[Nine-12-Project-Nashville] This Saturday in Chattanooga

If you’d care to be part of local planning among the alliance of 912/Tea Party and Liberty groups, join us Saturday.


Summit Venue: http://www.gardenplazagreenbriarcove.com/
Garden Plaza of Greenbriar Cove
4586 Forsythia Way
Ooltewah, TN 37363
(423) 396-5100
EVERYONE in the Liberty/TEA Party Movement is INVITED TO ATTEND but not the General Public at this event.

((Also in this attached file link: http://gallery.mailchimp.com/8e9fc4a24dcdc7b98f41a1085/files/543c61c1-3c33-44e5-926c-357792741dcf.pdf ))

SATURDAY June 28, 2014
Tennessee Alliance of TEA Party & Liberty Groups Summit in Chattanooga, TN.
8:00 AM to 8:05 AM Opening Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance Deacon EVERYONE
8:05 AM to 8:10 AM Opening comments, Introduction of the Master of Ceremonies Mark West, Ray Comeaux, Kevin Desmond EVERYONE
8:10 AM to 9:50 AM Annexation & Education Legislation Successes- Lessons Learned-How did we succeed and how can we utilize these lessons going forward. Rep. Mike Carter, Rep. Tim Hill and D.H. Andrew EVERYONE
9:50AM to 10:00AM Update from the Joe Carr Senate Campaign Joe Carr Representative EVERYONE
10:00AM to 10:15AM BREAK
10:15 AM to 10:45 AM Eminent Domain Land Foreclosure Rep. Frank Nicely EVERYONE
10:45 AM to 11:15 AM Forfeiture Laws on Private Property without a conviction. June Griffin EVERYONE
11:15 AM to 12:00 Noon Nullification of errant big government Policy/Practice: Removal of Supreme Court Justices Mark Gill, Andy Andrew, Mark West, TNJAJ’s.Ammon Smartt EVERYONE
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM LUNCH
1:00 PM to 1:30 PM Judicial Purging Lee Douglas EVERYONE
1:30 PM to 2:00 PM TEA Party Candidates running for office. Short introduction by each. Various persons EVERYONE
1:30 PM to 2:00 PM Working session to lay an action plan for Removal of Supreme Court Justices Lee Douglas, Andy Andrew, Kevin Desmond, Mark West, Ray C., Ben Cunningham, Mark Gill, TNJAJ.Ammon Smartt Sideline Working Session
2:00PM to 2:30PM Amendment 2 discussion/actions Andy Andrew EVERYONE
2:30 PM to 2:45 PM BREAK
2:45 PM to 3:30 PM Engaging the masses thru the pulpit:Pastors and Patriots Lee Douglas, Ray C., Pastors EVERYONE
3:30PM to 4:00PM Should we include in our Top Priority list: New Legislation to prevent Islamic Terrorism via mosques and Implementation of Sharia Law in Tennessee?? Other topics to include? Ray Comeaux,Mark West EVERYONE
4:00 PM to 4:30 PM Common Core status and updates Karen Bracken, Jackie Archer EVERYONE
4:30 PM to 4:45 PM Current State of the Country and how AFP can help Americans for Prosperity EVERYONE
4:45 PM to 5:00 PM How Heritage Action can help your group hold Congress accountable Stephen Siao EVERYONE
5:00 PM to 5:05 PM Final Comments Mark West, Kevin Desmond, Ray Comeaux EVERYONE

Summit Venue: http://www.gardenplazagreenbriarcove.com/ ;
Garden Plaza of Greenbriar Cove
4586 Forsythia Way
Ooltewah, TN 37363
(423) 396-5100

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Posted by admin   @   23 June 2014 comments


China Demolishing Christian Churches, Crosses; Canada Diverts Oil to……

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Insider Report from Newsmax.com

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. With No Keystone Pipeline, Canada OKs Oil-to-Asia Plan
2. Professor Axed for Calling Climate Change ‘Unproved Science’
3. Hispanics More Than 20% of Population in 7 States
4. China Demolishing Christian Churches and Crosses
5. Railroad Unions Threaten Strike Over ‘Unfair Demands’
6. Mayweather Is World’s Highest-Paid Athlete


1. With No Keystone Pipeline, Canada OKs Oil-to-Asia Plan

Disappointed by the Obama administration’s decision to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Canadian government has approved the construction of a major pipeline to deliver oil to Asia.

The Northern Gateway project will run 732 miles from the oil sands in landlocked Alberta across British Columbia to a new marine terminal in the Pacific Coast town of Kitmat, according to global news agency AFP.

It would transport about 525,000 barrels of oil daily for shipment across the Pacific to Asia, most likely to China.

If approved, the Keystone XL pipeline could carry 700,000 barrels a day from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was “profoundly disappointed” that President Barack Obama has delayed a decision on the Keystone and added that Canada needed to diversify its oil exports, which now go almost entirely to the United States.

As long ago as December 2011, Harper disclosed that he had warned American officials that if Obama put the Keystone on hold, his government would ship Canadian oil to Asian markets

He told CTV News: “I am very serious about selling our oil off this continent, selling our energy products off to Asia.”

But opponents in British Columbia have threatened to block the pipeline over fears that it would make the province vulnerable to an oil spill, damaging the scenic coastline, The New York Times reported.

About 220 large oil tankers would visit the Kitmat facility if the Northern Gateway project is built.

Enbridge, the company that would build the pipeline, must meet about 100 conditions imposed by a regulator before construction can begin, according to the Times.

The government’s approval is predicated on Enbridge fulfilling those conditions.

According to AFP, the project will cost $7.3 billion.

Editor’s Note:

2. Professor Axed for Calling Climate Change ‘Unproved Science’

Dr. Caleb Rossiter was removed from his post as an Associate Fellow at the progressive Institute for Policy Studies days after a newspaper published his opinion piece calling man-made global warming an “unproved science.”

Rossiter is an adjunct professor at American University in Washington, D.C. He has taught courses on climate statistics, and holds a Ph.D. in policy analysis and a master’s degree in mathematics.

In a Wall Street Journal article published on May 4, he urged an expansion of carbon-based energy in Africa.

“I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics,” he wrote. “Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperatures from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.

“The left wants to stop industrialization — even if the hypothesis of catastrophic man-made global warming is false.

“We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa?”

He concludes that it would be “terrible to think that so many people in the West” would block carbon-based energy in Africa “in the name of unproved science.”

On May 7, Rossiter received an email from the Institute for Policy Studies, which describes itself as “a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment” in the United States and globally.

It began: “Dear Caleb, We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow.

“Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable.”

In an exclusive interview with the Climate Depot website, Rossiter said: “If people ever say that fears of censorship from ‘climate change’ views are overblown, have them take a look at this: Just days after I published a piece in The Wall Street Journal calling for Africa to be allowed the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy we have in the U.S., the Institute for Policy Studies terminated my 23-year relationship with them.

“I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis,” he said. “When I countered a claim of ‘rapidly accelerating’ temperature change with the IPCC’s own data, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause, the best response I ever got was ‘Caleb, I don’t have time for this.'”

On May 13, Rossiter wrote a blog on his own website headlined “The debate is finally over on ‘global warming’ — because nobody will debate.”

He wrote: “My blood simply boils too hot when I read the blather, daily, about climate catastrophe.

“Obama has long been delusional on this issue, speaking of a coming catastrophe. But he really went off the chain in his State of the Union address this year: ‘For the sake of our children and our future.'”

Editor’s Note:

3. Hispanics More Than 20% of Population in 7 States

Hispanics make up 47 percent of the population in New Mexico and 30.2 percent in Arizona — but those percentages actually constitute a decrease compared to the demographics in 1870.

Back then, 89.9 percent of the population in New Mexico was Hispanic. And in 1900, 60 percent was Hispanic and 23 percent white.

In Arizona, while 60.9 percent of the population was Hispanic in 1870, that figure had fallen to 16 percent in1980. But the Hispanic population has now rebounded and their share has nearly doubled since then, the Pew Research Center reported.

Spaniards explored New Mexico and Arizona in the 1500s, and these areas became part of Mexico in 1821 when it gained its independence from Spain. They became U.S. territories in 1848 following the Mexican-American War.

Colorado also had a higher percentage of Hispanics in 1870, 29.8 percent, compared to 21 percent today. The current figures are based on 2012 estimates.

Hispanics comprise at least 20 percent of the population in four other states as well: California (38 percent), Texas (38 percent), Nevada (27 percent), and Florida (23 percent).

Hispanics were projected to become the largest racial or ethnic group in California this year, with 39 percent Hispanic and 38.8 percent white, making California only the second state — New Mexico is the other — where Hispanics are the plurality. Texas could join them within a decade, according to one projection cited by Pew.

The Hispanic population in Nevada has soared from 4 percent in 1960 to 27 percent today, and in Florida from 3 percent in 1960 to 23 percent.

Nationwide, the Hispanic population has increased nearly sixfold since 1970, to 53 million today.

Editor’s Note:

4. China Demolishing Christian Churches and Crosses

Officials in China’s Zhejiang province have launched what Christian activists call an “anti-church” campaign that has reportedly damaged or demolished some 360 church buildings and crosses.

One recent attack on China’s Christian community came with officials’ attempts to remove a cross from the Guantou church in Wenzhou.

Wenzhou, a port city on the South China Sea, has for centuries been a hub of Christian missionary activity and is known as “China’s Jerusalem.” Before 1949, it was home to around 115,000 Christians, more than one-tenth of China’s total at the time.

On June 11, security guards with batons and riot shields were deployed to prevent members of the Guantou church from entering the building and attempting to halt the removal of a large red cross from one of the church’s domes, The Telegraph reported.

The demolition workers were forced to retreat after church members got past the security personnel and disconnected the power supply. Several churchgoers were slightly injured in the scuffle.

But the demolition workers returned early on Tuesday, and the cross “was secretly taken down between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.,” said Zheng Legou, a local church leader.

Officials had threatened to tear down the entire church — as they did with the Sanjiang church in Wenzhou in April — if church members tried to stop the removal a second time, Zheng claimed.

The Telegraph published a photo showing a crane lifting a large red cross from the church. Another photo showed the damaged cross discarded on the church grounds.

Another church in Wenzhou scheduled to open to worshippers next year had its cross removed on June 15, according to The Telegraph.

Authorities have notified at least 15 churches that if they don’t remove their crosses by the end of June they will face demolition, according to China Aid, a Christian advocacy group that claims some 360 church buildings and crosses have already been attacked.

Activists believe the Communist Party is attempting to rein in the growth of Christianity.

The government maintains that the demolition campaign is aimed at all illegal buildings and “eyesores” and not just churches. But government documents obtained by The New York Times disclose that the campaign is intended to bring “excessive religious sites” and “overly popular” religious activities under control.

Christian activists are increasingly convinced, The Telegraph observes, that the “anti-church” campaign in Zhejiang “may be a precursor for similar actions across the country.”

Editor’s Note:

5. Railroad Unions Threaten Strike Over ‘Unfair Demands’

Members of the seven unions that staff the Long Island Rail Road earn an average of $83,794 a year plus benefits and have been offered an 11 percent raise over six years.

But they are demanding 17 percent and threatening to go on strike if they don’t get it.

The state-run railroad is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and carries 81 million riders a year.

The 11 percent raise that the MTA has offered the 5,850 union members is similar to what the larger subway and bus unions received.

The MTA also wants to raise the retirement age for new employees by a year, to 63; raise new workers’ pension contributions to 5.2 percent of wages; and change some work rules driving up costs.

“But the unions want to be paid ‘appropriate value’ for any such changes, which sort of defeats the point,” writes Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor for the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.

In an article published by the New York Post, Gelinas notes that LIRR workers make more than employees at other MTA divisions — on average, 17.6 percent more a year than subway and bus workers.

They comprise 21 percent of the MTA’s top-paid employees, not including management, while making up only 9 percent of the MTA workforce, and make up 36 percent of MTA workers who at least doubled their base pay due to overtime.

In fact, 28 percent of LIRR workers made more than $100,000 in 2013, not including pension benefits for life “that a regular commuter would have to save $1.2 million in a retirement pot to guarantee,” Gelinas observes. “That’s right: The average LIRR retiree is effectively a millionaire.”

Because the LIRR is a federal railroad, the dispute can go to federal mediation, and the federally appointed mediators have taken the unions’ side.

“The Obama folks think it’s okay for ‘working class’ workers who make an average of $83,794 — plus enjoy pension and health benefits that normal people can only dream of — to get big raises without having to give anything back,” Gelinas also states.

The strike threat comes following revelations of LIRR workers’ $1 billion disability-fraud scheme.

Authorities in the past two years arrested 33 doctors, consultants, and former workers involved in the scheme, CBS News reported. Doctors and consultants helped hundreds of LIRR employees receive sham disability payments by faking career-ending physical ailments.

Several people have been sentenced to prison terms, and officials decided to stop disability payments to nearly 600 retirees, according to the Huffington Post.

The unions originally threatened to strike in July, but say they may delay the walk-off until September.

“There’s no justification for any strike,” Gelinas concludes in her article headlined “Millionaires on Strike? The Unfair Demands of LIRR Unions.”

She adds that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “shouldn’t bow to election-season extortion. Cuomo could benefit politically by standing up for the working folks who depend on the railroad to get to work — and incidentally, pay for LIRR workers’ salaries and benefits.”

Editor’s Note:

6. Mayweather Is World’s Highest-Paid Athlete

Boxer Floyd Mayweather performed in the ring for less than two hours over the past year — and earned $105 million, putting him at the top of Forbes’ new list of the world’s highest-paid athletes.

Mayweather’s September 2013 fight against Canelo Alvarez set records for highest pay-for-view gross ($150 million), live gate ($20 million), and total revenue, about $200 million.

The boxer, who is undefeated as a professional, also won a fight in May of this year. All his earnings came from his fights, and he had no endorsement earnings.

Forbes’ earnings figures include all salaries and bonuses paid out between June 1, 2013, and June 1 of this year. Endorsement incomes are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees, and licensing fees for the 12-month period. Investment income is not included.

Collectively, the 100 highest-paid athletes earned $2.75 billion over the 12 months, up 5 percent over the previous year.

“The rise is a result of rising salaries for elite players as exploding TV rights fees fuel higher revenues across sports around the world,” Forbes observed.

Endorsements totaled $741 million this year.

Baseball players were the most numerous on the list (27), although none made the top 25, followed by basketball (18), football (17), and soccer (15).

Americans accounted for 60 of the top 100 spots.

After Mayweather, the highest-paid athlete is Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays soccer for Real Madrid and earned $80 million, including $52 million in salary.

LeBron James of the NBA’s Miami Heat is No. 3, earning $19.3 million in salary and $53 million thanks to endorsement deals with Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and others, for a total of $72.3 million.

Next is Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi, who earned $64.7 million, including $41.7 million in salary and $23 million in endorsements.

Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant earned $61.5 million, thanks to a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension he signed in November.

Tiger Woods, the first athlete to earn $100 million in a Forbes annual tally, made $61.2 million last year, most of it from endorsement deals.

No. 7 is tennis player Roger Federer, who pocketed $52 million from sponsors, including Nike and Rolex, and had total earnings of $56.2 million.

Golfer Phil Mickelson earned $48 million from appearances and his endorsement partners, including Exxon Mobil, and had total earnings of $53.2 million.

No. 9 is tennis player Rafael Nadal, who made $44.5 million. Matt Ryan of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons is No. 10 with $43.8 million in earnings.

Rounding out the top 15 are Manny Pacquiao (boxing, $41.8 million); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (soccer, $40.4 million); Derrick Rose (basketball, $36.6 million); Gareth Bale (soccer, $36.4 million); and Radamel Falcao (soccer, $35.4 million).

Mickelson is the oldest athlete in the top 100, turning 44 in June, and Brazilian soccer star Neymar is the youngest at 22, ranking No. 16.

The list includes one track and field star, Usain Bolt at No. 45, who earned $23.2 million almost exclusively from endorsements, and one cricket player, No. 22 Mahendra Singh Dhoni ($30 million).

The lowest-paid at No. 100 on the list is soccer player Luis Suarez, who earned “only” $17.3 million.

The list includes only athletes who were active in the last 12 months. If retired basketball player Michael Jordan were included, he would rank No. 2 with an estimated $90 million in earnings thanks largely to his deal with Nike.

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Posted by admin   @   22 June 2014 comments


What You Need to Know About Benghazi Suspect’s Terror Group


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The Daily Signal
June 19, 2014

What You Need to Know About Benghazi Suspect’s Terror Group

To help Americans tune into the debate and what’s at stake,The Heritage Foundation’s authority on Middle Eastern affairs, James Phillips, answered five questions from The Daily Signal about the origins and threat of Ansar al-Sharia.

Read More

Hillary Clinton: Child Border Crossers Should Be Sent Home

Hillary Clinton took a firm stand on how the U.S. should handle a wave of unaccompanied children from Central America who are migrating across the Mexico border and being temporarily allowed to join family living here.

Read More

Cutting Federal Spending, One Portrait at a Time

Conservatives are putting the finishing touches on legislation to end government spending on portraits of cabinet secretaries and members of Congress—artwork that regularly costs taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per sitting.

Read More

Quick Hits:

U.S. Patent Office: Redskins Trademark Is Disparaging to Native Americans

The Unanswered Questions on Benghazi

What the U.S. Must Do to Ensure the Internet Remains Free

24 Things the Media Claim Were Caused by ‘Global Warming’

Marriage, Family, Faith Move Front and Center in Washington

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Posted by admin   @   19 June 2014 comments


Personal Liberty: The U.S. Is Being Invaded



Personal Liberty Digest: Live Free in an Unfree World
Homepage+1 us on Google!Follow us on Twitter!Like us on Facebook!Shop The Liberty Store
Latest From Chip Wood June 19, 2014
‘Illegal Immigration’ Is A PC Term; This Is An Invasion ‘Illegal Immigration’ Is A PC Term; This Is An Invasion »
The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that in only one week, from May 28 to June 4, in just the Rio Grande Valley, the Border Patrol caught more than 8,300 illegal aliens who had made it across the border. This is an invasion, pure and simple. More »
Outside The Asylum
The Benghazi Chronicles: Catching Khattala The Benghazi Chronicles: Catching Khattala »
Earlier this week, the United States scored a major victory in the War on Terror. You may rest easy, peace-loving people of the world. Ahmed Abu Khattala has been apprehended. More »
Hot Topic
Professor Francis Boyle On Impeachment Of Bush And Obama Professor Francis Boyle On Impeachment Of Bush And Obama »
In my day, if an experienced professor of international and Constitutional law such as University of Illinois Professor Francis A. Boyle called for impeachment of a President, it was a serious situation for the President. But no more. More »
Here’s a Special Message From Our Friends
Weird Testosterone Trick for Men Over 40

Cambridge University testosterone discovery helps man “regain his former glory…”

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Personal Liberty News
GOP Lawmakers: Get Ready For The $1 Billion Obamacare insurance Bailout GOP Lawmakers: Get Ready For The $1 Billion Obamacare insurance Bailout »
The chairman of the House Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs subcommittee said Wednesday that taxpayers could end up bailing out insurance companies to the tune of $1 billion as a result of Obamacare. More »
Polls Show Obama Causing Big Problems For Midterm Democrats Polls Show Obama Causing Big Problems For Midterm Democrats »
New polling data suggest that President Barack Obama’s bungling of foreign affairs and economic unease spurred by his policies on the domestic front is driving his approval ratings to new lows. More »
Al Gore Confident Obama Will Block Keystone Pipeline Al Gore Confident Obama Will Block Keystone Pipeline »
Former Vice President Al Gore must have some insight into President Barack Obama’s environmental strategy that no one else does. Either that or he’s making generalized, unverifiable statements to sympathetic media outlets again. More »
History Lesson Of The Month
Is Hillary Lying, Suffering From Brain Damage, Or Both?

During a CNN town hall meeting Tuesday, Hillary Clinton made quite clear her view of the Constitution in general, the 1st and 2nd Amendments in particular, and that she, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, views Americans as terrorists seeking to do harm on other Americans.

When asked about a ban on so-called assault weapons and extended magazines, she said: “We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people… We’re going to have to do a better job protecting the vast majority of our citizens, including our children, from that very, very, very small group that is unfortunately prone to violence and now with automatic weapons can wreak so much more violence than they ever could have before.” More »


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Posted by admin   @   19 June 2014 comments


Personal Liberty: Nobama, Stay The Hell Out Of Iraq



Personal Liberty Digest: Live Free in an Unfree World
Homepage+1 us on Google!Follow us on Twitter!Like us on Facebook!Shop The Liberty Store
Latest From John Myers June 18, 2014
Will We Ever Stand Up To The Likes Of Obama? Will We Ever Stand Up To The Likes Of Obama? »
It’s said that in France the government fears the people and that in America the people fear the government. Not once in the past century has this kind of fear been more palpable than it is under the yoke of the Administration of President Barack Obama. More »
Freedom Watch
Stay Out Of Iraq Stay Out Of Iraq »
The U.S. spent $20 billion and seven years nation building and training Iraq’s military. So let the Iraqi people settle their differences. We’ve invested far too much for far too long. More »
Personal Liberty News
Obama’s Immigration Policy Means Jihadi ‘Dreamers’ May Be Heading To U.S. Obama’s Immigration Policy Means Jihadi ‘Dreamers’ May Be Heading To U.S. »
The power of terrorists to export religiously motivated attacks to the West is growing. Meanwhile, the U.S. is embracing increasingly lax border-control standards. These two things are not unrelated. More »
Here’s a Special Message From Our Friends
Power Companies HATE This... These 5 Foods KILL Your Brain

#2 Shocked Top Doctors, It’s Probably in Your Kitchen Right Now..

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Mysterious Millionaire Ages Backwards!

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Americans Want Nothing To Do With Fresh War In Iraq Americans Want Nothing To Do With Fresh War In Iraq »
An overwhelming majority of Americans has no desire to see the United States place soldiers on the ground as Iraq breaks into Balkanized territories defined by sectarian loyalty. And, according to a poll released Tuesday, it’s a sentiment that transcends political party lines. More »
Insurgents Take Careful Control Of Iraq’s Largest Refinery Insurgents Take Careful Control Of Iraq’s Largest Refinery »
Despite taking over the surrounding area of Bajyi at the start of last week’s offensive, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has moved very slowly to take control of Iraq’s largest oil refinery, negotiating a peaceful exit with the few remaining troops guarding the facility. More »
IRS Knew Lerner Emails Were ‘Missing’ From Computers, So Where Are The Paper Copies? IRS Knew Lerner Emails Were ‘Missing’ From Computers, So Where Are The Paper Copies? »
So what if Lois Lerner’s emails (and, it turns out, those of six more Internal Revenue Service employees) went “missing” from computers? Shouldn’t there be a paper trail for everything? After all, that’s what Federal law requires. More »
Power Of The State
Truancy Shouldn’t Be A Life Sentence

American schools are little more than prisons or halfway houses.

The Nation’s young people are forced to attend whether they are interested in education or not, where they are indoctrinated to worship the State and conform to statism and propagandized with false history and egalitarianism. If they fail to attend, they are regarded as lawbreakers or truants. More »


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Posted by admin   @   18 June 2014 comments


‘Pen and Phone’ at Work: Obama Moves on Executive Action for LGBT, Economy, Environment


‘Pen and Phone’ at Work: Obama

Moves on Executive Action for

LGBT, Economy, Environment

Tuesday was a sweeping day for President Barack Obama’s acting without Congress, with pending executive actions on the environment, gay rights and taking measures to promote manufacturing.

Pen and Phone at Work: Obama Moves on Executive Action for LGBT, Economy, Environment


Obama has talked about using his “pen and phone” to do what he can when Congress won’t act and has described 2014 as a “year of action,” which Republican critics have used to accuse him of executive overreach. Obama has previously taken action on such controversial issues as gun restrictions and immigration.

The president will speak Tuesday night to an LGBT gathering in New York, where he is almost certain to bring up his pending executive order to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, which the White House announced Monday the president is poised to sign.

The White House announced Tuesday morning that Obama took action on the manufacturing initiatives, and the president touted plans to block off large swaths of ocean off the Pacific coast from fishing and drilling.

One House Republican called the oceans order another example of the “imperial presidency,” while a Senate Republican expressed concerned about the religious freedom of employers under the anti-discrimination order.

On the manufacturing moves – which Obama talked about at a stop in Pittsburgh – the administration has pledged to streamline access to $5 billion of more than 700 separate federal research and development grants for private companies.

Obama is also directing five federal agencies to spend $150 million on research for the Materials Genome Initiative, a public-private endeavor to develop materials for advanced manufacturing. Further, the White House announced that 90 mayors are now committed to the “Mayors Maker Challenge” to expand physical locations for manufacturing facilities in their cities and towns.

Obama plans to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which President George W. Bush first designated as a protected area. The waters between Hawaii and America Samoa are considered U.S. territory.

“We’ve already shown that when we work together, we can protect our oceans for future generations,” Obama said Tuesday in a video announcement to the Our Oceans Conference sponsored by the State Department. “So let’s redouble our efforts. Let’s make sure that years from now we can look our children in the eye and tell them that, yes, we did our part, we took action, and we led the way toward a safer, more stable world.”

The White House said Obama would solicit input from fishermen, scientists, local leaders and conservationists in deciding the precise boundaries for the reserve.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) thinks he should have included Congress.

“It’s another example of this imperial presidency,” Hastings told the Washington Post. “If there are marine sanctuaries that should be put in place, that should go through Congress.”

Obama is also directing federal agencies to develop a plan to combat and deter illegal fishing, address seafood fraud and prevent illegally caught fish from enterng the market.

Obama will be speaking Tuesday evening to the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Gala in New York.

“The president has asked his staff to put together an executive order that he can sign in the future,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday. “An executive order along these lines is no substitute for congressional legislation. Unfortunately this is yet another example of Republicans blocking something that has strong support around the country.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said hoped the president’s executive order would have similar religious freedom protections to the ENDA legislation.

“While the specifics of this executive order are not yet clear, I believe it must include the same religious protections that are included in the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act that passed the Senate,” Hatch said in a statement. “ENDA strikes a good balance to ensure that discrimination based on sexual orientation will not be tolerated, but also that one of our nation’s fundamental freedoms – religious freedom – is still upheld. The same must be said for any Obama Administration initiative on this issue.”

The Democratic-controlled Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which would apply to nearly all employers. The Republican-controlled House did not take up the legislation.

The executive order is limited only to private employers doing work for the federal government. It will effect 14 million workers who are not working for private companies contracting with the government that are not already covered, according to the Associated Press.

Organizing for Action, the political group that grew out of Obama’s two presidential campaigns, is already raising money from the pending order. In a fundraising email to supporters, the OFA said: “President Obama stood up against LGBT discrimination – will you?”

The email asked supporters to click to sign a petition to pressure House Republicans to vote for ENDA, which eventually brings the person to a donation form for OFA.

“In 2014, discrimination against LGBT Americans shouldn’t be legal anywhere – President Obama and a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate have stood up and said that,” the OFA message said. “By refusing to hold a vote on ENDA, Speaker Boehner is taking a stand, firmly on the wrong side of history.”

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The Idea That Won’t Die: How Taxing Cars by the Mile is Back on the Agenda Again


The Idea That Won’t Die: How

Taxing Cars by the Mile is Back

on the Agenda Again

The Congressional Budget Office released a report this week that once again raises the idea of taxing drivers based on how far they drive, in order to generate more revenue for federal highway programs.

CBO’s report said the spending obligations of the federal highway trust fund will be higher than available revenues starting in 2015. It said that reality will force Congress to choose whether to reduce highway spending, find new sources of money, or some combination of both.

Obama administration transportation gasoline tax vehicle miles driven

One option for raising money, the report said, its to create a “mileage-based user fee to raise revenues.” The report seemed to defend this option, by saying it “could lead to more efficient use of the transportation system.”

CBO has raised the issue a few times before as an option Congress should consider. Back in 2011, it released a report that used several pages to analyze how a “vehicle miles traveled,” or VMT system, might operate.

According to that report, it’s a “consensus” view of transportation experts that a VMT system should be seen as a “leading alternative to fuel taxes as a source of funding for highways.” It said VMT taxes in other countries have been shown to reduce road traffic, since people choose to drive less in order to avoid higher taxes.

CBO imagines collecting the tax by fitting each car with a device that tracks how far the car has gone. That data could be read electronically whenever someone uses a toll or stops at a service station for gas.

While CBO admits there are some privacy issues involved, it suggested that the electronic devices would be used to generate information that is only collected by a private entity, not the government, for the purpose of calculating mileage taxes.

The Obama administration seems to like this idea. Back in 2011, the Department of Transportation drew up legislation that would have set up group to study a VMT system, and then start field testing that system after a few ears. The bill provided $300 million for the project.

Once the idea became known, the White House quickly dismissed the idea as something that was included in an early draft of a proposal, but was later dropped.

Still, Democrats in particular have raised the idea of a VMT system over the last few years, as it has become increasingly clear that the highway trust fund is about to run out of money.

Many seem to agree that the increased fuel-efficiency of cars has made it harder for the government to raise money via the gas tax. That 18.4 cent-per-gallon gasoline tax has also note been increased for years, not even for inflation.

CBO said if the tax were adjusted for inflation, drivers would see a 30 cent-per-gallon tax today.

Members of Congress have floated several proposals to find more highway money. Several senators are discussing a tax holiday for overseas income that is repatriated into the United States, which could raise billions of dollars.

In the House, GOP leaders favor a plan cut out Saturday mail delivery to find short-term highway money.

Few members have talked openly about imposing a VMT tax. Late last year, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) proposed a VMT tax, and said it would create a more stable funding base for federal highway projects.

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