Pew Study: Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak

D’Vera Cohn, Paul Taylor, Mark Hugo Lopez, Catherine A. Gallagher, Kim Parker and Kevin T. Maass from Pew Research released their study of gun homicide rates in the U.S. since 1993.

According to the research team, “Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.”

U.S. Firearm Deaths

  • In 2010, there were 3.6 gun homicides per 100,000 people, compared with 7.0 in 1993, according to CDC data.
  • In 2010, CDC data counted 11,078 gun homicide deaths, compared with 18,253 in 1993.5
  • Men and boys make up the vast majority (84% in 2010) of gun homicide victims. The firearm homicide rate also is more than five times as high for males of all ages (6.2 deaths per 100,000 people) as it is for females (1.1 deaths per 100,000 people).
  • By age group, 69% of gun homicide victims in 2010 were ages 18 to 40, an age range that was 31% of the population that year. Gun homicide rates also are highest for adults ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 40.
  • A disproportionate share of gun homicide victims are black (55% in 2010, compared with the 13% black share of the population). Whites were 25% of victims but 65% of the population in 2010. Hispanics were 17% of victims and 16% of the population in 2010.
  • The firearm suicide rate (6.3 per 100,000 people) is higher than the firearm homicide rate and has come down less sharply. The number of gun suicide deaths (19,392 in 2010) outnumbered gun homicides, as has been true since at least 1981.

U.S. Firearm Crime Victimization

  • In 2011, the NCVS estimated there were 181.5 gun crime victimizations for non-fatal violent crime (aggravated assault, robbery and sex crimes) per 100,000 Americans ages 12 and older, compared with 725.3 in 1993.
  • In terms of numbers, the NCVS estimated there were about 1.5 million non-fatal gun crime victimizations in 1993 among U.S. residents ages 12 and older, compared with 467,000 in 2011.

U.S. Other Non-fatal Crime

  • The victimization rate for all non-fatal violent crime among those ages 12 and older—simple and aggravated assaults, robberies and sex crimes, with or without firearms—dropped 53% from 1993 to 2000, and 49% from 2000 to 2010. It rose 17% from 2010 to 2011.
  • Although not the topic of this report, the rate of property crimes—burglary, motor vehicle theft and theft—also declined from 1993 to 2011, by 61%. The rate for these types of crimes was 351.8 per 100,000 people ages 12 and older in 1993, 190.4 in 2000 and 138.7 in 2011.

Context

  • The number of firearms available for sale to or possessed by U.S. civilians (about 310 million in 2009, according to the Congressional Research Service) has grown in recent years, and the 2009 per capita rate of one person per gun had roughly doubled since 1968. It is not clear, though, how many U.S. households own guns or whether that share has changed over time.
  • Crime stories accounted for 17% of the total time devoted to news on local television broadcasts in 2012, compared with 29% in 2005, according to Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Crime trails only traffic and weather as the most common type of story on these newscasts.

Rubio: Thomas Perez would be a disastrous Labor Secretary

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement announcing his opposition to the nomination of Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez to be the next U.S. Secretary of Labor:

“After carefully reviewing Thomas Perez’s, record, views and conduct during his confirmation process, it is clear to me he should not be confirmed to be America’s next Secretary of Labor.  For a Cabinet position that oversees the country’s workforce, our nation deserves a proven administrator who is committed to maximizing opportunities for the American worker, not a liberal activist who has pushed the boundaries of public office to advance his agenda.

“Before joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Perez built a long record as a committed liberal activist and politician, particularly in the areas of labor and immigration.  It was that record that gave many senators pause over his initial nomination to be Assistant U.S. Attorney General.  Those who voted against his confirmation then feared that he lacked the capacity to put his political agenda aside when he became a federal official tasked with enforcing the law.  Unfortunately, his record as Assistant U.S. Attorney General confirmed those fears.

“During his tenure at the Justice Department, Mr. Perez has been associated with some of the Department’s most controversial decisions and appears to have engaged in selective and politically motivated applications of the law.  The Department of Justice’s own Inspector General recently concluded that the division led by Mr. Perez continues to suffer from ‘polarization and mistrust.’

“As the son of immigrants, Mr. Perez rose from modest beginnings to the highest levels of government through his obviously sharp intellect and impressive work ethic.  Many Americans, especially those of us of Hispanic descent, celebrate his success and his personal story as yet another example of all that’s possible in America no matter where you or your family came from.  Unfortunately, intellect and work ethic are not sufficient qualifications for a cabinet secretary.

“Mr. Perez’s far left views and troubling record at the Justice Department simply do not qualify him to lead the Labor Department, and I will strongly oppose his confirmation.”

Navy SEAL Team Six Families reveal government culpability in death of their sons

Three families of Navy SEAL Team VI special forces servicemen, along with one family of an Army National Guardsman, will appear at a press conference on May 9, 2013, to disclose never before revealed information about how and why their sons along with 26 others died in a fatal helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, just a few months after the successful raid on the compound of Osama Bin Laden that resulted in the master terrorist’s death. The event will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn

Among the families there were Billy and Karen Vaughn from Florida. They are the parents of fallen Navy SEAL Team VI  member Aaron Vaughn.

Accompanying the families of these dead Navy SEAL Team VI special operations servicemen were retired military experts verifying their accounts of how and why the government is as much responsible for the deaths of their sons as is the Taliban. Among the military experts in attendance were: Adm. James A. “Ace” Lyons, Jr., LTG William G. “Jerry” Boykin, LTG Thomas G. “Tom” McInerneyMG Paul E. Vallely and former Navy SEAL Benjamin Smith.

The event was captured in full by TrentoVision.TV:

The areas of inquiry at the press conference included:

1. How President Obama and Vice President Biden, having disclosed on May 4, 2011, that Navy Seal Team Six carried out the successful raid on Bin Laden’s compound resulting in the master terrorist’s death, put a retaliatory target on the backs of the fallen heroes.
2. How and why high-level military officials sent these Navy SEAL Team VI heroes into battle without special operations aviation and proper air support.
3. How and why the military brass carries out too many ill-prepared missions to boost their standing with top-level military brass and the Commander-in-Chief in order that they can be promoted.
4. How the military restricts special operations servicemen and others from engaging in timely return fire when fired upon by the Taliban and other terrorist groups and interests, thus jeopardizing the servicemen’s lives.
5. How and why the denial of requested pre-assault fire may have contributed to the shoot down of the Navy SEAL Team VI helicopter and the death of these special operations servicemen.
6. How Afghani forces accompanying the Navy SEAL Team VI servicemen on the helicopter were not properly vetted and how they possibly disclosed classified information to the Taliban about the mission, resulting in the shoot down of the helicopter.
7. How military brass, while prohibiting any mention of a Judeo-Christian God, invited a Muslim cleric to the funeral for the fallen Navy SEAL Team VI heroes who disparaged in Arabic the memory of these servicemen by damning them as infidels to Allah. A video of the Muslim cleric’s “prayer” will be shown with a certified translation.

This press conference takes on special significance given that our government has over the last twelve years since September 11 committed brave American servicemen to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which, in large part as a result of politics, were poorly conceived of and implemented, resulting in the deaths of thousands and the maiming of tens of thousands of our brave heroes. To make matters even worse, America has effectively lost these wars.

Photos of those on Extortion 17:

The flight crew of Extortion 17″

List of those on Extortion 17:

UN: Syrian rebels, not Assad, used chemical weapons

Jihad Watch asks, “Will that stop Obama’s funding the Syrian rebels, who are Islamic jihadists, or his move toward actively intervening? Probably not.”

President Obama was right to wait for further reports on who used chemical weapons in Syria. The next question is: Where did they get the weapons from? Has US support for the rebels  been a mistake? Will the rebels use them again? Will the rebels share them with al Qaeda? Is the US arming the wrong rebels?

“UN: Rebels, not Assad, appear to have used chemical weapons” by Julian Pecquet at The Hill, May 5:

United Nations human rights investigators said Sunday they have gathered testimony from outside Syria suggesting rebels, not Bashar Assad’s regime, may have used chemical weapons.“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Carla Del Ponte, a member of the independent commission of inquiry on Syria, told Swiss-Italian television. “This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.”

The allegations will likely make it harder for the Obama administration to justify taking a more active role in the two-year-old civil war on the side of the opposition. The administration has said in recent days that chemical weapons appeared to have been used in Syria, which would violate the “red line” Obama set for Assad’s forces….

Charles Krauthammer in an editorial for the Washington Post stated:

The fall of Bashar al-Assad’s Syria could be similarly ominous for Iran. The alliance with Syria is the centerpiece of Iran’s expanding sphere of influence, a mini-Comintern that includes such clients as Iranian-armed and -directed Hezbollah, now the dominant power in Lebanon; and Hamas, which controls Gaza and threatens to take the rest of Palestine (the West Bank) from a feeble Fatah.

Additionally, Iran exerts growing pressure on Afghanistan to the east and growing influence in Iraq to the west. Tehran has even extended its horizon to Latin America, as symbolized by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s solidarity tour through Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Of all these clients, Syria is the most important. It’s the only Arab state openly allied with non-Arab Iran. This is significant because the Arabs see the Persians as having had centuries-old designs to dominate the Middle East. Indeed, Iranian arms and trainers, transshipped to Hezbollah through Syria, have given the Persians their first outpost on the Mediterranean in 2,300 years.

Did Iran provide the chemical weapons, which were then confiscated by the rebels and used against Assad? So many questions, so few answers.

Allen West Joins Call For Benghazi Select Committee

US News and World Report reports:

Over the past few months, 135 Republican lawmakers, or “a majority of the majority,” have said a select committee is needed to further investigate the 9/11 attacks on Benghazi, Libya.

Now, that committee has the support of a very vocal former lawmaker, too. Tea partier Allen West, who represented Florida in Congress before he narrowly lost his seat to a Democratic challenger last November, sent a letter Thursday night to Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., who introduced legislation for a select committee. In the letter, shared with Whispers, West writes:

“As a former Member of Congress who also served in uniform, I know how important it is that we learn the truth about why military support was never sent to the Americans under fire at the U.S. annex in Benghazi last September …. We owe it to the families of the four victims and the survivors — some of whom sustained serious injuries and were still at Walter Reed hospital months after the attack — to fully investigate this terrorist attack and the Obama Administration’s questionable response in the days and weeks that followed.”

House committees released an “interim progress report” on Benghazi last Wednesday, but a number of Republican lawmakers said the report raised more questions than gave answers – and some even alleged a government cover-up.

The cost of amnesty

A new study by the Heritage Foundation on the cost of amnesty will reveal the following:

The immigration debate is about to get a lot more concrete.

Lawmakers need to be honest about the cost of their proposed immigration plans—and a new study due out today from The Heritage Foundation calculates the cost to taxpayers of granting amnesty to unlawful immigrants.

Yesterday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Heritage President Jim DeMint said:

The study you’ll see from Heritage this week presents the staggering costs of another amnesty in our country and the detrimental effects, long-term, that that will have. There’s no reason we can’t begin to fix our immigration system so that we won’t make this problem worse. But the bill that’s being presented is unfair to those who came here legally; it’ll cost Americans trillions of dollars; it’ll make our unlawful immigration system worse.

Watch Jim DeMint talk about the cost of amnesty on “This Week”

DeMint previewed the study, conducted by Heritage senior research fellow in domestic policy Robert Rector, who studied the cost of amnesty under a similar proposal in 2007. DeMint said:

The way that we calculated the cost, and I read the study over the weekend, I don’t think anyone can argue with it. If you consider all the factors related to the amnesty—and believe me, this is comprehensive, that it will have a negative long-term impact on our gross domestic product. We just want Congress for once to count the cost of a bill. They are notorious for underestimating the cost and not understanding the consequences.

Heritage’s Jason Richwine, the senior policy analyst in empirical studies, says the new report will be a “resounding rebuttal to the claim from amnesty supporters that a long waiting period between the initial amnesty and citizenship will eliminate any major costs to taxpayers.”

This window of ineligibility for many government services has led supporters to argue that an amnesty will not be costly. There are two problems with this argument. First, households headed by illegal immigrants today consume some government services and pay far less in taxes….The second problem with the view that amnesty would not be costly because of the waiting period is rather obvious: After the waiting period is over, lifetime costs will be substantial.

To make sure that costs are counted accurately, Richwine says, “The estimates for the final period in our research will be calculated beginning 14 years after the initial amnesty, which is the point at which recipients could become naturalized citizens.”

Heritage’s cost analysis is unique. DeMint dismissed the idea that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) could be trusted with calculating the bill’s costs, because it is bound by the way that Congress asks it to add the numbers. He said:

CBO said Obamacare wouldn’t cost us anything—they’re basically puppets of the Congress and the assumptions that they put in the bill. Heritage is the only organization that has done an analysis of the cost. Unlawful immigrants make up about 2 percent of our GDP, and they consume most of that. If you consider all the factors of amnesty and unlawful immigration, the cost will be in the trillions of dollars over the lifetime of these unlawful immigrants.

DeMint said that Members of Congress must read the Gang of Eight immigration proposal to make sure they know what is on the table.

“I think if people read the bill, that it will be blocked,” he said. “Because once you get into it, just like Obamacare, it is not the way it’s being advertised.”

To read the full study click here.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

A Call to Courage Over Benghazi

The following op-ed is posted with permission of the author Joseph R. John, Captain, USN (Ret), a 1962 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress:

Admiral James A. Lyons, US Navy (Ret.) USNA ‘52, USN (Ret) former Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet and the former Senior US Military Representative to the UN

After eight months of stonewalling the Congress, an article by Admiral James A. Lyons, US Navy (Ret.) titled “A call to courage over Benghazi” calls for Congress to take action to force the Obama Administration to provide the American people with the truth about what happened leading to the attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. The article is a further attempt to shed light on the heroic actions of two Navy SEALS who saved 32 American lives during the assault on the Benghazi Consulate.

That attack was perpetrated by over 150+ Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorists, from Ansar al-Shariah, in a well-coordinated and premeditated commando style assault on the US Consultant. US Ambassador Stevens, two heroic Navy SEALs (Glen Doherty and Tyrone Wood), and the Ambassador’s aide were assassinated.

The two Navy SEALs were not part of the Ambassador’s security detail, yet the White House intentionally misreported their status as such.

They were killed in the Consul Annex. They had previously jumped into the breach to try to save the lives of the Americans in the Consulate. Despite urgent and desperate calls for help from Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens sent directly to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she and her staff ignored Ambassador Stevens repeated cries for help, and let him twist in the wind for 8 hours, until he was delivered to a hospital with severe wounds, where he finally died about 4 hours after the attack began.

The article was forwarded by ADM James A Lyons, Jr., USNA ‘52, USN (Ret) former Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet and the former Senior US Military Representative to the UN. He is calling for the establishment of a Select Committee in the House of Representatives to investigate and respond to the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. To date 122 Congressmen have signed on to House Resolution 36 calling for the establishment of a House Select Committee on the Benghazi Attack.

House Speaker John A. Boehner has been stonewalling the establishment of such a Select Committee.

Everyone in the Benghazi Consulate knew in the very beginning of the attack at, 9:40 PM on September 11th, that the attack was a well-planned and premeditated attack by Al Qaeda terrorists with heavy weapons, RPGs, and mortars, and Ambassador Stevens reported that fact, over and over again the Consulate and the Navy SEALs kept requesting support, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the White House Situation Room, and to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

Yet for a period extending for over 2 weeks after the terrorist attack, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Obama in his speech to the UN (2 weeks after the attack) kept repeating that the attack was the result of a Libyan civilian demonstration against a YouTube video on the Internet that went bad—we do not think anyone in Libya has ever seen that that fathom video.

THE TIMELINE:

On March 28, the Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens requested additional security of Secretary Hillary Clinton; she turned him down on April 12th.

On May 3rd, the State Department turned down a request for a Security Team from the Libyan Embassy.

On May 22nd Terrorist attack Red Cross Office in Benghazi (the Red Cross Office in Benghazi was closed after the attack); at that time, the US Consulate was warned of a pending attack. On June 6th, terrorists attacked the US Consulate and blew a hole through Consulate wall.

On June 6th, Ambassador Stevens was told his Security Team contract would “not” be renewed. June 22nd, Ambassador Stevens warned the State Department that extremist groups were operating openly in Benghazi.

On June 7th, Ambassador Stevens asked the State Department for two Security Teams to protect US personnel in Benghazi (the request was rejected). On June 10th, the British Ambassador survived an assassination attempt on his convoy and Al Qaeda Terrorists openly rallied in Benghazi (the British Consulate in Benghazi was closed after the assassination attempt).

On July 9th, Ambassador Stevens mad a request for 13 more security personnel to protect the Benghazi Consulate. Instead, to protect the embattled diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the State Department hired the Libyan Militia Group, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, that had clear Al Q’ieda sympathies; they were hired to protect the Consulate, even though it had prominently displayed the black Al Q’ieda flag on its Facebook page for many months.

On July 21th, the Regional State Department Security Officer warned the State Department that the risk to the US Consulate in Benghazi was HIGH.

On August 2nd, Ambassador Stevens sent another urgent cable directly to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton requesting a “protective bodyguard detail” for him because he was in danger.

On August 5th, the State Department ordered the “removal” of Ambassador Stevens Security Team.

On August 15th, there was an emergency meeting in the US Consulate in Benghazi on security matters.

On August 16th, the Regional Security Officer sent a direct E-mail to Secretary of State Clinton warning of the dire security situation developing in Benghazi.

On September 8th, the Benghazi Security Officer warned the Department of State and the Secretary of State of imminent attacks.

On September 10th, the Al Qaeda Leader, Ayman al-Zawahri publically called for Libyans to avenge the death of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri’s deputy, Abu Yahya al-Lib, on September 11, 2013, the anniversary of the Al Q’ieda terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York.

On September 11th:

Ambassador Stevens warned the State Department via cable of the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi, and meets with a Turkish diplomat at 7:30 PM in the Benghazi Consulate.

At 8:00 PM, Al Qaeda terrorists set up check points around the Benghazi Consulate. At 8:30 PM. Ambassador Stevens ended his meeting with the Turkish diplomat.

At 9:40 PM, terrorist fire the first shots in the coordinated attack on the Benghazi Consulate, and Ambassador Stevens called Hicks in Tripoli to tell him that he was now under attack by terrorists, and asked for help.

At 9:59 PM, the Pentagon ordered a surveillance drone to overfly the Benghazi Consulate; from that point on, the White House Situation Room, the CIA, the State Department, and the Pentagon could view live video feed of the ongoing attack in Benghazi (the live feed continued for 8 hours with a second relief surveillance drone).

At 10:05 PM, the Benghazi Consulate was in flames for all to see on live video feed, and messages were being transmitted between the White House, the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon.

At 00:06 AM on September 12th, Ansar Al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the attack on the Consulate.

At 1:00 AM, on September 12th, the body of Ambassador Stevens was transported to the hospital by friendly local Libyans for medical attention; that was 3 hours and 20 minutes after the attack began.

At 4:00 AM, on September 12th, two Navy Seals were killed on the roof of the Consul Annex; that was 6 hours and 20 minutes after the attack began.

On September 12th, at 3:00 PM Washington, DC time, about 3 hours after the Navy SEALs were killed, Obama departed for a Las Vegas fundraising rally.

THE MILITARY SUPPORT THAT WAS AVAILABLE:

It is a well-known fact that F-16 fighter aircraft based in Aviano, Italy could have arrive over the scene of the attack on the Consulate in 90 minutes, and could have retaliated against the Al Qaeda terrorists to save the lives of those under attack. In addition, there was also a 130-man US Marine Corps Marine Force Recon Team at Sigonella, Italy that was on the tarmac, ready for deployment, which could have arrived at the compound within 2 hours. General Carter Ham, Commander African Command, was relieved of his command, when he ignored the White House’s order to “stand down”, and tried to send a military reaction force to save the lives of the Americans under attack, which was only several hours away.

General Petraeus at CIA put out an urgent request for military assistance to the White House, in order to save American lives, but the White House ignored his request. The entire attack was viewed by live video feed from two separate drones overflying the on-going attack for 8 hours; one of those drones could have been armed and to strike the terrorist. For 8 months 32 survivors of the attack, whose lives were saved by the two Navy SEALS, have relayed their fear of intimidation from the Obama Administration; they hired attorneys and informed congressmen that they have been threatened and were warned not to testify as to what actually happened leading up to, during, and following the Benghazi attack. The Foreign Emergency Support Team that is required to be called up by the Secretary of State, to arrive a US Mission within 48 hours to preserve and protect all forensic evidence after an attack for FBI investigation, was never called up by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and 8 months later, the Foreign Emergency Support Team still has not been called up.

THE COVER-UP:

Even before the attack in Libya ended, intelligence officials pieced together the puzzle of the events unfolding in Benghazi, and concluded that Q’ieda-linked terrorists were responsible for the attack; the Obama administration asked to modify the findings. Senior Obama Administration Officials in the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House, sought to cover-up the emerging picture and downplayed the significance of the attack just before the national election. On September 15, three days after the Navy SEALs were killed by Al Qaeda, and everyone in Obama’s National Security apparatus knew the attack was perpetrated by Al Qaeda terrorists; Obama publicly blamed the attack on Libyan civilians, who he said were demonstrating against a YouTube video on the Internet.

The next day, on the morning of September 16th, UN Ambassador Susan Rice in 5 Sunday morning TV network programs, stated the attack was by Libyan civilians demonstrating against a YouTube video on the Internet, even though she knew that Al Qaeda terrorist executed the attack. On the same day, Susan Rice kept repeating the same lie, over and over again, the Libyan President reported to the world press that the attack that killed US Ambassador Stevens and two Navy SEALs was planned and executed by terrorist. Four days later, on September 20th, once again Obama blamed the attack on civilians demonstrating against a YouTube video on he Internet. On September 25st, even though he knew it was a lie, Obama, in a speech at the UN, blamed the attack on Libyan civilians who were demonstrating against a YouTube video on the Internet. On October 10th, the State Department said they had no previous warnings of the September 11th attack on the Benghazi Consulate.

The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen, who headed up the Accountability Review Board, the Obama Administration’s Official Investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack.

His official report, alleged that for over an 8 hour period, no military assistance was available or could be deployed in time to oppose the Al Q’ieda terrorist attack. That unconscionable and flagrant lie by Mullen has been proven to be a false whitewash  and was only inserted in the report, to give the Obama Administration’s political cover for the deceitful and shameful failure by a Commander-in-Chief’s dereliction of duty; he ignored repeated and desperate requests for help from Ambassador Stevens and the two Navy SEALs, requesting protection of their lives and the lives of State Department personnel under attack in Benghazi by Al Qaeda terrorists. The then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, the current head of the CIA John Brennan, and the National Security Agency have all been involved in a massive cover-up; they all knew full well that F-16 fighters support was just 90 minutes away and that other military reaction teams were just several hours away.

Mullen knows that his statement that military protective support was not available was a cover-up. Mullen’s report covered up the murder of two Navy SEALs. He disgraced the Navy uniform he once wore.

RELATED COLUMNS:

Clinton kept counterterrorism out of loop, Benghazi testimony will show

24 September 2012: Body of lies from Benghazi to Barack
5 October 2012: Diplomatic Deception
8 October 2012: Lemmings… At the precipice of WW III
23 October 2012: Death Race Damascus: 13 Days in October
26 October 2012: The hidden real truth about Benghazi
29 October 2012: Obama’s October surprise – exposed by Benghazi?
1 November 2012: Abandoning America’s honor
5 November 2012: Obama’s real world game of Risk
10 November 2012: Cover-up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
11 November 2012: The “secret” information by Paula Broadwell
13 November 2013: Sex, Lies and Obama Ben Ghazi – A Shakespearean tragedy
27 November 2012: Benghazi explained: Interview with “Intelligence Insider” (Part I)
29 November 2012: Benghazi explained: Interview with “Intelligence Insider” (Part II)
11 December 2012: Benghazi explained: Interview with “Intelligence Insider” (Part III)
2 December 2012: Behind the lies of Benghazi
4 December 2012: Chemical weapons reports in Syria, exactly as warned
19 December 2012: The wretched absurdity of the Benghazi Report
8 January 2013: Flashing red lies of Benghazi
24 January 2013: Running down the clock on Benghazi
21 February 2013: Brennan: From Barack to Benghazi
25 April 2013: Benghazi Report: Trinkets of Treason

The complete Benghazi timeline courtesy of the American Thinker in spreadsheet form:

For a larger view click on the image.

Florida’s Internet sales tax

According to NOLO, the online legal encyclopedia, “The Internet takes tax-free shopping to a new level. In fact, no-tax shopping has become a prime lure of online retailers looking to hook consumers on click-and-charge buying. Despite what you sometimes hear, however, some Internet sales are subject to sales tax, and even when a site doesn’t collect sales tax, consumers are technically responsible for remitting any unpaid sales tax on online purchases directly to their state.”

For information on the Internet sales tax laws for each state, see NOLO’s Internet Sales Tax: A 50-State Guide to State Laws.

NOLO states, “The current default rule throughout the United States is that you must collect sales tax on Internet sales to customers in those states where your business has a “physical presence.” The physical-presence rule is based on a 1992 United States Supreme Court decisionQuill Corp. v. North Dakota, that addressed the obligations of mail-order businesses to collect sales tax on out-of-state sales. The decision has been extended to include online retailers.”

NOLO reports in its column “Florida Internet Sales Tax“, “A more specific statement of what counts as physical presence under Florida law can be found among the various definitions of “dealer” (meaning a person or entity required to pay sales tax) in Section 212.06 of Florida’s sales and use tax law. More particularly, a ‘dealer’ under this law includes ‘any person . . . who maintains or has within [Florida], directly or by a subsidiary, an office, distributing house, salesroom, or house, warehouse, or other place of business’.”

Senator Nancy Detert, R-FL District 28.

Senator Nancy Detert, Florida District 28, introduced SB 0316: Taxes. SB 0316 states:

Taxes; Reducing the tax rate applied to the sale of communications services; reducing the tax rate applied to retail sales of direct-to-home satellite services; revising the term “mail order sale” to specifically include sales of tangible personal property ordered through the Internet; providing that certain persons who make mail order sales and who have a nexus with this state are subject to this state’s power to levy and collect the sales and use tax when they engage in certain enumerated activities, etc.

NOLO notes that in 2012:

“The Florida legislature recently considered amending the state’s legal definition of a mail-order sale so that Internet “dealers” who do not have a physical presence in the state would nonetheless have to pay Florida sales tax. Laws of this sort have been considered in various forms in various states. They are sometimes referred to as “Amazon laws.”

[ … ]

More particularly, earlier this year the Florida legislature considered amending the state’s sales and use tax law to require out-of-state “dealers” without a physical presence in Florida, but with so-called “click-through” arrangements with persons in Florida, to nonetheless collect sales tax. Such a dealer would need to collect sales tax from Florida customers if that dealer:

  • had an agreement with one or more Florida residents to direct potential buyers to the dealer via a website link
  • compensated the Florida residents for directing potential buyers to the online dealer, and
  • the dealer’s “cumulative gross receipts” from such directed sales to Florida customers exceeded $10,000 within the preceding 12 months

However, the proposed legislation was never enacted. It remains unclear whether similar legislation will be re-introduced in the future.

We know that Senator Detert did introduce this legislation during the 2013 session.

Final Words from NOLO:

The issue of whether to require online retailers to collect sales tax in a state where they have no physical presence has been a matter of ongoing debate. At this time, however, Florida has not enacted any law that would require such retailers to collect sales tax from Florida customers.

In Florida, the physical-presence rule continues to apply for Internet retailers. However, because the issue remains contentious, you should consider checking in periodically with the Florida Department of Revenue to see if the rules have changed. Also, for more general information on taxes on Internet sales, see Nolo’s article Sales Tax on the Internet.

The Gang of Eight Immigration Bill, Explained in One Info-graphic

The Heritage Foundation reports, “Senators return to Washington next week to debate the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration bill. Heritage President Jim DeMint has said the bill is ‘unfair, it costs too much, and it’s going to make the problem worse’.”

The below video is testimony before the US Senate by the ICE Union Chief, Chris Crane, in his testimony on the 884 page new Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). The ICE Union won an initial court victory in its lawsuit against the Obama Administration. Federal Judge Federal Judge Reed O’Connor told the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that they had no power to refuse to deport illegal aliens.

Crane testifies before the Senate expressing his concern that law enforcement was shut out of the negotiations on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

Crane testified the Act is flawed as currently written because it:

(1) does not provide for tamper proof Federal ID cards to keep track of illegal aliens

(2) does not have any provision to arrest and remove 400,000 criminal Illegal Aliens who are fugitives from justice with felony warrants

(3) does not deal with the inability of the federal government’s bureaucracy to process 18+ million Illegal aliens when the federal government hasn’t even been able to process 900,000 Veterans disability claims over a 4 year period

(4) does nothing to make Universities report (which should be under threat of felony criminal charges) the names and locations of the hundreds of thousands foreign students like the terrorists who were involved in the Boston bombing who no longer attend college classes

(5) does nothing to provide a means to cover the $6 trillion cost of the flawed 884 page Act according to research by the Heritage Foundation (the Senate Bill intentionally misled the American people by saying it would cost $22.5 billion)

(6) doesn’t cover the cost because the Senate bill provides for charging each of the 18+ million illegal aliens $500.00 when the real cost per illegal is $335,000.00

(7) intentionally misleads the American people by saying the Act would not be enacted until the border was secured when there is no provision to guarantee the border is secure after 29 years of failed promise (THE ONLY ORGANIZATION THAT CAN BE TRUSTED TO VERIFY THE BORDER HAS BEEN CLOSED IS THE ICE UNION)

(8) flagrantly discriminates against nearly 4 million unemployed Veterans by giving employers a $3000 tax credit for employing illegal aliens and relieves them from having to cover illegal aliens under the Obama Health Care law without giving those same benefits to unemployed US citizens

(9) does absolutely nothing to locate the many terrorists in the US among the 18+ million illegal aliens like the Chechen terrorists, the Times Square bomber, the first World Trade Union bombers in 1993, and Major Hassan who had all been affected by the Islam jihadists outreach program underway in the US by remaining under the radar scope of CIA and the FBI’s Watch Lists (the requirement in the Act for a tamper proof Federal ID card requiring fingerprints would help locate those terrorist suspects)

(10) does not provide provisions to prevent 80 million unskilled relatives of the 18+ million illegal aliens form coming into the US which would destroy the fragile US Welfare system & bankrupt the Republic

(11) does not have a provision to deport anyone who fails in their application (Mohammed Salameh who applied for amnesty in 1984 but was turned down was a co-conspirator in the in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993)

(12) does not provide annual quotas to process applicants so the crush of applicants won’t bring the process to a full stop, and does not have provisions in it to do a thorough background investigation of applicant from high threat countries/regions.

Heritage put together an info-graphic that explains some of the major problems with a ‘comprehensive’ approach to immigration reform. Forward this to a friend to share these concerns.

What's Wrong withthe Gang of Eight's Bill?

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Georgia Billboard calls out Florida Senator Rubio

Elizabeth Llorente from Fox News Latino reports:

A billboard taking aim at U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is expected to be installed next week in Georgia, said the head of a conservative group that is behind the effort.

The group is unhappy with the Florida lawmaker because of his central role in a bipartisan Senate bill that seeks to reform U.S. immigration laws by, among other things, tightening enforcement, expanding the guest worker program and providing undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.

It is his support for giving undocumented immigrants an opportunity to legalize – while continuing to live and work in the United States – that most upsets them.

“There’s the betrayal factor,” said D.A. King, who helped draft several of Georgia’s anti-illegal immigration laws. “It’s a mystery to us why he’s still considered a conservative.”

“In his race for the Senate, Rubio said that he would never support any amnesty,” said King, head of the The Dustin Inman Society, described as a non-partisan coalition of citizens against illegal immigration. “If there was any real intention to secure the borders it would have been done after 1986, or after 2007 in preparation for what is happening now.”

Read more.

ABOUT THE DUSTIN INMAN SOCIETY:

With a focus on Georgia, The Dustin Inman Society is dedicated to educating the public and our elected officials on the consequences of illegal immigration, our unsecured borders and the breakdown of the rule of law in our Republic.

Named for one of the thousands of Americans who have paid the ultimate price for those unsecured borders, The Dustin Inman Society is a non-partisan coalition of citizens of all ethnicities and from all walks of life who recognize that illegal immigration and homeland security are the most critical issues in America today.

The obvious illegal immigration crisis is not a “federal problem” – it is a national problem – with Georgia having one of the largest populations of illegal aliens and criminal employers in the nation.

Florida Sheriff wants you to spy on your neighbor

The Palm Beach Post reports. “Florida House and Senate budget leaders have awarded Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw $1 million for a new violence prevention unit aimed at preventing tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., from occurring on his turf.”

The only problem is Sheriff Bradshaw wants “local citizens to report their neighbors, friends or family members if they fear they could harm themselves or others.”

This goes well beyond reporting criminal activity and has civil rights activists up in arms.

According to Dara Kam and Stacy Singer from The Palm Beach Post:

Mental health advocates, however, worry about a potential new source of stigma, and the potential for erosion of the civil rights of people with mental illnesses.

“How are they possibly going to watch everybody who makes a comment like that? It’s subjective,” said Liz Downey, executive director of the Palm Beach County branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “We don’t want to take away people’s civil liberties just because people aren’t behaving the way we think they should be.”

Bradshaw acknowledged the risk that anyone in a messy divorce or in a dispute with a neighbor could abuse the hotline. But, he said, he’s confident that his trained professionals will know how to sort out fact from fiction.

“We know how to sift through frivolous complaints,” he said.

The proposal still needs the blessing of Gov. Rick Scott, who has line-item veto authority.

Ann Berner, CEO of the Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network, which manages mental health care payments for the state warned, “To be successful, however, there will have to be close coordination with the mental health providers, she said. For example, the county already pays for mobile crisis response teams at two nonprofit mental health providers, a service that includes a 24-hour crisis call center. They, too, are trained to de-escalate conflicts and refer troubled people to care. Which ones will respond when there’s a call from a school or a home? That will have to be clarified.”

“Also, after troubled people are identified by Bradshaw’s teams, then what? Who will pay for their care? The state? Medicaid? The county?” ask Kam and Singer. I would add to this list: Who is liable for false reports or claims? What happens if a citizen is injured during a false report? What happens to a person who files a false report.

In 2002 there was a movie starring Tom Cruise called Minority Report. The idea of “pre-crime” detection did not work out well there.

Police departments worldwide have seen the 911 calling system misused. The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (CPOP) has looked at 911 call misuse and abuse.

According to the CPOP website “911 misuse and abuse is divided into two categories: unintentional and intentional calls.” For example there is a serious problem with phantom 911 calls. “The National Emergency Number Association reports that phantom wireless calls account for between 25 and 70 percent of all 911 calls in some U.S. communities. The California Highway Patrol (currently the handler of nearly all California wireless 911 calls) estimates that between 1.8 million and 3.6 million of the 6 million wireless 911 calls it receives annually are phantom. U.K. police estimate they receive 11,000 phantom wireless calls per day to their 999 emergency number. The wide data variations highlight the need for further research to pinpoint the scale of the problem,” the CPOP report notes.

Will this open the floodgates for false calls?

WA Attorney General takes action against Florida Gun Owners

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D)

Marion P. Hammer, United Sportsmen of Florida Executive Director (USF) and National Rifle Association (NRA) Past President, sent an email to Florida members stating, “Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) … has recently demonstrated an anti-gun and anti-veteran position, by revoking reciprocity with Florida for concealed weapons and firearms license holders.”

Hammer states, “The punitive action against gun-owners who have Florida licenses to carry concealed weapons or firearms was taken because Florida has honored members of the armed forces and veterans.”

“In 2012, Florida passed legislation to recognize the men and women of our armed services who have served our nation honorably. Our nation trains 18 year old men and women in firearms proficiency then sends them off to war and asks them to give their lives, if necessary, in the cause of Freedom,” notes Hammer.

Hammer laments, “When they have served our nation honorably and returned home to private life, it is unconscionable to tell them our state will not allow them to qualify for a concealed weapons and firearms license so they may protect themselves and their family because they have not yet reached the age of 21.”

The Florida legislature lowered the minimum age requirement from 21 to 18 years of age for those men and women who have served our nation and have been honorably discharged from the service. This age waiver only applies to veterans.  Every other Florida citizen must be 21 years of age or older.

Hammer wrote, “Because of this recognition of special circumstances involving our brave military men and women, Attorney General Ferguson has chosen to revoke reciprocity with Florida for concealed weapons and firearms license holders. Florida has honored our veterans, and for that, all law-abiding Florida license holders have been punished by Attorney General Ferguson.”

Hammer is asking Floridians consider “urging the Attorney General to reinstate reciprocity with Florida and once again recognize our licenses as valid in Washington State.”

Those interested may call Attorney General Ferguson at (360) 753-2702 or send an e-mail to Assistant Attorney General Susan Pierini at: SusanP1@atg.wa.gov

5 Ways the Immigration Bill Is Like Obamacare

The Heritage Foundation reports:

Congress rammed Obamacare through without many Members even reading the bill. Now it’s applying that same frantic, complex, pie-in-the-sky legislating to immigration. The similarities are frightening.

1. Extreme Costs

The Government Accountability Office now projects that under the most realistic scenario, Obamacare will add $6.2 trillion to the primary deficit over the next 75 years. That’s a staggering figure, especially considering the fact that President Obama pledged in 2009, “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits—either now or in the future.”

The Gang of Eight’s immigration plan granting amnesty to those unlawfully in the U.S. will cost already burdened American taxpayers more than they can bear. When he last crunched the numbers during the 2007 amnesty debate, Heritage’s Robert Rector calculated that a general amnesty would cost some $2.5 trillion—after considering what legalized immigrants would likely pay in taxes and receive in government benefits and services. His updated research on the latest proposal, due out soon, is likely to find a higher price tag in 2013.

2. False Promises 

Remember President Obama’s promise that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it”? That’s just one of the most famous (or infamous) broken promises of Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office projects 7 million people will lose their employer-sponsored coverage by 2022 because of the law.

On immigration, Heritage President Jim DeMint told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow this week: “ I’ve heard a lot of promises about bills that have gone through Congress. …The only thing that I know about this bill is that it’s going to give legal status and eventual citizenship to those who came here unlawfully. The rest are just promises.” One of those promises is border security—as Heritage’s James Jay Carafano explains, the bill would not actually secure the border.

Watch Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint explain the problems with the Gang of Eight bill

3. Have to Pass It to See What’s In It

Nancy Pelosi wasn’t kidding when she said Congress would have to pass Obamacare “to see what’s in it.” That’s because the bill gave federal agencies free rein to write regulations that would become the real-world version of the law—and even though it passed in 2010, the regulations are still being written today.

The immigration bill does the same thing—it gives over congressional authority to federal agencies, allowing unelected bureaucrats to think up all the details later.

Obamacare_Immigration_v1

Tweet this graphic

4. Piles on Already Broken—and Broke—Entitlement Programs

Obamacare plans to add millions of people to the Medicaid rolls—the largest expansion ever to this problematic program, which is already unsustainable and needs vital reforms.

Likewise, the immigration bill would add millions to the number of people on various taxpayer-funded benefits, from Medicare and Social Security to welfare. As DeMint said, “These programs are already broke. Our country is already $17 trillion in debt. This will be a net loss, a huge cost to taxpayers.”

5. Perks for Special Interests

Whenever the legislative process turns fast and furious, Members of Congress start loading on special-interest deals that are less likely to be noticed in the chaos. Obamacare was full of favors for Big Labor. Now, the immigration bill is carrying all sorts of special-interest goodies—not to mention a bonanza for immigration lawyers.

This isn’t the way Congress should make laws. It’s only making the same mistakes all over again—and we’ll be paying for them.

Read the Morning Bell and more en Español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Soldiers of faith told Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Florida has twenty-one military installations, and is home to U.S. Central Command at MacDill AFB in Tampa. Florida has over 1.6 million veterans who reside in the state. The military is a major factor in Florida’ economy.

The morale and welfare of those active duty military in Florida is of importance to the national security of the nation. So why has the U.S. military become a social change petri dish?

Ken Klukowski from Breitbart reports, “The Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis…”.

Klukowski reported in an earlier column, “‘Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.’ Those words were recently written by Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), in a column he wrote for the Huffington Post. Weinstein will be a consultant to the Pentagon to develop new policies on religious tolerance, including a policy for court-martialing military chaplains who share the Christian Gospel during spiritual counseling of American troops.”

“Weinstein then endorses the ultra-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), who publishes a list of “hate groups.” Alongside truly deplorable organizations like the KKK, the SPLC’s list includes a host of traditional Christian organizations (for their support of traditional marriage) and Tea Party organizations (for supporting limited government). Weinstein says SPLC correctly labels them all as ‘hate groups’,” writes Klukowski.

Klukowski states, “This regulation would severely limit expressions of faith in the military, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends. It could also effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military, as it would not allow chaplains (or any service members, for that matter), to say anything about their faith that others say led them to think they were being encouraged to make faith part of their life. It’s difficult to imagine how a member of the clergy could give spiritual counseling without saying anything that might be perceived in that fashion.”

In response to the Pentagon’s plans, retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, who is now executive vice president of the Family Research Council (FRC), said on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning:

It’s a matter of what do they mean by “proselytizing.” …I think they’ve got their definitions a little confused. If you’re talking about coercion that’s one thing, but if you’re talking about the free exercise of our faith as individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, especially for the chaplains, they I think the worst thing we can do is stop the ability for a soldier to be able to exercise his faith.”

 The FRC was attacked by domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins II who used the SPLC list of hate groups to pick his targets. “Southern Poverty Law lists anti-gay groups,” Corkins tells interrogators in the below video, which FRC obtained from the FBI. “I found them online, did a little research, went to the website, stuff like that.”

Florida Case Worker: Illegal Aliens Got Food Stamps by the “Vanload”

Judicial Watch reports:

For decades the U.S. government has knowingly given illegal immigrants food stamps, according to a former certification case worker who denounced the costly practice back in the 1980s but was essentially ordered to keep a lid on it.

The retired assistant case manager, Craig McNees, was in charge of vetting food-stamp applicants in north Florida and Indiana in the ’80s and says the program was infested with fraud and corruption that was perpetually ignored by management. “Illegals would come in by the vanload and we were told to give them their stuff,” McNees said. “Management knew very well they were illegal. It was so rampant that some employees would tell their illegal relatives to come get food stamps.”

McNees contacted Judicial Watch after reading documents obtained by JW from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) detailing how the agency is working with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal aliens in the U.S. food stamp program. The effort includes a Spanish-language flyer provided to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA ensuring that Mexicans in the U.S. don’t need to declare their immigration status to get financial assistance from Uncle Sam.

The documents ignited outrage considering the nation’s food stamp program has exploded under President Obama, who claims there are too many “food insecure households” in America. To correct the problem the administration has spent millions on ad campaigns promoting food stamps and has rewarded states with multi-million-dollar bonuses for signing up recipients. It’s been quite effective because American taxpayers spent an astounding $80.4 billion on the program in 2012 and a record number of people—46 million and growing—get free groceries from Uncle Sam.

The retired case worker who contacted JW says in the three years he worked in a Sarasota food-stamp office, he found more than 500 cases of fraud but management ignored them all instead pushing a yearly quota. “They just said that if we don’t give out as many as last year, we don’t get our money,” McNees said. “It was crazy, like a three-ring circus; like the inmates were running the asylum.”

Decades later it seems little has changed as Obama promotes the program like there’s no tomorrow. In fact, last summer a federal audit revealed that many who don’t qualify for food stamps receive them under a special “broad-based” eligibility program that disregards income and asset requirements. That means American taxpayers are getting stuck with a multi-million-dollar tab to feed hundreds of thousands who can well afford to feed themselves.

Adding insult to injury, last spring the USDA Inspector General revealed that many food-stamp recipients use their welfare benefit to buy drugs, weapons and other contraband from unscrupulous vendors. Some trade food stamps for reduced amounts of cash, the USDA watchdog told Congress, disclosing that the fraud has cost taxpayers nearly $200 million. None of this surprises McNees, who claims he witnessed so much fraud as a food-stamp case worker that he “could write a book.”