House GOP leaders hold out hope for border crisis fix, after vote fizzles

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House Republican leaders are trying anew to round up an elusive majority for a bill addressing the border crisis, after a chaotic day where they initially abandoned the legislation and began sending lawmakers home for the summer recess — only to reverse course moments later.

The dramatic scene unfolded at a rapid clip Thursday afternoon. Earlier, House leaders abruptly canceled a planned vote on a package meant to address the surge of illegal immigrant minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, with a combination of funding and policy changes, after failing to gather enough votes for it.

Lawmakers began heading out for the five-week summer recess. But incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., then took to the floor to say “additional votes are possible,” indicating lawmakers should stay. Boos could be heard in the House chamber as he made the announcement.

But House Republicans later huddled on Capitol Hill, and plan to meet again on Friday morning. The second thoughts reflected deep concerns in the GOP caucus about the prospect of leaving for the August recess without addressing the border bill, amid criticism from both sides of the aisle.

It remains unclear whether there’s any chance enough votes can be rounded up to pass the measure. Senior Republican leaders were adamant, though, that something must be done, regardless of the looming recess.

“We’ll stay until we vote,” House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said.

Asked if the House can find a solution, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said: “We’d better.” 

If lawmakers do end up breaking for recess without a bill, House leaders left open the possibility of recalling members if need be when they feel they have a majority of 218 votes. Earlier, sources said GOP leaders were “way short” of the votes they needed, with conservative lawmakers joining Democrats in refusing to back the package.

Asked Thursday afternoon if the bill still has a chance, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said: “We’ll see.” He told Fox News that he was at the airport when his secretary told him to return to Capitol Hill.

The Senate still has a border bill on its plate, but that legislation is different from what was being considered in the House.

A joint statement from House Republican leaders said the “situation shows the intense concern within our conference — and among the American people — about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president’s refusal to faithfully execute our laws.”

In the absence of legislation, Republicans urged President Obama to act on his own to secure the borders and safely deport illegal immigrant children.

“We will continue to work on solutions to the border crisis and other challenges facing our country,” they said.

But Senate Democrats blasted their House colleagues for dropping the legislation. “Shame on the House of Representatives,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also slammed his fellow Republicans, saying “it’s beyond belief that Congress is abandoning its post while our border crisis continues to create humanitarian suffering.” 

The legislation’s prospects changed quickly over the course of the day. Initially, House leaders thought they had a plan to win enough support, by scheduling a separate vote on legislation to prohibit Obama from expanding a policy that lets some illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children stay. Amid reports that the administration is considering such an expansion, the bill by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., would specifically bar the president from broadening the 2012 policy.

Republicans say another illegal immigrant reprieve by the president would only exacerbate the surge of illegal immigrant children trekking to the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America.

“Such action would create an even greater incentive for more illegal crossings and make the crisis on our border even worse, and that would be a grave mistake,” House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday.

The vote had been scheduled by Republican leaders as part of the effort to win conservative support for the separate, scaled-down package giving the Department of Homeland Security an immediate $659 million to address the border crisis and making other policy changes.

But Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, nevertheless raised concerns with House members about their version of the border legislation, and lawmakers and aides said Thursday that it had an impact. They also pointed to opposition from Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

Sessions voiced concerns about both the House and Senate proposals, arguing that the Senate would never take up the executive action bill being considered in the House. Sessions wants any bill addressing the president’s funding request to also address the executive action issue.

“We as policy makers must face the reality that the president is openly planning to use executive actions to provide amnesty and work permits to millions without any lawful authority,” he said in a statement.

Democrats, meanwhile, accused Republicans of playing games.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said earlier in the day: “It is extraordinary that the House of Representatives, after failing for more than a year to reform our broken immigration reform system, would vote to restrict a law enforcement tool that the Department of Homeland Security uses to focus resources on key enforcement priorities like public safety and border security, and provide temporary relief from deportation for people who are low priorities for removal.” 

Unlike the House bill, the Senate package would authorize $2.7 billion with no policy riders.

While 11 Republican senators helped the Senate bill meet a key procedural hurdle, enough of them — including at least one Democrat — said they would filibuster final passage if the measure is not amended. Like their House colleagues, they want changes to a 2008 law that would require the government to treat illegal immigrants apprehended at the border the same, regardless of country of origin.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/07/31/republicans-launch-bid-to-short-circuit-obama-executive-action-on-illegal/

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Economist: Social Security in Worse Shape than Detroit’s Pension Funds

There is no way Social Security will survive in it’s current state. The government has used the funds even though when it was set up ,it was supposed to be sacred and only used for it’s intended purpose. Add this to the government debt and there is no way the country can sustain the debt load. EB

(CNSNews.com) – “Social Security is insolvent,” Boston University economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff told the House Subcommittee on Social Security at a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday. “And it’s not bankrupt in 30 years, or 20 years, or 10 years. It’s bankrupt today.”

“This is not my opinion. This is the only conclusion one can draw from Table IVB6 of the 2013 Social Security Trustee’s Report.”

“This table reports that Social Security has a $23 trillion fiscal gap measured over the infinite horizon,” noted Kotlikoff, who also served as a senior economist on President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers.

“Twenty-three trillion dollars is 32 percent of the present value, also measured over the infinite horizon, of Social Security’s future revenues. Hence, Social Security is 32 percent underfinanced, which means it is in significantly worse financial shape than Detroit’s two pension funds taken together.”

Social Security’s debt also “swamps the $13 trillion of official debt in the hands of the public,” Kotlikoff testified.

And “the system’s off-the-books debt is growing at leaps and bounds – by $1.6 trillion between 2012 and 2013 – thanks to the approaching retirement of vast numbers of baby boomers.”

While “the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Fund fails the long-range test of close actuarial balance, it does satisfy the test for short-range (10-year) financial adequacy,” the 2014 Trustee’s Report states.

The “combined trust fund asset reserves at the beginning of each year will exceed that year’s projected cost through 2027,” it continues. However, “depletion of combined trust funds reserves” will occur in 2033.

According to Table VI.FI “Unfunded OASDI Obligations Through the Infinite Horizon” in the 2014 report, Social Security’s fiscal gap has increased to $24.9 trillion.

Social Security cannot “sustain projected long-run program costs in full under currently scheduled financing, and legislative changes are necessary to avoid disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers,” the trustees state.

Kotlikoff also told House members that Social Security is now in “worse financial shape today than when the Greenspan Commission ‘fixed’ it” 31 years ago.

“Today, we are looking, in the current 75-year projection widow, at 31 years of negative cash flows, which the Greenspan Commission knew were coming and willfully ignored,” he said.

The economist also accused the system’s trustees of a “disinformation” campaign to keep Americans from finding out that “Social Security is in dire financial shape.”

“To their great credit, Social Security’s actuaries have been reporting the system’s infinite horizon fiscal gap every year since 2002. And to their great shame, Social Security’s Trustees have been ignoring this comprehensive measure of the system’s insolvency every year since 2002.”

“Unfortunately, those who proclaim the strongest desire to preserve and protect Social Security, particularly its Trustees, are doing their level best to destroy the system by ignoring or substantially understating its financial problems,” he said.

Although he praised Social Security for being a “lifeline for generations of Americans who would otherwise have spent their retirements in abject poverty,” Kotlikoff testified that “nothing short of a fundamental reform of the system” will save it.

“To pay its scheduled benefits in full through time, the Social Security system needs a 32 percent immediate and permanent increase in the future path of payroll tax revenues,” Kotlikoff noted. “Alternately, to prevent having to raise its FICA payroll tax rate, the system needs to immediately and permanently cut all benefits payments by 22 percent.”

He also pointed out that Social Security, which is 32 percent underfinanced compared to its obligations, “cannot be bailed out by the rest of our fiscal system,” which is 58 percent underfinanced. In April, Kotlikoff told CNSNews.com that “the nation’s true fiscal gap is $205 trillion. The nation is completely broke.”

Kotlikoff urged House members to support The Inform Act (H.R. 2967 and S. 1351), which has been endorsed by 17 Nobel Laureates in economics. The bill would require federal accounting agencies such as the Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accountability Office, and the Office of Management and Budget to do “infinite horizon fiscal gap” accounting for every major fiscal bill introduced in Congress.

That would require them to calculate “the present value lifetime net Federal tax burdens facing each current generation of children 18 years of age and under, as well as each future generation.”

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/economist-social-security-worse-shape-detroit-s-pension-funds

 

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Emails show ex-IRS official Lerner using derogatory terms for Republicans

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Editors Note: Why is this woman walking around free when she should be in prison? This e-mail shows her mindset and bias against Conservatives in general and she used her position to carry out a policy of harassment. She illegally used the 5th Amendment and is in Contempt of Congress and should now be dressed in prison orange. Don’t waste your time asking AG Eric Holder to investigate on who both he and Obama agree with. Boehners and Issa’s handling of this manner is despicable, she should have been placed under arrest before she left that committee meeting. [TS]

House Republicans have dug up emails from Lois Lerner in which the former IRS official refers to some in the Republican Party as “—holes” and “crazies” – an exchange they say shows her “animus” toward conservatives.

The November 2012 emails were released Wednesday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., as part of his renewed call for the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate. Lerner is the ex-IRS official who led the unit accused of targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny.

In the email exchange, Lerner appears to be chatting with another unidentified individual about a vacation in Great Britain. She describes how she overheard “some ladies” talking about how America is “going down the tubes.”

The person she tells this to responds that “you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP. The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to.”

Lerner responds: “Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many —holes.”

After another email to her about how “rabid” the radio show callers are, Lerner responds: “So we don’t need to worry about alien teRrorists. (sic) It’s our own crazies that will take us down.” 

The emails are being used by Camp to make the case that Lerner had a bias against conservatives – something congressional Republicans have long suggested as they push for the Justice Department to get more involved in reviewing the IRS scandal, and Lerner herself.

“In light of this new information, I hope DOJ will aggressively pursue this case and finally appoint a special counsel, so the full truth can be revealed and justice is served,” Camp said in a statement.

Camp and other GOP committee leaders have been after the IRS lately over the agency’s admission that it lost a trove of Lerner emails due to an apparent computer crash.

Incidentally, a separate email chain from February 2012 released by Camp details another problem with her home computer. Camp claims the emails show Lerner may have kept work information on that home computer, raising concerns that taxpayer information may have been compromised. It’s not clear from the email exchange, however, whether that is the case.

In the November chain, Lerner also makes an off-color comment about class.

She describes visiting an “Edwardian English village” full of large houses — “which have been ruined by letting the hoi paloi live there!” (Hoi polloi is a term for common people.)

“These people have ruined everything with their equality push!” she writes.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/07/30/emails-show-ex-irs-official-lerner-using-derogatory-terms-for-republicans/

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The Next ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ May Be Fired In Texas

This administration and others before it have continued to not close the southern border. This administration has caused this over run on the border we are now facing. We are told they are children and it is a humanitarian issue, however, there is more coming across than children. Children only make up 25% of those coming across the border. With the border like a sieve, it is impossible to know who or what is coming across the border. It is a sad situation when militia have to go and do what the government refuses to do. EB

The Mexican government is allowing tens of thousands of criminal aliens from Central American nations to transit their nation unimpeded to invade the United States. It’s a stunning development for a nation which (ironically) has far stricter immigration laws that the United States does, and which once used to arrest and deport illegals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. For reasons unknown to us—which should perhaps be the focus of a Congressional investigation—Mexico has stopped turning these criminal invaders back, and may even be actively be assisting them in their travels north.

It would be relatively easy for the U.S. government to shut down this flow of criminal immigrants.

The U.. government could simply put economic sanctions on Mexico for failing to stop the invaders at their southern border, and the Mexicans would staunch the flow at two natural checkpoints, one in the state of Oaxaca on Mexico’s west coast, and the other in the state of Veracruz-Llave on the nation’s east coast. The vast wilderness area between these two states in the narrow “foot” of Mexico forces migrants to these coastal routes, where they can be captured and repatriated if the Mexican and United States governments had any interest in stopping the invasion, which the two federal governments quite obviously do not.

It thus appears that American citizens will be left to do the job of stopping the criminal invasion that these governments won’t.

When this nation was founded, the Constitution was written to lay out what the government could do, and the Bill of Rights was created define individual rights and protect the citizenry from governmental tyranny.

The Second Amendment—our primary focus at Bearing Arms—was written to codify a pre-existing human right to self-defense, which includes the right of self-defense from criminals, tyrants, and foreign invaders.

The Founders would take a very dim view of the federal government’s refusal to protect the Republic’s southern border with Mexico.

American presidents from both parties have repeatedly failed to build physical barrier to stop criminal immigration, drug cartels, arms smuggling, and terrorist infiltration. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California are all but undefended in many stretches as a practical matter, and the Border Patrol has been hamstrung by bureaucrats and politicians who do not wish for them to succeed. At no point in our history, however, has a Presidential Administration so blatantly refused to lift a finger to stop a deluge of foreign invaders.

Is this what Barack Obama meant when he said that he wanted to “fundamentally transform” America?

Americans who are sick and tired of the refusal of the Obama Administration to stop importing criminal aliens and distributing them around the nation are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Many are protesting attempts by the federal government to bring these largely illiterate, unskilled, disease-carrying criminal invaders deeper into the heartland, but there are also groups now taking a very active role along the border themselves, seeking to stop the criminal invasion of our nation since the federal government has no apparent interest in enforcing the rule of law.

The militias are turning out.

Photos showing dozens of members of the militia groups on the U.S.-Mexico border carrying semi-automatic rifles and wearing masks, camouflage and tactical gear provide one of the first glimpses into the group’s activities on the border.

Members of the militia groups, who say they have 10 active “teams” along the state’s southern border, are seen at campsites, walking along the Rio Grande River, pointing rifles and pistols out of frame and flipping off the camera in the photos obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.

A spokesperson for the group provided the photos under the condition that members’ faces be blurred because of fear of being identified by “cartel and gang members.”

One of the photos shows a Border Patrol agent leaning through an armed militia member’s vehicle window and pointing on a map. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection earlier this month strongly rebuked the group’s presence on the border but did not return multiple requests for comment regarding the photo.

Gov. Rick Perry, who last week ordered 1,000 Texas National Guard members to the border, declined to comment specifically on the militia groups through a spokesman but said he is “leading to secure the border.”

The groups, including Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and Patriots, began recruiting and organizing more than a month ago, as national media outlets began focusing on an influx of Central American immigrants illegally crossing the border, including more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors.

These patrols of self-organized, self-supporting volunteer militias are armed with semi-automatic rifles. Most wear some form of military camouflage and kit, with multiple magazines for their weapons. Some wear military-grade body armor.  Many appear to be military combat veterans, and have defended the United States before in Afghanistan or Iraq.

This time, their acting with greater urgency, on our own soil.

To date, intercepts of criminal aliens by these militias have been peaceful affairs, with militias calling in the Border Patrol to capture invaders whose intention is to obtain the free food, medical care, and government housing that the Obama Administration seems intent on lavishing on criminal invaders that they seem to want to groom into a new far-left underclass of Democrat voters.

Eventually, however, these patrols are likely to run into armed coyotes, the smugglers who bring humans, weapons, and drug shipments across the border.  In many instances, these coyotes are actively escorted by (or are made entirely up of) members of the Mexican Army.

Eventually, there will be confrontations. There will be firefights. Americans and criminal invaders will both fall, and the vivid cost in blood along the border will inflame an American people who has been quietly simmering with rage against a lawless Administration.

How will Americans respond to civilians dying because federal agencies and the criminal-enabling Obama Administration refuse to fulfill their oaths of office?

If current sentiment is any guide, any of the self-organizing militia who fall will result in the mobilization of more volunteers, and any attempt by this corrupted government to stop the militia patrols or press criminal charges against men and women doing the job that the government intentionally fails to do will result in citizens standing against government agents like they did at Bundy Ranch… and with much less patience.

It is the duty of the federal government to secure the borders and prevent foreign invasion. They have resolutely refused to perform these tasks.

Their actions suggest that they are instead facilitating the invasion by refusing to secure the border, refusing to mobilize and deploy the National Guard, refusing to mobilize and deploy Homeland Security, and refusing to use the many diplomatic tools at their disposal to stop the flow of immigration at Mexico’s southern border, far from our own.

The federal government has abandoned their duty to defend the Republic. American citizens are now beginning to use their natural right to self-defense to form self-organized militias to protect their nation.

When government fails, the people will rise.

If we hope to remain a sovereign nation under a President who has abandoned the rule of law, we seem to have no other choice.

http://bearingarms.com/next-shot-heard-round-world-may-fired-texas/3/

 

 

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Emails show White House adviser intervened on ObamaCare ‘bailout’ after industry appeals

 

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White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, January 16, 2014.Reuters

Newly released emails show a key White House adviser intervened on behalf of the health insurance industry after an executive repeatedly warned that massive premium hikes were coming unless the administration expanded an ObamaCare program that Republicans call an industry “bailout.” 

The insurance industry ultimately got a more “generous” offer from the administration — one that Republicans warn could transfer potentially billions of taxpayer dollars into the Affordable Care Act to bail out insurance companies.

The documents were included as part of a report by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Republicans allege that White House adviser Valerie Jarrett intervened in response to appeals from the industry.

“Documents show that Ms. Jarrett took the warnings of the insurance companies very seriously,” the report said.

The controversy pertains to a program known as “risk corridors,” which allows the government to aid insurers that lose money by paying them from a pool of cash collected from insurers that turn a profit. The insurance industry, though, was concerned there wouldn’t be enough cash in the pool to go around.

A string of emails starting on April 4 of this year shows Chet Burrell, president of CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, bringing this issue to Jarrett’s attention – and issuing blunt warnings that premiums could rise if the administration didn’t change course. The industry was apparently concerned about a decision to make the program budget-neutral, which would limit funding.

“If this is indeed the policy, then carriers will have to price premiums as if the Risk Corridor features is not fully available,” said a memo sent from Burrell to Jarrett on April 5. “Uncertainty or confusion will equate to higher rates. This could confront the Administration with a sea of far larger premiums increases than expected. Once the filings are made, they will likely quickly become public.”

The not-so-subtle warning about skyrocketing premiums received Jarrett’s prompt attention.

“I checked and the policy team is aggressively exploring options,” she wrote back later that day. “… I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention.”

Burrell’s CareFirst division represents Maryland, Washington, D.C., and parts of Virginia.

The two continued to correspond, and Burrell continued to warn about rate increases in 2015 if the program were not changed. On April 15, Jarrett said the industry was getting “80 percent” of what it wanted but she didn’t have “any more to add.”

Burrell responded that “substantial rate increases are coming.”

However, despite Jarrett’s response, the Department of Health and Human Services a month later issued a final rule detailing changes to the program. The agency said that in the “unlikely event” the pool ran out of money, the secretary was required to make “full payments” to insurers — and the agency would use “other sources of funding … subject to the availability of appropriations.”

This move has angered Republicans, who warn that it puts taxpayer funds on the line.

“While the Administration’s changes to the Risk Corridor provision protected the profits of insurance companies’ ObamaCare-compliant plans, it was extremely detrimental to taxpayers,” the new GOP report said. “When government picks winners and losers in the market, it reduces competition and harms consumers. Congress should protect taxpayers and bring greater transparency to the premiums in the individual market by repealing ObamaCare’s Risk Corridor program.”

The insurance industry, though, has defended the program.

ObamaCare’s “temporary risk mitigation programs are designed to help ensure market stability and affordability for consumers,” a spokesman with America’s Health Insurance Plans said last month. “The final rule provides important clarity about how these insurer-financed programs will work as health plans prepare their rates for 2015.”

HHS has claimed the agency remains confident the program will not have a shortfall.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/07/29/documents-show-white-house-intervened-on-obamacare-bailout/

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Environmental Regulations Leave 800 Miles of Border Unpatrolled

Editors Note: Once again Obama and the Democrats nullify border security to allow even more illegal immigration and drug smuggling by closing border areas to law enforcement. 800 miles of open border now await the free transit of not only illegal immigrants and drug traffickers but also Terrorists. [TS]

The U.S. Border Patrol is being stymied in its efforts to protect the southern border by federal environmental regulations that leave an 800-mile opening.

The Hill reports that about 40 percent of the U.S. border with Mexico falls under Department of the Interior and Forest Service rules that prohibit the Border Patrol from driving there, creating roads, patrolling, installing surveillance devices, or building infrastructure.”

The rules, designed to protect wildlife, also protect illegal immigrants and smugglers, Republicans say.

“There is no doubt that the restrictions on accessing land along the border have made it more difficult for the Border Patrol to do their job,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told The Hill. “It seems a common-sense reform to say that the Border Patrol should be able to fully access and patrol the border.”

A House Republican working group recently released a dozen recommendations to deal with the border crisis, according to Business Insider, including a recommendation for legislation that would “prohibit the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) from denying or restricting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) activities on federal land under their respective jurisdictions.”

Cruz said smugglers are well aware of what parts of the border are not under Border Patrol surveillance because of environmental regulations and, therefore, use those sections to slip illegal immigrants into the United States.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, visited the border in McAllen, Texas, with Cruz, and The Hill reports she told an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, “We’re not asking for a major highway around there, but we need to think about national security issues, and how we enforce our own laws when you juxtapose that with other priorities within the federal agencies.”

The conflict between environmental and security concerns has been around for a few years. In 2011, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, proposed the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, which would ban Agriculture and Interior from interfering with Border Patrol activities on the border.

“We have basically rolled out the welcome mat for drug cartels on federal lands because environmental policies restrict the U.S. Border Patrol’s ability to secure some of the most heavily trafficked areas of the southern border,” Bishop said in a press release.

When President Barack Obama created the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument [Link added by Editor TS] along the New Mexico border, he was criticized by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who said it would “place additional burdens on Border Patrol personnel and limit access to high-crime areas along the border, making it easier for drug smugglers and human traffickers to move in and out of the country,” The Hill reports.

Source: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/immigration-Border-Patrol-environmental-regulations/2014/07/28/id/585283/

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Federal judge rules DC ban on gun carry rights unconstitutional

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Editors Note: Once again Citizens Rights guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment have been upheld by a Federal Judge who based his decision on the Constitution rather than follow the lead of the Anti-Gun Obama Administration. Washington DC has been the Murder Capitol of America but after the inevitable appeal is denied and citizens of the Nations Capitol are allowed to arm themselves you will see a dramatic drop not only in the murder rate but also a drop in armed robberies, assaults and rapes. When the citizens are armed to protect themselves the criminal element thinks twice before committing crimes on people who can now defend themselves with deadly force. A victory for the 2nd Amendment is a victory for America. [TS]

A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Saturday overturned the city’s total ban on residents being allowing to carry firearms outside their home in a landmark decision for gun-rights activists.

Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote in his ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia that the right to bear arms extends outside the home, therefore gun-control laws in the nation’s capital are “unconstitutional.”

Click here to read the decision.

“We won,” Alan Gura, the lead attorney for the Second Amendment Foundation, told Fox News in a phone interview.  “I’m very pleased with the decision that the city can’t forbid the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right.”

Gura said he expects the District to appeal this decision but added, “We’ll be happy to keep the fight going.”

The decision leaves no gray area in gun-carrying rights.

Judge Sculin extensively referenced the Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) to concluding “there is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.”

The court ordered the city to now allow residents from the District and other states to carry weapon within its boundaries.

Judge Scullin wrote that the court “enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of [D.C. firearms laws] unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”

The defendants are the city government and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier.

This case has dragged in the courts for five years. Gura has twice asked the federal appeals court to force Judge Scullin to issue a decision. The five plaintiffs filed in 2009, and the case was argued twice, most recently in Oct. 2012.

George Lyon, a D.C. resident and registered gun owner is one of the plaintiffs in Palmer.

“I am gratified that after a long wait our right to protect ourselves and our families has been vindicated,” Lyon, a lawyer, said Saturday.

He urged Mayor Vincent Gray, a Democrat, and the Democrat-controlled City Council to “swiftly enact a concealed carry law that protects the rights of law abiding citizens to protect themselves.”

Gray and D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson did not respond immediately for a request for comment.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/07/27/emily-miller-federal-judge-rules-dc-ban-on-gun-carry-rights-unconstitutional/

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APNewsBreak: Gun law based on flawed estimate

Editor’s note: The whole law is faulty. This law was passed using faulty data, with no debate, by democrats who know nothing about guns. Since the passage of this law, Sheriffs have refused to enforce the law and Hickenlooper has apologized to the sheriffs for signing it. Even the data in this article does not take into account that many denials are because of incomplete data or clerical errors. Most gun owners in the state bought what they wanted before the law went into effect. Gun control fanatics fail to understand that criminals do not go through background checks. Gun control laws are not about guns, they are about control. (EB)

DENVER (AP) — A law expanding background check requirements on Colorado gun sales has been in effect for about a year, and an Associated Press analysis of state data compiled during that span shows the projected impact was vastly overstated in a key budget report.

The discovery has prompted a prominent Democratic lawmaker to question whether the Legislature misallocated millions of taxpayer dollars based on the flawed estimate, which has provided an opportunity for Republicans to resume attacks over regulation that already has come at great political cost to Colorado liberals.

Democrats pushed the proposal into law last year as part of a package of gun restrictions meant to improve safety after devastating mass shootings. Lawmakers drafting the background check requirement, aimed at keeping firearms away from those with a criminal history, relied on information from a non-partisan research arm of the Legislature that predicted about 420,000 new reviews over the first two years. Accordingly, they budgeted about $3 million to the agency that conducts the checks to handle the anticipated surge of work.

But after a year of operating under the new system, Colorado Bureau of Investigations officials have performed only about 13,600 reviews considered a result of the new law — about 7 percent of the estimated first year total.

“I’m not discouraged by the lower number,” said Democratic Rep. Rhonda Fields, who sponsored the legislation in response to the Aurora movie theater rampage that killed 12 and wounded dozens of others in her district and the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 28 people dead, including 20 first-graders.

“I think that it’s a good number, because it shows me that people are complying with the law,” she said.

Still, Fields acknowledged, “I’m going to be asking some questions because I want to be a good steward of our tax dollars.”

For Republicans, it provides evidence that a plan they opposed from the start was an unnecessary attack on the rights of gun owners and bolsters the conservative efforts that recalled two Democratic state senators and prompted a third to resign.

“Nothing good came of the passage of the law, except we found out just how anti-gun Democrats in Colorado are,” said GOP state Sen. Greg Brophy.

The funding increase, CBI officials say, has gone to hiring and operating expenses. Spokeswoman Susan Medina told the AP that about a dozen full-time employee positions have been filled since the increase, but that “the full authorized staff was not implemented.”

Medina says the agency has funding for about 14 more full-time employee positions that have gone unfilled. It wasn’t clear how much of the $3 million allocation has gone unspent.

The 420,000 estimate was provided by a standard Colorado Legislative Council review. The council regularly assesses costs or other impacts of legislation. Officials with the panel aren’t allowed to speak publicly but provided AP with an explanation of how they reached the figure.

Gun-control advocates have long asserted that 40 percent of gun sales nationwide are made by private sellers and thus not subject to background checks. President Barack Obama cited the number last year, unsuccessfully urging Congress to pass a law mandating “universal background checks.”

But that figure, which Colorado legislative analysts and CBI officials say was the best available for the basis of their estimation calculus, comes from a 1997 National Institute of Justice report that gun-right’s activists criticize as inaccurate.

Catherine Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said that using the 40 percent figure as a basis for Colorado’s projection “calls into question lawmakers’ access to accurate information on not only this, but all firearms-related legislation.”

In total, there were about 311,000 background checks done during the first year of the expansion in Colorado, meaning the 13,600 checks between private sellers made up about 4 percent of the state total.

Further, the private review figure includes the number of checks done at gun shows, which have been required for years in Colorado. The law also requires checks for online sales, which is new for transactions within Colorado. But such vetting was already required on interstate sales. Still, interstate activity is tallied in the private background check total.

Taken together, this indicates that the number of newly mandated background checks that have been performed is even lower than 13,600.

Of the 13,600, there were 260 denials the first year under the expanded system. But because of how state data is compiled, however, it’s unclear how many of those denials are tied to the new law, and how many happened under existing rules such as the gun-show requirement.

Still, Brian Malte, senior national policy director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said his group applauds Colorado for passing the law.

“The bottom line,” he said, “is even if one, or five, or 10, or 10,000 or 20,000 people are being blocked, that’s less dangerous people walking around with guns.”

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/apnewsbreak-gun-law-based-flawed-estimate

 

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Senate Democrats pressure GOP on Israel

Marco Rubio is pictured. | AP Photo

Editors Note: Typical of the Anti-Semite Democrats they are further endangering Americas strongest allie in the Middle East to spend and waste more of the American taxpayers money. The Obama Administrations fingerprints are all over this attempt to force Republican’s to provide money for Obama’s failed attempts to control the border crisis by throwing more money at a problem they have no interest in fixing. Obama and his band of Anti-Semite Democrats willingly endangers all of Israel in a blatant disregard for providing needed money for Israels Iron Dome Missile Defense System. Instead of offering a stand alone Bill to deal exclusively with the critical aid money needed to replace the stockpile of missiles used to defend against the onslaught of missiles fired by Hamas into Israel, the Democrats would rather play politics and try to force Republicans into funding more money into Obama’s failed border policies. Republicans are faced with providing money for the needed aid to Israel AND added money for Obama’s pet projects or standing fast and being called anti-Semite by those who are the real Anti-Semites the Obama Administration and the Democrats. The only Hope & Change that is happening is the average American is loosing all “Hope” for the future because of the “Change” Obama has perpetrated on the American people and all of that “Change” has been bad. [TS]

Democrats are daring Republicans to oppose a border bill that includes aid to Israel during its increasingly heated conflict with Hamas.

As the simmering battle in Gaza reached its boiling point last week, the Israeli government turned to its strongest ally: The United States. And the White House was happy to oblige, relaying a request to Senate Democrats late last week to ask for more money for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense program, according to congressional sources familiar with the request.

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats responded by slipping $225 million into its emergency funding package for the migrant crisis at the border, demonstrating the political might of Israel and putting pressure on the GOP in one fell swoop.

But for now, most Republicans aren’t biting. In interviews, GOP lawmakers said that while they support aiding the Israeli missile defense system, it doesn’t have to be paired with the border fix being sought by President Barack Obama.

“There’s strong support for that program and we can put it on any bill. You could bring it to the floor by itself and it would pass overwhelmingly,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

House Republicans released border recommendations on Wednesday but said nothing about Israel — an issue that unites most GOP lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol.

When it comes to the border bill making its way through the Senate, the biggest problem for Republicans is that the proposal doesn’t include policy changes to an anti-trafficking law. Republicans are seeking revisions to that law to help expedite immigration hearings for undocumented migrants from Central America who are seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

So even though the GOP acknowledges the Iron Dome money makes the package more appetizing, it’s not enough for them to support the Democratic bill.

“For those that want to support it, it adds a reason to do so. I don’t want to do it,” said Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.). “There are numerous ways we can provide support for Iron Dome, frankly we’ve already provided a lot of support. It’s not a game-changer. It shouldn’t be a game-changer. Iron Dome is up and its working and no one’s made a case before for emergency money.”

The request for Israel aid reflects growing concerns in Washington over a worsening conflict in Gaza, where Israeli troops are working to shut down labyrinthine tunnel networks amid an open ground conflict that has killed hundreds of Gazan civilians and an increasing number of Israeli troops. The Iron Dome missile defense system has shot down hundreds of rockets aimed at Israeli cities — but there are worries that even that sophisticated system is being tested by the barrage from Hamas, the group in political control of the Gaza Strip.

“Israel requested it, the White House asked us to include it,” said Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in an interview. “It reflects the fact that all the rocket activity coming out of Gaza has exhausted their current supply or at least it is threatening their supply for defense.”

In announcing the Iron Dome funding, Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said the money will be used “to accelerate production” for the defense system, calling Israel “an essential American ally [that] needs these assets to defend itself.” The bill also includes $615 million to combat wildfires nationwide in drought-stricken areas.

Administration spokespeople did not immediately comment on the request.

It would only take a few Republicans looking to highlight their support of Israel to join with Democrats and advance the border bill over the Senate’s 60-vote threshold.

“Bringing the Iron Dome funding as well as wildfires into it can broaden the support,” Durbin [The same Durbin that called U.S. Marines murders during the Gulf War]m [TS] said, predicting all 55 Senate Democratic caucus members are likely to support the legislation, which was discussed during a party lunch on Tuesday afternoon.

Indeed, several centrist Democrats said they were inclined to back the new bill, which trimmed about $1 billion from the White House’s original border request. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) said he’s leaning toward voting for it, as did Jon Tester (D-Mont.) — both senators from states on another border, the one with Canada.

“If we don’t put a supplemental in then those resources are probably going to be spent anyway. My concern is they’re going to be taking resources off the Northern Border to supplement the southern border. So we’ve got to do something,” Tester said.

Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/israel-gaza-hamas-democrats-bill-iron-dome-109286.html

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Isis seizes former chemical weapons plant in Iraq

Iraq

Editors Note: So…..George W. Bush was right after all, there WERE Weapons of Mass Destruction being Made~Used~and Stored by Saddam Hussein. All the nay say-rs were the ones who were wrong all along, now will they admit it or play along with Obama and his stooges and deny and/or play down the effectiveness as the State Dept. has already started to do. What part of “They are old and deteriorating and to unstable to move”  do they not realize is a conformation that they existed at the time Bush and the rest of the worlds intelligence organizations said they did. Typically the liberal media will do all it can to cover over these new facts that have come to light. It should also lay to rest Obama’s false claim the Bush was wrong, if Bush was President now the world would not be in total turmoil because of the “Community Organizers” inept handling of Americas foreign policy. Like the many road signs have said, “How do you like that Hopey Changy thing now???” . Will ISIS be able to move and stabilize these Chemical Weapons? With the Border crisis now going on how hard would it be for a terrorist to bring some of those chemical weapons across the border  and use them on American soil. Let us hope and pray they are forced to wait until after Obama has left office and a real leader is elected and one whose name doesn’t end with Clinton. [TS]

US plays down threat as Iraq says Muthanna loss means it will be unable to fulfil obligations to destroy chemical weapons.

The Islamic State extremist group (Isis) has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility north-west of Baghdad, where 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with deadly nerve agent sarin or their remnants were stored along with other chemical warfare agents, Iraq has said in a letter circulated at the United Nations.

The US played down the threat from the takeover, saying there were no intact chemical weapons and it would be very difficult to use the material for military purposes.

Iraq’s UN ambassador, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, told the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, in a letter that “armed terrorist groups” entered the Muthanna site on 11 June, detained guards and seized their weapons. The following morning, the project manager spotted the looting of some equipment via the camera surveillance system before the “terrorists” disabled it, he said.

Isis, which controls parts of Syria, sent its fighters into neighbouring Iraq last month and quickly captured a vast swath of territory straddling the border between the two countries. Last week, its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in the land the extremists control.

Alhakim said as a result of the takeover of Muthanna, Iraq was unable to fulfil its obligations to destroy chemical weapons because of the deteriorating security situation. He said it would resume its obligations as soon as the security situation has improved and control of the facility has been regained.

Alhakim singled out the capture of bunkers 13 and 41 in the sprawling complex 35 miles (56 km) north-west of Baghdad in the notorious “Sunni Triangle”. The last major report by UN inspectors on the status of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programme was released about a year after the experts left in March 2003. It states that bunker 13 contained 2,500 sarin-filled 122mm chemical rockets produced and filled before 1991, and about 180 tonnes of sodium cyanide, a very toxic chemical and a precursor for the warfare agent tabun.

The UN said the bunker was bombed during the first Gulf war in February 1991, which removed Iraq from Kuwait, and the rockets were “partially destroyed or damaged”. It said the sarin munitions were of poor quality and would largely be degraded after years of storage. It added that the tabun-filled containers were all treated with decontamination solution and likely no longer contain any agent, but “the residue of this decontamination would contain cyanides, which would still be a hazard”.

According to the report, bunker 41 contained 2,000 empty 155mm artillery shells contaminated with the chemical warfare agent mustard, 605 one-tonne mustard containers with residues, and heavily contaminated construction material. It said the shells could contain mustard residues that cannot be used for chemical warfare but remain highly toxic.

A US state department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, expressed concern on 20 June about Isis seizing the complex, but played down the importance of the two bunkers with “degraded chemical remnants”, saying the material dates back to the 1980s and was stored after being dismantled by UN inspectors in the 1990s. “Pure speculation and smoke and mirrors. TS”

She said the remnants “don’t include intact chemical weapons … and would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely use this for military purposes or, frankly, to move it”. [Easy to say but hard to prove, a terrorist isn't worried about a working chemical weapon when an explosive charge can be attached to it and still spread its deadly contents. TS]

The Muthanna facility, south of the city of Samarra, was Iraq’s primary site for the production of chemical weapons agents. After the end of the first Gulf war, UN weapons inspectors worked there to get rid of chemicals that could be used in weapons, destroy production plants and equipment, and eliminate chemical warfare agents. The UN inspectors left just before the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and never returned. The US-led Iraq survey group then took over the search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and found none.

News of the facility’s takeover came amid continued political uncertainty in Iraq as leaders must agree on a new government that can confront the militant offensive that has plunged the country into its worst crisis since the last US troops left in 2011.

Iraq’s parliament on Tuesday officially rescheduled its next session for Sunday after it was criticised for earlier plans to take a five-week break.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/09/isis-seizes-chemical-weapons-plant-muthanna-iraq

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Obama Pushes For Ceasefire To Save Hamas?

Editors Note: This President has been on the wrong side of many foreign policies. He has weakened the power of America with every decision he has made. Hamas is a terror group that is constantly bombing Israel. We used to be a stanch ally of Israel, now we seem to have changed sides under this administration. Israel is standing alone in their fight to rid themselves of this terror threat.

President Barack Obama Monday demanded that Israel stop its efforts to destroy the tunnels used by Hamas to launch rocket and jihad attacks against Israeli civilians, and called for a ceasefire on terms favorable to Hamas.

Hamas shields its tunnels from airstrikes by placing them in heavily populated civilian neighborhoods. The tunnels also extend under the border so Hamas jihadis can attack Israeli civilians and border patrols.

Israel has sent in ground units to find and destroy the tunnels, but Hamas’ forces are trying to repel the Israeli units in house-to-house fighting.

The resulting battles are killing some civilians, whose bodies are brought to a local hospital for display by international media.

Obama reacted Monday to Hamas’ strategy of showcasing civilian casualties.

“It now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a ceasefire that ends the fighting,” Obama said in short statement from a podium behind the White House.

Obama’s Gaza intervention will likely be welcome by Hamas, partly because the Israeli military is battling its way through Hamas’ defenses. Also, Israeli officials are suggesting they will continue their offensive until Hamas is disarmed, and is no longer a threat to Israeli civilians.

Obama said he’s sent Secretary of State John Kerry to the region to win a quick ceasefire that will stop the Israeli advance and halt the rockets into Israel.

“We don’t want to see any more civilians getting killed,” Obama continued.

Israel’s military is accidentally killing civilians as it tried to destroy the tunnels under the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza. Israel had urged the local civilians to flee before the attack began.

In contrast, only a few Israeli civilians have been killed by Hamas’ barrage of rockets against Israel’s town and cities. That’s because Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense destroys nearly all of the rockets that are on track to hit cities and towns.

Obama says he wants a ceasefire modeled on the 2012 deal that was brokered by Egypt’s Islamist government, and which temporarily ended a previous round of rocket attacks on Israel, and Israeli countermoves.

That Egyptian government was entwined with Hamas’ parent organization, the Cairo-based Muslim Brotherhood.

The 2012 peace deal opened Gaza’s border posts with Egypt once the fighting ended. Hamas used the open border to import more weapons and construction material for its tunnel network.

Since the 2012 deal was made, Egypt’s pro-Hamas government has been replaced by a new anti-Hamas government, which has drafted a new ceasefire deal.

The new deal would only open the border posts “once the security situation becomes stable on the ground,” according to the text.

Hamas recognizes that Egypt’s government will likely never conclude the security situation is stable enough to reopen the border. So the Egyptian deal that Hamas rejects — and that Obama is ignoring — would largely block a future military buildup by Hamas.

Israel accepted the new deal, but Hamas rejected it July 16, before Israel sent ground force into Gaza to destroy the tunnels.
Read more:  http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/21/obama-pushes-for-ceasefire-to-save-hamas/#ixzz38KeLXavZ

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Texas Gov. Perry to Deploy 1,000 National Guard Troops to Border

Texas Gov. Perry to Deploy 1,000 National Guard Troops to Border

Editors Note: Finally we have a Governor who is fed up with Obama dragging his feet to stop the invasion of illegals flooding America. With the National Guard helping the Border Patrol deal with the huge influx of illegal children by relieving them of the care of these kids it will allow the Border Patrol to do their job of stopping the illegal drugs that are now streaming across the border. It is a sad state of affairs when the federal government refuses to enforce the immigration laws of America. Obama is doing everything he can to punish Republican Governors by sending the illegals to their states and making them deal with all the problems they create. Both Obama and Attorney General Holder need to be impeached for their flagrant disregard for standing law. [TS]

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on Monday he planned to send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Mexican border to boost security during a surge in illegal immigration by children, a move that could increase pressure on President Barack Obama.

Perry, seen as a possible Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential race, said the guard troops were needed because the flood of children crossing from Mexico had pushed federal border protection to its limits.

“The price of inaction is too high for Texas to pay,” Perry told a news conference.

The governor’s announcement came just days before Obama plans meet with the leaders of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador on Friday to discuss cooperation on the influx of child migrants from Central America.

Perry said the National Guard would help the state’s surveillance and deploy some of its assets, such as aircraft, to monitor the border. He give no indication the Texas National Guard would work directly with U.S. Border Patrol.

During the nine months ending June 30, more than 57,000 children were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border, most of them from Central America, and double last year’s count, according to U.S. government data.

Perry said federal resources had been diverted to take care of those children, creating a vacuum for criminal cartels to step up operations.

Perry previously called on Obama to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border.

Before the news conference, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters: “If this deployment does move forward, it is the kind of step that we would like to see be coordinated and integrated with the ongoing response there.”

Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston, said Perry’s plan was more about politics than security because the state’s guard troops would play supporting roles on the vast border and likely be deployed for a short period of time.

“The operational impact is limited. This forces one to think that this is a political move by Rick Perry,” he said.

The White House and lawmakers have called the influx a humanitarian crisis, and the Obama administration has requested an additional $3.7 billion from Congress to address the situation.

Republicans, who say Obama’s immigration policies have encouraged the flood of children, have so far balked at approving the money.

Source: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Texas-Rick-Perry-National-Guard-border-crisis/2014/07/21/id/583961/

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Obama Forces Religious Groups To Pick Faith Or Funding

President Barack Obama talks about Ukraine while in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington, July 16, 2014. (REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Editors Note: Once again Obama launches another assault on Christianity for purely political reasons. Instead of dealing with real problems that are plaguing America like the Border Crisis and the Middle East debacle he has ineptly caused by his total disengagement he prefers to fund raise and attack Christians. Without a doubt this is the most corrupt and inept President and Administration in Americas history. It just goes to prove that a President needs more qualifications that that of being a community organizer. [TS]

President Barack Obama is replaying his turnout-boosting 2012 contraception fight against Christian groups by staging a pre-election fight between Christian groups and advocates of new legal rights for gays.

He’s expected to sign a regulation on July 21 that would force religious groups that get federal contracts to give up federal funding if they don’t submit to progressives’ claim that homosexuality and heterosexuality are morally equivalent.

The regulation ensures a fight by banning federal contracts for groups that are reluctant to hire gay, lesbian and transgender people. But many religious group prefer to hire people whose personal lives exemplify the groups’ beliefs about proper relations between men and women.

The regulation doesn’t apply to companies and non-profits that don’t accept government contracts.

The pending regulation was announced in The New York Times.

Gay and lesbian groups cheered the decision, but many religious groups will contest the regulation as a violation of the constitution’s “wall of separation” that protects religious groups from government dictates.

But that’s a fight Obama wants, because it creates a media-magnified emotional conflict that will help spur midterm turnout by gays, lesbians and progressives, and will likely cause a spike in donations from wealthy gays.

Gays and lesbians comprise less than 3 percent of the population, but usually provide roughly 4 percent of voters. More than three in four vote Democratic.

“We are elated at the announcement by the White House that on Monday the President will sign an Executive Order barring discrimination in employment by federal contractors,” said Kate Kendell, the executive director of the National Center for Lesbian rights. “For far too long, LGBT employees have been subject to open bigotry and negative job actions based on factors that have nothing to do with our ability to do the job.”

Obama’s regulation imposes a tough choice on religious groups.

Many religious groups, such as Catholic Charities, seek and accept federal funding because it helps them carry out charitable missions that exemplify their religion and are also sought by government.

Unless they abandon their religious beliefs relating to men and women, the family and sex, they be forced to give up federal funding.

Those efforts include activities such as arranging adoptions, running food kitchens and helping illegal immigrants settle in the United States.

Obama will sign the regulation despite a protest campaign by centrist and left-of-center religious groups, according to the New York Times.

The protesting clerics included Rev. Larry Snyder, the chief executive of Catholic Charities, Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church — who Obama invited to speak at his 2009 inauguration, and Stephan Bauman, president of World Relief, an evangelical charity.

That campaign was countered by a progressive coalition that denounced any exemption for religious groups.

Once Obama signs the regulation July 21, the religious groups likely will sue in courts for a reversal.

They’ll sue because an existing law — the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act — bars regulators from imposing unnecessary burdens on religious groups.

Obama created a similar fight in the run-up to the 2012 election.

He directed his Obamacare deputies to issue a regulation that forced churches to provide most of their employees with health insurance covering abortion-related services.

That was anathema to Catholic employers, who didn’t want to get involved in funding abortion services.

The resulting fight helped Obama win the November election, because the fight helped boost support among single women.

On June 30, the religious groups won a temporary victory, when the Supreme Court voted 9 to 0 to strike down regulations that contradicted the religious beliefs of a company’s owners. The court ruled that the regulations contradicted the law, because there are less-burdensome ways to achieve the goals sought by regulators.

The court’s decision, however, said the regulators could try to find an alternative regulation that would accomplish their goal of ensuring that nearly all employees of religious groups receive health-related insurance covering abortion-related services.

The Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores decision, however, was met by howls of protest from progressive groups, who claimed it would allow corporations to ignore federal laws.

But that’s good for the White House, because it is likely to stoke Democratic donations and turnout during the next few months.

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/18/obama-force-religious-groups-to-pick-faith-or-funding/

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The Next IRS? DOJ Accused Of Politically Targeting Industries

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder looks on during a special naturalization ceremony at the Department of Justice in Washington May 28, 2013.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX1045I

Operation Choke Point Hearing Reveals DOJ Threats And Strong-Arming

Editors Note: Once again we see the Obama Administration blatantly breaking the law for political reasons. Is there no end to the lawlessness that Obama and his cohorts will do for a political edge? Obama has a totally failed Presidency with debacle after debacle whether it be in his failed Foreign Policy  that has brought havoc to the entire world or in his disastrous Domestic Policies that has brought America to the brink of bankruptcy. The world is safer when he is playing golf or shooting baskets or his favorite pastime, fundraising. The world sighs a relief when he goes on one of his lavish vacations because they know at lest for that time he won’t make the world situation even worse. Holder needs to be impeached and then prosecuted for his part in numerous different scandals. America and the world is suffering because the Obama Administration it totally inept to handle even the simplest crisis. [TS]

A Justice Department fraud prevention program came under fire Thursday for allegedly morphing into actively pressuring banks to deny financial services to businesses for political reasons.

Operation Choke Point functions as a partnership between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and various other federal agencies which deal with bank regulations, specifically the Treasury and the SEC. The objective of the project is to choke-off fraudulent businesses from accessing financial services, in an effort to protect consumers.

The controversy, however, is over allegations that the DOJ is pressuring financial institutions to decline doing business with so-called “high risk” industries which line up squarely against the political leanings of the current administration. These businesses include ammunition sales, payday loans, pornography, fireworks companies, and others—24 industries in total, as listed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

“Operation Choke Point is one of the most dangerous programs I have experienced in my 45 years of service as a bank regulator, bank attorney and consultant, and bank board member. Operating without legal authority and guided by a political agenda, unelected officials at the DOJ are discouraging banks from providing basic banking services…to lawful businesses simply because they don’t like them,” said William M. Isaac, former chairman of the FDIC.

Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing focused on the legality of DOJ overreach. Letters have poured in from company owners in support of these suspicions, noting startling cases where the DOJ reportedly has directly strong-armed banks into dropping clients not engaging in fraud.

Virginia Republican Rep. Robert Goodlatte revealed that one of the more egregious examples sent in to the committee was a meeting between the DOJ and a bank regarding the continued provision of financial services to a payday loan company.

The DOJ official reportedly told the banker, “I don’t like this product, and I don’t believe it should have a place in our financial system. And if you don’t agree, there will be an immediate, unplanned audit of your entire bank.”

The Justice Department has now served over 50 subpoenas on banks, and Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus expressed considerable concern that dragging banks into a long and expensive process is just an underhanded way of encouraging banks to drop clients as an easy-out.

“Subpoenas are expensive to comply with and can bring unwanted scrutiny. The natural reaction from a financial institution might be to sever relations with the merchant and be done with it,” Bachus said Thursday in a hearing at the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.

Missouri Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer brought forward the End Operation Choke Point Act Tuesday to curb the DOJ’s activities in this area. The act would provide financial institutions with safe harbor to serve customers engaged in legal activities, so as to cut out politically motivated attacks on businesses deemed undesirable by the Justice Department.

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/18/operation-choke-point-hearing-reveals-doj-threats-and-strong-arming/

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Exclusive: Feds Struggling to Cope With Medical ‘Breakdown’ at the Border

GTY kids on the border 2 mar 140716 16x9 608 Exclusive: Feds Struggling to Cope With Medical Breakdown at the Border

The federal government is so overwhelmed by the current tide of migrants crossing the border it can’t provide basic medical screening to all of the children before transporting them – often by air – to longer-term holding facilities across the country, ABC News has learned.

The director of refugee health in the federal Health and Human Services Department “has identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes at the Nogales, Arizona, facility,” according to an internal Department of Defense memo reviewed by ABC News. The “breakdown” a systemic failure of the handoff of these children between CBP and HHS.

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Inside the government, officials are sounding alarms, fearing that they and their teams who come in contact with the sick children face potential exposure to infectious diseases from chicken pox to influenza, including rare cases of H1N1, more commonly called swine flu.

Two unaccompanied children were flown from Nogales to California despite having 101-degree fevers and flu-like symptoms, according to the Department of Defense memo. Those children had to be hospitalized.

The memo said pointedly that officials in charge of moving the immigrants from Border Patrol processing centers to Health and Human Services facilities are “putting sick [fevers and coughing] unaccompanied children on airplanes inbound for [Naval Base Ventura County] in addition to the chicken pox and coxsackie virus cases.”

The document said three other kids were in the ICU at local hospitals in California, and two of them were diagnosed with strep pneumonia.

Less than a week later, that same Ventura Naval Base suffered an outbreak of pneumonia and influenza among the unaccompanied minors inside the shelter.

“Preliminary reports indicate that several unaccompanied minors in the shelter had become ill with what appears to be pneumonia and influenza,” according to a statement from the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services.

HHS told ABC News the children were supposed to be screened for sickness before leaving the Border Patrol screening centers.

“When the children arrive at U.S. border stations,” the ACF statement read, “they are screened for health problems and given medical treatment if needed.”

But, according to the memo ABC News reviewed, “Curi Kim [the HHS director of the Division of Refugee Health] has identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes at the Nogales, Arizona, facility.  The  [unaccompanied children] were initially screened and cleared upon entry into that facility with no fever or significant symptoms.  They were not however re-screened and cleared for travel and placement at a temporary shelter.”

While confirming to ABC News the outbreak occurred, HHS would not respond to inquiries about the DOD memo showing sick children were knowingly sent to Naval Base Ventura prior to the outbreak.

“My biggest concerns are with the health of these children,” said Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and medical editor. “They are victims going through incredibly stressful circumstances and some will have health issues that need to be treated. Some come from countries that don’t vaccinate against pneumonia or meningitis. They need those vaccines.  Some come from countries where it is flu season. They need that vaccine, too. The big health risks are among these children, not to our communities.”

Once kids are in HHS custody they receive exams and vaccinations, and are screened for tuberculosis, according to ACF,  but more serious illnesses such as meningitis and polio are of little concern for causing an outbreak.

“Children from this region of the world participate in comprehensive childhood vaccination programs, similar to the United States, and are generally well protected from most vaccine-preventable diseases,” ACF said in a statement.

Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras each have rates of vaccination against preventable illnesses such as polio, tuberculosis, measles and pertussis consistent with the United States, according to the World Health Organization.

 

Latest data on vaccination rates per country, according to Pan American Health Organization 

DTP3 (Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) Measles MMR1 OPV3 (Polio) BCG (tuberculosis)
Guatemala 94 93 94 100 (2010)
El Salvador 92 93 92 90 (2012)
Honduras* 88 93 88 89 (2012)
United States 94 91  93 n/a (2012)

* In 2010 and 2011, Honduras had rates of 100 percent vaccination for all vaccines listed.

 

During congressional testimony the first week of July, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said: “We’ve already had one confirmed case of H1N1 in Texas, and have been informed by our federal partners of two additional cases of type A influenza that are likely to be H1N1, in addition to reports of other illnesses at other detention facilities.”

The Texas Department of Health confirmed to ABC News that there have been three flu cases, one confirmed H1N1 and two others being flu type A,  or presumptive H1N1.

According to the CDC, between April 12, 2009 and April 10, 2010, the height of swine flu in the U.S., approximately 60.8 million cases occurred, with 12,469 deaths.

The CDC website stated: The H1N1 virus that caused that pandemic is now a regular human flu virus and continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/07/exclusive-feds-struggling-to-cope-with-medical-breakdown-at-the-border/

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Leaked Data Shows 10-Fold Increase In Obama’s Asylum Approvals

 

The number of foreigners who successfully filed asylum claims in the United States almost tripled from 2012 to 2013, up to 30,393.

That’s 10 times the number from 2008, when President Barack Obama was elected, and it is evidence his immigration officials are agreeing that many people in the growing wave of Central American migrants face a “credible fear” of harm if they are returned. Official approval allows the migrants to file for asylum in immigration court, where judges will approve or reject the asylum request.

If you came illegally to the U.S. seeking asylum in 2013, you had better than a four-in-five chance of successfully filing an asylum claim. That’s up from a three-in-five chance in 2008.

The migrants include mothers with children, and youths who have been brought north by their parents who are living illegally in the United States. Roughly 240,000 migrants — parents, youths and children — are expected to cross the border by the end of September.

The total includes 57,525 unaccompanied youths and children, from October 2013 to June 30, 2014, according to DHS. Because of a 2008 law, unaccompanied youths from countries other than Mexico and Canada don’t have to pass the “credible fear” hurdle, but can directly file asylum cases in immigration courts.

Legislators urged more care in granting asylum after the media reported that the father of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, successfully applied for asylum in 2002.

The internal federal data from the Department of Homeland Security was provided to The Daily Caller by a source.

It shows that officials endorsed 3,097 asylum requests in the year up to Sept. 30, 2008 — dubbed fiscal year 2008 — to people who said they faced a “credible fear” of persecution if they were repatriated.

Obama took office in January 2009, and officials approved 3,411 “credible fear” approvals in the next 12 months, up to the end of September in 2009.

Officials approved another 6,293 in the next 12 months, and another 9,423 in the next 12 months, ending September 2011.

In fiscal year 2012, ending September 2012, Obama’s officials approved 10,838 claims, before tripling the score to 30,393 in 2013.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of would-be migrants — including many “unaccompanied minors” — from Central America began flooding over the southern border.

Many of the youths — roughly half claimed to be aged between 14 and 17 — and the children claimed asylum. Once their asylum claims were submitted, they were subsequently transported by federal agencies to their parents living illegally in the United States. The youths and children are also automatically enrolled in a variety of welfare, education and medical programs, and some receive free legal advice from taxpayer-funded attorneys.

Tens of thousands of adults with children also crossed the border and many claimed “credible fear” of persecution by criminal gangs in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Some parts of those countries are afflicted by gangs, some of which included many former illegal immigrants who were deported from the United States.

Once their “credible fear” claims are endorsed by administration officials, the adults can file for asylum.

The 30,393 “credible fear” approvals in fiscal 2013, ending in Sept. 30, 2013, likely included many of the 2011 and 2012 border-crossers. Few 2013 border-crossers would have their claims adjudicated quickly enough, unless they’re being rubber-stamped by Obama’s officials.

However, the DHS data shows that “credible fear” claims are being approved at a higher rate by Obamas deputies.

The approval rate jumped from 64 percent in 2008 to 84 percent in 2013.

The number of people claiming “credible fear” grew slowly from 118,457 in 2008 to 123,180 in 2011. But it lept up to 183,681 in 2012, indicating a huge number of asylum requests, most likely from the southern border-crossers.

The data does not show the number of people who claimed credible fear in 2013.

When a person make a “credible fear” plea for asylum, the claim is initially checked by police in the Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Those agencies gave provision approval to 13,880 claims in 2012, but 38,035 claims in 2013. Immigration officials then rejected 1,187 claims of those claims in 2012, and 2,587 claims in 2013.

The data does not say how many of the rejected claimants were repatriated.

According to the Los Angeles Times, only 1,669 immigrants younger than 18 were rejected in 2013. That’s down from 8.143 in 2008.

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/14/leaked-data-shows-10-fold-increase-in-obamas-asylum-approvals/

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Government Cover-up: Nurse says “They’re going to crush the system. We can’t sustain this.”

There is no way that this country can withstand this onslaught of illegal immigrants. Not only financially, but the spread of diseases. The impact of having these kids in schools across the country. Having to pay for them to be on government programs. The administration has placed gag orders on the medical staff treating these people and on the border patrol that are dealing with taking care of them. If this is the “most transparent” administration, why are there gag orders???  EB

Jeff Schwilk, spokesman for San Diegans for Secure Borders Coalition, tells PolitiChicks, that his Border Patrol Agent sources report nearly 25% of the illegal immigrants on the first three flights from the border into San Diego were carriers of contagious diseases. About 100 out of 420 illegal aliens have active scabies. There are reports of coughing up of blood, lice, and fevers, all indicative of disease, sickness, or infection.

His sources indicate that the medical screeners are not able to use the same protocol followed when processing legal immigrants due to the system overload. There are no legitimate quarantine quarters or required clearances due to the massive numbers of illegal aliens coming into Texas. Some treatment is rendered and then they are released into the general population, transferred by plane or bus to their destinations.

Schwilk tells PolitiChicks that a 6th Border Patrol Agent has contracted scabies. Medical staff and the Border Patrol Agents are the first line responders, and as such are subjected to the health issues themselves. They are doing the best that they can but the situation is overwhelming.

Schwilk is just one activist reporting what could be called a government engineered occupation of America by third world illegal immigrants, putting our national health at risk. Reports are flooding the internet media supporting his information.

Government suppression of the health crisis is being leaked. Border medical personnel have been threatened with arrest by those being referred to as the “Brown Shirts”. Todd Starnes reports, “These government-contracted security forces have threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they disclose any information about the contagion threat looming at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. . .” One counselor said the workers were “stripped of their cellphones and other communication devices. Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired.” Both a counselor and nurse said their supervisors were attempting to cover up the extent of the illnesses. Lice are at an epidemic proportion. Workers are warned not to use the term “scabies”. One counselor reported the facility resembles a giant emergency room—“off limits to the public”. Another nurse observed, “They’re going to crush the system. We can’t sustain this. They are overwhelming the system. I think it’s a travesty.”

A Texas-based agency formerly known as Baptist Child & Family, now as BCFS, have been contracted to run camps at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and Fort Sill in Oklahoma. According to BCFS, over 7,000 children have been processed through the two camps. They report that, contend, “only 119 children have been treated for lice, 22 for scabies, and one for the H1N1 Flu. BCFS says the most common illnesses seen at Lackland are fever, headache, upper respiratory cold and ingrown toenails. Numbers of illnesses vary between officials and nurses. TB is suspected but officials say that is not unusual.” However, Todd Starnes reports that. “at least a half dozen anonymous sources, including nurses and health care providers who worked at Lackland, allege that the government is covering up what they believe to be a very serious health threat.” Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at New York University’s Langone Medical Center and a Fox News A Team medical contributor, said, “Tuberculosis appears to be spreading through several counties in southern Texas.” He told Starnes, “that some counties are reporting twice the usual average number of cases. Some of the tuberculosis that comes from Central America is drug resistant. It’s not easier to spread but it is harder to treat. I’m concerned about that.”

Another gag order was given to a California Border Patrol union representative. “Ron Zermeno told ABC 10 San Diego that he has been placed under a gag order in an attempt to avoid negative news about the state of the southern border from getting out to the public. Zermeno said that the order was designed to prevent him from saying that no agents will be securing the southern border.”

http://politichicks.tv/column/government-cover-nurse-says-theyre-going-crush-system-cant-sustain/

 

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Feds Aggressive Handling Of Murrieta Protesters Fits Perfectly With Obama Policy

Demonstrators picket against the possible arrivals of undocumented migrants who may be processed at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station in Murrieta, California July 1, 2014. REUTERS/Sam Hodgson

Murrieta, a small town in southern California, has caught the nation’s eye and has become ground zero in the fight over immigration.

Dozens of local residents have taken to the streets to protest bringing illegal immigrants to the town, becoming a lightening rod in the ongoing immigration battle. This prompted reports that the federal government was going to send agents armed with riot gear to disperse the protesters.

To journalist Cheryl Chumley, author of the recently released “Police State USA,” the federal government’s harsh measures against the protesters are perfectly in line with the established policies of the Obama administration.

“Under this administration, you have the tone set that aggressive action will be taken if average citizens, or Congress, don’t act according to this president’s will,” Chumley told The Daily Caller. ”Obama brags about pushing policy with pen and cell phone when Congress won’t act according to his will.”

She compared the situation going on in Murrieta to that of the pitched battle between federal agents and private citizens at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada back in April. Chumley says both cases show that the government won’t hesitate to use force against citizens who dissent against their stated agenda.

“As we saw in Nevada [at the Bundy ranch], I don’t think this administration would hesitate to use armed agents to send a strong message,” Chumley commented.

In her opinion, the current administration is bent on bringing in more immigration to this country and is unwilling to tolerate opposition to that policy — which means this situation will likely lead to more standoffs between federal agents and protesters.

“The federal government is pretty adamant on bringing these children into America, and the protesters are just as adamant about keeping these illegals out and deporting the ones who have been brought in already,” she said. “So you’re going to see a standoff.”

She also explained that the situation in Murrieta arose because the government failed to inform the town why they were bringing these illegal immigrants to their community.

“The mayor there, Allan Long, has no idea why the federal government has chosen Murrieta as the dumping point for these illegals and he has asked repeatedly for information,” the journalist explained.”What’s happening is deafening silence — he hasn’t heard anything back from the federal government.”

Due to the protests, the people of Murrieta had managed to turn away one bus full of detained migrants and forced the government to reroute multiple buses carrying illegal immigrants to other facilities.

“But the protesters refused to go home,” Chumley said. “They’re hanging outside the border patrol facility there waiting to see if anymore buses turn up.”

“Why average Americans — not just those in Murrieta — should be concerned is that illegal immigration upsets the rule of law in America. It turns the Constitution on its end and it also creates an imbalance in America where you have people coming into the country who don’t have any historical understanding of what makes this nation great,” Chumley commented.

And this is just the tipping point, “because these immigrants are not just being brought to border towns but to small communities around the nation, I think you’re going to have a lot of resistance groups, rallies and protests popping up around the nation.”

Chumley believes that the first thing that Republicans should do in regards to this crisis is to not approve the nearly $4 billion that Obama has requested to handle the situation until the border is secure, as she says, ”You shouldn’t give the money until you actually see some action.”

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/12/author-feds-aggressive-handling-of-murrieta-protesters-fits-perfectly-with-obama-policy/

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Mexico made deal to send more illegal aliens to the U.S.

The border situation is going to continue to get worse and Obama will continue to allow anyone to come into this country. We now know that Mexico is in collusion with Guatemala and maybe the U.S as well. We need to shut down the border once and for all.  EB

On Monday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina held a joint press conference in Playas de Catazaja, Mexico, to officially announce an agreement to make it easier for those making the illegal journey to the United States from Central America, to cross into Mexico.

The Southern Border Program to Improve Passage, will provide for more border checkpoints along Mexico’s border with Guatemala, and offer more protection and even emergency medical care to those making their way north. The illegal aliens will receive a so-called Regional Visitor’s Card, according to El Universal.

Officially, the program will grant the cards to only illegal aliens from Guatemala and Belize, allowing them to remain in Mexico’s southern states for 72 hours (more than enough time to reach the U.S./Mexican border by train). While, those two countries share a border with Mexico, the program will undoubtedly benefit anyone who makes it to the border, which would explain why our Border Patrol stations are currently overflowing with illegal aliens from El Salvador and Honduras as well.

The program will also give special protection and even financial assistance to unaccompanied minors now pouring across our border. Of course, these efforts, chiefly by the Mexican government, will only increase the number of illegal aliens coming to this country by the thousands, now on a daily basis.

The official announcement only confirms what many of us have known all along…the current chaos on the border which the Obama administration has sympathetically (and dishonestly) characterized as a “humanitarian crisis,” only exists due to collusion between the governments of Mexico, Guatemala and likely the United States.

You see, unlike the United States, Mexico actually defends their southern border…

In September 2010, the head administrator of the Mexican Superintendency of Tax Administration, Raul Diaz, told the Inter-Press Sevice (IPS) that his government was building a wall in the state of Chiapas, along the Mexican/Guatemalan border. The official reason given was to stop contraband from coming into Mexico, but as Diaz readily admitted: “It could also prevent the free passage of illegal immigrants.”

Furthermore, Article 33 of the Mexican Constitution states:

The President of the Republic shall have the power to expel from national territory any foreigner, according to the law and after a hearing. The law shall establish the administrative procedure for this purpose, as well as the place where the foreigner should be detained and the time for that. Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.

Of course, in the U.S. illegal aliens are not only free to stay without fear of deportation, but they now protest openly, regularly invading Congressional field offices to demand amnesty legislation, as well as actually physically blocking the entrances and exits of the Washington D.C. headquarters of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in 2013.

Obviously, the American people are under daily assault from foreign invaders, bringing with them crime and disease, but the bigger threat is from government corruption, both foreign and domestic…governments that manufacture crises which threaten to “fundamentally transform” ours into a Third World nation in less than a generation.

http://www.examiner.com/article/mexico-made-deal-to-send-more-illegal-aliens-to-the-u-s

 

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Israeli military steps up Gaza Strip airstrikes on second day of offensive

Israel’s military said Wednesday that it had struck around 200 sites linked to the Islamic militant group Hamas on the second day of an offensive aimed at stopping rocket attacks directed at key cities across Israel.

The army said sites that it attacked in Gaza Wednesday included 118 concealed rocket-launching sites, six Hamas compounds, 10 militant command centers, weapons storage facilities and 10 tunnels used for militant activity and to ferry supplies in from Egypt. The border between Gaza and Egypt has effectively been closed for months.

Militants, however, continued to fire rocket salvos deep into Israeli territory, and Israel mobilized thousands of forces along the Gaza border ahead of a possible ground operation.

Since the offensive began Tuesday, Israel has attacked more than 560 sites in Gaza, killing at least 41 people, according to The Associated Press. The strikes came after militants fired more than 160 rockets at Israel, including one that reached the northern Israeli city of Hadera for the first time. The city is about 60 miles from Gaza.

The Hadera explosion caused no injuries, the Israeli Army said, but it did mark the farthest distance a rocket has traveled from Gaza. With its new reach, Hamas’ rockets now have an estimated 5 million people — more than half of Israel’s population — in range.

“The army is ready for all possibilities,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after holding a meeting of his Security Cabinet. “Hamas will pay a heavy price for firing toward Israeli citizens. The security of Israel’s citizens comes first. The operation will expand and continue until the fire toward our towns stops and quiet returns.”

Israeli leaders warned a ground invasion could be imminent.

“Despite the fact it will be hard, complicated and costly, we will have to take over Gaza temporarily, for a few weeks, to cut off the strengthening of this terror army,” Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s intelligence minister, told Israel Radio. “If you ask my humble opinion, a significant operation like this is approaching.”

By early Wednesday, air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and Israel’s south, and the army said two rockets were apparently intercepted above the central Israeli city by an anti-missile battery. In total, at least seven rockets were fired toward Israel on Wednesday, and the “Iron Dome” anti-missile system intercepted about half of them mid-air, the army said. There were no reported injuries.

The BBC reported that rockets fired from Gaza reached Jerusalem on Tuesday, but fell without causing injury.

Gaza health official Ashraf al-Qidra said at least 14 people were killed in Wednesday’s airstrikes, including two militants. An 80-year-old woman was among the dead. In all, 35 Palestinians have been killed.

Israel’s army said its targets included a senior member of the Islamic Jihad militant group. Islamic Jihad confirmed one of its members was killed, along with his mother and four siblings.

Israeli Army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told reporters that the military’s aim was to take a “substantial toll” on Hamas and to deplete its rocket capabilities. He said the army would gradually ramp up its strikes on Gaza.

“The organization is going to pay for its aggression. It is literally holding us hostage with its rockets,” Lerner said. “The country is not willing for this situation to continue.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that continued rocket attacks against Israeli territory would not be tolerated.

“I have ordered the military to significantly broaden its operation against Hamas terrorists and against the other terrorist groups inside Gaza,” Netanyahu said in a televised address. “I call on you to display patience because this operation could take time.”

Netanyahu’s government has authorized the Israeli Army to activate up to 40,000 reservists for a possible ground attack against Gaza. The army said that about 1,000 soldiers were immediately activated, in addition to an earlier group of 1,500 reservists called into action.

“If we need to go inside in a ground operation, then we will do it. These things are on the table. These options exist. We will not stop anything until the rocket firing ends,” said Yitzhak Aharonovitch, the minister for internal security and a member of Netanyahu’s inner Security Cabinet. Israel’s last ground offensive was in 2009.

Israel and Hamas agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that ended the last round of fighting in late 2012.

But in Gaza, Abu Obeida, a masked spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, accused Israel of violating that agreement and demanded a halt to the airstrikes, its recent crackdown in the West Bank and its opposition to a Palestinian unity government that is backed by Hamas.

“In the face of this aggression, we affirm that the Zionist enemy should not dream of calm and stability,” he said. [What part of the aggression will stop when the rockets stop doesn't he understand] [TS]

Hamas is far weaker than in 2012. At the time, Egypt was governed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ close ally. Following a military coup in 2013, Egypt’s new government is hostile to Hamas and has closed a network of smuggling tunnels used by the group as an economic lifeline.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the rival forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But facing international isolation and an economic crisis, Hamas last month agreed to back a new unity government with Abbas.

Abbas called on the international community and the United Nations to “provide international protection for our people.” He said in a televised statement late Tuesday that Hamas leaders in Gaza want to restore calm. [How about international protection for the people of Israel from the rocket attacks originating from the Gaza Strip???] [TS]

“I have been in contact with the regional and international parties in the last few days, particularly Hamas leaders in Gaza, and everyone I’ve talked to expressed his willingness to restore the truce and stop the escalation,” Abbas said. He called the Israeli offensive on Gaza an “orchestrated and brutal aggression.” [It is easy to say you have been in contact with Hamas and to say they are willing to restore the truce. The truce can be restored simply by not firing anymore rockets into Israel but that would be to simple wouldn't it] [TS]

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the multiple rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and demanded an immediate halt to the attacks, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to stop the violence. [Perhaps the UN can send in their "Blue Helmets" to supervise the cessation of rocket launches. They would have to instruct the  "Blue Helmets" though to not indiscriminately rape the Palestinian women and young girls first though as that is their habit.] [TS] 

 

Tensions have been rising since the kidnapping on June 12 in the West Bank of three Israeli teenagers, who were found murdered. Israel accused Hamas of being behind the abductions, although it provided no proof.

Israel then launched a crackdown on the group’s members in the West Bank and arrested hundreds of people. Hamas, which controls Gaza, responded by stepping up rocket fire.

Hours after the teens’ funeral, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian teenager, was abducted and later found dead in a Jerusalem forest in what Palestinians say was a revenge killing. [Revenge for what? The brutal abduction and callous murder of (3) Israeli young men? While Israel has arrested the perpetrators involved in the death of the Palestinian youth and will prosecute them, the Palestinians are praising the murderers of the Israeli youth calling them Soldiers of God. So its ok to kill Israelis but it is wrong for Israelis to kill Palestinians.  Have they ever considered both acts are wrong? Doubtful!] [TS]

 

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/07/09/israeli-military-says-palestinian-rocket-attacks-decline-on-second-day/?intcmp=latestnews

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It’s politics, not science, driving climate mania

The “science” of climate change has been and continues to be based on computer models and guessing. If this is true science, let’s base climate change on actual facts. But, actual facts get in the way of their political agenda.  EB

  • UN computer predictions subject of ridicule: not got it right for 18 years
  • Across the globe, there are about 1m sq km more sea ice than 35 years ago
  • Authorities are now guessing global temperatures based on nearby weather stations

For years, computer simulations have predicted that sea ice should be disappearing from the Poles. Now, with the news that Antarctic sea-ice levels have hit new highs, comes yet another mishap to tarnish the credibility of climate science. 

Climatologists base their doom-laden predictions of the Earth’s climate on computer simulations.

But these have long been the subject of ridicule because of their stunning failure to predict the pause in warming – nearly 18 years long on some measures – since the turn of the last century.

It’s the same with sea ice. We hear a great deal about the decline in Arctic sea ice, in line with or even ahead of predictions.

But why are environmentalists and scientists so much less  keen to discuss the long-term increase in the southern hemisphere?

In fact, across the globe, there are about one million square kilometres more sea ice than 35 years ago, which is when satellite measurements began.

 

It’s fair to say that this has been something of an embarrassment for climate modellers. But it doesn’t stop there. 

In recent days a new scandal over the integrity of temperature data has emerged, this time in America, where it has been revealed as much as 40 per cent  of temperature data there are not real thermometer readings.

Many temperature stations have closed, but rather than stop recording data from these posts, the authorities have taken the remarkable step of ‘estimating’ temperatures based on the records of surrounding stations. 

So vast swathes of the data are actually from ‘zombie’ stations that have long since disappeared.  This is bad enough, but it has also been discovered that the  US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is using estimates even when perfectly good raw data is available to it – and that it has adjusted historical records.

Why should it do this? Many have noted that the effect of all these changes is to produce a warmer present and a colder past, with the net result being  the impression of much faster warming.

They draw their conclusions accordingly.

Naturally, if the US temperature records are indeed found to have been manipulated, this is unlikely to greatly affect our overall picture of rising temperatures at the end of the last century and  a standstill thereafter.

The US is, after all, only a  small proportion of the globe. 

Similarly, climatologists’ difficulties with the sea ice may be of little scientific significance in the greater scheme of things.

We have only a few decades of data, and in climate terms this is probably too short to demonstrate that either the Antarctic increase or the Arctic decrease is anything other than natural variability. 

But the relentless focus by activist scientists on the Arctic decline does suggest a political imperative rather than a scientific one – and when put together with the story of the US temperature records, it’s hard to avoid the impression that what the public is being told is less than the unvarnished truth. 

As their credulity is stretched more and more, the public will – quite rightly – treat demands for action with increasing caution…
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2681812/Its-politics-not-science-driving-climate-change-mania-UN-predictions-subject-ridicule-stunning-failure.html#ixzz36yjb6bL9 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

 

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Israel Prepares For Possible Ground War To Stop Hamas

Editors Note: The unrest in the entire Middle East is a direct result of Obama’s failed foreign policy. By refusing to make decisions that could have stopped this unrest at the beginning, every death that has resulted lays directly at Obama’s feet. Israel is being besieged by rockets fired from Gaza and what does out inept President do? He writes a Op Ed that was published in an Israeli newspaper Haaretz praising Palestinian President  Mahmoud Abbas without mentioning  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu very much at all. The direct shunning of Netanyahu was designed to minimize the Prime Minister  and to elevate the leader of the terrorist organization Hamas. Once again the President of the United States is siding with the Terrorists over our Allie Israel. Becaus of the ongoing rocket attacks and ground intrusions the Prime Minister has called up 40,000 Israeli reservists and vowed to end Hamas’s control in the Gaza Strip. [TS]

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his military commanders to be fully prepared for a ground operation into the Gaza, the strip of territory controlled by Muslim Brotherhood affiliated terrorist group Hamas.

 A senior Israeli official said of his meeting with Netanyahu: “The prime minister’s instruction by the end of the meeting was to prepare for a thorough, long, continuous and strong campaign in Gaza. The prime minister instructed the army to be ready to go all in. A ground offensive is on the table.”

 Early Tuesday, Israel struck Gaza from the air, hitting more than 50 targets in the military offensive dubbed “Operation Protective Edge.” Israel has now hit over 150 targets in Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Force’s Twitter feed.

Operation Protective Edge

Hamas jihadis fired more than 85 rockets into Israel Monday, and continued its rocket barrage into Tuesday.

The Israeli cabinet said it plans to call up an additional 40,000 army reserves as the violence in the South of the country has continued to escalate. Late Monday, 1,500 reservists were called up to support the mission.

Israeli security officials have calculated that Hamas may be willing to use their supply of advanced weaponry in order to target Tel Aviv, the modern city that is said to be the technological and entrepreneurial capital of the Middle East, located roughly 50 miles from Gaza.

Hamas’ most dangerous weapon in its arsenal is the Iranian-made Fajr-5 missiles, capable of striking Tel Aviv. In 2012, during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas unloaded some of its Fajr-5’s towards Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Most security experts concur that the Fajr-5 has been smuggled into Gaza and the West Bank by the Iranian government.

At 4pm local time Tuesday, Tel Aviv began opening its bomb shelters in anticipation for forthcoming rocket attacks from Gaza.

Source: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/07/08/Israel-Prepares-For-Possible-Ground-War-To-Stop-Hamas

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Active 4-Star General: Obama’s Border Crisis Threatens America’s Existence

The border has been a sieve for many years. After 911, one would think that closing the border down would be a no brainer. Not knowing who is sneaking into the country is a huge security risk to this country. Now, it has become a true crisis……EB

The ongoing border crisis is much more than just a flood of illegal immigrants searching for amnesty and a better life.  It is a crisis that is threatening America’s national security, and even it’s very existence as we know it, as deadly diseases, drugs, weapons, even terrorists are being smuggled into the country, with doctors and agents being threatened to stay silent about it.

While Border Patrol and Customs agents are being overwhelmed by the thousands of unaccompanied children coming across the border, criminals and cartels are having a field day, moving back and forth across the border to smuggle things in and out of the country, sometimes with the assistance of corrupt Mexican military units.

Texas has increased it’s law enforcement personnel on the border, and numerous militia units are working together to fill in the gaps where they can to secure the border.  But the cries are ringing out for armed soldiers, either National Guard or regular military, to defend the border against the “invasion”.

Now an active-duty, 4-star Marine General and US Southern Command Commander John Kelly is speaking out about the dangers of the ongoing crisis at the border, and his warnings are dire, saying the crisis could very well threaten America’s existence. (H/T WND)

Particularly in regards to the drug trade, murder rates and terrorist activity brewing in Central America, Kelly says, the waves of Latin Americans sweeping through Mexico and illegally into Texas presents a threat to the U.S. every bit as serious as Iran or North Korea.

“In comparison to other global threats, the near collapse of societies in [this] hemisphere with the associated drug and [illegal immigrant] flow are frequently viewed to be of low importance,” Kelly said in an interview with Defense One. “Many argue these threats are not existential and do not challenge our national security. I disagree.”

Kelly has been warning about this threat before, during testimony before both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, complaining that budget cuts have tied the hands of his Command, forcing him to watch as criminal activity goes unchecked.

“Last year, we had to cancel more than 200 very effective engagement activities and numerous multilateral exercises,” Kelly said, explaining that a full 74 percent of “actionable illicit trafficking events” simply go unanswered, because he doesn’t have the funds or resources to do anything about it.

“I simply sit and watch it go by,” he continued. “And because of service cuts, I don’t expect to get any immediate relief, in terms of assets, to work with in this region of the world.”

Worse yet, he continued, with smuggling routes wide open for business, it’s far more than cocaine or children seeking a better life getting a free pass across the border.

“Clearly, criminal networks can move just about anything on these smuggling pipelines,” Kelly said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee in February. “Terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even quite easily bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States.”

“Supporters and sympathizers of Lebanese Hezbollah are involved in both licit and illicit activities in the region,” Kelly told Congress. “Members, supporters, and adherents of Islamic extremist groups are present in Latin America. Islamic extremists visit the region to proselytize, recruit, establish business venues to generate funds, and expand their radical networks. Some Muslim communities in the Caribbean and South America are exhibiting increasingly extremist ideology and activities, mostly as a result from ideologues’ activities and external influence from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Mr. Chairman, we take all these activities seriously.”

Kelly also points out that the bulk of immigrants in this flood are coming from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, three of the most dangerous and deadly countries in central America.  Known as the “Northern Triangle”, these three countries are all near the top of the list in criminal and gang activity, with high rates of murder and drug smuggling.

“Chairman, gone are the days of the ‘cocaine cowboys,’” Kelly testified. “Instead, we and our partners are confronted with cocaine corporations that have franchises all over the world, including 1,200 American cities, as well as criminal enterprises like the violent transnational gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, that specialize in extortion and human trafficking.

“The FBI has warned that MS-13 has a significant presence in California, North Carolina, New York, and northern Virginia, and is expanding into new areas of the United States, including Indian reservations in South Dakota,” he concluded.

Roger Noriega, an American Enterprise Institute Fellow and former official in George W. Bush’s administration, knows all about how dangerous MS-13 can be.

“There’s going to be a time when MS-13 fires an RPG into an Alexandria [Va.] police car, and [Americans] are going to say, ‘What the hell happened?’” Noriega said.

General Kelly says that now more than ever our nation needs to deploy the military to our porous southern border, to protect against far worse threats than mere illegal immigration.

“Some of my counterparts perceive that the United States is disengaging from the region and from the world in general,” Kelly said. “We should remember that our friends and allies are not the only ones watching our actions closely. … And in the meantime, drug traffickers, criminal networks, and other actors, unburdened by budget cuts, cancelled activities, and employee furloughs, will have the opportunity to exploit the partnership vacuum left by reduced U.S. military engagement.”

Thank God this General is speaking out.  We desperately need to deploy the military to our southern border, ASAP.  A crisis involving illegal immigrants, and even infectious diseases they may be carrying, can be handled to a certain extent without disrupting or causing too much damage to the country.

But we cannot sit idly by while criminal cartels and terrorist organizations work to exploit our undefended border.  They can and will bring death and destruction to our country.  And when that happens, the blood of the innocent will be awash in the Oval Office, unless President Obama moves now to fully secure the border and stop this existential threat in it’s tracks.

 

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DOJ Files Lawsuit Against North Carolina’s ‘Discriminatory’ Voter ID Law

Editors Note: Once again the Justice Dept. under Attorney General Eric Holder is wasting precious time on voter ID laws. This is a subject democrats have always opposed because it would limit their base from unlawfully casting illegal votes. You need a ID for just about anything these days and most require a photo ID, you can get a photo ID in any state from the DMV. It is just an excuse to allow the typical dead voter to vote and get away with it a trick that Chicago democrats have used for years. Perhaps it would serve the country better if Mr. Holder spent his time investigating the many scandles that are plaguing the WH. Of course that would entail investigating the Obama Administration and the WH itself. You can’t expect much though from an Attorney General who himself was found in Contempt of Congress over the Fast and Furious debacle. TS

Are voter ID laws inherently racist? Do they curtail voting rights? Those are questions a North Carolina judge will ultimately determine sometime next July.

To recap, the North Carolina state legislature passed a law in 2013 that, among other things, abolished same-day voter registration and instituted a voter ID provision. Naturally, it has been pilloried by both civil rights groups and activists as discriminatory.

Such provisions limit access to the right to vote, they argue, and therefore must be struck down to preserve the integrity of elections held in the state:

 

A North Carolina law passed last year that requires voters to present photo identification and eliminates same-day voter registration has been called one of the farthest-reaching overhauls to election rules in the country. Now a judge will decide whether it will stay that way. 

Lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice, the North Carolina NAACP, the League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union will argue the case against state lawyers over the law in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem on Monday. U.S. attorneys and civil rights groups are asking a judge for a preliminary injunction to temporarily delay implementation of parts of the law. The hearing is a prelude to a trial scheduled for July 2015 where a judge will determine whether to uphold or strike down the law.

Civil rights advocates argue North Carolina has a long history of implementing measures — like poll taxes and tests — to hinder African-Americans, the poor and the elderly from voting. Opponents of the law say it will hurt hundreds of thousands of people who want to vote.

“This is a full assault on the franchise of voting,” said state NAACP President Rev. William Barber.

The judge in the preliminary injunction case Monday will not rule on whether to uphold or strike down the whole law with the voter ID mandate. Instead, he will decide what, if any, specific parts should be delayed until a final decision on the law is made in 2015.

 

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Attorney General Eric Holder explicitly said that the Department of Justice was filing the lawsuit because the new law will make it harder for African-Americans to exercise their right to vote:

 

“The state legislature took extremely aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit Monday. “This is an intentional step to break a system that was working and it defies common sense.” 

The threat of voter suppression, both real and imagined, is embedded in the hearts of many North Carolinians. The Tar Heel State didn’t abolish the poll tax until 1920, and literacy tests existed in some form or another until at least 1970, the Guardian reports. Nonetheless, Republicans in the state (including Governor Pat McCrory) maintain that voter ID laws are “common sense” and necessary — a point, incidentally, he made the very same day he signed the legislation into law:

 

 

 

“You need a photo ID to board an airplane, to cash a check, or even apply for most government benefits. In fact, just recently both Democrats and Republicans joined together to require a valid, government photo ID to buy Sudafed at your local corner drug store. Our right to vote deserves similar protection. In fact, for voters who may not even have a photo ID, they can get one at no charge, at a nearby DMV office throughout the state.”

 

The argument, then, is if one needs a photo ID to purchase a drug as common as Sudafed, shouldn’t one also need a photo ID to cast a ballot? At any rate, the law won’t be fully implemented until the 2016 presidential election — but it’s fair to say that the legal challenges are already starting to pile up.

Source: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/danieldoherty/2014/07/07/doj-were-filing-a-lawsuit-against-north-carolinas-voter-id-law-n1859654

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Rare Western bird known for mating dance could decide who controls Senate in Nov.

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Editors Note: What on the surface appears to be political controversy is in fact another attempt by the radical environmentalists and the Obama Administrations attempt to close off more land for energy exploration and development. The hunting and ranching are just mere side notes and a bonus if this legislation were to be passed or mandated by a Presidential Executive Order. Obama and his administration along with the radical environmentalists are well know enemies of  Petrochemical exploration and development and will stop at nothing to prevent America from becoming energy independent. Obama’s attacks on the coal industry have been much publicized and his aim is to totally stop coal production and use to further his agenda  on Global Warming and Climate Change. It is also a payback to the environmentalists who have supported him.

In a previous post I gave information on the vast Oil and Natural Gas Reserves especially located in the western states. See http://rebuildingfreedom.org/2014/07/04/americas-untapped-oil-reserves/ As you can see by reading the report America is literally awash in energy reserves and by the Obama Administration making another 165 million acres off limits to both exploration and development their goal of renewable energy would get a huge boost. Those of you in those states have a chance in the midterm to remove those politicians who would side with Obama and the radical environmentalists to starve America of oil and drive gas prices up even further to intolerable levels.

Do not let yourself be fooled by the smoke and mirrors of the Obama Administration and the Liberal Media. This whole agenda is designed to take America off of oil usage and switch to the yet proven alternative energy. Let Obama and his followers know through your votes that America needs to use our own energy reserves and tell OPEC to sell their oil to someone else. TS

 

DENVER –  An obscure, chicken-sized bird best known for its mating dance could help determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the U.S. Senate in November.

The federal government is considering listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species next year. Doing so could limit development, energy exploration, hunting and ranching on the 165 million acres of the bird’s habitat across 11 Western states.

Apart from the potential economic disruption, which some officials in Western states discuss in tones usually reserved for natural disasters, the specter of the bird’s listing is reviving the centuries-old debates about local vs. federal control and whether to develop or conserve the region’s vast expanses of land.

Two Republican congressmen running for the U.S. Senate in Montana and Colorado, Steve Daines and Cory Gardner, are co-sponsoring legislation that would prevent the federal government from listing the bird for a decade as long as states try to protect it.

“Montanans want locally driven solutions,” Daines said in an interview. “They don’t want bureaucrats thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C., dictating what should happen.”

Environmentalists and the two Democratic senators being challenged, John Walsh in Montana and Mark Udall in Colorado, oppose the idea. They say they don’t want a listing, either, but that the threat of one is needed to push states to protect the bird.

“A bill like what some in the House are proposing that would delay listing the bird would actually undermine locally driven efforts,” said Udall spokesman Mike Saccone.

The greater sage grouse is described in the journals of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and it once roamed widely across the massive sagebrush plateaus of the West’s interior.

The bird is perhaps best known for its unusual springtime mating dance, during which it puffs its bulbous chest and emits odd warbles. But livestock grazing eroded the bristly plant that the bird depends upon, development chopped up its habitat and energy exploration erected towers that chased it away from its home range.

Rachel Carson warned in 1962 of the bird’s possible demise in “Silent Spring,” her classic environmental book.

Three environmental groups sued to force the federal government to protect the bird after the government declined to list it as endangered in 2005. In a 2010 settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to decide on listing by September 2015.

A major factor will be whether the federal, state and local landowners whose land it inhabits protect the grouse. Many environmental groups say the bird is a stand-in for a vanishing Western ecosystem that needs preserving.

“This is the great landscape of America, when you travel west and see open spaces. This is all the stuff you grew up watching on television,” said Randi Spivak of the Center for Biological Diversity [Link added by TS] in Tucson, Arizona, one of the groups that sued to force grouse protection. “And that land has been drilled, subdivided.”

Industry groups and state governments worry about the cost.

A study by the Western Energy Alliance, a Denver-based trade organization of independent oil and gas producers, estimates that from 5,000 to 31,000 jobs could be lost should the federal government take steps to protect the grouse.

Kathleen Sgamma, the group’s vice president of government and public affairs, said that as the federal government starts to draw up protections, energy leases are being deferred, drilling projects shut down and bureaucratic hurdles raised to any kind of development in the bird’s range.

“It’s another issue that’s slowing economic growth and job development in the West,” Sgamma said.

Local officials are alarmed, too.

Udall and other Colorado lawmakers pushed for the Obama administration to delay a decision on a far less prevalent species, the Gunnison sage grouse, until after the November elections. Federal land managers have already declared more than 400,000 acres off-limits to development to protect that bird. The Western Governors Association last month urged the federal government to defer to states on protecting the bird.

The administration announced last month that it would spend $32 million over 10 years helping ranchers in Nevada and California preserve the bird’s habitat.

Industry leaders and environmental groups agree that the grouse can be protected without serious economic damage. Some point to Wyoming, the state with the greatest amount of both energy exploration and grouse, which has put in place a plan to conserve the bird’s core habitat.

“It’s based on sound science and helps us advance meaningful conservation of the species,” said Jerimiah Rieman, energy and natural resources policy director for Gov. Matt Mead, R-Wyo.

Gardner, the Republican congressman from Colorado, and others opposed to a listing point to Wyoming as an example of why states should take the lead. “The states are working right now very diligently,” Gardner said. “Once you list it, there’s sort of a wall that comes down between people.”

But environmentalists say the proposal amounts to a needless delay. Even Democrats who argue the federal government should defer to states don’t support the Republican legislation.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., has warned against listing the bird and led a task force of Western governors who are trying to deal with the issue. A spokesman said Hickenlooper doesn’t support the legislation because it lacks adequate bipartisan support.

Brian Rutledge, vice president of the Audubon Society’s Rocky Mountain Region, said no one wants the bird to be listed but that the Endangered Species Act is working as intended in this case, to push local agencies to do conservation.

He was dismissive of the Republican proposal. “A lot of this,” he said, “is just pandering.”

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/07/05/rare-western-bird-known-for-mating-dance-could-decide-who-controls-senate-in/

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