a Judeo-Christian background.

Bad Samaritans looks behind the headlines and shows the ACLU’s fingerprints as it works to destroy freedom and enslave our constitutional republic to the demands of a Marxist state. It’s time to fight back.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jerome Corsi has written and coauthored many books and articles, including the #1 New York Times bestseller, Unfit for Command (Regnery, 2004). Corsi is the founder of the Iran Freedom Walk. He has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC regarding Iran, as well as hundreds of radio interviews.