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Entertainment => Politics and Political Issues => Topic started by: Soldier4Christ on January 26, 2008, 10:34:58 AM



Title: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 26, 2008, 10:34:58 AM

Dem proposes $12 public highway fee
'You're just reallocating money from time-sensitive to price-sensitive'

A representative for a government already collecting state fuel taxes, license fees, ownership taxes and other fees to fund highway work now is proposing another fee – of $12 – just to drive on a public highway, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

The new consumer cost is the brainchild of Colorado State Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, who suggests that such a "reallocation" of money is a basic economic solution to congestion on Interstate 70 between Denver and the state's ski resorts in the mountains.

"You're just reallocating money from those who are time-sensitive to those who are price-sensitive, and that's a perfect market-based solution," Romer told the newspaper.

He explained to the paper this is not a "toll" on a highway he considers the Colorado economy's "carotid artery," but is a plan for "congestion-based pricing."

According to Romer's explanation, the highway gets plugged on weekend mornings during the winter with skiers heading to the slopes, so a fee of $12 should be charged for driving Interstate 70 during those weekend rush hours.

He also suggests a check of $25 be sent to those who want to travel, but choose to do so outside of those "congestion" periods.

He guesses his pilot program would need to reduce skier traffic by 10-15 percent to get motorists moving at a decent speed, which currently can drop to below 10 miles per hour in some spots on the highway, even in reasonable conditions.

Romer, who skis, told the newspaper he's tired of sitting in such rush-hour traffic, and as an investment banker would be happy to pay for his "time-sensitive" family to get to the slopes if his payments would encourage others to get out of his way.

Another lawmaker, Rep. Rob Witwer, R-Genesee, whose district includes one section of the crowded highway, said the idea of an incentive is good, "but we should avoid big government solutions or something that looks more like a fee."

Romer told the newspaper he knows a new payment for people who already have paid for the highway would be a hard sell, so he's suggesting launching with the positive incentives and moving towards a fee structure later.

His plan proposes eventual charges of $5-$12 just to drive on the public highway between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. on weekends.

"What teenager or college student wouldn't take $25 for gas money to move their departure time up 45 minutes," Romer told the newspaper. "Throw in a Chipotle burrito and you've probably got all of them."

As part of the infrastructure to regulate drivers, Romer envisions a website for signups, and parking lot attendants armed with scanners to note the arrival times for vehicles. An alternative would be a state highway department program to read license plates, he told the paper, although he would allow an exemption for "local traffic."

On the newspaper's forum, "ham," called it "genius."

"Just another incentive to NOT make the drive and the states cut of ticket sales drops. Genius."

"As one who travels I-70 each weekend and knows full well the traffic problems, I am pleased that Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, actually verbalized this idea. Now we know what the D after his name really stands for: Dumb, Dippy, Disgusting, Disingenuous, Deluded, Dope, and even possibly Deranged," added "Solpatroller."

"The Holy Grail of Democrats that will solve any and all problems is to INCREASE TAXES! Brilliant!" added "alanbl." "I especially am interested in how he plans to pay the $25 bribe to everyone who doesn't drive during those hours. That should be a nice little hit to the treasury."

And "Sasquatch" added, "This is just the type of financial moonbattery that led to the RECALL of California's Gray Davis. Wyoming is looking better every day."

"This is a classic … Is he saying that his 'time sensitive' family is more important than every other family on the road?" asked "NSRider."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on January 26, 2008, 08:37:56 PM
Hey!  I have an idea that would solve "congestion" on our roads all across the nation! 

Sent the illegals home!

(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/jeepweasel/traffic.jpg) (http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x125/luvmarley_bucket/duhani.gif)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on January 26, 2008, 08:40:18 PM
Hey!  I have an idea that would solve "congestion" on our roads all across the nation! 

Sent the illegals home!

(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o167/jeepweasel/traffic.jpg) (http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x125/luvmarley_bucket/duhani.gif)

Make that SEND....I do like the sound of sent though.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 26, 2008, 09:51:39 PM
Make that SEND....I do like the sound of sent though.

lol  ...   Yep, sent the illegals home does sound best. they also need to stop the Mexican transcontinental semi-trucks, that don't even meet U.S. safety standards, from being on U.S. roads. That would eliminate a lot of traffic.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Rhys on January 27, 2008, 09:58:10 PM
If the cost of gasoline and automobiles doesn't go down soon you won't have to worry about congestion.


Title: Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney
Post by: Shammu on January 27, 2008, 11:15:18 PM
Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney

January 26, 2008

By Susan Smallheer Herald Staff

BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.

The Brattleboro Select Board voted 3-2 Friday to put the controversial item on the Town Meeting Day warning.

According to Town Clerk Annette Cappy, organizers of the Bush-Cheney issue gathered enough signatures, and it was up to the Select Board whether Brattleboro voters would consider the issue in March.

Cappy said residents will get to vote on the matter by paper balloting March 4.

Kurt Daims, 54, of Brattleboro, the organizer of the petition drive, said Friday the debate to get the issue on the ballot was a good one. Opposition to the vote focused on whether the town had any power to endorse the matter.

"It is an advisory thing," said Daims, a retired prototype machinist and stay-at-home dad of three daughters.

So far, Vermont is the only state Bush hasn't visited since he became president in 2001.

Daims said the most grievous crime committed by Bush and Cheney was perjury — lying to Congress and U.S. citizens about the basis of a war in Iraq.

He said the latest count showed a total of 600,000 people have died in the war.

Daims also said he believed Bush and Cheney were also guilty of espionage for spying on American people and obstruction of justice, for the politically generated firings of U.S. attorneys.

Voting to put the matter on the town ballot were Chairwoman Audrey Garfield and board members Richard Garrant and Dora Boubalis.

Voting against the idea were board members Richard DeGray and Stephen Steidle.

Daims said the names submitted to the town clerk's office were the second wave of signatures the petition drive had to collect, because he had to rewrite the wording of the petition.

He said he gathered nearly 500 signatures in about three weeks, and he said most people he encountered were eager to sign it. He started the petition drive about three months ago.

"Everybody I talked to wanted Bush to go," he said, noting that even members of the local police department supported the drive.

"This is exactly what the charter envisioned as a citizen initiative," Daims said. "People want to express themselves and they want to say how they feel."

He said the idea is spreading: Activists in Louisville, Ky., are spearheading a similar drive, and he said activists were also working in Montague, Mass., a Berkshires town.

The article asked the town attorney to "draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities."

The article goes on to say the indictments would be the "law of the town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro police ... arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro, if they are not duly impeached ..."

Daims said people in Brattleboro were willing to "think outside the box" and consider the issue.

Daims had no compunction in comparing Bush and Cheney with one of the most notorious people in history.

"If Hitler were still alive and walked through Brattleboro, I think the local police would arrest him for war crimes," Daims said.

Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney (http://www.rutlandherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080126/NEWS04/801260359/1003/NEWS02)


Title: Re: Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney
Post by: Shammu on January 27, 2008, 11:16:19 PM
That is so irresponsibly stupid it's hardly even funny.  I hope they enjoy being the laughing stock of the USA for the next few days.


Title: Re: Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 28, 2008, 06:07:33 AM
What else can be expected from an area that is one of the first to recognize homosexual unions and is the largest supporter of islamic terrorists in the U.S.



Title: Re: Brattleboro to vote on arresting Bush, Cheney
Post by: MusicMedic5150 on January 28, 2008, 05:04:52 PM
You know what, no matter how much I despised a President I would still respect his position. Did this town vote on the same thing when Clinton committed adultry while in the White House? How about when Clinton lied under oath to each and every American? I thank the good Lord each and every day for our country and our freedom but sometimes the freedom of speech thing can be carried too far.  :-\


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 04, 2008, 08:30:55 AM
The New Crime of Thinking

It looks like the term “thought police” just might take on a whole new and real meaning. This depends on what happens in the U.S. Senate after receiving House bill H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This act (now S-1959 — Senate version) is now being considered by Senate committees and, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, will become law. Common sense would indicate that something this vague and dangerous would not make it out of committee, but considering that the House passed it on October 23 with 404 ayes, 6 nays, and 22 present/not voting, I’m not holding my breath.

The most disturbing aspects of this bill, and there are many, are the definitions noted in Section 899a. The three offenses defined in this document that will warrant prosecution are:

“Violent Radicalization: The term ‘violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.”

“Homegrown Terrorism: The term ‘homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

“Ideologically based violence: The term ‘ideologically based violence’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.”

Besides the fact that this Act would greatly expand an already monstrous bureaucracy (Homeland Security Act of 2002), it is on its very face a threat to all ideological thinking not approved by the state. Any citizen at any given time could be considered a terrorism suspect and accused or prosecuted for “bad” thoughts. Since the very act of thinking could now be considered a crime, how would the populace react to this new paradigm? Would political debate among the citizenry become more subdued? Would watch groups, whether police or private, arise to monitor individual and group conversations? Would speaking out and writing against the government become a dangerous activity?

The language contained in this proposed legislation is not only vague, it is also broad, sweeping, and unclear. The tenebrous and obscure nature of the above definitions is obviously not an accident. The broader the net, the more who are caught; the more who are caught, the more who live in fear of being caught. Ambiguity and fear are mighty deterrents, and ambiguity and fear foster obedience. In this case, unconditional obedience to the mighty state and its many dictates.

In the definition of “violent radicalization,” it is a crime to adopt or promote an extremist belief system to facilitate ideologically based violence. Neither “extremist” nor type of political, religious, or social change is defined. And what about “ideologically” based violence? Is it violence to simply advocate radical change that might lead someone else to initiate violence? Who decides what beliefs are okay and what beliefs are not? The state, of course, is the final decider. The door is left open for interpretation, but for interpretation by government only.

“Homegrown terrorism,” although similarly defined, is notable in that it concentrates strictly on U.S.-born, U.S.-raised, or U.S.-based individuals and groups operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States. The Bush administration has had its problems in the courts at times concerning American citizens and their rights, sometimes setting it and its agenda back. This bill could help alleviate those problems. In addition, to intimidate or coerce the U.S. government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives, is forbidden and considered criminal. Let me repeat; to intimidate the government to further political or social objectives is forbidden. If this is allowed to stand, what does it do to demonstration, protest, petition, and the right to assemble?

Remember, this proposed act is attached to the Homeland Security Act of 2002. This is what gives it the teeth so that the enforcers can pursue and detain those considered guilty of holding or promoting an “extremist” belief system or wishing to advance political, religious, or social change. I use the word “enforcers” because this bill allows for the federal authorities, including intelligence and law enforcement, to use any state or local law-enforcement agencies. In addition, the commission may contract to enable enforcement. Also, “The Commission may request directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Government, information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics for the purposes of this Section.” (Section 899C.) What little privacy still exists will not exist for long with the passage of this bill.

One of the tenets of any totalitarian society is that the citizenry must acquiesce to government control. The state itself is supreme and sovereign, not the people. This has been true throughout history whether it was during Hitler’s, Stalin’s, Mao’s or any other of a number of brutal dictatorial rulers’ reigns. Dissent was stifled, whether it was ideological or physical, and accused parties faced humiliation, incarceration, or death for their unwillingness to conform. Is that where we’re headed?

The newest weapon we have at our disposal in our fight against tyranny is our advanced communication systems, especially the Internet. Reaching untold numbers of persons, something not possible only a few years ago, is now possible because of the Internet. With the mainstream media kowtowing to politicians and government, the Internet has become the major tool for those promoting liberty and truth. It has allowed many brilliant freedom lovers to reach and change minds. Even this has not escaped the watchful eye of Big Brother in this bill. In Section 899B Congress finds the following:

“The internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”

This bill, if passed into law, will do nothing less than muffle, if not destroy, our ability to speak out against government. Considering the combination of the USA PATRIOT Act, The Homeland Security Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the now-enhanced executive power, adding this single piece of legislation fills the only loophole left. With the passage of this abominable act, all U.S. citizens are at risk, not just those few radical persons and foreigners spoken about by government, but all of us. This very article could be considered as ideologically based violence, subjecting me to punishment by government. This could be the final piece of the puzzle.

This new proposed legislation will help an already tyrannical government in its effort to become supreme.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Rhys on February 04, 2008, 10:39:43 AM
I have no doubt that the American Republic is almost at an end, and George Bush's place in history will be to be remembered as the man who destroyed it. However, Congress is just as guilty for passing legislation like this and the Patriot Act.

I also have no doubt that governments worldwide will soon act to censor the Internet.

Supressing freedom of speech won't make America a better place. It will only free the government from having to listen to constructive criticism and allow them to make an even worse mess of things than they do now.

Those who can't "blow off steam" by speaking freely are more likely to act in violence. If they organize and copy the tactics of the Jihadists, America is in bad trouble - we haven't been able to counter those tactics effectively in Iraq, much less on our own soil.

Thankfully, I am old enough that I likely won't live to see it, but my children and grandchildren are going to suffer.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 04, 2008, 08:28:48 PM
I am far from making any prophecies in this but if things go as I think they are going to then President Bush will be one of the greatest Presidents ever in comparison to the damage that is going to be done by the next President and yes, Congress will be just as implicit in this damage as is already seen by our current Congress.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 05, 2008, 07:41:40 AM
Judge: Counting petition signatures not required
Decision pushes state 'gay' marriage plans forward

A federal judge in Portland has concluded the state of Oregon doesn't need to count all of the signatures on a petition proposing a vote of the people on a state law to create same-sex domestic partnerships with rights and privileges identical to marriage couples.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman in December granted a temporary injunction requested by lawyers for the Alliance Defense Fund, who argued the state illegally disenfranchised registered voters who signed petitions to put the issue on a statewide ballot.

But Mosman now has lifted his earlier order, allowing the state law to take effect immediately. He concluded the state has little significant obligation to count voters' signatures on the petition. His ruling came at the end of a hearing on Friday.

Austin Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the ADF, called it "un-American" that Oregonians were being denied the right to have their votes counted.

"Our country is founded on the basic principle of government of the people, by the people, and for the people," he said of the dispute.

The organization had sued on behalf of several state residents in different counties after the secretary of state and clerks' offices in 12 counties invalidated their petition signatures for a referendum that would allow voters to decide, again, whether they in fact approve of "civil unions."

The ADF said it now is reviewing its options for appeal.

"The judge stated that voters in Oregon have no legal right to have their petition signatures counted," the organization said.

"In America, every citizen's voice counts," Nimocks said. "Government bureaucrats cannot decide what is best for the people of Oregon."

The signatures in question were on petitions to bring the plan approved by the legislature and signed by the governor to create institutions that effectively are same-sex marriages to a vote of the people of Oregon, who had rejected such plans earlier.

"Their signatures were genuine, and no legitimate reason existed to refuse to allow these registered voters to participate in the democratic process," Nimocks said.

The ADF had submitted briefs in the case showing county clerks simply refused petition signers' requests to count their signatures after they had been "wrongfully rejected."

The petition signature total fell just five short of what was needed in Oregon to put the issue to voters, prompting the proponents to seek a review.

"The right to exercise one's voice in the democratic process is a crucial one, and state and county officials must not infringe upon that right," Nimocks said.

The ADF's brief concluded, "The only real dispute in this case is whether the Secretary of State and county clerks can constitutionally refuse to give excluded signers notice that their signatures have been rejected and refuse to give them any opportunity – even when they learn of the disenfranchisement on their own – to verify their signatures and make sure that their vote counts.”

The Associated Press reported that advocates for legitimizing same-sex "couples," were "beaming."

"We're a family. We've been waiting for this a long time," the wire service reported Cathy Kravitz of Portland celebrating.

The judge's ruling concluded signatures on a petition "call for an election, not a substitution for an election."

Homosexuals who register now with the state will be granted permission to file joint state tax returns, inherit each other's property and other provisions ordinarily reserved for married couples.

The issue in question already had been rejected soundly by voters in Oregon. In 2004, several thousand same-sex couples were given marriage licenses in Multnomah County, prompting Oregonians to approve by a 57-43 percent margin a constitutional ban on homosexual marriages. A court nullified the licenses.

The result aligned with 148 years of precedent in the state. However, 54 legislators in the statehouse during 2007 and Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski ignored it, working together on the new homosexual couples proposal.

They even included a section in a new law suggesting schools address the "attitudes" of those who do not choose to support those relationships.

When the petition signatures total was announced, signers had sought, personally, to affirm their signatures in order to overcome the publicized referendum deficit of five names, but they were rejected by county officials.

The state already has begun implementation of the new law, with plans confirmed by prison officials to allow inmates who are part of a domestic partnership to live in the same prison facility, and in the same unit, a privilege specifically denied married inmates.

"The problem I have with this is that the department will not allow heterosexual inmates who are married to live together in the same institution or on the same housing unit," said one state Department of Corrections employee, whose name was being withheld from publication.

"The new policy gives homosexual RDP inmates the special privilege of living together but denies it for heterosexual married inmates, just the opposite of what the policy is trying to achieve, and discriminates against heterosexuals based on their sexual orientation," the employee continued.

"Not only is this a discriminatory policy but it will be an enforcement nightmare for correctional staff. If the RDP inmates are allowed to live on the same housing unit, are we going to allow them to shower together or … let them sleep next to each other? And if we don't allow them to do those things will we be sued for discrimination because of their sexual orientation? The whole thing is just nuts!" the employee said.

In a column on the issue, Alan Sears, chief of the ADF, noted that the issue of marriage consisting of – and only of – one man and one woman is supported overwhelmingly in the U.S. Twenty-seven of 28 states where voters have decided the question have limited marriage to one man and one woman.

"Those seeking to fabricate same-sex 'marriage' have long recognized the American public is a roadblock to their success. In 1998, after ADF-allied litigation allowed Alaska citizens to vote on (and pass) a constitutional amendment barring same-sex unions, the ACLU executive director declared: 'Today's results prove that certain fundamental issues should not be left up to a majority vote.'

"When the (new) referendum was submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State on Sept. 26, signatures exceeded the required number by more than 6,000. However, the Secretary of State announced there were not enough signatures to sustain the referendum. The evaluated 'sample' was said to be only five signatures short. If you wonder how this could happen, you aren't alone. As it turns out, there is a very clear explanation – many of the signatures were wrongfully rejected," Sears said.

"Signatures were invalidated for allegedly not matching their voter registration cards, being illegible, or coming from unregistered voters. But according to ADF attorneys who examined the signatures, several of those kicked out did match, were legible, and the affected voters actually were registered. In other words, many valid signers were ignored," he continued.

Clerks have "adamantly"' resisted efforts by signers to authenticate their signatures. "One county clerk even told a rejected signer, in person, and to their face, 'tough nuggets,'" Sears said.

Bill Burgess, the clerk in Marion County, confirmed the state had given county clerks instructions to follow a "precedent" and not correct any incorrectly classified signatures they may have been told about.

"We also have a legal obligation to follow the guidelines and precedents of the past and our attorney has told us, and the Secretary of State has advised us, that there is no place in this petition signature checking process for a person to come in later on and attest that that was their signature," he told WND.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 07, 2008, 10:42:18 PM
Senate passes $170 billion stimulus package
Reid criticizes Republicans: 'They're following this president right off a cliff'

The House on Thursday quickly passed a Senate-approved economic stimulus package and sent the bill to the president's desk for his signature.

 The House voted 380-34 to accept the Senate's $170 billion measure, just a few hours after Democratic and Republican senators reached accord and ended a days-long stalemate over the bill.

The deal, passed in the Senate on a 81-16 vote, includes rebate check amounts of $300 to $600 for people who have an income between $3,000 and $75,000, plus $300 per child.

Couples earning up to $150,000 would get $1,200.

But the plan also gives checks to more than 20 million Social Security beneficiaries and 250,000 handicapped veterans and their widows.

Two White House officials said President Bush will probably sign the bill next week.

Senior administration officials said the Internal Revenue service will start working to implement the rebate check program as soon as the final details are reached and will not wait for the president to sign the bill. Officials said checks could be sent to millions of Americans this spring.

"I'm very happy that the vast majority of the U.S. Senate agreed that we have to change the economic direction of this country, and we've done that," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, told reporters.
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But he expressed dismay the package omits a number of provisions Democrats had sought, including an extension of unemployment benefits and checks for people aided by the food stamp program and the low-income home energy assistance program, measures that Senate Republicans and President Bush opposed.

"They're following this president right off a cliff," Reid said. "What they don't realize is he's already over the cliff."

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he was happy with the outcome: "I think we've demonstrated to the American people that we are, once in a while, able to come together and do something important to the country with a minimum amount of bipartisan bickering and do it in a timely fashion."

McConnell said the Senate bill also fixed a "glitch" in the House bill that would have made it possible for illegal immigrants to receive checks.

Senate Democrats agreed to scale back their economic stimulus package in order to gain Republican support for the measure.

The measure stalled Wednesday over GOP concerns the bill was too big and loaded with special-interest provisions, said Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana.

 Congressional leaders and the White House had hoped to pass a stimulus package quickly to address economic fears of recession.

The agreement came shortly after Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urged Congress to move with haste on the package to reduce the odds of the nation's economy descending into recession.

"We believe that a growth package must be enacted quickly, it must be robust, temporary and broad-based, and it must get money into the economy quickly," he told the House Ways and Means Committee.

Earlier Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, in an effort to get the Senate-blocked economic stimulus package rolling, said the House was ready to respond.

"We are eagerly awaiting the decision of the Senate as to how they will go forward. ... If they do not, we stand ready to do so." Pelosi said.

"Decisions have to be made, and again we want this to be timely so that it makes a difference for people right away, targeted to those in the middle class, and those who wish to be in the middle class; and ... [timely], so that people will use it," she said.
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On Wednesday, seven Republicans joined 51 Democrats in supporting the broader Senate package, which would have injected about $50 billion more into the sagging economy than the plan President Bush and House leaders supported. But the Senate ended up two votes short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill in the face of a GOP filibuster.

The nearly $150 billion package Bush proposed last month was approved overwhelmingly by the House January 29


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 07, 2008, 11:45:24 PM
GOP kills Senate stimulus bill

Senate Republicans yesterday blocked a Democrat-sponsored bill for a $40 billion expansion of the compromise economic-stimulus plan to which the House and President Bush agreed last month.

The bill — which called for more tax-rebate checks, more business tax breaks, extended unemployment benefits and home-heating aid for the poor — died in a 58-41 procedural vote, two shy of the 60 votes required under Senate rules to end debate and move to final consideration.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, chided Republicans for standing in the way of plans to add 20 million low-income retirees and 250,000 disabled veterans to the ranks of Americans to receive tax-rebate checks for up to $1,200.

"When given the opportunity to work in a bipartisan manner to help people hurt by our struggling economy, Republicans chose politics first," said Mr. Reid. "And while they may view this vote as a win, the American people lose."

The various measures in the Senate bill would have boosted the two-year price tag for the House-passed plan from $161 billion to $205 billion.

Republicans objected to the slew of add-ons, which they said decorated the bill like a "Christmas tree," including $100 million to pay a lawsuit settlement to coal companies and tax credits for renewable energy initiatives.

Mr. Reid stressed that the bill won support from a majority of senators, including eight Republicans, even if it didn't get the 60 votes.

The vote cut closely along party lines. The chamber's Democratic presidential hopefuls — Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois — voted yes. Republican front-runner Sen. John McCain of Arizona did not vote.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, called on Democrats to take up the House bill with an amendment to send checks to seniors, disabled veterans and veterans' widows and to prevent illegal aliens from receiving the rebate checks.

The Republican plan would add about $10 billion to the House package.

"We didn't block this proposal," Mr. McConnell told reporters after the vote. "We said there is a better way to go."

Under the House plan, most workers get a tax rebate check for $600 and married couples get $1,200, with payments phased out for taxpayers earning more than $75,000 a year and couples making $150,000. Businesses receive tax breaks for investing in new plants and equipment.

Senate Democrats would cut checks for $500 to $1,000 for workers and families, but would include retirees and veterans and double the income ceiling to $150,000 for individuals and $300,000 for families.

They also would pay for government-insured bonds to help homeowners refinance mortgages and let businesses with losses write off previously paid taxes.

Both the Senate and House plans award families with children a $300 income tax credit per child.

Mr. Reid said he would meet with Mr. McConnell to negotiate a way to proceed. The majority leader had set a deadline of Feb. 15, when Congress starts a weeklong break for Presidents Day.

President Bush urged the Democrat-led Congress to speed the legislation to his desk so the Internal Revenue Service can start issuing checks. At this time, consumers would not receive the rebates until at least May.

Earlier in the day, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, warned the Senate against slowing down the stimulus package with too much tinkering.

"I think the American people were pleased the House came together quickly and agreed with the president and moved a bill that both sides felt was something they could support," he said. "It wasn't what either side wanted, but that's the legislative process."

In a procedural move, Mr. Reid switched his vote from "yes" to "no" when the votes were tallied in order to preserve his right to recall the bill. The first vote count showed that the bill fell one vote short of the 60-vote majority.

The Democratic Party and Mrs. Clinton last night criticized Mr. McCain for skipping the vote, saying he was too busy campaigning to cast the sole vote needed to pass the stimulus package.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 08, 2008, 12:50:07 PM
DNC sponsors event honoring sadomasochism

The 20th annual meeting of the nation's second most powerful homosexual activist group is welcoming some new participants -- and a very recognizable sponsor.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is holding its annual "Creating Change" conference in Detroit this week. Its sponsors claim to have trained more than 30,000 activists since 1988. Peter LaBarbera with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality has reported on the event in the past. "It's essentially a grassroots training conference for homosexual, bisexual, transgender -- and now, it turns out -- sadomasochistic activists," says LaBarbera.
 
The event originally focused on homosexuals, but has expanded to include individuals who are convinced that they were born into the wrong sex. The event's handbook even addresses "transgender restroom etiquette."
 
"It says that, 'Each of us can decide for ourselves in which bathroom we belong,'" LaBarbera points out. "And, so, I mean, this movement is now getting so crazy that they can choose their own gender and then the restroom that matches that."
 
And LaBarbera says he is not sure if he is more surprised by one of the sponsors of the event or by one of the activists who will be honored. "It's incredible to me," he continues. "But the Democratic Party is endorsing an event where they're actually presenting an award for sadomasochism."
 
A sponsorship acknowledgement notes that the Democratic National Committee gave at least $2,500 to help pay for the event. The recipient of the "Leather Leadership Award" is Guy Baldwin, a psychotherapist who has successfully lobbied against treating sadomasochism as a mental health problem.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 08, 2008, 11:20:47 PM
Looking Under a Rock: FBI and CIA Hit New Low in Recruitment Drive

In a frightening and bizarre turn, the two chief agencies tapped with safeguarding America's national security have started advertising in a publication that can only be described as objectively pro-terrorism.

The online edition of the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), a publication linked to former Congressman Paul Findley, who once described himself as "Yasir Arafat's best friend in Congress," features recruiting advertisements seeking new agents for both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.

WRMEA's history of support for Hamas, other terrorist groups and individual terrorists is well known. Currently on the front page of its website, right in the center, is an homage, constituting of a collection of articles and hagiographies, to convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami Al-Arian.

Al-Arian was investigated by the FBI for a decade and finally brought to trial in 2005, prosecuted by the Department of Justice in Tampa. In April 2006, Al-Arian pled guilty to one count of "Conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a Specially Designated Terrorist."

This is the same Al-Arian who once told an audience of Muslims, "Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death. Why do we stop?"

And yet, the same FBI that sought to convict him as a terrorist is now advertising for recruits on a pro-Al-Arian (and pro-terrorist in general) website. The pro Al-Arian orientation is part of a long and documented history of pro-Islamic terrorist features published by WRMEA during the past 15 years. Reviewing just about any issue of this Saudi-financed magazine would clearly determine its pro terrorist bias.

It is the same lack of judgment that led the Department of Justice to set up a recruitment booth and serve as a co-host for the annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in September. Four months earlier, the same Justice Department designated ISNA as an unindicted co-conspirator in Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) case as part of the Hamas-Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy in the United States. U.S. Reps. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., and Sue Myrick, R-NC, protested the Justice Department's recruitment effort with ISNA in a letter to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asserting that ISNA is a Jihadi organization.

The Justice Department blithely dismissed the concerns, saying other organizations did it, too. That was true. That willful blindness was evident in the fact that, in 2006, the Department of Defense dispatched Deputy Secretary Gordon England to an ISNA conference and sent another representative to the annual conference in 2007. The Department of Homeland Security was there, too, with its recruitment booth adjacent to the Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical movement which endorses the use of violence and is devoted to establishing a global Islamic state governed by Shariah law.

After that embarrassment, the FBI placed a full-page recruiting ad in the November 2007 issue of ISNA's magazine Islamic Horizons. "Help us light the way to a new era of understanding," the ad reads.

Just what types of recruits are the FBI and CIA looking for? Apparently, these agencies do not learn from experience, even recent experiences. Just last November, former FBI and CIA agent Nadia Nadim Prouty was arrested and pled guilty to fraudulently obtaining American citizenship through a sham marriage, and using her illegally acquired status to attain employment with both the FBI and CIA. Prouty is the sister of Elfat Al Aouar, who is the wife of Talal Chahine – the Detroit-based restaurateur linked to Hizballah.

While it is too soon to determine where the breakdown occurred in allowing a Hizballah operative to infiltrate the FBI and the CIA, it is clear that these ads fall into the disturbing pattern where background checks of Islamic militants are not being pursued properly.

Prouty used her security clearance, in violation of the law and her job responsibilities (for which she also pled guilty), to do background searches into the FBI investigation of her sister and brother-in-law. But that hasn't stopped the FBI – or the CIA for that matter – from reaching out to a pro-terrorist crowd for its next batch of recruits. And it is Americans who will likely pay dearly for the fact that the FBI and CIA have failed to learn the obvious lesson from the Prouty case. And Prouty aside, the fact that the CIA and FBI are advertising for employment on a site that lionizes an Islamic Jihad kingpin and other terrorist groups should frighten everyone.

Congress should immediately investigate.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 08, 2008, 11:21:49 PM
Quote
Congress should immediately investigate.

Not that it would do much good when they have muslims advising them what to do.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on February 09, 2008, 12:08:32 AM
Not that it would do much good when they have muslims advising them what to do.



Exactly.  What kind of statement is that??  "Congress should investigate"  Hahahahaha!


Title: War Between The States??
Post by: Shammu on February 10, 2008, 04:51:13 PM
Georgians thirst to move Tennessee state line
200-year-old survey error puts river’s water tantalizingly out of reach

Feb. 8, 2008

COLE CITY HOLLOW, Tennessee - Nearly two centuries after a flawed survey placed Georgia's northern line just short of the Tennessee River, some legislators are suddenly thirsting to set the record straight.

A historic drought has added urgency to Georgia's generations-old claim that its territory ought to extend about a mile farther north than it does and reach into the Tennessee — a river with about 15 times greater flow than the one Atlanta depends on for its water.

"It's never too late to right a wrong," said Georgia state Sen. David Shafer, whose bill would create a boundary line commission that aims to resolve the dispute.

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen's reaction: "This is a joke, right?"

In Cole City Hollow, an obscure border community where some northwest Georgia residents rely on Tennessee roads, the river is so close to crossing the state line it almost juts into the yard of a Georgia house.

If Tennessee's southern border were the 35th parallel — as Congress designated in 1796 —Georgia would have a share of the Tennessee River. But a surveying team sent by Georgia to chart the line in 1818 was a bit off the mark.

Historians say mathematician James Camak, who led the team, begged the state to provide him the latest equipment, but instead he had to rely on an English sextant, an instrument more familiar to sea captains than land surveyors. Other stories say Camak's team was scared away by an American Indian party.

Making of the 35th parallel line
Surveyors now know that the Georgia-Tennessee border was placed about 1.1 miles south of where it should be. But that, surveyor Bart Crattle said, is history.

"Just because you have more accurate equipment, you can't start moving border lines," said Crattle, a Georgian who works in Chattanooga and is licensed to survey in both states. "Can you imagine what would happen to our boundary lines? They'd be all willy-nilly.

"It's correct — no matter how wrong it is."

Here are just two side effects of making the 35th parallel Tennessee's southern line: Not only would Georgia get a chunk of Chattanooga, Mississippi would get a slice of Memphis.

The border has been in place for generations, though there is some dispute over whether Georgia ever formally agreed to it. In any case, Georgia partisans say they want what is rightly theirs.

"A state boundary can only be changed by the legislatures of the states, with the consent of Congress," said Shafer, a Republican from Duluth. "It cannot be changed by a mathematician with a faulty compass or a skittish surveying party afraid of the Indians."

Drought drives demand for water
The drought has whetted Georgia's thirst for the river, but this is far from the first attempt to redo Camak's math. Shafer's resolution traces efforts as far back as 1887, when North Carolina — another state affected by the line — authorized its governor to appoint commissioners and a surveyor to meet with neighboring delegations over the boundary. No record of such a meeting exists, it said.

The river winds closest to Georgia near the Camak Stone, a slab placed by surveyors to mark the corner where Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee meet. Georgians here drive on Tennessee roads to get to their homes, and few locals on either side of the line are happy with the idea of moving it.

"All they want to do is get them some water, and I'm against it," said 70-year-old Freddy McCulley, who lives on the Tennessee side. "They ought to control their growth in Atlanta. This has nothing to do with the people. It's the politicians."

He was standing at the Camak Stone, which resembled a picnic site Thursday as several neighbors gathered to vent about the Georgia proposal.

"That would be ridiculous. I'd have to move my phone line and everything," said Joe Dugger, a 63-year-old Tennessean. "This is a forgotten part of Georgia, and they have nothing to do out here except pave the roads every once in a while."

Jerry Body interrupted him.

"They don't have hardly anything — they don't even have dog catchers," quipped Body, a 66-year-old Georgia resident whose mailing address is in Tennessee.

Some influential Georgia politicians have suggested using old-fashioned horse trading to broker a water deal, saying Georgia should offer a high-speed rail line from Atlanta to Chattanooga in exchange for rights to the river. But Tennessee's governor said he was unaware of the Georgia legislation until he was told of it by The Associated Press earlier this week.

Bredesen, a Democrat, said he does not believe the resolution is a step toward a more heated battle over water rights in the region.

"I would say it represents the ratcheting up of a PR war, and nothing else," he said.

Just in case, he added, "We will protect our borders here in Tennessee.

Georgians thirst to move Tennessee state line (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23076509/)


Title: Re: War Between The States??
Post by: Brother Jerry on February 11, 2008, 09:19:24 AM
This is not the first water rights war that Georgia has fought....

http://www.whnt.com/Global/story.asp?s=7824866

A battle for Lake Lanier



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 11, 2008, 01:59:31 PM
Iowa lawmaker criticizes Islamic prayer

An Iowa lawmaker says it's not appropriate for an Islamic religious leader to give a prayer on the floor of the State House which calls for "victory over disbelievers."

It has been a common practice in the Iowa State House for individual members of the Legislature to invite religious leaders to open each day of legislative business. But in January, on the opening day of the 2008 session, Democratic State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, the only Muslim member of the Iowa Legislature, invited a Muslim cleric to give the prayer.
 
During his speech, the cleric included the phrase "victory over disbelievers" -- words that prompted reaction from some of the lawmakers, including Republican Gary Worthan. "The way the Jihadists interpret that phrase -- 'victory over disbelievers' -- there are only two ways to attain that, and that is either convert them to Islam or kill them," says the lawmaker. "That's the literal interpretation that the Jihadists use -- and so that struck right at my heart."
 
Worthan says in the weeks since the controversial comment, many lawmakers have received calls from people criticizing the prayer. But he says Abdul-Samad sees nothing wrong with the cleric's words, insisting they are simply a doctrinal part of the Islamic faith.
 
The Republican state representative says he hopes any future Islamic speakers will be sensitive to the feelings of non-Muslims. "Tolerance has to be a two-way street," says Worthan. "We're tolerant of their religion and beliefs .... They also need to be tolerant of our perceptions."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on February 11, 2008, 02:26:56 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

Things like this shouldn't be subject to debate. This is political correctness to the level of insanity. The open encouragement of radical hate and violence shouldn't have any place in our government. In reality, terrorists are simply trying to have some legitimacy under the guise of religion. In our current insane society, we've already seen satan worship approved as a religion, so why not Skin-heads and the American Nazi Party?

Violent and subversive cults should not be given the status of a "Religion", especially if they are Anti-CHRIST. What has happened to common sense? Why is it that we have people serving in our government who want to overthrow it? Bluntly, we are watching insanity and the devil at work.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on February 12, 2008, 12:41:22 AM
The Republican state representative says he hopes any future Islamic speakers will be sensitive to the feelings of non-Muslims.

A-hem.  We are called Americans.


Title: U.S. braces for face-off over weapons treaties
Post by: Shammu on February 13, 2008, 04:36:06 PM
U.S. braces for face-off over weapons treaties


February 11, 2008

By Nicholas Kralev and John Zarocostas - The United States is headed for a showdown with Russia and China this week over competing international treaties, one banning the production of nuclear materials and the other trying to prevent an arms race in space.

The squabble is certain to prolong an embarrassing stalemate at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in Geneva that has received an unusual rebuke from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, diplomats and analysts said.

U.S. officials said their top priority at the conference is beginning negotiations on the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT), which would ban the production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium for weapons purposes.

"We believe it is in everybody's interests to reduce the availability of fissile materials on the streets — [first] for producing bombs, which is a disarmament measure, and [second] preventing terrorists from getting hold of it, [which is] a nonproliferation measure," said Christina Rocca, the chief U.S. envoy to the conference.

Trying to reach an international agreement on such a ban has been one of the longest-running arms-control exercises since World War II. No agreement was secured during the Cold War, even after the groundbreaking deals between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

The latest attempt to negotiate a treaty began more than a decade ago, but diplomats said getting 65 countries to agree to such a document has been difficult.

Now Russia and China have linked negotiations on the FMCT to a treaty that aims to prevent an arms race in space. They are expected to co-sponsor a draft in Geneva tomorrow.

Foreign diplomats and analysts suggested that Washington's push for the FMCT is an attempt to pre-empt that proposal. State Department officials countered that Moscow and Beijing are trying to upstage Washington with their draft.

"We put our FMCT draft forward in May 2006 and have been pushing it all along, before there was any talk of a treaty on outer space," one official said. "This is just another attempt to block the FMCT."

Another official said the United States opposes the Russian-Chinese proposal because it considers the 1967 Outer Space Treaty sufficient, although Washington is "prepared to look at new transparency and confidence-building measures."

"Given the dual nature of space activities, trying to negotiate something with the idea that you can prohibit the deployment of weapons in outer space but not their development is ludicrous," he said.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, said the FMCT faces a "complex diplomatic web," because "everyone is saying that the other one is the bad guy."

Four of the five declared nuclear powers — the United States, Britain, France and Russia — have said publicly that they no longer produce fissile material. The fifth, China, has not made such a statement.

China opposes the FMCT, as do India and Pakistan, which still produce highly enriched uranium, analysts say. India also extracts plutonium, and Pakistan is expected to begin doing so in the near future.

India has said it would support the treaty only if it includes a verification mechanism. A verification provision was taken out of the text in the latest U.S. draft, which the Bush administration put on the table after a long review of a series of international treaties and proposals.

The administration said that effective verification was impossible to achieve.

Iran, Syria and Israel also are expected to object to the FMCT text.

The Conference on Disarmament, established in 1979, is desperate to break its long stalemate. Mr. Ban voiced frustration with the body's inability to overcome differences last month at its opening session for this year.

"Even with widespread agreement on the gravity of threats to international peace and security, you still have not been able to find common cause to address them," he told the delegates. "I'm deeply troubled by this impasse over priorities."

U.S. braces for face-off over weapons treaties (http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080211/FOREIGN/737263646/1003/FOREIGN&template=printart)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 14, 2008, 10:37:59 PM
Bush criticizes Congress on terror bill
House Republicans stage walkout to protest Democrats' 'grandstanding'

In a day of political brinkmanship, President Bush pressured the House on Thursday to finish a bill giving the government more leeway to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists. House Democrats didn't budge and angry Republicans staged a walkout down the Capitol steps.

From the White House, Bush argued that the House has plenty of time to pass a bill before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act expires at midnight Saturday. The president plans to leave on a five-nation trip to Africa on Friday afternoon, but said he'd delay his departure and stay in Washington "if it will help them complete their work on this critical bill."

On Capitol Hill, House Republicans stormed out of the House chamber to boycott a vote to hold two presidential confidants in contempt for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether federal prosecutors were ousted for political reasons.

"We have space on the calendar today for a politically charged fishing expedition, but no space for a bill that would protect the American people from terrorists who want to kill us," said Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, the minority leader.

"Let's just get up and leave," he told his colleagues, before walking out with scores of Republicans in tow.

A short time later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had instructed Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes and Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers to meet with their Senate counterparts by Friday to start reconciling the House and Senate eavesdropping legislation - something she predicted could be done within 21 days.

The first step must be reconciliation of the two bills, she said, adding: "If the president wants to work together on that - we have been trying mightily to get the administration to engage."

Bush is backing the Senate-passed bill, which includes retroactive protection from lawsuits that telecommunications companies are facing because they cooperated with government eavesdropping following the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The House bill does not provide immunity from lawsuits for the telecommunications companies.

Rather than wait for the House and Senate to negotiate differences in their versions of the intelligence legislation, Bush wants a rubber-stamp of the Senate bill so he can sign it into law immediately. Bush has said he will not approve another extension, and House Republicans helped defeat a 21-day extension of the law on Thursday.

In his second statement on the bill at the White House in two days, Bush said that "it would be a mistake" if Congress allowed the law to expire. "Members of Congress knew all along that this deadline was approaching," he said. "They set it themselves. They've had more than six months to discuss and deliberate. And now they must act."

He rebuffed claims that the issue had turned into a political game of chicken.

"I certainly hope not," Bush said. "I can assure you al-Qaida, in their planning, isn't thinking about politics. They're thinking about hurting the American people again."

In a letter to Bush, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats stand ready to reconcile the two bills, but that the current law should be extended until that could be accomplished.

"Your opposition to an extension is inexplicable. ... Nonetheless, you have chosen to let the Protect America Act expire," Reid wrote. "You bear responsibility for any intelligence collection gap that may result." Reid also said he saw no crisis that should lead Bush to cancel his trip to Africa.

Expiration of the current law would not mean an immediate end to eavesdropping on suspected terrorists. Existing surveillance could continue under the law for a year from when it began - at least until August. Any new surveillance the government wants to institute could be implemented through underlying FISA rules, which could require warrants from a secret court.

But the White House says that if the law expires, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence would be stripped of the power to authorize new certifications against foreign intelligence targets, including international terrorists abroad. The White House says the government would be unable to get assistance from private companies, which are not assisting the government now but may be called on in the future, to collect foreign intelligence information about terrorists and other foreign threats.

"Without this liability shield, we may not be able to secure the private sector's cooperation. ... and that of course would put the American people at risk," Bush said.

Pelosi, D-Calif., dismissed the Bush administration's warnings of dire consequences if the current law lapses. The underlying intelligence surveillance law that would be reverted to, along with other federal law and presidential orders, give Bush authority he needs for spying and other measures, she said.

"We are trying to pass a bill that protects the American people and protects the Constitution," she said. "We know the president has the authority to do everything he needs to do to protect the American people in the interim."

Speaking to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, said the current law is not enough because it does not include immunity for the phone companies.

"We must rely on the private sector to be effective," McConnell said, adding that failure to pass the Senate bill will do "grave damage to our ability to protect the nation."

Silvestre Reyes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, disagreed.

"As someone who has been briefed on our most sensitive intelligence programs, I can see no argument why the future security of our country depends on whether past actions of telecommunications companies are immunized," Reyes wrote in a letter to Bush.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 16, 2008, 12:48:57 PM
Pelosi's Witch Hunt

House Holds Bush Confidants in Contempt

The House voted Thursday to hold two of President Bush's confidants in contempt for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether a purge of federal prosecutors was politically motivated.

Angry Republicans boycotted the vote and staged a walkout.

The vote was 223-32 to hold presidential chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers in contempt. The citations charge Miers with failing to testify and accuse her and Bolten of refusing Congress' demands for documents related to the 2006-2007 firings.

Republicans said Democrats should instead be working on extending a law - set to expire Saturday - allowing the government to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails in the United States in cases of suspected terrorist activity.

"We have space on the calendar today for a politically charged fishing expedition, but no space for a bill that would protect the American people from terrorists who want to kill us," said Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, the minority leader.

"Let's just get up and leave," he told his colleagues, before storming out of the House chamber with scores of Republicans in tow.

The White House said the Justice Department would not ask the U.S. attorney to pursue the House contempt charges. However, the measure would allow the House to bring its own lawsuit on the matter.

It is the first time in 25 years that a full chamber of Congress has voted on a contempt of Congress citation.

The action, which Democrats had been threatening for months, was the latest wrinkle in a more than yearlong constitutional clash between Congress and the White House.

The administration has said the information being sought is off-limits under executive privilege, and argues that Bolten and Miers are immune from prosecution.

Democrats said they were acting to protect Congress' constitutional prerogatives.

If Congress didn't enforce the subpoenas, said Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat, it would "be giving its tacit consent to the dangerous idea of an imperial presidency, above the law and beyond the reach of checks and balances."

Republicans argued that there had been no evidence of wrongdoing in the prosecutors flap, and called the vote a waste of time that would actually damage Congress' standing.

"We don't have evidence that we can give to the U.S. attorney. What we're giving to him is the desire to continue a witch hunt which has produced up to today zero - nothing," said Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah.

Under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Justice Department officials consulted with the White House, fired at least nine federal prosecutors and kindled a political furor over a hiring process that favored Republican loyalists.

Bush's former top political adviser, Karl Rove, has also been a target of Congress' investigation into the purge of prosecutors, although Thursday's measure was not aimed at him.

Fred Fielding, the current White House counsel, has offered to make officials and documents available behind closed doors to the congressional committees probing the matter - but off the record and not under oath. Lawmakers demanded a transcript of testimony and the negotiations stalled.

The White House blasted Democrats for scheduling action on the contempt measures instead of moving to extend the eavesdropping law.

"The American people will find it baffling that on a day that House leaders are trying to put off passing critical legislation to keep us safer from the threat of foreign terrorists overseas, they are spending scarce time to become the first Congress in history to bring contempt charges against a president's chief of staff and lawyer," said Dana Perino, the White House spokeswoman.

The contempt debate sparked an unusually bitter scene even in the fractious House. Democrats accused Republicans of marring the Capitol memorial for their fallen colleague Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., by interrupting it with a protest vote. GOP leaders shot back that it was Democrats who were responsible for dishonoring Lantos, by calling the House into session for the contempt debate before the service had ended.

It's not clear that contempt of Congress citations must be prosecuted. The law says the U.S. attorney "shall" bring the matter to a grand jury.

The House voted 259-105 in 1982 for a contempt citation against EPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch, but the Reagan-era Justice Department refused to prosecute the case.

The Justice Department also sued the House of Representatives in that case, but the court threw out the suit and urged negotiation. The Reagan administration eventually agreed to turn over the documents.

The last time a full chamber of Congress voted on a contempt of Congress citation was 1983. The House voted 413-0 to cite former Environmental Protection Agency official Rita Lavelle for contempt of Congress for refusing to appear before a House committee. Lavelle was later acquitted in court of the contempt charge, but she was convicted of perjury in a separate trial.

On Thursday, three Republicans joined 220 Democrats to support the contempt resolution, including Rep. Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest of Maryland, who was defeated this week in a primary. One Republican, Rep. Jon Porter of Nevada, voted "present."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 16, 2008, 12:52:15 PM
Quote
Pelosi's Witch Hunt

The first place they need to look is in the mirror. The democrats in the house has done nothing but go against the majority of the people pandering to the enemies of America.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on February 16, 2008, 06:48:47 PM
Pelosi and company need to resign or be recalled. They need to go do things that they are good at, things like gay pride parades. The serious work of government needs to be done by people with some common sense, especially when we're talking about life, death, and survival.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 17, 2008, 03:36:53 PM
Wolf to Georgetown: Detail Use of Saudi Millions

A U.S. congressman is asking Georgetown University about its academic scrutiny of Saudi Arabia and its use of $20 million donated by a Saudi prince in 2005.

U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) wrote to Georgetown President John DeGioia Thursday, saying he was concerned about how the money was being spent at the university's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Of particular concern, Wolf said, was the university's role in training current and prospective U.S. foreign service personnel.

"The Saudi government continues to permit textbooks to contain inflammatory language about other religions," Wolf wrote. "Restrictions on civil society and political activists continue to be pervasive. No changes have been made to the underlying legal authority relating to non-Muslim worship that the Saudis have relied on to enforce these rules. The Saudis have cleansed their own country of religious liberties by severely restricting public religious expression to their interpretation and enforcement of wahhabism."

Wolf's letter seeks assurances the Georgetown center "maintains the impartiality and integrity of scholarship that befits so distinguished a university as Georgetown." He then asks whether:

    · "the center has produced any analysis critical of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for example, in the fields of human rights, religious freedom, freedom of expression, women's rights, minority rights, protection for foreign workers, due process and the rule of law."

    · "the center has examined Saudi links to extremism and terrorism, including the relationship between Saudi public education and the Kingdom-supported clerical establishment, on the one hand, and the rise of anti-American attitudes, extremism and violence in the Muslim world, on the other."

    · "the center has examined or produced any critical study of the controversial religious textbooks produced by the government of Saudi Arabia that have been cited by the State Department, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and non-governmental groups for propagating extreme intolerance."

    · "any of the Saudi-sourced finds have been used in the training, briefing or education of those going into or currently employed by the U.S. government.

Harvard University also received $20 million from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal but that is not addressed in the letter. Wolf is the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations and is co-Chair of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

The answer to his questions likely will be no, said Martin Kramer, former director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University and a fellow at Harvard and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Prince Alwaleed's money wasn't designed to stop academic scrutiny of Saudi Arabian society and policies, Kramer said. The Georgetown center wasn't doing that anyway. Rather, "It's a move to change the subject [and say the roots of terrorism lie elsewhere]. For the Saudis after 9/11, changing the subject is important."

The Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding is run by John Esposito. His research has not delved into aspects of Saudi society or human rights to determine why 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, or why so many of the foreign fighters in Iraq have been from the Kingdom. Rather, Kramer said, Esposito's research places U.S. policy under the microscope and finds it responsible for fostering anger and resentment.

"He's not doing anything he wasn't doing before he got the Saudi money, he was doing it anyway," Kramer said. "The Saudis just rewarded him for it."

Esposito has a history of minimizing the threat of Islamic extremism and supporting Islamist regimes and movements. He has praised Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Yusuf al-Qaradawi as an intellectual who "reinterpreted Islamic principles to reconcile Islam with democratization and multiparty political systems and recast and expand traditional doctrine regarding the status (dhimmi) of non-Muslim minorities."

Qaradawi has expressed support for the killing of American forces in Iraq and praised Palestinian suicide bombers, writing "it is wrong to consider these acts as ‘suicidal,' because these are heroic acts of martyrdom, which are in fact very different from suicide."

In the summer of 2001, Esposito criticized those who emphasize the threat Osama bin Laden posed. "There's a danger in making Bin Laden the poster boy of global terrorism, and not realizing that there are a lot of other forces involved in global terrorism," Esposito wrote in The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. "Bin Laden has become the new symbol, following in the footsteps of Qaddafi, Khomeini, and Sheikh Omar Abdur Rahman. Bin Laden is a perfect media symbol: He's tall, gaunt, striking, and always has a Kalashnikov with him. As long as we focus on these images we continue to see Islam and Islamic activism through the prism of ayatollahs and Iran, of Bin Laden and the Afghan Arabs."

In addition to his academic work, Esposito has been allied with a series of people directly involved in terrorist and extremist movements. He continues to consider Sami Al-Arian, an acknowledged member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, to be a friend and "
  • ne of the most impressive people I have met under fire."

He served on the Board of Advisory Editors for the Middle East Affairs Journal, published by United Association for Studies and Research (UASR). The UASR was established by Hamas Deputy Political Director Mousa Abu Marzook and run by Ahmed Yousef, now a Hamas spokesman in Gaza.

When the gift was made, the $20 million was reportedly designed to finance scholarships, three faculty chairs and expand academic outreach to "beef up" what the center already had in place.

In 2001, Alwaleed's attempt to donate $10 million to a fund for 9/11 victims was rejected by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani after Alwaleed suggested U.S. policy contributed to the attacks. In a news release, Alwaleed called on the U.S. to reexamine its Middle East policies "and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause."

Esposito defended the Prince's statement, saying "He was expressing his enormous sympathy with the United States but also trying to give people the context in which this [terrorist attack] occurred."

In addition to probing how the prince's money is being used at Georgetown, Wolf is asking the Bush Administration similar questions in opposition to a proposed $20 billion arms sale to the Saudi government.

In 2006, Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom issued a report on Saudi Arabian education. Despite claims that it modernized its curriculum and text books to remove intolerant and extreme references, the study found "an ideology of hatred toward people, including Muslims, who do not subscribe to the Wahhabi sect of Islam."

The issue of Saudi education was highlighted in a 2006 study by the Freedom House Center for Religious Freedom. Nina Shea, the report's author and then-director of the Freedom House center, penned an op-ed piece in the Washington Post on May 21, 2006 saying, "The texts teach a dualistic vision, dividing the world into true believers of Islam (the "monotheists") and unbelievers (the ‘polytheists' and ‘infidels').

This indoctrination begins in a first-grade text and is reinforced and expanded each year, culminating in a 12th-grade text instructing students that their religious obligation includes waging jihad against the infidel to ‘spread the faith.'"

Among the many examples Shea cited was this, from a sixth grade textbook:

    Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God, for this is within God's power.

The heart of Wolf's concern in both his letter to Georgetown, his alma mater, and in his opposition to the arms sales, appears to be a question of how reliable an ally Saudi Arabia is in the fight against terrorism and extremism. In addition, Wolf seems concerned over a cumulative effect Saudi interest in the U.S. has on policy. The letter notes a request to the Government Accounting Office about investigating "the revolving door" of senior officials who leave government only to lobby on behalf of governments where they previously served. And he specifically asks Georgetown about training current and future foreign service officers.

He notes that there has been a fair amount of promising talk, but "the Saudi government's promises remain unfulfilled."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on February 17, 2008, 04:44:03 PM
It's very sad to see BIG MONEY at work and what it can buy. We can definitely see that MONEY definitely is the root of many EVILS. The irony is that the money being used to push GOD out is our money that we spent for oil. As it turns out, the COSTS for obtaining this oil was much more than just MONEY. MONEY was just a small part of the COST.

Brothers and Sisters, it wasn't worth it. We would have been better off WALKING. We could have developed other modes of transportation not involving OIL, and we should have. I don't think that many of us knew what our money was financing until just recently. NOW we know, but we've done almost nothing to develop other sources of energy and other modes of transportation.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 20, 2008, 12:43:38 PM
Info sought on secret IRS deal with Scientology
'Position represents unconstitutional favoritism of one religious group over another'

A federal appeals court is being asked to tell the Internal Revenue Service to open up a secret deal with the Church of Scientology that reportedly allows members to deduct certain educational, or "auditing," expenses, a benefit denied members of other faiths in the United States.

The report comes from the American Bar Association Journal, which outlined the situation involving a case pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California.

The appellants in the case at hand, in which a decision hasn't been released yet, Michael and Marla Sklar, are Orthodox Jews who took deductions for some of the private religious school tuition they paid for their children, the report said, as well as after-school classes in Jewish law.

The IRS disallowed the deductions multiple times, and a first case was closed, even though "the agency meanwhile reportedly has allowed members of the Church of Scientology, under a 1993 settlement agreement, to take substantial deductions for 'religious training and services.'"

The Journal report said the judges on the 9th Circuit panel, now hearing a second appeal from the same family, "appeared sympathetic to the couple's claim that the federal agency isn't treating members of all religious groups fairly concerning charitable deductions for educational expenses."

The report said the IRS settlement with Scientologists is confidential, but it was reported by the Wall Street Journal in 1997. Now the Sklars are seeking access to the document to substantiate their own claim that their educational deductions are similar, and valid.

"The IRS contends that the settlement agreement is a private matter, and says that it involves religious training rather than the kind of religious education for children that is at issue in the Sklars' case," the report said. "However, their counsel argues the IRS position represents unconstitutional favoritism of one religious group over another, in violation of the Establishment Clause."

The report said Judge Kim Wardlaw noted during arguments that the issue "does intrude into the Establishment Clause," and that the "bottom line"' is whether the IRS has, in fact, agreed to treat members of one religious group differently from members of another group.

"Even if the IRS did discriminate by allowing the Scientology training deductions, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Sklars will get to take similar education deductions," concluded the report. "'Then the proper course of action is a lawsuit to [put a] stop to that policy,' explains a concurring judge in the 9th Circuit's 2002 written opinion on the Sklars' earlier case."

The New York Times reported under the "officially secret" agreement, Scientologists "can deduct the cost of religious education as a charitable gift," and the question at hand is whether members of other religious groups will be allowed to do the same.

The Times reported the judges in the original dispute concluded "it appears to be true" Scientologists have been given preferential tax treatment.

In that case, Judge Barry Silverman asked, "'Why is Scientology training different from all other religious training?'' There was no answer, he wrote, because the court wasn't faced with the question of whether "members of the Church of Scientology have become the IRS's chosen people."

Church spokeswoman Monique E. Yingling told the Times the 1993 agreement gave Scientologists charitable tax deductions.

"Scientologists now are being treated the same as everyone else, Catholics, Mormons, Hindus," she told the newspaper. "Auditing and training are both Scientology religious services." She said members participate in those to advance in the religion founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

Sklar, however, said that is his case: that there's no difference between services Scientologists cite for their deductions and the religious training his children get at two Hebrew schools.

The Sklars also said the IRS as much as admitted their contentions, because when the Sklars attempted to take the deduction the IRS sent them letters explaining the terms for Scientologists to take such deductions, but then disallowed theirs because they didn't provide receipts from the Church of Scientology.

"If the government is allowed to do this unchallenged, it means you have a state-favored religion, and that has never fared well for the Jews," Sklar told the newspaper.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on February 20, 2008, 01:35:17 PM
UM?

SICKENING!

If Scientology is a church, so are Star Trek fans.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 20, 2008, 10:14:49 PM
Stupid is as stupid does: House OKs climate blueprint to set limits on greenhouse gases

House lawmakers have approved Gov. Christine Gregoire's plan to set limits on Washington's greenhouse-gas emissions, another step in the state's long-term drive to curb the causes of climate change.

The measure, which also directs the state to add 25,000 "green collar" jobs by 2020, was the last bill to clear the House by Tuesday's deadline for policy measures. The 64-31 vote sends the bill to the Senate for further consideration.

During debate, Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, said lawmakers had a choice: Try to seize control of climate-changing emissions by approving the bill or "sit and do nothing, and suffer the consequences of inaction and the status quo."

Republicans, however, bridled at the bill's strict emission limits and the possible effect on business. Even GOP supporters like Rep. Glenn Anderson, R-Fall City, criticized what they saw as a heavy-handed approach by government.

"If we jam it down their throats, we will lose both the confidence of the citizenry and we will not accomplish the changes that we need to help our planet," Anderson said.

The bill builds on work already started by the Legislature and Gregoire's Climate Advisory Team.

It has five major points, led by orders for the state Ecology Department to make dramatic cuts in Washington's greenhouse-gas emissions. The agency's eventual blueprint would have to curb emissions by 70 percent of expected levels in 2050.

Ecology regulators also would set up an emissions-reporting system, for industries that annually produce 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases and vehicle fleets that emit at least 2,500 metric tons per year. The first reports would be due in 2010, with deferrals possible for interstate-transport businesses.

At the same time, the Transportation Department would set up recommendations for cutting in half the annual per-capita vehicle miles traveled by 2050.

The green-jobs initiative would set up a special state account giving grants for training and other programs to encourage clean-energy businesses.

Washington officials also would be authorized to work with the Western Climate Initiative, a partnership of six states and two Canadian provinces, in developing a regional cap-and-trade system aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions across the West.

The bill's definition of greenhouse gases includes carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Such gases essentially trap energy from the sun, which warms the Earth's surface and lower atmosphere. Many scientists believe human activity that increases those gases is contributing to global warming.

K.C. Golden, policy director for the environmental group Climate Solutions, said some of the state's existing environmental initiatives are enough to get the state about halfway to its goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

While the bill approved in the House on Tuesday doesn't offer solutions for meeting the larger reduction standards, it offers a way forward, he said.

"It's about charting the course, making a good, strong legal commitment to get it done," Golden said.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 20, 2008, 10:17:38 PM
Stupid is as stupid does: Pollution bill


Pollution bill attacked

Effort to slow global warming carries high price, critics say

O'Malley administration officials said yesterday they don't yet know how they would achieve the governor's ambitious goal of cutting global-warming pollution by 90 percent by 2050.

But representatives of Maryland's only steel mill, the Domino Sugar factory in Baltimore and a paper mill in Western Maryland warned of closings or dire financial losses if the state passes a law with some of the nation's toughest limits on carbon dioxide.

"That plant is not going to survive," said Gene Burner, lobbyist for the ArcelorMittal steel plant at Sparrows Point, which employs 2,500 workers. "In order to make steel, you have to produce carbon dioxide. ... The only way to limit carbon dioxide is not to make it."

Gov. Martin O'Malley held a news conference to announce his support for legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions on all industries, following laws in California, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, Minnesota and Hawaii.

The law would use financial rewards and punishments - as well as voluntary energy efficiency programs - to cut greenhouse gas pollution by 25 percent by 2020 and by 90 percent by 2050.

Environmentalists, scientists, public health experts and alternative energy companies also pledged their support for the Global Warming Solutions Act during a Senate hearing yesterday. The supporters argue that state limits are necessary to spur federal action and will help to prevent deadly floods and economic chaos brought by climate change.

O'Malley and other proponents of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Paul Pinsky and Del. Kumar P. Barve, argue that the bill could boost the state's economy by adding jobs in the solar, wind and alternative-energy fields.

"The era of fossil fuels and the damage that they have done to the planet and the air we breathe, that era has to become an era of the past," O'Malley said at the news conference, flanked by environmental advocates.

The bill sets aggressive targets but doesn't say which industries should cut pollution or by how much. The language doesn't specify what technologies businesses should use instead of burning coal and oil, or how homeowners and commuters might be affected.

Instead, the proposal gives broad authority to the Maryland Department of the Environment to impose a series of regulations that could affect all sectors of the economy - including transportation, housing and power.

State Secretary of the Environment Shari T. Wilson conceded during a hearing on the bill yesterday that that her agency doesn't know how the state would reach the goals or if the technology even exists yet.

"It is clear that a lot of innovation and new programs would be needed to meet that goal," Wilson said. "But we are talking about 42 years in the future. And if you look over the last 42 years, at the kind of innovations that have taken place ... the goals are realistic."

As early steps toward fighting global warming, the O'Malley administration is proposing to require power companies to buy more electricity from wind farms and other renewable energy sources. The administration also wants to encourage customers to use 15 percent less electricity by 2015.

The O'Malley administration offered amendments to Pinsky's bill yesterday that would give the state the option of using "cap and trade" systems to cut pollution from a variety of sectors.

"Cap and trade" programs are systems that impose fees on businesses that pollute over a fixed limit and send cash to cleaner industries.

An analysis by the state Department of Legislative Services also says that the financial burden on businesses would be "meaningful." Costs "could increase significantly" for businesses because of new state fees on carbon dioxide emissions.

This uncertainty about the new regulations infuriated business representatives and some Republicans yesterday, who said state residents shouldn't be asked to take a leap of faith at a time of economic uncertainty.

John Holt, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Unions Local 1900 in Largo, which represents 1,700 power plant and electrical system workers in the state, predicted that the law could shut down power plants.

"They have basically said, 'Trust us: We won't lose any revenues and we won't lose any jobs,'" Holt said of the bill's sponsors.

State Sen. Andy Harris, a Republican, said the bill could impose fees up to $250 million a year on electric plants.

"That's a pretty high energy tax when our rate payers are already paying high taxes," Harris said.

Former California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Terry Tamminen said costs for most customers and businesses would go down because regulations created by the state would encourage conservation. Tamminen said per capita energy consumption in California dropped 40 percent during the past decade because of its regulations.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on February 20, 2008, 11:13:50 PM
This is insane. They would have done more important work by staying home and playing tiddly-winks. I haven't heard yet, but I'll guess that they left the important work of protecting the country against terrorists attacks undone.

Who's going to get the solar activity under control? I suggest that we send Al Gore and make him pay penalties and additional taxes during times of increased solar activity. His bill should be based on additional thermal units reaching any portion of the entire earth. Al's already an expert in this area, so I think his responsibilities, taxes, and penalties should start right now. Al, you do your part - and we'll do our part. Al, you can start by using only a bicycle for transportation and turning off the electricity in all of your monstrous mansions. The limo and jets are parked.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 21, 2008, 08:11:18 AM
This is insane. They would have done more important work by staying home and playing tiddly-winks. I haven't heard yet, but I'll guess that they left the important work of protecting the country against terrorists attacks undone.



That's exactly what they did do. They left the bill for homeland security untouched.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 21, 2008, 11:11:18 AM
States to take budget hit from rebates
'It is going to have a big impact'

A report from the House Finance Committee in Colorado's Legislature is estimating that the economic stimulus package signed by President Bush, and expected to put checks in taxpayers' hands in May, will cost that state about $54 million alone.

"It is going to have a big impact, in particular on the capital development projects," Rep. Joel Judd, D-Denver, chairman of the committee, told the Denver Post.

And Michael Bird, the federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said such impacts may be hitting many states, because a large number have similar taxing structures.

President Bush had promised when he signed the legislation allowing the tax rebate checks to be distributed that the program was "large enough to have an impact, amounting to more than $152 billion this year, or about 1 percent of the [gross domestic product]."

The goal of the government's plan is to prevent a recession, or mitigate the impact of one. Taxpayers are to get checks, as will disabled veterans and some senior citizens.

The plan also includes tax breaks for businesses that purchase equipment.

It took less than four weeks for the plan to be moved through Congress, and its specifics include generally $600 to individual taxpayers, $1,200 to married taxpayers filing joint returns as long as they are below income caps of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples, and a $300 per child credit.

According to CNN, most economists agree the economy "should" see a boost, but they expect the impact will be less than the total value of the package, primarily because some people are expected to save the money or use it to pay down already existing bills instead of making additional purchases.

David Wyss, of Standard & Poor's, told CNN his guess is that "about half will go to U.S. products and services."

Bird was more modest in his expectations of an impact, especially for state economies that historically lag behind the federal economy when recovering from a recession. He told WND he expects only a fraction of the total would be put into the economy and be subject to sales taxes.

"The most the states are going to see is about $5 billion collectively," he said. And some of what states otherwise might see could be offset if they don't act quickly to disallow some of the credits the federal plan includes.

He said the impact on the states will come because many states simply align their income tax collection to the federal system, allowing only certain additions or deductions.

With billions being deducted from federal taxes by businesses purchasing equipment, that revenue also will be lost to individual states unless they come up with a way to deal with it, he said.

He said the additional money distributed to taxpayers in most state cases won't be counted, or taxed, as income. And even the sales tax revenue will be limited because a number of recipients are expected to manage their rebates by saving it, or paying down previously acquired bills, which would mean whatever sales tax revenue trickles down would have already done so.

He said even if $5 billion comes to states, state budget officers have estimated the collective state budgets' deficit for next year to be $35 billion already.

Thirdly, he said it is a problem that the United States did not have the money to give out. And he said an additional complication is that much of the money that will be used for consumer goods will end up in China, or Korea, or Japan.

"It will be good for their economies, not ours," he said.

In Colorado, officials were worried about the federal tax breaks being allowed both businesses and individuals.

"What you owe Colorado is based on what you owe the federal government," said the Post report, "so the less paid to Uncle Sam, the less paid to Colorado."

The report said 35 other states also would see declines in revenue because of the package, according to the Center of Budget Policy and Priorities, of Washington, D.C.

The Colorado legislative staff said the package will cost Colorado $20.5 million in the current fiscal year, ending in June, and another $33.6 million in the year beginning in July.

The NCSL had suggested, instead of direct rebates, Congress authorize grants to states, state Medicaid assistance, child support enforcement payments, food stamp help, unemployment benefits, and capital projects, and if tax credits were used, to accelerate the scheduled increase in the child tax credit.

In Colorado, lawmakers said it was impossible to say exactly what projects may have to be deleted, but among the options is a science building on a Denver campus, building repairs at a community college and various projects at the University of Colorado.

Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, said the stimulus package might be good from a federal perspective, but not from the state's.

On the newspaper's forum, however, taxpayers were wasting no sympathy on the state's situation.

"Better in our pockets than in the state government's," wrote claude long. "Oh, wait! Did they say $54 million short??? We'd better jack up car registrations by $300 and get the foolish voters to pass another Ref. C kind of tax increase. Never mind that the state government wastes TONS of money. They should hit up the taxpayers first."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 22, 2008, 09:11:11 AM
House Majority Shuts Down House GOP’s Earmark Reform Website

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today blasted the Majority’s decision to shut down the House Republicans’ earmark reform website, http://www.earmarkreform.house.gov. Boehner last summer requested to secure the web address and gained approval from the office of U.S. House of Representatives Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Beard to launch the site in an August 18, 2007 letter.

Earlier this month, House Republicans launched the website to serve as a hub for news and information regarding House GOP efforts to hold the Majority to its promises to fundamentally overhaul the taxpayer-funded earmark system. Throughout the year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her Democratic colleagues have rejected House Republican calls for an immediate moratorium on all taxpayer-funded earmarks.

Boehner wrote to Beard this afternoon, questioning his sudden decision to shut down the earmark reform website.

“I am writing today to register my protest over this belated change, and to request a detailed explanation of the events that led your office to make this dramatic reversal,” wrote Boehner. “Changing its address now will inevitably hamper the effectiveness of the new website, much to the convenience of the majority that runs the House.”

“[The] reversal comes just days after an independent report revealed that the freshman Democratic class in the House has been ‘showered in pork’ by the leaders of the current majority,” he continued. “[The] reversal comes just weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – who as leader of the Democrat-controlled House has the power to shut down the earmark process in our chamber immediately – declined to join me and more than 150 other House members in supporting a total moratorium on all earmarks.”

The full text of Boehner’s letter to Beard:

    The Honorable Daniel P. Beard

    Chief Administrative Officer

    U.S. House of Representatives

    Washington, DC 20515-6860

    Dear Mr. Beard:

    On Tuesday, February 12, 2008 I launched a new website, www.earmarkreform.house.gov, to serve as a clearinghouse for information on efforts to win bipartisan support in the House for a total moratorium on all taxpayer-funded earmarks. Since then, www.earmarkreform.house.gov has welcomed thousands of visitors and been mentioned prominently in many media and blog articles on efforts to change the earmark process and end wasteful pork-barrel spending in Congress.

    On August 18, 2007, I was pleased to receive a letter from your office informing me that my office had been approved for use of the domain name www.earmarkreform.house.gov along with a second name I had requested for a separate, unrelated project. (“These domain names are ready for your use and we are standing by to initiate them,” stated the letter, a copy of which is attached.) I was surprised, then, to receive an e-mail message from your office on February 21, 2008 – nearly two weeks after the successful public debut of the new website – stating that www.earmarkreform.house.gov must be shut down and moved to a different location with a different domain name.

    I am writing today to register my protest over this belated change, and to request a detailed explanation of the events that led your office to make this dramatic reversal. Changing its address now will inevitably hamper the effectiveness of the new website, much to the convenience of the majority that runs the House. Two recent developments in particular raise questions about the timing of HIR's reversal:

          · HIR’s reversal comes just days after an independent report revealed that the freshman Democratic class in the House has been “showered in pork” by the leaders of the current majority. According to The Hill, “[House] Democratic leaders have sent tens of millions of dollars to freshman lawmakers’ districts in hope of protecting the party’s newfound majority come November,” ("Dem leaders shower pork on freshmen," February 14, 2008). “Based on figures compiled by the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. . .House freshmen accounted for $263 million in personal, single-sponsor earmarks. Democratic freshmen accounted for $237 million of that," a CongressDaily report added the same day.

          · HIR’s reversal comes just weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) – who as leader of the Democrat-controlled House has the power to shut down the earmark process in our chamber immediately – declined to join me and more than 150 other House members in supporting a total moratorium on all earmarks.

    The leaders of both parties in the House have discussed the need for greater transparency and “sunshine” in Congress, particularly with respect to the process by which our institution spends taxpayers’ hard-earned money. By serving as a public clearinghouse for real-time information on legislative efforts to reform the earmark practice in Congress, www.earmarkreform.house.gov contributes to this goal and helps to increase accountability in the use of taxpayer funds. Transferring the website to a different address now — nearly two weeks after its successful launch — will inevitably cause confusion for visitors and discourage some from continuing to utilize the website as a regular resource.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter and your consideration of these points. I look forward to your response.

    Sincerely,

    John Boehner

    House Republican Leader

This proves that the current leadership is not interested in making this country fiscally responsible. Nancy Pelosi and her ilk have done nothing to improve the situation. The GOP leadership say they've learned the lesson of 2006. This website that they shutdown today and the corresponding efforts on the floor of the House to put an moratorium on Earmarks makes this case.

Bottom line is that we cannot get control of earmarks with the porkers in charge.

Speaking of which, I think that the Dems need to change their mascot image from an Donkey to a Pig because of all the pork they use to keep control.

Bank on this as well, the MSM will not touch this move by the corrupt majority leadership.

From Roll Call via email from John Boehner's office -

    House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is protesting a decision by Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard to shut down a Web site designed to bring attention to the effort to enact earmark reform.

    Boehner launched the Web site, earmarkreform.house.gov, on Feb. 12. The site features news links to articles about earmark reform, along with press releases from Republican leaders calling for reform and a link to Boehner’s leadership Web site.

    The CAO’s office had given Boehner permission to use the domain name in August 2007. But Beard sent Boehner an e-mail message on Feb. 21 informing the Minority Leader that the Web site needed to be shut down and moved to a different location with a different domain name.

    Boehner sent Beard a letter protesting that decision on Thursday afternoon, asking for “a detailed explanation of the events that led your office to make this dramatic reversal.”

    “Changing its address now will inevitably hamper the effectiveness of the new website, much to the convenience of the majority that runs the House,” Boehner writes.

    In the letter, Boehner notes that the decision comes after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declined to support a Boehner-initiated call for a moratorium on all earmarks. It also comes after reports that out of the $263 million spent by House freshmen on earmarks, $237 million of that was spent by Democratic freshmen, Boehner writes.

    “The leaders of both parties in the House have discussed the need for greater transparency and ‘sunshine’ in Congress, particularly with respect to the process by which our institution spends taxpayers’ hard-earned money,” Boehner writes. “By serving as a public clearinghouse for real-time information on legislative efforts to reform the earmark practice in Congress, www.earmarkreform.gov contributes to this goal and helps to increase accountability in use of taxpayer funds. Transferring the website to a different address now — nearly two weeks after its successful launch — will inevitably cause confusion.”

    A spokesman for Beard said the CAO’s office would respond shortly to Boehner’s letter. - Elizabeth Brotherton, Roll Call Staff


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 22, 2008, 09:41:49 AM
Speaker Pelosi and the New York Times' Blind Eye

Since the 2006 Congressional victory by Democrats, The New York Times has ignored a highly questionable situation involving Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi among other leading Democrats, instead focusing on alleged Republican offenses.

On August 2nd, 2007 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) submitted a bill to the U. S. House of Representatives which raised a potential conflict of interest involving the Speaker's widely publicized family stock holdings, corporate sponsors, and former staffers turned lobbyists. The Speaker submitted the bill called the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA) to the House  with bipartisan support. It would allow states to decide whether or not to extend Medicare benefits for HIV treatment to some currently not covered.

Speaker Pelosi submitted ETHA one day after Medicare officials announced new rules to cut back on significant expenditures for the drugs PROCRIT® made by Johnson & Johnson and EPOGEN® made by Amgen. The new Medicare rules were primarily geared to reduce the use of the drugs for cancer patients. Those pharmaceuticals are used to treat anemia often seen as a side effect of HIV medications and for other conditions. Both companies enjoy massive revenues from the sales of those medicines, with Johnson & Johnson reporting $3.2 billion in earnings from PROCRIT® and a similar drug and Amgen showing $6.5 billion for EPOGEN® and a similar drug during 2006.

Last year Amgen started losing stock value as word of the cuts spread. A press release from Amgen at its' corporate website stated ""Recent changes in coverage rules and adjustments to Amgen's FDA approved labels for EPOGEN(R) and Aranesp have and will adversely affect Amgen's revenue." The company then announced layoffs.

The ETHA bill would increase the number of HIV infected persons able to receive government assistance. A PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis conducted in 2003 estimated that the act would increase eligibility for treatment by 30,000 people. In turn the government purchasing of the anemia medications associated with their treatment will certainly increase, making up some of the difference caused by the planned Medicaid purchasing reductions. In effect, this law could turn things around for Amgen and increase Johnson & Johnson stock values.

Considering that the bill was submitted only one day after the Medicare announcement, some viewed it as a reaction to the new guidelines and an attempt to improve the finances of those two drug makers. Unless Speaker Pelosi has divested herself of certain stocks that she held in 2006 by the time she sponsored ETHA, then she stood to profit from the bill. Inquiries to clarify her holdings have gone without response from her office. In addition she has strong connections to Amgen.

According to the ethics guidelines for the House of Representatives, an elected official must declare perosnal investments and holdings. Those declarations are available online and can be viewed at a website called opensecrets.org. The last declaration on record that covers the calendar year 2006 shows the Speaker owned over $500,000 dollars worth of Johnson & Johnson stock. Such a scenario creates the impression of a conflict of interest.

In addition, her close ties to biotech firm Amgen come into question. Two of her key staffers have left to become lobbyists working for Amgen directly or through lobbying firms. They include George Crawford, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as the Speaker's former chief of staff and Howard Moon, described in a Washington Post article as a former senior policy adviser who was named the government affairs director for Amgen.

In addition, Amgen has supported her campaigns through PAC money and by sponsoring fund raising events. While she does not appear to own stock in Amgen, the timing of the bill raises questions about just how closely she is tied to the company.

Between 2002 and 2006 Amgen became a superstar stock amid soaring price hikes and massive profits. Nancy Pelosi attempted and failed to pass the Early Treatment of HIV Act during that run-up. In 2006 Amgen sponsored a fund raiser for Pelosi.

The Democrats won Congress in 2006 on a pledge to clean up the "culture of corruption" they ascribed to the majority Republicans. In one example, a Republican congressman in 2004 announced that he was considering taking a position with a pharmaceutical lobbying firm after he had negotiated pharmaceutical legislature. Congresswoman Pelosi charged at the time that the move was an "abuse of power".

The pharmaceutical industry was expected to be hit hard as Democrats strove to lower prescription drug prices through government negotiations. Pharmaceutical stocks were expected to fall. Speaker Pelosi herself was viewed by many as a threat to ‘big pharma'. One common investment technique for drawing profit from the markets is to buy when prices fall and sell when they go high again. According to the Speaker's 2006 disclosure she was invested in multiple pharmaceutical and biotech firms that make medications.

This new scandal recalls the early 2007 incident in which the Speaker promoted a minimum wage hike that would include all U.S. areas except American Samoa. Some large companies with canneries in Samoa are headquartered in the Speaker's district. Amgen is a powerhouse in Northern California, with a significant presence in the Speaker's district. That fact mirrors the Samoa controversy in which critics accused Pelosi of playing favorites with her district. And in 2007 it was revealed that the Speaker sponsored a massive earmark that would probably affect the value of property in which her husband was invested.

This summer, under extreme pressure from Congress, led by Pelosi, Medicare dropped its' planned regulation changes. J&J and Amgen stock immediately soared as The New York Times reported:

    Medicare has eased up on some of its proposed restrictions on the use of popular anemia drugs made by Amgen and Johnson & Johnson.

    The decision, announced late yesterday, could provide some relief for the two companies, which have already experienced steep drops in sales of the drugs. [....]

    The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services had proposed in May to sharply limit coverage for the drugs - Aranesp from Amgen and Procrit from Johnson & Johnson. Some analysts had predicted at that time that use of the drugs could be cut by as much as 50 percent. [....]

    But investors reacted favorably, sending shares of Amgen by more than $2 in early after-hours trading, though it then began to drop back. Shares had closed at $56.19, up 57 cents.

    Shares of the larger and more diversified Johnson & Johnson rose about 30 cents after hours, having closed at $60.07, up 30 cents.

How very interesting that The New York Times invests the efforts of a cadre of writers to investigate the wisp of a rumor concerning McCain while the Democrat Speaker of the House gets a free ride on such an apparently blatent abuse of power to enrich herself and friends.

And it doesn't end there. Congress pressured Medicare to backdown from the regulations with votes in the House and the Senate. The Sense of the Senate nonbinding resolution was approved unanimously (with no votes recorded therefore). As a Senator, Hillary Clinton would have also voted on this measure that proved a financial boon for Amgen. Senator Clinton is also tied to Amgen.

Bloomberg  recently reported that President Clinton's former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Steve Ricchetti, now a lobbyist,  received a $1.7 million payment to his firm from Amgen. He serves as a bundler for Senator Clinton's campaign. That means she is now receiving financial contributions assembled by a lobbyist at a firm that profited from the success of earning her vote.

One of those contributions was from Howard Moon, a former Pelosi advisor who donated $2,300 to the Clinton campaign a few weeks after Clinton voted to stay the hand of Medicare. In addition, in the days just before and after Pelosi submitted the ETHA bill on Aug. 2nd, 2007 a slew of Amgen executives made almost $30,000 dollars in private donations to the Pelosi campaign.
Barrak Obama who claims not to take lobbyist money received over $12,000 in private donations from several Amgen corporate executives (listed as executives, directors, and vice presidents) as revealed by government watch dog group opensecrets.org. The donations listed occured just before the September 4th, 2007 Senate vote on the Sense of the Senate resolution and the day after.

It's easy to find the appearance of unethical behavior whenever lobbyists are involved. The fact that The New York Times saw fit to only look at McCain says much more about The New York Times's ethics problems than it does McCain.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 23, 2008, 04:17:35 PM
Missouri approves proposed prayer amendment

The Missouri House has approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would clarify the right to pray publicly if it doesn't bother others.

The measure was approved 132-11 and now goes to the state Senate. If approved by senators, it would be voted on by
Missourians.

The state Bill of Rights already gives people a "right to worship Almighty God" as they choose. The proposed amendment would allow non-disruptive individual or group prayer and require public schools to display the federal Bill of Rights.

Supporters say the measure doesn't add new rights but better explains existing ones.

During floor debate, critics questioned the need for a clarification.


Title: IRS tells 7-year-old boy he owes back taxes - 60,000
Post by: Shammu on February 27, 2008, 04:40:21 PM
IRS tells 7-year-old boy he owes back taxes - 60,000

Another Carpentersville resident has gotten a notice from the IRS, demanding back taxes on income.

The IRS says the resident owes taxes on $60,000.

Only this victim is 7. Yes, a second-grader.

He's the latest Carpentersville resident, police said Friday, to fall victim to identity theft.

He may, however, be the youngest.

His identity has been in use by someone else since 2001.

Detectives accused a Streamwood man of using the boy's personal information not long after the boy was born in 2001.

Cirilo Centeno, 29, of 1101 Sunnydale Blvd., was charged with felony identity theft, an offense that could land him in jail for between four and 15 years if he is convicted.

The victim's mother claimed the boy as a dependent on her 2007 income tax and was informed by the IRS she could not -- that his Social Security number was being used by someone else.

In 2005, she had filed a report with police because someone was using her son's Social Security number to obtain unemployment benefits and her son was only 4 years old at the time.

Police didn't get far in that investigation.

This time, Carpentersville police contacted the unemployment office in Elgin and learned the offender had just filed another claim to receive benefits.

They were able to locate a telephone number and called Centeno, who identified himself by the name of the 7-year-old, police said.

Police were able to obtain an address from the man on the telephone and two detectives drove to his home in Streamwood, police said.

According to a report, Centeno showed police a Social Security card bearing the name of the victim and Centeno's photo.

Centeno said he has used the Social Security card with the victim's information to obtain a truck, three separate jobs, gas and electrical service for his home, a credit card, unemployment benefits twice for a total of six months, and over $60,000 in pay and services, police said.

Centeno said he bought the card for $50 from a friend and used it because he is in the country illegally, police said.

Centeno's bond was set at $15,000 and he was sent to the Kane County jail.

His next court date is scheduled for March 12 at the Kane County Judicial Center.

IRS tells 7-year-old boy he owes back taxes - 60,000 (http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=140579)


Title: Mississippi Enacts “Covenant Marriage”
Post by: Shammu on February 28, 2008, 03:08:13 PM
Mississippi Enacts “Covenant Marriage”
Feb 27, 2008

Senate Bill 2550 passed as amended yesterday. The title is: An act to create a form of marriage to be known as covenant marriage requiring certain declarations; to provide that a covenant marriage may be dissolved in cases of adultery; to allow the deferred sale of property; to amend sections 93-1-5, 93-5-1 and 93-5-23, Mississippi code of 1972, in conformity thereto; and for related purposes. Basically a covenant marriage is a legally distinct kind of marriage, in which the marrying couple agree to obtain pre-marital counseling and accept more limited grounds for divorce. Other types of marriage in Mississippi include Common-law marriage and Traditional marriage.

Grounds for divorce in a Mississippi covenant marriage are as follows:

    * Natural impotency.
    * Adultery, unless it should appear that it was committed by collusion of the parties for the purpose of procuring a divorce, or unless the parties cohabited after a knowledge by complainant of the adultery.
    * Being sentenced to any penitentiary, and not pardoned before being sent there.
    * Wilful, continued and obstinate desertion for the space of one (1) year.
    * Habitual drunkenness.
    * Habitual and excessive use of opium, morphine or other like drug.
    * Habitual cruel and inhuman treatment.
    * Insanity or idiocy at the time of marriage, if the party complaining did not know of such infirmity.
    * Marriage to some other person at the time of the pretended marriage between the parties.
    * Pregnancy of the wife by another person at the time of the marriage, if the husband did not know of such pregnancy.
    * Either party may have a divorce if they be related to each other within the degrees of kindred between whom marriage is prohibited by law.
    * Incurable insanity.

In 1997, Louisiana became the first state to create covenant marriage as a legal category. Legislation has been introduced to create legal covenant marriage in a number of other states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Only a very small percentage of couples are choosing them in states where they are available. By the end of 2001, “Fewer than 3 percent of couples who marry in Louisiana and Arizona take on the extra restrictions of marriage by covenant.” While there are no real expectations for covenant marriages to severely lower the divorce rate in Mississippi, I believe it passed in hopes that it may lower them to some extent.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 29, 2008, 10:56:24 AM
Pro-illegal immigration Dems undermining SAVE Act, says bill sponsor

House Democratic leaders are working to derail a bipartisan bill that would beef up border security, crack down on illegal aliens and employers who hire them, and reject amnesty.

Representatives Brian Bilbray (R-California) and Heath Shuler (D-North Carolina) are seeking an up-or-down vote on their bipartisan Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act, which has 47 Democrat and 89 Republican co-sponsors.  They need the need the signatures of 218 House members on a discharge petition for the vote to occur. The Washington Times reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and other House Democratic leaders want to poison the bill by attaching an amnesty amendment to it.
 
Bilbray points out the amendment proposed by Representative Joe Baca (D-California) would give illegal aliens a visa for five years so that during that time period Congress could work on passing legislation that would grant citizenship, voting rights, and welfare benefits to the illegal alien population.
 
"We're talking about 20 million people who've broken the law being rewarded for their illegal activity," he says, "but more importantly, Washington officially announcing to the world that we will reward those who come to our country illegally."
 
Bilbray believes the amnesty agenda in Congress is designed to enlarge the Democratic electorate. "You've got Ms. Pelosi and the traditional Democrat groups basically wanting to see this population of 20 million illegals voting for Democrats," he states. "They want to give them residency, citizenship, and register them to vote so they can use this illegal population as a political bloc that's behooving to them because they're the one who empowered them with the votes."
 
Bilbray's last election opponent, Democrat Francine Busby, was caught on tape promising illegal aliens she would give them welfare, healthcare, and retirement benefits, and that they did not need papers to vote or work on her campaign.
 
The SAVE Act is currently languishing in the House Judiciary Committee.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 05, 2008, 11:30:47 PM
No health insurance? Face fines
Failure to subscribe can cost residents up to $912 a year

Massachusetts has begun imposing stiff fines on residents who, for whatever reason, fail to purchase health insurance.

The program is the enforcement end of the state's universal health-insurance plan – and the fees reach up to $912 a year.

The state health-insurance initiative, signed into law by former Gov. Mitt Romney, has been compared to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's national universal health-care plan – especially on the enforcement side.

The penalties apply to anyone deemed able to afford health insurance by the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, the state agency that oversees the entire program.

Fines accrue every month to individuals not insured and are due as part of the tax-filing process for the year. The assessments began this year for the first time.

"The hefty fines are an indication of the failure of the program to provide the affordable health insurance that was promised," Arnold King of the Cato Institute told Health Care News.

The highest penalty for lacking insurance last year was the loss of the personal exemption, worth $219, on the individual's state tax return. This year the fine increased to half the total cost of the cheapest health insurance plan available through the state health insurance agency.

Through the plan, the state makes subsidized insurance available to individuals earning up to $30,636 per year and to families of four earning up to $61,956.

"The Massachusetts universal coverage plan is overregulated and largely unworkable," said Devon Herrick,, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. "The least expensive plan would cost a 37-year-old male resident of Massachusetts $196 a month, and a fine for not having insurance could run half of that, or $98 a month. The same 37-year-old living in Dallas could buy coverage for $98 per month."

Herrick said deregulation of the insurance market in Massachusetts would bring the costs way down.

The 2-year-old program is already $147 million in the red, and the four carriers that provide the subsidized insurance estimate costs rising by 14 percent in the next year.

To deal with the crisis, state officials have ordered carriers to "cut payments to doctors and hospitals, reduce choices for patients, and possibly increase how much patients will have to pay," according to a report in the Boston Globe.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 05, 2008, 11:34:20 PM
Minnesota plan: Clone embryos and kill them!
State House also would force taxpayers to fund program

Lawmakers in Minnesota have given their endorsement to a University of Minnesota plan to clone human embryos for "research," force taxpayers to pay for it, and then kill those embryos when the "research" work is finished.

The preliminary approval came on a recent 68-62 vote in which representatives rejected an amendment would be a true ban on cloning, and the "Kahn Cloning Bill, S.F. 100" could be brought up for a further vote at any time, opponents said.

The amendment provided language that would have promoted ethical adult stem cell research with a true ban on cloning human embryos, but that was rejected in favor of S.F. 100, sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis.

That plan has been described by supporters as a cloning ban, but it only bans "cloning" that results in a human being, not cloning that results in living human embryos.

"House members … had a chance to do the right thing and protect vulnerable human life, but instead they chose to treat human life as mere raw material for experimentation," said Andrea Rau, a legislative associate with the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. "Citizens are outraged to see their taxes being spent on such unjust treatment of human life."

At the center of the issue are the lives of the unborn embryos. WND had reported just a day earlier on GOP presidential race also-ran Gov. Mike Huckabee had endorsed Colorado's "personhood" plan.

That would simply declare that an embryo from the moment of conception is considered a human being.

"With this amendment, Colorado has an opportunity to send a clear message that every human life has value. Passing this amendment will mean the people of Colorado will protect the sanctity of life from conception until natural death occurs," Huckabee said.

The plan targets an opening created by the U.S. Supreme Court when it found, in the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, the right to an abortion. The opinion said: "(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."

Several other states are pursuing the same arguments, either through legislative efforts or, such as in the cases of Georgia and Colorado, through a process that would allow citizens to move forward with protections for the unborn.

Opponents said the Minnesota legislation defines cloning as the process that results in a baby born alive, essentially leaving those lives in the embryo stage as not human.

MCCL said the Kahn plan "provides taxpayer funding for the destruction of human embryos for experiments and also the wanton creation and destruction of human life through cloning at the University of Minnesota."

"The deadly Kahn Cloning Bill … also requires the U of M to kill all cloned human beings or face felony charges. The bill would allow millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to be used to kill living human embryos," the group said.

"The vast majority of Americans are opposed to research that requires human cloning and the killing of human embryos," noted Jenny Hoelscher, MCCL legislative associate. "It is difficult for taxpayers to believe that their elected officials are even considering legislation which would require such massive destruction of human life."

In fact, a report from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops confirms that only one in three Americans is supportive of the idea of government funding of embryonic stem cell research.

The group noted that researchers actually call the process Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer "so you won't know that cloning is being done."

"They want to use cloned human embryos because if they ever develop a treatment, the stem cell line that produces it can be patented and they can reap an enormous profit," the group said. "The cloning process is the same as for reproductive cloning but rather than placing the embryo in a womb, the stem cells are removed for experimentation, killing the embryo."

Bill Poehler, a spokesman for MCCL, told WND his organization believes the plan being pushed by university researchers actually would violate a statute Minnesota already has on the books.

That 1973 law prohibits experimentation on any development of the human being, from fertilization on. He said the experimentation going on at the university now, with private funding, probably violates that law as well, although researchers on the payroll of research efforts have disputed that.

The Kahn Cloning Bill was approved in the state Senate last year, but just now is going through the House, under the state's 2-year legislative session.

"We think it's pretty radical," Poehler told WND.

According to a recent report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than a dozen states have laws pertaining to human cloning.

California banned reproductive cloning in 1997, and since then Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota and Virginia have enacted similar plans.

Arizona and Missouri also have measures addressing the use of public funds for cloning, and Maryland bans the use of state stem cell research funds for reproductive cloning, the group said.

But the report said only Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota and South Dakota extended their laws to cover cloning for research.

California and New Jersey specifically allow cloning for research.

Pro-life organizers in Minnesota say they are aware that Gov. Tim Pawlenty has opposed the plan, instead urging lawmakers to "support ethical adult stem cell research," but the ultimate fate of the plan isn't certain.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2008, 08:44:57 AM
Oregon ruling denying petitioners' rights appealed
'Government bureaucracy cannot be allowed to disenfranchise voters'

The Alliance Defense Fund has filed an appeal of a federal judge's ruling that Oregon residents have no right to have their signatures counted when they sign ballot initiative petitions, in an attempt to restore voters' rights in the state.

The issue arose over the state legislature's approval, and the governor's signature on, legislation that created "domestic partnerships" for homosexuals and lesbians in Oregon, legislation that overwrote the expressed will of voters in the state.

Several organizations worked to bring the new law to a vote of the people, but state officials said they had invalidated enough signatures on petitions for them to not allow voters to review the issue.

Because the margin of failure was only a handful of votes, several individuals went to their county offices to determine whether their valid signatures had been counted, and when they discovered they hadn't been counted, insisted that they be added.

County officials, citing orders from state officials, refused to do that, and the ADF sued.

Then U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman allowed the state law creating lookalike marriage for homosexuals to take effect, concluding the state has little significant obligation to count voters' signatures on petitions.

That decision now has been appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Notice is hereby given that Plaintiffs Phillip Lemons, Susan Jarrett; Myrna Hines; Jay Sherman … and disenfranchised signers Nos. 1-26, hereby appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th federal Circuit from the judgment denying the plaintiffs relief…," the ADF document said.

"In America, every citizen's voice counts," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks. "Government bureaucracy cannot be allowed to disenfranchise Oregon voters. One of their most important rights cannot be tossed aside."

The original lawsuit was on behalf of Oregonians who had their signatures "wrongfully rejected" from the petition on Referendum 303, which would allow voters to decide the "domestic partnership" issue.

Stunningly, at a Feb. 1 hearing, Mosman, "stated that voters in Oregon have no legal right to have their petition signatures counted," the ADF said.

"Their signatures were genuine, and no legitimate reason existed to refuse to allow these registered voters to participate in the democratic process," said Nimocks. "Our country is founded on the basic principle of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It should stay that way in Oregon."

To Mosman's courtroom, the ADF had submitted briefs showing county clerks simply refused petition signers' requests to count their signatures after they had been "wrongfully rejected."

The petition signature total fell just five short of what was needed in Oregon to put the issue to voters, prompting the proponents to seek a review.

"The right to exercise one's voice in the democratic process is a crucial one, and state and county officials must not infringe upon that right," Nimocks said.

The ADF argued, "The only real dispute in this case is whether the Secretary of State and county clerks can constitutionally refuse to give excluded signers notice that their signatures have been rejected and refuse to give them any opportunity – even when they learn of the disenfranchisement on their own – to verify their signatures and make sure that their vote counts…"

The Associated Press reported that advocates for legitimizing same-sex "couples," were "beaming."

"We're a family. We've been waiting for this a long time," the wire service reported Cathy Kravitz of Portland celebrating.

The idea of same-sex couples already had been rejected soundly by voters in Oregon. In 2004, several thousand same-sex couples were given marriage licenses in Multnomah County, prompting Oregonians to approve by a 57-43 percent margin a constitutional ban on homosexual marriages. A court later nullified the licenses.

That aligned with 148 years of precedent in the state. However, 54 legislators in the statehouse during 2007 and Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski ignored that, working together on the new homosexual couples proposal.

They even included a section in a new law suggesting schools address the "attitudes" of those who do not choose to support those relationships.

The state already has begun implementation of the new law, with plans confirmed by prison officials to allow inmates who are part of a domestic partnership to live in the same prison facility, and in the same unit, a privilege specifically denied married inmates. Same-sex couples have have been registered since Mosman's ruling.

In a column on the issue, Alan Sears, chief of the ADF, noted that the issue of marriage consisting of – and only of – one man and one woman is supported overwhelmingly in the United States. Twenty-seven of 28 states where voters have decided the question, they have limited marriage to one man and one woman.

"Those seeking to fabricate same-sex 'marriage' have long recognized the American public is a roadblock to their success. In 1998, after ADF-allied litigation allowed Alaska citizens to vote on (and pass) a constitutional amendment barring same-sex unions, the ACLU executive director declared: 'Today's results prove that certain fundamental issues should not be left up to a majority vote.'

"When the (new) referendum was submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State on Sept. 26, signatures exceeded the required number by more than 6,000. However, the Secretary of State announced there were not enough signatures to sustain the referendum. The evaluated 'sample' was said to be only five signatures short. If you wonder how this could happen, you aren't alone. As it turns out, there is a very clear explanation – many of the signatures were wrongfully rejected," Sears said.

"Signatures were invalidated for allegedly not matching their voter registration cards, being illegible, or coming from unregistered voters. But according to ADF attorneys who examined the signatures, several of those kicked out did match, were legible, and the affected voters actually were registered. In other words, many valid signers were ignored," he continued.

Clerks then "adamantly"' resisted efforts by signers to authenticate their signatures. "One county clerk even told a rejected signer, in person, and to their face, 'tough nuggets,'" Sears said.

Bill Burgess, the clerk in Marion County, confirmed the state had given county clerks instructions to follow a "precedent" and not correct any incorrectly classified signatures they may have been told about.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2008, 09:10:47 AM
Feinstein wants CO2 listed as a danger to public health

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, along with several other organizations, is calling for Senator Dianne Feinstein to reconsider a proposal that would list carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

In a recent letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, Senator Feinstein (D-California) urged the agency to find CO2 emissions a danger to public health. The finding would lay the groundwork for the first ever CO2 emissions standards for new cars and trucks. However, Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Marlo Lewis warns that the finding would also make CO2 a pollutant that would be regulated far beyond new cars and trucks.
 
"But [the EPA] would also have to regulate carbon dioxide emissions just about everywhere else in the economy," Lewis explains. "And potentially over several hundred thousand small to mid-sized buildings, businesses, and farms could be affected."
 
Lewis says that listing CO2 as a pollutant would not only put a "big chill" on new construction and cripple the economy, but it would also swamp the EPA with applications and hinder them from enforcing what Lewis describes as "critically, statutorily required Clean Air Act obligations."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2008, 09:15:20 AM
This definitely shows a lack of intelligence as well as education in knowing just how important CO2 is the well being of the world. Yes, a concentrated amount of it in say an unventilated garage can kill a person. Without it in the environment plants cannot sustain life at all. It's past time for the wacko extremists to stop playing god.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on March 07, 2008, 11:20:28 AM
I'd like to know why same sex relationships isn't listed as a DANGER TO PUBLIC HEALTH!

We already have over 5,000 people a day dying of dreaded diseases directly tied to alternative lifestyle behavior.  There are MILLIONS MORE waiting to die with slow and painful diseases that will definitely result in DEATH. CO2 deaths and illnesses would be nothing compared to any one of the massive epidemics already in PROGRESS that are directly caused by PERVERTED AND ABNORMAL SEXUAL ACTIVITY! AND, they are determined to promote more of it with our children.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 08, 2008, 09:44:08 AM

Pro-Life Groups Hit by GOP Lawmaker's Alleged Fraud
Renzi Funneled Hundreds of Thousands from Pregnancy Crisis Centers to Fund First Run for Congress

Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., allegedly defrauded dozens of pro-life organizations for hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund his first congressional bid, according to an analysis of the recent indictment against him, a state insurance claim and an interview with an insurance lawyer involved in the case.

When federal prosecutors indicted Renzi, 49, on 35 felony counts two weeks ago, many reports focused on alleged crimes stemming from a complicated series of land swaps the congressman facilitated.

But the indictment also accuses Renzi, who ran an insurance firm before coming to Capitol Hill, of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance premiums and using the money to fund his congressional campaign.

Organizations such as Arizona Right-to-Life, the Hope Crisis Pregnancy Center and the Wickenburg Pregnancy Resource Center paid insurance premiums to Renzi's insurance firm, Renzi & Company, but received notices their insurance coverage was going to be cancelled for nonpayment, according to a 2003 complaint filed with the State of Arizona. The complaint was first reported by the Phoenix New Times.

According to the indictment, Renzi funneled those payments -- totaling more than $400,000 -- through various accounts and finally to his campaign.

Renzi's congressional office has directed all legal questions to his lawyer, Reid Weingarten. Weingarten did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Renzi says he is innocent.

Renzi has positioned himself as staunchly anti-abortion. "The sanctity of human life should always be upheld, and I will continue to fight for the rights of the unborn in Congress," he said in 2003, as a freshman U.S. representative. In 2006, Renzi received a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee for his voting record.

The 2003 complaint was filed by an insurance broker who acted as an intermediary between Renzi & Company and the insurance company which held the pro-life groups' policy.

In an interview, a lawyer for the broker confirmed that the payments his company did not receive from the pro-life groups were the same prosecutors allege Renzi embezzled to pay for his congressional campaign.

The lawyer, who spoke on the condition his name not be used, represents North Island Facilities. The company brokered insurance coverage for roughly 50 pro-life organizations in "a multitude" of states through Renzi's firm, the lawyer said, and all had received cancellation notices because Renzi's company had not forwarded their payments.

Coverage for the organizations were never cancelled, the lawyer said, despite the lapse in payment. Months after NIF filed complaints against Renzi & Co. in Arizona, Virginia and other states, Renzi paid the pro-life groups' insurance bills with money from his father, the indictment shows.

According to the indictment, when the groups complained to Renzi that their premiums had not been paid, he said a new insurance company, "Jimcor," now insured the groups and created false certificates as evidence. He later told state officials that those certificates were issued in error, the indictment says.

Elected to Congress in 2002, Renzi has faced pressure to resign from GOP party leaders since the indictment against him was announced two weeks ago. Though he stepped down from his committee seats last year following FBI raids on the insurance business, Renzi has vowed to stay in Congress.

"I will not resign and take on the cloak of guilt because I am innocent," Renzi said earlier this week. "My legal team...will handle these legal issues while I continue to serve my constituents."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 09, 2008, 06:05:01 PM
Anti-War Judge Won’t Allow Foster Child to Join Marines

Children’s Court Commissioner Marilyn Mackel of Simi Valley, California is against our actions in Iraq. With that said, this activist judge felt she had the right to prevent a foster child under her jurisdiction from joining the Marines. This refusal is an obscene abuse of power based solely on her hatred for the U.S. military. And she’s done this before.

The L.A. Daily News gives us the outrageous story of young Shawn Sage, a foster child, who appeared before judge Mackel to ask for permission to sign with the Marines for an early enlistment. Sage is 17 and would have been eligible for a $10,000 signing bonus upon signing. The young man has long dreamed of joining the Marines and is shocked that this judge denied him permission to join.

Quote
    “The judge said she didn’t support the Iraq war for any reason why we’re over there,” said Marine recruiter Sgt. Guillermo Medrano of the Simi Valley USMC recruiting office.

    “She just said all recruiters were the same - that they `all tap dance and tell me what I want to hear.’ She said she didn’t want him to fight in it.”

According to the L.A. Daily News, Makel also denied another young foster child who wanted to join the Navy because she feels that all military recruiters are liars and just want “another warm body.”

As Mr. Sage stood before the judge he had the backing of several members of the military as well as his brother and his foster parents behind him. Yet regardless of all the adult support this young man had for his quest, this out of control judge ruled against his right to join our nation’s military.

But something good may be coming from this episode despite of all this military-hating judge’s actions. The legislature is stepping in and doing their job deflating some of this un-American judge’s power. As a result of this judge’s untoward acts, Shawn Sage submitted a proposal to a local California lawmaker’s write a bill challenge and Mr. Sage’s proposal has since become Bill AB2238.

Quote
    Assemblyman Cameron Smyth introduced legislation last month that would allow foster teens to enlist in the service without express permission from a judge.

    “Here is one impressive young man who somehow made it through the challenge of the foster system, had a clear sense of a career path and was denied that opportunity by a judge basically because of her personal bias,” said Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, who will honor Sage today at a Royal High assembly. “I find that to be a horrific abuse of her power.”

Now here is as it should be. Instead of shuddering in a corner, afraid of the stolen power that this judge wields like a battering ram against our military, the legislature has stepped in to do something about this abuse of power. I hope all Californians reading this help this legislation along by urging their representatives to support it.

The only way to curb the undeserved power stolen by judges across this country is for the state legislatures to finally stand up to these out of control jurists and take that power away from them via legislation. For far too long judges have been abusing their power and our elected representatives have been shirking their duty to hold these judges in check.

We have allowed the judicial branches of government to get out of all control. It’s about time we brought them to heel.

So, a story of an anti-American judge abusing her power turns out to have a good ending… IF you Californians do the right thing and pass this new law. Otherwise, it will be just another disgusting story of a judge, mad with stolen power, who wrecks havoc with our American traditions.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on March 10, 2008, 12:42:14 AM
WHEW! - Judges like this need to be prosecuted and removed from office. They are each running private little kingdoms, and they play the part of the dictator.

Their job is to fairly apply the Law and Constitution. Nobody cares about their personal whims and opinions unless they are incapable of keeping those whims and opinions OUT of their official duties. Brothers and Sisters, Judges who can and do fairly apply the Law and the Constitution these days are viewed as DANGEROUS. What's WRONG with this picture?


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 10, 2008, 11:09:43 PM
New York governor linked to prostitution
Democrat Spitzer reportedly client of ring, Republican leader demands resignation

After a New York Times report broke today linking him to a prostitution ring, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer read a brief statement to media saying he would take time to focus on his family.

"I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family ... my sense of right and wrong," he said at his Manhattan office. "I must now dedicate some time to rededicate my trust to my family."

Spitzer had been scheduled to speak today at a conference attended by more than a thousand Planned Parenthood supporters advocating access to abortion.

The Times cited a source saying the Democratic governor, 48, is identified as a client of the Emperors Club VIP, a high-end prostitution ring under investigation by federal prosecutors. Four people were arrested in the case last week.

A law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Associated Press Spitzer's involvement in the ring was caught on a federal wiretap. The official said Spitzer, identified in court papers as "Client 9," was part of an investigation that opened in the last few months.

Spitzer – named by Time magazine as "Crusader of the Year" when he was attorney general – battled corruption on Wall Street, where he made many enemies. He won a record share of the vote in New York's 2006 gubernatorial election, vowing to clean up government.

Spitzer's travel records line up with a client described in court papers who arranged a meeting with a prostitute in Washington, D.C., the night of Feb. 13.

The Times noted that as attorney general, Spitzer prosecuted at least two prostitution rings and spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.

"This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multi-tiered management structure," Spitzer said at the time. "It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring."

As WND reported, Spitzer was named last fall as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the public-interest watchdog group Judicial Watch on behalf of a New York taxpayer over the state's policy to provide driver's licenses to illegal aliens. Spitzer's policy became a hot topic in the Democratic presidential race when New York Sen. Hillary Clinton initially indicated support for it but then backed off amid heavy criticism.

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo called the news "an excruciating personal tragedy for the governor, his family and the rest of our society to whom he has meant so much."

James Tedisco, the leader of Republicans in the New York state assembly, demanded Spitzer resign.

"He has disgraced his office and the entire state of New York," Tedisco said in a statement.

Spitzer said at his news conference this afternoon, "For the past nine years, eight years as attorney general, and one as governor, I have tried to uphold a vision of progressive politics that would rebuild New York and create opportunity for all. We sought to bring real change to New York and that will continue."

Saying he wanted to "briefly address a private matter," he admitted he "acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better."

"I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals," he said. "It is about ideas, the public good, and doing what is best for the state of New York. But I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 10, 2008, 11:11:42 PM
Spitzer scandal reaction
'This is a guy who is so self-righteous, and so unforgiving'

eaction to prostitution allegations against Democratic New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer:

"I obviously am sending my best wishes and thoughts to the governor and to his family. ... Let's wait and see what comes out of the next days. Right now I don't have any comment. I think it's appropriate to wish his family well and see how things develop."—Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and presidential contender endorsed by Spitzer.

"I never try to take advantage or gloat over a personal tragedy. However, this is different. This is a guy who is so self-righteous, and so unforgiving. ... He has to step down. No one will stand with him."—Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

"It is an excruciating personal tragedy for the governor, his family, and the rest of our society to whom he has meant so much."—Former Democratic New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.

"I feel very badly for the governor's wife, for his children. The important thing for the people of New York state is that people in office do the right thing, because there are so many challenges out there and it's important that we govern, move forward to get a proper budget in place."—State Senate Republican leader Joseph Bruno, who Spitzer aides were accused of attempting to embarrass.

"For the good of his family, for the good of our state, for the good of the governorship, Eliot Spitzer must resign immediately. He is unfit to lead our state and unfit to hold public office."—state Assembly Republican leader James Tedisco.

"I feel bad for him and his family but until he makes a more complete statement, I have nothing more to say."—Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer.

"These are serious and disturbing accusations that are completely at odds with the man I know. They come as a complete shock. ... He will have to regain credibility not only with his family but with the public."—Democratic New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

"It is hard to see how Gov. Spitzer can hope to govern effectively while the political, governmental and legal consequences of his behavior swirl about him. ... He should resign immediately, so New York's government can effectively return to serving its citizens."—New York Republican Party Chairman Joseph Mondello.

"Gov. Spitzer is a dedicated public servant with a long record of bringing positive change to New York. This is not the time to play politics, particularly as investigations are ongoing. Until all the facts of this case are known, we should all exercise caution and restraint."—Democratic Governors Association Executive Director Nathan Daschle.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 10, 2008, 11:12:41 PM
Spitzer's hard, fast fall
'The Sheriff of Wall Street' built career on ethics

From Mr. Clean to Client 9, allegations that Gov. Eliot Spitzer was involved in a prostitution ring mark a mortifying fall for a politician whose career was built on ethics.

"Crusader of the Year" proclaimed Time magazine in 2002, when Spitzer was New York's wildly popular attorney general. Spitzer made his name taking on Wall Street barons and analysts who failed to play fair with everyday investors. Profiles of Spitzer then were rife with reverential references to his square jaw and his crime-busting predecessor, Eliot Ness.

None of that squares with explosive reports Monday that Spitzer's involvement in a prostitution ring was caught on a federal wiretap. Law enforcement officials said Spitzer is identified in court papers as Client 9.

"Here's a guy whose entire career has been based on being 'The Sheriff of Wall Street,' 'Mr. Morality,' the guy who is standing firm for ethics in government," said Maurice Carroll, director of Quinnipiac University's Polling Institute. "For Eliot Spitzer, it's a double surprise because it's his whole public persona."

Spitzer promised to tackle the notorious dysfunction of Albany with the same gusto he took on Wall Street. He won the New York governor's race in 2006 with a record-setting share of the vote and rumbled into office with his signature mix of aggression and cockiness. He signed five reform-related executive orders before he was officially sworn in on New Year's Day and was soon making trips to the home districts of lawmakers to denounce them if he felt were in the way of his reform agenda.

Spitzer allegedly described himself as a "steamroller" in a profanity-laced phone call to a Republican legislative leader. The nickname stuck. Some saw it as indication of a more arrogant side to Spitzer. In December 2005, John Whitehead, a former top Wall Street executive, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Spitzer threatened him in a telephone conversation earlier that year, saying, "I will be coming after you. You will pay the price," for publicly criticizing Spitzer's investigation of an ally, AIG insurance magnate Maurice Greenberg.

Spitzer denied threatening Whitehead.

Though Spitzer came into office like gangbusters, he lost steam last summer amid a scandal involving efforts by top aides to governor to embarrass Republican state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, a chief political rival, over use of state aircraft.

Bruno, who was back on his heels for months in the face of Spitzer's whirlwind, snatched back the offensive.

Spitzer's popularity plummeted even further last year when he proposed making it easier for illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses. Republicans opposing the unpopular plan were soon joined by Democrats and Spitzer eventually surrendered as polls showed most New Yorkers would be unwilling to re-elect him.

Only recently did Spitzer's poll numbers begin nudging back up. And this month, the Senate Democrats won a special election in a deep-red Republican district in northern New York with the help of Spitzer's political machine. It got them within one seat of capturing control of the Senate for the first time in 40 years, one of Spitzer's long-stated goals.

It looked like Spitzer was mounting a modest comeback.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 10, 2008, 11:38:30 PM
Caution voiced on 'mental health parity' bill

Family Research Council, a prominent pro-family group based in Washington, DC, warns that legislation approved by the House requires employers to offer mental health coverage for people who need therapy because of their deviant sexual lifestyle.

The House easily passed a bill Thursday to require health insurers to provide the same level of coverage for mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction. But the so-called "mental health parity" bill is drawing criticism from the Family Research Council (FRC), which argues the legislation would "force businesses to provide healthcare for mental 'conditions' like necrophilia, pedophilia, cross-dressing, and gender identity confusion."

Tom McClusky, FRC's vice president for government affairs, says the legislation would include coverage for every bizarre "condition" found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).
 
"Everything from jet lag to gender identity disorder, transvestic fetishism, [and] a number of other categories I wouldn't even want to go into right here," says McClusky. "And there's no conscience protections for employers who would be then forced to possibly pay not only for whatever psychiatric care that these people needed, but also in certain cases this legislation could be used to help pay – make an employer and the insurance companies pay -- for sex change operations."
 
According to McClusky, says there is another troubling aspect to the bill.
 
"Both the Senate and the White House are in agreement that the House legislation just cannot pass and should not pass," he continues. "In both pieces of legislation though there also needs to be some protections that – [be]cause thanks to Doe v. Bolton, the companion case to Roe v. Wade – this bill could [force]...insurance companies...to pay for abortion when the abortions are incase of the mental health of mother -- something that Doe v. Bolton and Roe v. Wade both allow for."
 
The White House opposes the House mental health bill, but favors a less-expansive version passed unanimously by the Senate last September.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 11, 2008, 07:37:01 AM
Bush says border solution includes swinging door
'Temporary worker program' to let people cross boundary needed

The solution to security issues on the United States' border with Mexico will need to include some sort of swinging door so that workers can come and go as they want, according to a spokeswoman for the White House.

The response came from spokeswoman Dana Perino, who answered a question from Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White Hosue.

He asked:

"Reuters reports that our Customs and Border Protection Commissioner admits that the U.S. may not meet the goal of essentially stopping illegal immigration from Mexico by 2011. And my question: What does the president believe would help most in this effort, more border security personnel, more miles of border fence, or more enforcement of immigration regulations nationwide?"

"The president thinks that all of those issues are important, but he would add another measure, which is a temporary worker program so that we could have a legal mechanism for people who want to cross the border and work in America, but also want to go back home," she said.

The Reuters report cited an admission from Ralph Basham, commissioner of the U.S. Customers and Border Protection, who said in 2005 the government projected having "operational control" of the border within five years.

However, in testimony before Congress, he said the Secure Border Initiative included several assumptions, and some of those underlying events have not happened.

"We're going to be pushing to meet those goals … but I cannot with any assurance tell you right now that we'll meet them," Reuters reported he told a meeting of the House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security.

One congressman, Kentucky Republication Hal Rogers, said the bottom line has to be, "We are going to secure our borders and end illegal immigration."

But Basham said one of the factors on which the protection was based was the assumption about a comprehensive immigration reform package, dubbed an amnesty program by opponents, which failed in Congress.

Officials also said the "virtual fence" that has been built along a 28-mile section of the border in Arizona has been delayed by technical problems, and opposition from landowners along the border also is delaying plans for 670 miles of fencing.

In a second question, Kinsolving asked, "Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has just written a new book entitled, 'On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For.' And my question: Does the former governor of Texas who is now president agree or disagree with this title?"

"I don't know if he's even aware of the book. And Gov. Perry was around last week and talked to him. I'm going to move on," said Perino.

Kinsolving followed with the question that: You don't want to leave the impression the president opposes both Perry and the Boy Scouts, do you?

"Of course he doesn't," Perino said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on March 11, 2008, 08:11:18 AM
Brothers and Sisters,

There is a trend emerging: whatever is good or right is delayed or stopped. Increasingly, VOTES of the people are even ignored. We see examples of this over and over again.

With the current political climate, sex scandals with a prostitution ring are small in comparison to many other things going on in the open. We are actually watching evil of all kinds come out of the closet. What's left to be shocked about?


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 11, 2008, 09:25:18 AM
Posting anonymously to be a crime?
Lawmaker wants $500 fine for 1st offense, $1,000 for each after that



Kentucky Representative Tim Couch filed a bill this week to make anonymous posting online illegal.

The bill would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail address with that site.

 Their full name would be used anytime a comment is posted.

If the bill becomes law, the website operator would have to pay if someone was allowed to post anonymously on their site. The fine would be five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for each offense after that.

Representative Couch says he filed the bill in hopes of cutting down on online bullying. He says that has especially been a problem in his Eastern Kentucky district.

Action News 36 asked people what they thought about the bill.

 Some said they felt it was a violation of First Amendment rights. Others say it is a good tool toward eliminating online harassment.

Represntative Couch says enforcing this bill if it became law would be a challenge.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on March 11, 2008, 09:44:47 AM
Posting anonymously to be a crime?
Lawmaker wants $500 fine for 1st offense, $1,000 for each after that



Kentucky Representative Tim Couch filed a bill this week to make anonymous posting online illegal.

The bill would require anyone who contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail address with that site.

 Their full name would be used anytime a comment is posted.

If the bill becomes law, the website operator would have to pay if someone was allowed to post anonymously on their site. The fine would be five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for each offense after that.

Representative Couch says he filed the bill in hopes of cutting down on online bullying. He says that has especially been a problem in his Eastern Kentucky district.

Action News 36 asked people what they thought about the bill.

 Some said they felt it was a violation of First Amendment rights. Others say it is a good tool toward eliminating online harassment.

Represntative Couch says enforcing this bill if it became law would be a challenge.

I personally think this is a BIG bunch of BALONEY. This is simply a way to SILENCE many voices of the people. Politicians can't stand the idea that many people feel safe voicing their opinions on the Internet. This represents a real danger to dirty politicians, and that's why they want to REGULATE OR SILENCE FREE SPEECH. Folks with average common sense should be able to see through this one easily.

There are many other considerations than just silencing FREE SPEECH. Using a real name and other information on the Internet would expose the person to identity theft, harassment, and all kinds of other problems. Everyone already knows this to be a fact, so much fewer people would participate. The end result would still be to SILENCE FREE SPEECH.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 12, 2008, 03:59:11 PM
2nd Muslim elected to Congress
Convert serving balance of grandmother's term

Indiana voters on Tuesday elected a Muslim to Congress, only the second of that faith chosen in U.S. history.

Andre Carson, grandson of the late Democrat Rep. Julia Carson, was elected to serve the balance of her term in the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election.

She died in December 2007, after serving 11 years in the heavily Democratic district.

The younger Carson, 33, a member of the Indianapolis City Council who converted to Islam about a decade ago, will serve out the remainder of his grandmother's term through calendar 2008. He beat Republican Jon Elrod and a third party candidate with 52 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Elrod.

The first and only other Muslim member of the U.S. Congress is Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, also a Democrat, who is in his first term.

Carson will face a strong challenge against other contenders in a May primary which will determine who runs in November for the next full two-year term in the district which covers most of the city of Indianapolis.

His Democratic opponents then are expected to be two state legislators -- Carolene Mays, an Indianapolis newspaper publisher, and David Orentlicher, a lawyer and doctor who is a professor of law and medical ethics at Indiana University School of Law and Indiana University Medical Center.

Carson's faith had not been an issue in the special election.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 13, 2008, 11:07:31 AM
Bush opposes 'Fairness Doctrine'
But spokeswoman warns Congress doesn't share opinion

President Bush believes the so-called Fairness Doctrine is "Orwellian" and disagrees with its very concept, but that isn't the case in the Democrat-controlled Congress, a spokeswoman said today, hinting perhaps a warning of what could come under a Democratic triumvirate in the Senate, House and White House.

The response came from White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, who said President Bush, "believes in a free press, yes."

The question was from Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House, who asked:

"Yesterday in Nashville the president called the so-called Fairness Doctrine 'an Orwellian name,' whose supporters, by 'insisting on so-called balance they want to silence those they don't agree with.' And my question: This means the president believes that the First Amendment's freedom of both speech and of the press means that there must be as much freedom for the electronic or spoken or e-mailed press, as for the printed press, doesn't it?

Then Kinsolving continued. "The president also said, 'Republicans have drafted legislation that would ban reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine. Unfortunately, Democratic leaders have blocked action on this bill' My question: Does that mean the entire Democratic leadership in both Houses, or was it just San Francisco Speaker Pelosi and Nevada Majority Leader Reid?"

Perino said she wasn't sure and those congressional leaders would have to respond.

Former White House spokesman Tony Snow earlier told WND when he held the post that the Fairness Doctrine, which periodically is raised as an issue by members of Congress, is not needed. Such a provision requires broadcast outlets to air both sides of any issue, and was instituted when the industry often had only a single station outlet in many cities.

"Our views on the Fairness Doctrine are well known, which we don't think it's necessary," Snow said.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has lobbied for the provision. "I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they're in a better position to make a decision."

In a column, WND founder and editor Joseph Farah, issued a warning about what would be coming if Democrats retain control of the Senate and House in November.

"Prepare for a major, frontal assault on the First Amendment – perhaps the worst in American history," he wrote, citing a letter written by U.S. Senate President Harry Reid, D-Ariz., to talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh's network several months ago, demanding he apologize for something he never said.

"It was a shot across the bow by an arrogant group of petty, wannabe tyrants who would, if they could, use the coercive power of the state to stifle all dissenting views," Farah warned.

"They would do it under the rubric of 'hate speech' legislation. They would do it with the rationalization of 'fairness' and 'accuracy' – two qualities they wouldn't recognize if they tripped over them. They would do it in the name of campaign finance reform. In fact, they would do it without any excuse whatsoever," he continued.

"To them, the First Amendment doesn't actually protect the inalienable right to free speech and the free press. It only protects their speech and their press. They want a monopoly on media. They had it once and they got spoiled. They decided they can't live without it any more."

He said come January 2009, if Reid still is running the Senate and Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., still is running the house, "they are going to pass a law bringing back the so-called 'Fairness Doctrine.' If Barack Obama is in the White House, he will sign it. If Hillary Clinton is in the White House, she will sign it."

Its chilling effect can be assessed by the fact that in 1987, the last year it existed, there were 75 radio talk shows in the United States. Today there are more than 3,000, he said.

President Ronald Reagan saw to it that it died while he was in office, because it apparently required a balance of opposing views on radio and television airwaves, but in reality, opened the door to government to meddle in the content of radio talk shows and other mediums.

"If the Democrats and their me-too Republican allies are successful at sacking talk radio, there will be no stopping them," Farah warned. "Broadcast will be first. Then they will go after the Internet with taxes and new regulations and hate-crimes laws. And when they succeed at muzzling dissenting voices there, they will even turn to print. Remember, we are dealing with a neo-fascist mentality here," he said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 13, 2008, 08:27:36 PM
Senate rejects extending some tax cuts
Symbolic vote puts lawmakers on record for when Bush plan expires in 3 years

The Senate has embraced the idea of extending President Bush's tax cuts aimed at low-income workers, married couples and people with children after he leaves office.

The overwhelming 99-1 vote was largely symbolic. But it put senators in both parties on the record for when the tax cuts expire in three years.

Republicans complain that a plan for future tax cuts by Montana Democrat Max Baucus would still permit increases in income tax rates and higher taxes on investments and stock sales.

The Senate has rejected an extension of President Bush's tax cuts for middle- and higher-income taxpayers, investors and people inheriting businesses and big estates.

The partisan 52-47 vote was largely symbolic and followed an overwhelming vote endorsing cuts aimed at low-income workers, married couples and people with children. But it put senators in both parties on the record for when the tax cuts actually expire in three years.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting, voted for the additional tax cuts. Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted against them.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Littleboy on March 13, 2008, 11:54:24 PM
I thought this was going to be about Gov. Spitzer? ;D
Watch c-span 1 & 2, The Sen. & the House of Reps.,
You can watch your tax dollars at work everyday, NOT!
Have you heard what Obamha want's to do? OUGH BOY, I hope you have deep pockets everyone!
I'm so low on the bracket, they cant get much more outta me, Unless that changes too...

It's come down to this for me:
1. Do I continue to vote for a Republican J. McCain, who will continue to Band-Aid
    our problems like we've done for so long...
2. Vote for a Demoncrat and just let them put us out of our Misery in a hurry!

I Don't know about you, But I'm tired of Listening to Godless people & what they want to do to my Country.

I asked God once, I was about 18, Father, My Faith in all you say, surpasses all that can be contained in a mans Heart, Mind & Soul,
Why is it these mountains won't move?
I've put a thorn in your side, So that in your Time of Ignorance, 
you would'nt hurt those that hav'nt come to me yet!

This was'nt something that I heard with my ears,
But it was Spoken within me, I heard it with the ears of my Heart
and in the stillness of my Spirit.
If it has'nt happened to you yet, you may wonder, But
if it has, you know what i'm saying...

I've been waiting for that thorn to be removed,
My mom told me when i was a Littleboy,(10)
Your tongues like a knife that cuts to the Soul.

I'm transporting some trucks tomorrow,
I'll get to witness to some people, God willing...
YLBD



 






Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 14, 2008, 11:08:22 AM
Ex-GOP treasurer diverted up to $1 million
National Republican Congressional Committee says money went to personal accounts

The former treasurer for the National Republican Congressional Committee diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and possibly as much as $1 million -- of the organization's funds into his personal accounts, GOP officials said yesterday, describing an alleged scheme that could become one of the largest political frauds in recent history.

For at least four years, Christopher J. Ward, who is under investigation by the FBI, allegedly used wire transfers to funnel money out of NRCC coffers and into other political committee accounts he controlled as treasurer, NRCC leaders and lawyers said in their first public statement since they turned the matter over to the FBI six weeks ago.

"The evidence we have today indicated we have been deceived and betrayed for a number of years by a highly respected and trusted individual," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the NRCC chairman.

The committee also announced that it has submitted to banks five years' worth of audits and financial documents allegedly faked by Ward, some of which were used to secure multimillion-dollar loans. It is a violation of federal laws to obtain loans through false statements; the crime is punishable by up to $1 million in fines and 30 years in prison.

Before yesterday, the committee, which raised $49 million in 2007, had not acknowledged that any money was missing. It announced on Feb. 1 that it had discovered "irregularities" that might involve fraud, dismissed Ward and called in federal investigators.

Robert K. Kelner, a lawyer with Covington & Burling, which has been hired to oversee an internal forensic audit, told reporters he is certain only that Ward had made "several hundred thousand dollars" in unauthorized money transfers since 2004. However, he said, the year-end report filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in 2006 overstated the NRCC's cash on hand by $990,000.

That may be the upper level of what Ward allegedly skimmed from NRCC coffers, Kelner said. But the total will not be known until forensic auditors finish "drilling down" to determine how much money might have been misappropriated and how much may be missing as a result of sloppy bookkeeping, he said.

Kelner said Ward was the only NRCC official empowered to use wire transfers to shift money into any account without a second approval. After transferring the money into accounts he controlled, often for dormant fundraising committees associated with the NRCC, Ward allegedly moved it into accounts for his political consulting business or his personal bank accounts, Kelner said.

Kelner said the NRCC has had no contact with Ward since he was fired on Jan. 28. Ronald Machen, Ward's attorney, declined to comment on the investigation yesterday, as did the FBI.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Ward had served as treasurer for 83 GOP committees this decade. In the past five years, the committees took in more than $400 million in contributions.

Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) told The Post this week that Ward paid himself $6,000 from King's PAC in 2007 after the congressman thought he had closed down the committee.

Politico.com reported last night that Ward lent himself more than $4,200 from the political action committee of Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.), an unusual expenditure for a campaign treasurer to make. Ward repaid the money early last month, after the FBI was called in to investigate his work at the NRCC, Politico.com reported.

According to a source familiar with the investigation, some of those committees were closed down in filings to the FEC but their accounts were left open at banks. That would have allowed Ward to divert money into their coffers and then to his political consulting firm or his personal bank accounts.

Kelner said the NRCC had not met with its outside auditors for nearly five years, describing that as unusual. Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), who previously served as chairman of the NRCC's audit committee, said he had asked to meet with the outside auditing firm, Deloitte & Touche, and that the fake audits were almost perfect forgeries.

"I sought for several years to meet with the outside auditors," Walden said. "There was always some seemingly legitimate reason why that didn't happen." The scheme began to unravel this year, when Rep. K. Michael Conaway (Tex.), the new head of the audit committee, insisted on meeting the auditors.

The magnitude of the alleged fraud staggered Republicans, who are bracing for the final accounting from the forensic audit in six to eight weeks. Many said they expect a total far greater than the minimum cited yesterday.

The largest confirmed political fraud in the modern campaign finance era, after a 1974 law set strict contribution limits, is believed to be the embezzlement of $1 million from the 1992 presidential campaign of the late Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.).

Cole told reporters yesterday evening that the NRCC has spent about $370,000 on the audit being conducted by Kelner's firm and accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers, draining precious dollars from a campaign committee that has badly trailed its Democratic counterpart in fundraising for more than a year.

Kelner said federal election and banking laws, which require proof that such frauds were done "knowingly," are likely to put the legal burden on Ward and not the NRCC. He said the internal probe so far has turned up no signs of "anybody else colluding with" Ward.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 14, 2008, 11:23:30 AM
Alaska senators make another push for oil drilling in ANWR
Bill would allow extraction if price of crude hits $125 a barrel

Hoping to capitalize on consumer concern about gasoline prices, Alaska's two Republican senators introduced legislation Thursday that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if the price of oil hits $125 a barrel.

With oil hovering near $110 a barrel and gasoline expected to reach $4 a gallon, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ted Stevens said that they hoped the continuing price spiral would spark consumer clamor and overcome opposition to opening the wildlife refuge to drilling.

"This has got to come from the ground up," Murkowski said. "From the constituents, from the American consumer saying 'Enough, Congress.' This is the No. 1 issue domestically in the country right now, what is happening with the price of energy."

Efforts to open up the refuge for drilling have had a long and storied history in Congress, with Stevens or Murkowski (or her father) offering up some form of legislation annually. In 2005, when Congress rejected yet another bid to open the refuge to development, Stevens called it the "saddest day of my life."

This year's proposal has a few new twists that Murkowski, the lead sponsor, says might help persuade some former skeptics.

After the state of Alaska gets a cut of the 12.5 percent royalties, 50 percent of the proceeds would go toward alternative energy research overseen by the Department of Energy. Another 33 percent would go toward federal low-income home energy assistance or weatherization programs. The final 17 percent would go toward the food stamp program.

Drilling in ANWR would do more than any economic stimulus package, Stevens said. It also would trim U.S. dependency on foreign sources of oil.

"The money we send overseas for oil could be spent in the United States, stimulate our economy," he said. "I think this country's going to need a real stimulus before this year's over."

The Bush Administration also sees the development of ANWR as a national security issue and continues to support the "environmentally responsible production of energy" from the refuge, said Shane Wolfe, a spokesman for Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

The Interior Department hasn't seen the legislation and wouldn't comment on it, but the president's 2009 budget assumes that ANWR would open for development, Wolfe said.

If drilling were to be allowed, the first lease sales in 2010 could bring in as much as $9 billion, Wolfe said.

"The coastal plain of ANWR is the nation's single greatest onshore prospect for future oil," he said.

But environmentalists say they're confident that Murkowski and Stevens simply don't have 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster that would allow the bill to be heard. It's equally unlikely that a Democratic-led House of Representatives would even consider hearing the legislation, said Myke Bybee, a spokesman for the Sierra Club.

Environmentalists also have a proven track record at rallying national opposition to drilling in the refuge and could mobilize their forces with a simple e-mail campaign. They're confident that outside of Alaska, there simply isn't public support for drilling in ANWR, Bybee said.

"No amount of oil and no amount of money is worth despoiling the Arctic Refuge," Bybee said. "I don't think there's support for opening up a special place like the Arctic Refuge at any cost, at any amount of oil or at any cost of oil."

Drilling in ANWR is "not going to be help anyone at the pump," said Cindy Shogan, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League. "The consumer is not that naive."

It's an interesting tactic to tie the present-day price of oil to the decision whether to drill, said Frank Verrastro, senior fellow and energy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C. But even if Congress were to sign off on opening ANWR to development today, it would have little to do with the price a decade from now.

"You're talking eight to ten years," Verrastro said. "And during that time maybe we would have lost some production, maybe demand would have gone down because of sustained higher prices."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Littleboy on March 15, 2008, 05:55:47 PM
I have some Dem. friends at work, I've been telling them
and they agree we need to start drilling & Building some more refineries.
They use to wine about gas prices & the war, I got a few of them convinced that
They have been part of the PROBLEM, By voting for people that WON'T allow drilling,
WON'T Build More Refineries, No Nucular power site, Ect. ect.
I also told them IT'S your Senators & your House Members that HOLD this Stuff up. NOT the President...


I also told them this is A dem. strategy, So they have something to beat the Republicans
over the Head with, Economy, Enviroment, ect.ect. and with the Main stream Media you watch
You miss the FACT that it is YOUR DEM. REPS. that are really the ones who are causing this stuff..

THERE against EVERYTHING that would PROTECT Americans at home & Soldiers Abroad!
DAMN them Father for they are truely against you & us,
Show them your mighty hand & Buckle the legs of  the upright & cleave the Tongues of the unrighteous
to the roofs of their mouths...

YLBD


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 18, 2008, 10:39:29 PM
Sex offenders collect financial aid
'Most insane waste of taxpayer money that I have seen in my 8 years in Congress'

James Sturtz is not your ordinary college student struggling to pay tuition.

The 48-year-old rapist is one of Iowa's most dangerous sex offenders, locked up in a state-run treatment center for fear he will attack again if released. Yet he has received thousands of dollars in federal aid to take college courses through the mail.

Across the nation, dozens of sexual predators have been taking higher education classes at taxpayer expense while confined by the courts to treatment centers. Critics say they are exploiting a loophole to receive Pell Grants, the nation's premier financial aid program for low-income students.

Prison inmates are ineligible for Pell Grants under a 1994 law. Students convicted of certain drug offenses are also ineligible. But sexual predators qualify once they are transferred from prison to treatment centers.

"This is the most insane waste of taxpayer money that I have seen in my eight years in Congress," said Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., who is pushing to stop the practice. "It is a national embarrassment that we are wasting taxpayer dollars for pedophiles and rapists to take college courses while hardworking young people from lower-class families are flipping hamburgers to pay for college."

Moreover, some institutions report that sex offenders are putting the financial aid to questionable uses by buying such things as clothes, a DVD player and music CDs—sometimes, after they have dropped out of school. Pell Grants can legally be put toward expenses that are education-related. But the unused portion of a grant is supposed to be repaid when someone withdraws from school.

Keller's plan would affect 20 states that allow authorities to hold violent sex offenders indefinitely after they have served their prison sentences. He predicted the measure would save taxpayers millions.

Some say taking away the financial aid for correpondence courses would be a mistake. They say education could help sex offenders build stable lives and reduce their chances of committing another crime if they are ever released.

The U.S. Education Department does not track how many sexual predators confined to treatment centers have received aid, in part because the offenders do not have to disclose their living arrangements on the application forms. But within the past five years, at least several dozen have received Pell Grants. And the department is only following the law.

"They are eligible," Education Department spokeswoman Stephanie Babyak said. She said the department generally does not track how recipients pay their expenses, "but if there is an issue with people getting overawards, we would look into that. We'll be happy to check it out."

The institutions and the government do not keep count of how much money sexual predators receive. The maximum Pell Grant is $4,310 per year. The government generally sends payments to colleges for tuition, and any leftover is sent to the student to cover expenses.

At the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, Wis., six patients are getting Pell Grants, and others did so in the past. Some patients used their grants for living expenses that were already being covered by the state's taxpayers, according to administrators.

"I think that the current practice—which results in large checks being sent to the patients for living expenses—is pretty much indefensible," director Steve Watters wrote in an e-mail to an aide last year.

In Iowa, 14 offenders in the Cherokee Mental Health Institute have received Pell Grants in recent years, said administrator Jason Smith. He said nine of them dropped courses after receiving money.

Some patients used their money to buy a DVD player, a television, a radio, music CDs and movies, Smith said. Because of vague guidelines, staff members could not determine whether those were inappropriate expenditures, he said.

In California, a number of predators living at the Coalinga State Hospital receive Pell Grants, said Department of Mental Health spokeswoman Nancy Kincaid. But she said the hospital has no way of tracking who gets them or how much money they receive.

Representatives of other states, including Kansas and Minnesota, said they could not recall sex offenders signing up for Pell Grants. Other states said they had no idea whether that was the case.

"They don't really tell us what they are doing. They have a lot of liberties they want to exercise without our oversight," said Dr. Henry Richards, superintendent of the Special Commitment Center in Washington state, where some patients take correspondence courses.

Keller introduced his bill to ban the practice after a newspaper reported in 2003 that 54 offenders at one Florida center got $200,000 in Pell Grants in one year.

Some Democratic members of Congress and others say it would be counterproductive to put up a barrier to education for sex offenders who are trying to rehabilitate themselves.

"These are people who we want to prepare to go into the communities. They need to have access to educational programs," Richards said. "I think the numbers of committed persons aren't so large they would significantly preclude other citizens from taking advantage of educational support. To preclude them seems mean-spirited to me."

Sturtz illustrates both sides.

The Iowa man was convicted in 1980 of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl. He earned his high school equivalency diploma behind bars and trained to be a janitor. He was convicted again in 1989 of attempted rape after pulling a knife on a woman.

After another stint behind bars, he struck again in 1994. This time, he met a Coe College student waiting for a bus, persuaded her to get in his car and raped her at knifepoint. He was sent back to prison and then ordered to Cherokee after his sentence ended in 2006.

Sturtz said he signed up to take business courses through Kirkwood Community College and received B's in business communication courses. But he has put his schooling on hold.

He said he dropped algebra and two other courses that were too hard. And he said he was unable to complete one class because he was not able to watch the required movies. Like other sexual predators, he is not allowed access to the Internet, and that has complicated his schooling.

He said he used his $100 in leftover grant money to buy jeans and underwear and saved the rest in case he tries to take more courses.

So far, none of the 72 predators in the Iowa center has been released since it opened in 1999. Sturtz admitted he is not ready for freedom anytime soon.

"It wasn't about the money for me, man. It was about the education," he said. "God knows I'm going to need all the help to get a job."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 18, 2008, 10:43:46 PM
Personhood Amendment Gets New Support

Colorado’s most conservative lawmakers signed petitions Monday supporting the Colorado Human Life Amendment to the state Constitution.

The group Colorado for Equal Rights needs 76,000 signatures by May 13.

Kristi Burton, a spokesperson for the group, estimated they have gathered about 40,000 signatures. She thinks they will meet the required number to put the issue on the November ballot.

The amendment would define life as beginning at the time a woman’s egg is fertilized.

It doesn’t specifically mention abortion, but many think the new definition would lead to legislation to try to outlaw abortions in Colorado or build a test case that could be taken to the United States Supreme Court.

Cal Zestro spends almost every day gathering signatures or working the phones to try and build support for the petition drive.

He told 7NEWS, "I think the law should protect everybody."

Monday, the petition drive picked up the signatures of some of Colorado's most conservative political leaders.

A public vote is a way to get around the legislature which has historically protected abortion rights and contraceptive choices.

State Sen. Greg Brophy Wray said, "Clearly it’s always the right time to take the stand for the sanctity of life."

A similar amendment is being proposed in Montana.

Proponents have tried but failed to pass Personhood Laws in Georgia, Mississippi and Michigan.

Abortion rights groups are watching the petition process closely and said they are prepared for a battle if the amendment gets on the November ballot.

Jody Berger of Colorado Planned Parenthood thinks the issue will fail in a statewide race.

"It is an extreme law that goes too far. People recognize that,” Berger said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 18, 2008, 10:50:50 PM
Attorney predicts Supreme Court will ultimately side with FCC, families

Attorney Pat Trueman says a case before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding broadcast indecency will have a far-reaching impact. He is optimistic that the high court will rule the FCC has the authority to protect the public airwaves from profanity.

The high court will review a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy that calls for broadcasters to be fined for "fleeting expletives," or one-time uses of a common four-letter word. The case before the court involves two airings of the Billboard Music Awards on FOX. During both airings, celebrities' expletives were broadcast live. NBC has a separate challenge to an FCC fine for airing a rock star's expletive during a Golden Globe Awards show in 2003.
 
The FCC appealed to the high court after a federal appeals court said the agency's policy regarding fleeting expletives was not valid. The Alliance Defense Fund's Pat Trueman says the U.S. Supreme Court has tackled the issue before, but the ruling will not be known for some time.
 
According to Trueman, the high court will review the cases this fall. He believes the justices will decide again what the court decreed 30 years ago – that "the FCC acts appropriately, according to federal criminal law, in regulating indecency and profanity on broadcast television and radio."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 18, 2008, 11:13:24 PM
How the U.S. Navy Inadvertently Supports Hugo Chávez

When U.S. Navy and Marine personnel purchase gasoline at their local Navy Base Exchange, they might be unknowingly supporting America's enemies. This is happening because the Navy Exchange buys its gasoline from a company owned by Venezuelan Dictator-President Hugo Chávez. A designation by the Bush Administration of Venezuela as a terrorist-sponsoring state would allow the Navy to end this awkward situation.

Hugo Chávez is on an arms-buying spree. Chávez has already bought $3.4 billion[1] worth of Russian weapons, including "100,000 AK-103s and AK-104 assault rifles, a munitions factory, 53 helicopters--including a dozen Mi-17 military helicopters--and 24 SU-30MK fighter jets."[2] Venezuela is negotiating a multi-billion dollar, multi-year contract to purchase from Russia "five Project 636 Kilo-class diesel submarines and four state-of-the-art Project 677 Amur submarines....and several Tor-M1 air defense missile complexes."[3] A Chávez military adviser boasts that the Russian sub­marines will "make Venezuela's navy the strongest in the region,"[4] potentially putting the U.S. Navy in harm's way at some point in the future.

The Chávez-Terrorist Connection

In addition to this military build-up, new evidence is emerging that documents Chavez's sinister intentions and actions in the region. The government of Colombia, assisted by the U.S. government and Interpol, is analyzing the contents of a laptop belonging to the second-in-command of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Raul Reyes,[5] who was killed by the Colombian military in an attack two kilometers inside Ecuador's border on March 1, 2008.[6]

The U.S. Secretary of State designated the FARC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997.[7] In 2003, President George W. Bush designated the FARC as a "significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act due to its extensive narcotics trafficking activities." The FARC has also been designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union,[8] Canada,[9] and the Latin American Parliament.[10]

Evidence from the three captured FARC laptops has revealed that Chávez was planning to send $300 million to the FARC[11] and was pressuring European governments to drop FARC's terrorism designation. With political legitimacy, FARC could then mount a political campaign against Colombian President ÁlvaroUribe's party in the 2010 national elections. There is also evidence from the laptops that Chávez funneled money to his Chavista ally, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, during Correa's 2006 election campaign.[12]

An Awkward Contract

Surprisingly, part of Chavez's oil-based financial windfall comes from the U.S. Navy. Its "Navy Exchange (NEX) Service Command" has a contract, running until 2010, which specifies that Citgo supply gasoline to all NEX service stations. Formerly known as Cities Service, an American-owned refiner and gasoline retailer, Citgo was sold in the 1990sand is now owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary ofthe state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), which is in turn wholly owned and controlled by the Hugo Chávez-led government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.[13] Citgo's refineries are the only ones in the U.S. (and among the few in the world) built specifically to refine Venezuela's heavy, dirty, and high-sulfur crude oil,[14] so the Chávez regime is heavily reliant on them for income.

Given the aggressively anti-American actions of Hugo Chávez, it is at the least a great irony that the U.S. Navy is buying gasoline from him. A Navy press spokesman says that "Citgo's competitively bid $60 million-a-year contracts to supply the Navy Exchange with gas run through 2010....Citgo's relationship with the exchange dates back to 1989." The spokesman reported that any action to prohibit Citgo from bidding on future contracts could be taken only by Navy headquarters in Washington.[15] The Navy did demonstrate its sensitivity about the issue in 2006, however, when it replaced Citgo signs with "NEX" signs at all of its service stations in the aftermath of Chávez's speech in September of that year at the UN General Assembly, where he called President Bush "the Devil."[16]

A State Sponsor of Terror?

The Bush Administration is reportedly investigating whether the actions taken by the Chávez regime to support and promote the FARC could lead to Venezuela being placed on the U.S. government's list of state sponsors of terrorism. [17] This action would result in the imposition of four main sets of U.S. government sanctions: (1) a ban on arms-related exports and sales; (2) controls over exports of dual-use items for goods or services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country's military capability or ability to support terrorism; (3) prohibitions on economic assistance; and (4) imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions, including: (a) requiring the United States to oppose loans by the World Bank and other international financial institutions; (b) lifting diplomatic immunity to allow families of terrorist victims to file civil lawsuits in U.S. courts; (c) denying companies and individuals tax credits for income earned in terrorist-listed countries; (d) denial of duty-free treatment of goods exported to the United States; (e) authority to prohibit any U.S. citizen from engaging in a financial transaction with a terrorist-list government without a Treasury Department license; and (f) prohibition of Defense Department contracts above $100,000 with companies controlled by terrorist-list states. [18]

Designation by the U.S. of Venezuela as a terrorist-sponsoring state would put into jeopardy the billions of dollars the Chávez regime takes in annually from the sale of oil to the United States. It would also, incidentally, give the Navy a way out of its awkward contract with Citgo.

[1]RIA Novosti, "Venezuela to Buy Russian Submarines, Air Defense Systems--Source," June 18, 2007, at http://en.rian.ru/world/20070618/67363794.html (March 12, 2008).

[2]Pablo Bachelet, "U.S. Alerted to Cuba Migration, Chávez Weapons," Miami Herald, February 27, 2008, at www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/cuba/story/435985.html (March 12, 2008).

[3]RIA Novosti, "Venezuela to buy Russian Submarines, Air Defense Systems--Source."

[4]James M. Roberts, "If the Real Simón Bolívar Met Hugo Chávez, He'd See Red," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2062, August 20, 2007, at www.heritage.org/Research/LatinAmerica/bg2062.cfm

[5]Frank Bajak, "Letters: Ecuador Leader Got Rebel Funds," The Washington Post, March 10, 2008, at www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/10/AR2008031000090.html (March 12, 2008).

[6]Ray Walser, "Hugo Chávez, the FARC, and Threats of War," Heritage Foundation WebMemo

No. 1834, March 4, 2008, at www.heritage.org/Research/LatinAmerica/wm1834.cfm.

[7]U.S. Department of State, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), Fact Sheet,October 11, 2005, at www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/fs/37191.htm (March 12, 2008).

[8]http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/es/oj/2005/l_272/l_27220051018es00150017.pdf (March 14, 2008)

[9]http://www.presidencia.gov.co/cne/2003/abril/03/03032003.htm (March 14, 2008)

[10]http://www.parlatino.org/news_cont.php?id=85&lg=es (March 14, 2008)

[11]Frank Bajak, "Colombian Leader's Raid Gamble Pays Off," The Washington Post, March 11, 2008, at www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/11/AR2008031102151_2.html?sub=AR (March 12. 2008).

[12]Bajak, "Letters: Ecuador Leader Got Rebel Funds."

[13]Citgo.com, Company History, at www.citgo.com/AboutCITGO/CompanyHistory.jsp (March 12, 2008).

[14]http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000086&sid=aP3vwKnY0rNU&refer=latin_america (March 14, 2008)

[15]Kevin McKenzie, "New Navy Brand; Bases Pull Off Citgo Logo for Their Own Label," The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), May 11, 2007, Page MTB 1.

[16]http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/09/20/chavez.un/index.html (March 14, 2008)

[17]Sharon Behn and Carmen Gentile, "U.S. Examines Laptops Seized in Ecuador Raid," The Washington Times, March 12, 2008, p. 2, at www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080312/FOREIGN/875493344 (March 12, 2008).

[18]U.S. Department of State, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Country Reports on Terrorism, Chapter 6: State Sponsors of Terror Overview, April 28, 2006, at www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2005/64337.htm (March 12, 2008).


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 19, 2008, 08:17:31 PM
Mississippi pro-life bills die in committee

Two key pro-life bills passed by the Mississippi State Senate have died in a House committee. Pro-life activist Tonya Britton is outraged at the lack of action by her state's lawmakers to protect innocent human life and young girls who've been the victims of sexual assault.

State Senator Alan Nunnlee sponsored the Child Protection Act, which would have required abortion providers to report sex crimes against minors; and a measure that would have prohibited the unlawful distribution of the abortion-inducing drug RU-486. Pro-life supporters were hoping for passage of the basic measures to hold abortion providers accountable for failing to disclose information on child rapists, and to restrict access to a drug that causes the death of a baby at the earliest stages of development.
 
Tonya Britton is president of Pro-Life Mississippi, which is based in Jackson, the state capital. She is outraged and disappointed at Mississippi Democrats.
 
"The Democratic Party in this state, and in this country, has systematically refused to honor the wishes of the majority of the people," laments Britton. "They also don't seem to understand that the targeted discrimination against the unborn is actually robbing them of votes."
 
Britton says it is outrageous that black Democratic lawmakers across the country refuse to acknowledge that they have the power to stop, or at least slow down, the number-one killer of black babies in America -- abortion.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 20, 2008, 01:35:55 PM
Pennsylvania Senate passes bill to protect traditional marriage

A bill that would protect traditional marriage in Pennsylvania has moved one step closer to the ballot.

On Tuesday, SB 1250 was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with strong bi-partisan support. The bill would prohibit civil unions and recognize marriage as only between a man and a woman. According to a press release from the pro-family American Family Association (AFA) of Pennsylvania, voting out the bill was necessary because "legalizing civil unions would be used as a stepping stone to same-sex marriage," much like Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey.
 
Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of Pennsylvania, believes that protecting marriage is the number-one issue facing the state and nation. She says liberal voters want to focus on property tax relief and healthcare as more important issues than defending traditional marriage. However, Gramley points out that "none of those things matter if we let the foundation of society go into ruin -- and I feel we need to deal with that first before the other issues."
 
According to Gramley, much work remains to be done before the measure can go to voters. She believes legislators must take proper action to protect "traditional marriage and the natural family" because those entities are under nationwide attack.
 
"We still need to put pressure on members of the Senate Appropriations Committee in the immediate future [and] all the senators and all the state representatives need to hear from their constituents," Gramley says.
 
The measure must pass the Pennsylvania House and Senate by June 30.  If it does, then the process would have to be repeated in the next legislative session before it would appear on the ballot as a proposed amendment to the state constitution.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 20, 2008, 02:41:35 PM
Democrats: For higher gas prices or against higher gas prices?

One guy has answered: “BOTH!”

Michigan Congressman Wants 50-Cent Tax Hike on Every Gallon of Gas

Quote
    A Michigan congressman wants to put a 50-cent tax on every gallon of gasoline to try to cut back on Americans’ consumption.

    Polls show that a majority of Americans support policies that would reduce greenhouse gases. But when it comes to paying for it, it’s a different story.

    Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., wants to help cut consumption with a gas tax…

Here’s the same Dingell buried with his own idiotic contradictions.

The Democratic Party: Congressman John Dingell (MI-15) Delivers Democratic Radio Address (2005)

Quote
We must respond to the needs of the American consumers who are seeing the prospect of $4 a gallon gas

Yes! By creating the prospect of $4.50 a gallon gas! Brilliant!

But Dingell can explain why that’s OK:

Quote
That’s right; millions of your hard-earned tax dollars would go to the same companies reaping the benefit of $3 a gallon of gas and $60 a barrel of oil…We have proposed a tough anti-price gouging law.

So, it’s OK for the government to “gouge” Americans of their “hard-earned tax dollars” (notice the language — it’s not YOUR dollars, it’s TAX dollars). First off, this guy is an economic ignoramus. Second off, even IF the oil companies had been “price gouging” for their “windfall” profits (which is a lie), isn’t that better than the government putting to paper a policy that would purposely cripple the economy?

Sure, look into whether the oil companies are doing anything illegal. Let the facts speak. However, if you are going to scream about unaffordable fuel (which Dingle admits in his 2005 address hurts the economy), how can you then proposed ANOTHER tax that would visit havoc on this country?

Easy answer — the Democrats’ ONLY guiding principle is increased consolidation of centralized government power. Whatever eggs need to be cracked, so be it…we need that omelet.


(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/LogicProbe.jpg)

That's a negative 100 on the logic probe, Captain.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 20, 2008, 02:55:14 PM
UnBan the Bulb

Last December, Congress thought they’d help us all out by banning the good old incandescent light bulb. Being the highly trained scientists that they are, Congress thought that by making rules supporting and promoting the use of CFL bulbs, they’d promote the kitschy ideas of forestalling global warming. Of course, the scariest words in the history of man are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you,” and this idiot move by Congress is no exception.

In this case, the our government dolts thought that saving volts was better than worrying if the mercury inside the new CFL bulbs presented a contamination problem for anyone unfortunate enough to break one. It turns out that if someone were to drop and break one of these “earth saving” bulbs it would spread mercury contamination all over the house and special care must be taken to clean up the mess. Yes, the light bulbs that are supposed to save the world are poisonous to our health! (the EPA has published a 7 page instruction manual on cleaning up a broken CFL)

Well, now we can give Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota a pat on the back for attempting to repeal the stupidity of forcing Americans to switch over to these hazardous bulbs with a bill that will repeal the requirements to get rid of the old incandescent bulbs with the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act. (H.R. 5616)

I hope everyone calls their Congressman and urges them to support this bill. Good job, Rep. Bachmann.

MSNBC has given us the latest on the danger that these newfangled CFL light bulbs present.

Quote
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, long touted by environmentalists as a more efficient and longer-lasting alternative to the incandescent bulbs that have lighted homes for more than a century, are running into resistance from waste industry officials and some environmental scientists, who warn that the bulbs’ poisonous innards pose a bigger threat to health and the environment than previously thought.

Remember, the government is only here to help!


(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/ideas.jpg)

The light was turned off when this idea came up!



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on March 20, 2008, 10:55:30 PM
 ;D   ;D

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/favor/favor051.gif)

You mentioned the logic meter and all kinds of brilliant bans, BUT you forgot to mention the logic ban in Washington, D.C. Logic and common sense isn't allowed there because it's viewed as anti-government.    ;D


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 20, 2008, 11:21:44 PM
I think that we need to ban the bans. Now there is a twist on logic.   :D :D



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 26, 2008, 01:24:59 PM
Reformed grocery credit tax gives relief to Idaho families

Bryan Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance says a bill that passed the legislature Friday is a "good, solid piece of pro-family legislation" that is designed to properly offset the cost of paying sales tax on groceries for the state's families.

Executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance (IVA), Fischer is commending state legislators Cliff Bayer (R-House) and Russ Fulcher (R-Senate) for working more than a year on a measure designed to update a grocery tax credit that had only given Idaho families $20 annually since its inception in the 1960s.
 
"Back in the mid-1960s, when Idaho first instituted a sales tax, they established a tax credit that was equal to the amount that the average individual would pay to purchase food that they would consume at home. That was 20 bucks in 1965 -- but it was never indexed for inflation," Fischer contends.
 
Fischer also says in order keep pace with the cost of living and the cost of food today, the tax credit would have to be between $90 and $100. He notes that every year since 1965, Idaho taxpayers have been losing ground.
 
However, the bill championed by Bayer and Fulcher changed that pattern of loss and is now adjusted for inflation to phase-in yearly increases over time -- at least $10 a year -- that will eventually come up to the current cost of living for individuals and families. The phase-in helped get the bill passed out of the legislature over the objections of people worried about how a challenged state budget would afford it, and a governor who, Fischer says, has grudgingly promised not to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
 
Fischer also believes the bill "could serve as a model for other states that are looking for some way to give a little bit of tax relief for their families."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Brother Jerry on March 26, 2008, 02:04:19 PM
Better idea....do away with the sales tax.

Basically giving a credit back is saying "Let the gment borrow your money for you, interest free"  You pay $100 in taxes each year for sales tax and such...the gment gets that $100 and earns $5 in interest...but only pays you back $100.  So instead of you getting that $100 and the $5 in interest..the gment is.




Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 26, 2008, 02:13:01 PM
I couldn't argue that even if I wanted to.  ;)



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on March 26, 2008, 02:34:11 PM
I understand that we will all see a dramatic increase in the price of food next month - April 2008. I'm positive that tax increases or elimination of previous tax cuts would be INSANE!

We must all pay attention to the platforms of various politicians running for office, or we might find ourselves in the position of NOT being able to keep our heads above water. I'm talking about all kinds of GIVEAWAY programs and PORK DELUXE! Someone has to PAY for all of that PIE-IN-THE-SKY BALONEY!  Guess who? NOTHING is FREE from the government, and we should know this. It's our tax money that the BIG SHOT POLITICIANS are playing with. If just HALF of all the GIVEAWAY programs go forward, we will be well on our way to becoming a SOCIALIST - COMMUNIST SOCIETY. It might not bother the rich very much, but it would BREAK THE BACKS of the AVERAGE TAX PAYERS. OUR GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO STOP BEING SO GENEROUS WITH OUR MONEY! WE DO WANT TO EAT AND SURVIVE!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 30, 2008, 12:07:05 AM
Bush administration seeks sweeping economic power
'Our present regulatory framework was born of Depression-era events'

The Bush administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of the way the government regulates the nation's financial services industry from banks and securities firms to mortgage brokers and insurance companies.
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The plan would give major new powers to the Federal Reserve, according to a 22-page executive summary obtained by The Associated Press.

The Fed would be given broad authority to oversee financial market stability. That would include new powers to examine the books of any institution deemed to represent a potential threat to the proper functioning of the overall financial system.

The proposal, which will be outlined Monday in a speech by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, is certain to set off heated debates within different sectors of the financial services industry and in Congress, where some Democrats are likely to complain that the proposal does not go far enough to crack down on abuses.

The administration divided its recommendations into short-term goals that could be adopted quickly, intermediate recommendations and an "optimal" regulatory framework, which contains a radical restructuring of how the government supervises banks and other financial institutions.

The recommendations are the product of a yearlong review that was begun in an effort to modernize the government's regulatory structure so that the country's financial services industries could better compete in a fast-changing global economy.

The plan also seeks to address problems that have been brought to light in recent months since a severe credit crisis began roiling financial markets last August.

That crisis has already claimed as its biggest victim Bear Stearns, the nation's fifth-largest investment bank, which came to the brink of collapse before a government-arranged purchase by JP Morgan Chase & Co.

"I am not suggesting that more regulation is the answer, or even that more effective regulation can prevent the periods of financial market stress that seem to occur every five to 10 years," Paulson will say in the remarks he will deliver on Monday.

But the plan does seek to address problems highlighted by the current crisis in which the Fed in an unprecedented move has begun making direct loans to securities firms in an effort to shore up a system badly shaken by billions of dollars of losses stemming from sour mortgage loans.

The proposal would allow the Fed, in its new role as "market stability regulator," to dispatch examiners to check the books not just of commercial banks but of all segments of the financial services industry.

The administration proposal would also consolidate the current scheme of bank regulation by shutting down the Office of Thrift Supervision and transferring its functions to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates nationally chartered banks.

The plan recommends that the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates stock trading, be merged with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates futures trades for oil, grains and various other commodities.

The plan would create a national regulator for the insurance industry, which is now largely governed by the states, and would create a Mortgage Origination Commission to try to address the abuses exposed in the current tidal wave of mortgage defaults.

The role Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues have been playing to shore up the financial system would be formalized in the administration plan by giving Fed officials greater power to detect where threats might be lurking in the system.

The proposal is certain to generate intense scrutiny in Congress and within the financial services industry, where past efforts to change how regulation is handled have met with fierce resistance.

Many Democrats in Congress are already pushing tougher proposals that would impose much stricter regulation in an effort to crack down on abuses exposed by the current credit crisis.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he believed Paulson's plan offered some valid suggestions.

"In broad outlines, we agree with large parts of Secretary Paulson's plan," Schumer, chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, said in a statement. "He is on the money when he calls for a more unified regulatory structure, although we would prefer a single regulator to the three he proposes."

Under Paulson's approach, the long-term goal would be to designate the Fed as market stability regulator and to have a financial regulator who would focus on financial institutions that operate with government guarantees such as providing deposit insurance.

The administration plan, which was first reported by The New York Times on its Web site Friday night, also proposes a business conduct regulator who would be in charge of overseeing consumer protection issues.

The initial reaction from the securities industry was also positive.

"Treasury has delivered a thoughtful and sweeping plan which should provoke intense discussion, debate and potential legislative changes," said Tim Ryan, president of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

"Our present regulatory framework was born of Depression-era events and is not well suited for today's environment where billions of dollars race across the globe with the click of a mouse," Ryan said in a statement.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 30, 2008, 12:11:58 AM
While this sounds really good to have the government be able to more closely control financial institutes from abusing their power at the same time this will give the Federal government more power over the people.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 31, 2008, 10:42:08 PM
Supremes to allow 'Statue of Tyranny'?
Group seeking Liberty alternative actually targeting Ten Commandments, critics say

The Supreme Court today announced it will review a case that could be used to install a "Statue of Tyranny" to oppose the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

"We're delighted that the Supreme Court agreed to take this critical case – it's exactly what we were hoping for," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents the city of Pleasant Grove, Utah, in the dispute.

"The Supreme Court is faced with a dramatic opportunity: Preserve sound precedent involving the well-established distinction between government speech and private speech – or permit a twisted interpretation of the Constitution to create havoc in cities and localities across America," Sekulow said. "The lower court decision – if left unchecked – would ultimately force local governments to remove long-standing and well-established patriotic, religious and historical displays."

The interpretation under review by the Supreme Court was made by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

That court ruled in August against revisiting its original decision in a case involving the Utah cities of Pleasant Grove City and Duchesne City. A lower court had ordered the cities to allow monuments containing the "Seven Aphorisms" of an organization called Summum to be erected on public property. The alternative was for the cities to remove all monuments with other sayings, primarily the Ten Commandments, many of which were donated and erected decades ago.

"The lower court decision misses a key distinction between government speech and private speech," Sekulow said. "The government has to be neutral toward private speech, but it does not have to be neutral in its own speech. The 10th Circuit confused this rule when it said private parties have a First Amendment right to put up the monuments of their choosing in a city park, unless the city takes away all other donated monuments."

The ACLJ's petition argued: "When private speakers have the right to use government property to speak, there is a speech forum. But when, as here, the donor cedes and the government accepts ownership and control of something from a private party, that 'something' is no longer private property. It becomes government property. And if it is a message-bearing 'something,' any communication thenceforth is government speech, not private speech."

It continued: "Accepting a monument for permanent display as the government's own property does not require accepting other monuments in the name of content- or viewpoint-neutrality. Nor does the government's acceptance of a donated monument require that a government park be turned into a cluttered junkyard of monuments contributed by all comers.

"In short, accepting a Statue of Liberty does not compel a government to accept a Statue of Tyranny," the petition said.

The concept of allowing anything as a monument is "scary," Frank Manion, of the ACLJ, told WND earlier. "The Minutemen in Massachusetts? We need a Redcoat. A George Washington statue? Why not George the 3rd. A Holocaust memorial? How about a Hitler memorial?"

Summum lauds the principles of "psychokinesis, correspondence, vibration, opposition, rhythm, cause and effect, and gender," and promotes mummification of both people and pets.

The ACLJ said the Ten Commandments monuments are the real targets of the legal actions, because in many circumstances, cities or other governments likely would order such monuments removed, rather than order acceptance of others.

The ACLJ, which has worked on the case with the Thomas More Law Center, contends that the Constitution "does not empower private parties to force permanent displays into a park, crowding out the available physical space and trumping the government's own vision" for the parks.

"In the Duchesne case, even an attorney for Summum admitted to the federal district court that its position could lead to bizarre results. Summum's attorneys told the court that if a city park is required to display monuments contributed by all comers, the city park may well end up looking like a cemetery with many, many monuments," the ACLJ said.

Under Summum's theology, adherents believe the first set of stone tablets Moses received on Mt. Sinai contained its seven aphorisms, "made by a divine being."

"The first set of stone tablets was not inscribed with the Ten Commandments. Rather, they contained aphorisms of a Higher Law that held very profound and deep meanings," the organization's website says.

The group believes Moses "had been initiated into an understanding of the inner, esoteric source" of those aphorisms, but when he "observed the immature behavior and attitude of the Israelites" he realized they could not understand them too.

"So Moses destroyed the stone tables and revealed the aphorisms to a select few."

The ACLJ warned earlier: "In 1886, the United States government accepted from the people of France a donation of a 151-foot tall colossal statue called "Liberty Enlightening the World. Since that time, the government has displayed this Statue of Liberty in a traditional public forum in New York Harbor.

"For years, demonstrators with messages to deliver have assembled, handed out literature and otherwise expressed themselves at the site subject to certain regulations of the time, place and manner of their expression. But it probably never occurred to any such demonstrators that they enjoyed a constitutional right to insist that the government allow them to erect their own 151-foot tall statue or monument setting forth an alternative message to that conveyed by Lady Liberty," the law firm warned.

"Under the flawed private speech jurisprudence of the panel in this case – there exists no principled basis upon which the government could turn down for permanent display on Liberty Island a donation of a 'Statue of Tyranny,' or, perhaps, a new copper colossus bearing the message 'Pay No Attention to the Lady With the Torch – the Golden Door is Now Closed,'" the legal briefs argued.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on April 01, 2008, 12:26:41 AM
WOW!  We need a high security INSANE ASYLUM FOR THE ACLU! They are definitely a danger to themselves and others!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 01, 2008, 10:31:44 PM
House votes to protect coast from oil drilling

California moved a step closer to permanently protecting its shores from offshore oil drilling Monday when the House approved legislation to ban development in federal waters along all 76 miles of Sonoma County's coastline and off the southern tip of Mendocino County's coast.

The measure would more than double the size of two existing National Marine Sanctuaries near San Francisco and Marin - Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank. The newly protected zone would stretch from Bodega Bay to Point Arena and would extend about 50 miles off the coast - 2,093 square nautical miles, an area roughly the size of Delaware.

Scientists say the expansion would protect the headwaters of one of the world's most productive ocean ecosystems, a nutrient-rich zone that is crucial to every marine species on the West Coast, from whales to sea lions to sea birds to salmon.

"These critical marine areas need our protection," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday, praising the effort to "preserve these areas and protect the diverse animal populations that reside in them."

The measure by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, had faced opposition last month from some Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee, who warned that it would cut off access to potential future supplies of oil and gas. But the House passed it Monday on a voice vote without any fanfare.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where California Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein are pushing a similar version. A spokeswoman for Boxer said the senator is cautiously optimistic it can be moved through the Commerce Committee and passed by the Senate this year.

Woolsey said the bill offers a way to get around the annual debate in Congress where opponents of drilling battle to make sure the state's coast remains off-limits to drilling.

"This will put that to rest," Woolsey said. "Once it's passed out of the Senate, unless there is an act of Congress (to overturn it), there will be a permanent ban on exploration and drilling" off the coasts of Sonoma and southern Mendocino counties.

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, who was a chief co-sponsor of the bill, said he is already talking to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about evaluating other offshore areas in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties to add to the sanctuary system.

"This section of the coast is a huge treasure," Thompson said. "We need to take the extra steps to protect it."

Already, portions of the California coast have been designated as off-limits to development, including the Monterey Bay and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuaries. Environmentalists hope to stitch together a protective quilt of sanctuaries up and down the state.

The latest effort drew widespread support, including from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose scientists recognized the biological value of the area. The State Lands Commission, the Coastal Commission and the counties of Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, and San Francisco all supported the legislation.

Fishermen's groups also backed the bill, which does not set any new limits on commercial or recreational fishing in the protected areas. The groups viewed the bill as a way to preserve the ocean food supply that supports healthy fish stocks.

"Some of the most intense upwellings any place in the world occur right there," said Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations. "The upwelling brings nutrients up from the sea floor and when those hit the light, the photosynthesis creates the phytoplankton and zooplankton that are the whole base of the ocean food chain."

Susan Williams, a professor of ecology and evolution at UC Davis and the director of the university's Bodega Marine Laboratory, said the key reason to expand the sanctuaries is that the area near Point Arena is where the strongest upwelling begins. The current, driven by high winds, pushes the nutrient-rich waters south toward Bodega Bay.

"The huge biological ecosystem significance of this bill will be protecting the source waters for the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries," Williams said. "That means the food source - the conveyer belt of food for the sanctuaries - is now protected."

The expanded sanctuaries would also help protect threatened species like the Steller sea lions, who have a winter haul-out area near Point Arena. Gray whales use the area between Fort Ross and Point Arena regularly. Northern fur seals, a vulnerable species, use areas north and west of the current sanctuaries that would be protected by the bill.

Williams said the deep waters in the newly protected zones are also home to bamboo coral, which can live for hundreds of years and lay down growth rings, much like trees do. Scientists are already using them as key indicator of the effects of global warming on marine ecosystems.

"By protecting these areas we are also protecting a great source of information about recent climate change," she said.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 07, 2008, 11:33:12 AM
A Good Day, Supreme Court Rules Against Foreign Precedent

In 2003, then Justice of the Supreme Court Sandra Day O’Connor famously posited that our judicial system should take into account foreign court rulings when deciding American cases prompting outraged conservatives to denounce her idea as endangering American sovereignty and destroying the Constitution of the United States of America. This year, the Roberts led SCOTUS has made an important decision that will serve to forestall that possibility.

In October of 2003, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor gave a speech in Atlanta where she predicted that “over time we will rely increasingly, or take notice at least increasingly, of international and foreign courts in examining domestic issues.” Naturally, Americans who revere the Constitution were outraged over the thought that we’d place foreign court rulings before our own law of the land, essentially allowing foreigners to decide questions of American jurisprudence.

The fear over allowing foreign precedent or areas of jurisdiction to overlap into ours raises discussion of the very differences between our system of government and legal traditions and that of the rest of the world. Should we rely on foreign precedent, for instance, the very concept of innocent until proven guilty is put into doubt because foreign rulings will not generally be based on that bedrock principle.

Further, should American courts recognize the kangaroo courts of The Hague and the so-called “International Court of Justice” (or the World Court), foreign institutions such as these would have the authority to incarcerate American citizens for their politically motivated, anti-American “trials” at any time. After all, should we cast away our Constitutional rights by allowing foreign rulings to take precedence over our system, this will be bound to occur. What would stop such a thing from happening, anyway?

In any case, the World Court has already made an effort to intercede in our court system with the case of Medellín v. Texas. In this 15-year-old case, a Mexican national named Jose Ernesto Medellín was charged with murder and was sentenced to the death penalty in the state of Texas. As a result of Medellín’s sentence, anti-death penalty advocates in Mexico and other nations took notice and made to intercede with a case brought before the World Court.

Medellín’s attorneys and advocates argued that the U.S. was bound by a World Court decision that Mexican officials had won “ordering” a new trial and that the death sentence be vacated. Not only that, but the World Court also “overturned” the sentences of 51 other foreigners who had become death row inmates in American prisons.

As Ted Cruz of Human Events Magazine writes, “The World Court ruling was unprecedented. In over 200 years of our Nation’s history, no foreign tribunal has ever before asserted the authority to bind U.S. courts, much less to reopen final criminal convictions. And, armed with the decision of the World Court, Medellín argued that American courts had no option but to obey.”

Well, good news was had with a 6 to 3 decision that favors U.S. sovereignty.

The Roberts court ruled that World Court rulings cannot be enforced inside the United States. Since the U.S. Constitution is the law of the land, this SCOTUS decision re-affirms that all jurisprudential power is vested in that document and foreign courts, then, hold no power.

As Cruz notes, “If Medellín had prevailed, it would have elevated the World Court above the Supreme Court of the United States, given that foreign court binding authority, and made its far-away judges the final arbiters of the law that governs American citizens.”

This ruling should effectively make the dangerous and absurd idea that U.S. courts should pay attention to foreign precedent null and void. Let’s hope it is the first of many more rulings that protects American sovereignty.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on April 07, 2008, 03:12:01 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

It's hard for me to imagine that three members of our supreme court would vote to yield sovereignty to a world court of clowns. This is an example of why the Founders were BRILLIANT in establishing a BALANCE OF POWER. That Balance of Power is BROKEN from time to time, and it needs to be fixed. If our supreme court had voted the other way, their vote would have been ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL! ONLY THE PEOPLE can vote and give any portion of our sovereignty away. In the absence of a VOTE OF THE PEOPLE, NO SUCH THING IS POSSIBLE! Further, the supreme court doesn't have the power to CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION, and FOREIGN COUNTRIES ARE NOTHING WE WANT TO EMULATE! If the PEOPLE want to change OUR FOUNDATION, ONLY THE PEOPLE CAN DO IT BY VOTING! Otherwise, the only power our courts have, INCLUDING THE SUPREME COURT, is to ENFORCE THE LAWS AND CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE!

Bluntly, rogue judges who try to make law and overstep the authority that ONLY THE PEOPLE CAN GIVE THEM need to be removed from any public office forever. The same is true for any other public servant, and ALL JUDGES NEED TO BE REMINDED THEY ARE NOTHING MORE THAN PUBLIC SERVANTS!

I can see that I'm far too shy on this issue!
 


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 09, 2008, 11:48:00 PM
Federal credit cards misused
Employees paid for lingerie, gambling, iPods, Internet dating

Federal employees used government credit cards to pay for lingerie, gambling, iPods, Internet dating services, and a $13,000 steak-and-liquor dinner, according to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, which found widespread abuses in a purchasing program meant to improve bureaucratic efficiency.

The study, released by Senate lawmakers yesterday, found that nearly half the "purchase card" transactions it examined were improper, either because they were not authorized correctly or because they did not meet requirements for the cards' use. The overall rate of problems "is unacceptably high," the audit found.

The GAO also found that agencies could not account for nearly $2 million worth of items identified in the audit -- including laptop computers, digital cameras and, at the Army, more than a dozen computer servers worth $100,000 each.

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who requested the study along with Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), said that money "intended to pay for critical infrastructure, education and homeland security is instead being spent on iPods, lingerie and socializing."

"Too many government employees have viewed purchase cards as their personal line of credit," Coleman said. "It's time to cut up their cards and start over."

The audit is the culmination of a series of GAO reports over the past decade that have uncovered improper use of government-issued purchase cards at agencies, including the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Government employees spent nearly $20 billion last year using "SmartPay" cards and related convenience checks, for items ranging from pencils to computers to utility trucks.

Purchase cards, used by about 300,000 government employees in 2007, are essentially the federal government's equivalent of corporate credit cards. Issued by five major banks, they are primarily for transactions under $2,500 but can be used for larger contract payments. All transactions are supposed to comport with federal purchasing guidelines, including proper authorization and documentation.

The latest study used scientific sampling to gauge problems with the cards across numerous federal agencies from July 2005 to September 2006. The report singles out incidents for special criticism as "abusive," "improper" or "fraudulent."

In the fraudulent category, a longtime employee of the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon, Debra K. Durfey, wrote convenience checks worth more than $640,000 from 2000 to 2006 to a live-in boyfriend, who used the money for gambling, car expenses and mortgage payments, according to the GAO and the Justice Department.

The fraud went undetected until a whistle-blower forwarded a tip to the Agriculture Department's inspector general. Durfey, who headed her unit's purchasing office, pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to 21 months in prison and restitution.

Another fraud case involved the U.S. Postal Service, where an unidentified postmaster used his card to charge $1,100 over a 15-month period for "various online dating services" while he was under investigation for viewing pornography on a government computer. The employee worked out an agreement to remain on sick leave until he retired in 2007 and paid back the money spent on the dating services, according to the GAO report and a Postal Service spokesman.

In a case the GAO deemed "abusive," the Postal Service spent $13,500 in 2006 on a dinner at a Ruth's Chris Steak House in Orlando, including "over 200 appetizers and over $3,000 of alcohol, including more than 40 bottles of wine costing more than $50 each and brand-name liquor such as Courvoisier, Belvedere and Johnny Walker Gold." The tab came to more than $160 a head for the 81 guests, the report said.

Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan said the dinner was held to entertain large postal customers who were already in Florida for another conference, and actually saved money because it combined four events into one. He also defended the payments for alcohol.

"When you're having dinner with customers, it's normal to have a drink," McKiernan said.

In another case at the State Department, a cardholder spent $360 at the Seduccion Boutique in Ecuador to buy "women's underwear/lingerie for use during jungle training by trainees of a drug enforcement program." The report does not include further details, but it says a State Department official "agreed that the charge was questionable."

The GAO found that 41 percent of the transactions it examined did not follow government purchasing rules. The problem was worse with larger purchases: Forty-eight percent of transactions over $2,500 were in violation of federal rules, the report said.

Levin said in a statement that "although internal controls over government credit cards have improved, we still have a long way to go to stop the fraudulent use of these cards."

In a written response to GAO, acting Controller Danny Werfel of the Office of Management and Budget said the administration "is extremely concerned with the incidences of purchase card abuse highlighted in GAO's report," and said it has agreed to increase oversight to lower the number of problems.

OMB spokeswoman Jane Lee also said the White House supports proposed Senate legislation aimed at reducing "inappropriate purchase card transactions." The Government Credit Card Abuse Prevention Act would require regular audits and other steps to cut down on credit card fraud and abuse.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 09, 2008, 11:50:00 PM
VA employees rack up $2.6 billion in credit card charges for veterans care

Veterans Affairs employees last year racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in government credit-card bills at casino and luxury hotels, movie theaters and high-end retailers such as Sharper Image and Franklin Covey — and government auditors are investigating, citing past spending abuses.

All told, VA staff charged $2.6 billion to their government credit cards.

The Associated Press, through a Freedom of Information request, obtained the VA list of 3.1 million purchases made in the 2007 budget year. The list offers a detailed look into the everyday spending at the government's second largest department.

By and large, it reveals few outward signs of questionable spending, with hundreds of purchases at prosthetic, orthopedic and other medical supply stores.

But there are multiple charges that have caught the eye of government investigators.

At least 13 purchases totaling $8,471 were charged at Sharper Image, a specialty store featuring high-tech electronics and gizmos such as robotic barking dogs. In addition, 19 charges worth $1,999.56 were made at Franklin Covey, which sells leather totes and planners geared toward corporate executives.

Government reports in 2004 said these two companies, by virtue of the types of products they market, would "more likely be selling unauthorized or personal use items" to federal employees.

Many of the 14,000 VA employees with credit cards, who work at headquarters in Washington and at medical centers around the nation, also spent tens of thousands of dollars at Wyndham hotels in places such as San Diego, Orlando, Fla., and on the riverfront in Little Rock, Ark. One-time charges ranged up to $8,000.

On at least six occasions, employees based at VA headquarters made credit card charges at Las Vegas casino hotels totaling $26,198.

VA spokesman Matt Smith the department was reviewing these and other purchases as part of its routine oversight of employee spending. He noted that many of the purchases at Sharper Image and other stores included clocks for low-vision veterans, humidifiers, air purifiers, alarm devices and basic planner products.

Smith said all the casino hotel expenditures in 2007 were for conferences and related expenses. He said the spending was justified because Las Vegas is a place where "VA is building a new medical center and an increasing number of veterans are calling home."

"The Department of Veterans Affairs, like many public and private groups, hosts conferences and meetings in Las Vegas due to the ease of participant travel, the capacity of the facilities, and the overall cost associated with hosting a conference," he said.

According to VA policy, purchase cards may be used at hotels to rent conference rooms or obtain audiovisual equipment or other items for VA meetings. They should not be used to reserve lodging. Auditors long have urged the VA to adopt policies to encourage use of free conference rooms. Auditors previously faulted the agency for booking rooms at expensive casino hotels without evidence it first had sought free space.

In the coming weeks, auditors at the Government Accountability Office and the VA inspector general's office are to issue reports on purchase card use and spending controls at the VA and other agencies. The reports are expected to show lingering problems at the VA, which auditors cited in 2004 for lax spending controls that wasted up to $1.1 million.

The list of charges provided to the AP gives the vendor, amount purchased, location and employee name; in most cases it does not indicate the specific item purchased. Requests by the AP for lists of the additional data in a timely manner were repeatedly declined on privacy and proprietary grounds.

The VA list shows that some credit-card holders took a modest route. VA employees in locations such as Portland, Ore., Gainesville, Fla., and Sheridan, Wyo., had charges for Motel 6 and Travelodge inns. One VA headquarters employee appears to have passed up casino hotels by booking at a Holiday Inn Express in Las Vegas for $787.75.

"For government travel and other spending, you have to be mindful of the appearances you're creating," said Steve Ellis, vice president of the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. "If you're staying at a hotel at a strip in Vegas, you better have a pretty good reason for why a taxpayer should be funding the stay."

"It's not like the VA hasn't gotten into trouble for credit card abuses in the past," he added. "I find it hard to justify any government purchase from Sharper Image — unless you get something really goofy, it's going to be cheaper elsewhere."

Penalties for misuse of government credit cards range from suspension of the credit card to a reprimand and disciplinary action. Employees may be criminally prosecuted for fraud. More serious cases in recent years involved purchases of computers, televisions, DVD players and other items that were then sold to friends or kept for personal use.

"It's all being looked at," said Belinda Finn, the VA's assistant inspector general for auditing, in a telephone interview. Pointing to Sharper Image purchases in particular, Finn said many of the VA expenses identified by the AP raised serious "red flags."

"For a lot of the transactions on purchase cards, to be effective you really need to keep a close watch," she said. "It's really the first-level supervisors who know what's going on the most."

Congressional leaders said the expenditures were troubling.

Rep. Harry Mitchell, chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee on oversight, said he would question VA officials about the purchases at a hearing set for July. Mitchell, D-Ariz., said he feared there may be "a growing culture of wasteful spending at the VA."

He noted that former VA Secretary Jim Nicholson had awarded more than $3.8 million in bonus payments to senior officials despite their roles in crafting a flawed budget that fell $1 billion short.

"It seems irresponsible that while our veterans are waiting months for doctor's appointments, the VA is spending thousands of dollars at Las Vegas casino hotels and high-end retail shops instead of seeking out more affordable or cost-free alternatives," Mitchell said.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, who heads the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, said he planned to closely review the upcoming audit reports to see if spending controls needed to be tightened.

"I remain concerned that the federal government may end up paying more than necessary when employees purchase items one-by-one," said Akaka, D-Hawaii. "While I am confident that the vast majority of these charges are appropriate and legal, I urge VA to aggressively investigate allegations of fraud."

Over the years, lawmakers and watchdog groups have pointed to the potential abuse of government purchase cards, particularly at large agencies such as Defense, Homeland Security and VA, where card spending for goods ranging from defibrillators and prosthetics to Starbucks coffee has climbed from $1.7 billion in 2003 to $2.6 billion today.

In the past, purchase cards have been improperly used to pay for prostitutes, gambling activity and even breast implants.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the GAO estimated that 45 percent of Homeland Security purchase card spending during a six-month period was improper and included iPods, designer rain jackets and beer-making equipment. The credit-card bills are directly payable by Uncle Sam.

In 2004, the GAO faulted the VA for at least $300,000 in questionable charges, citing 3,348 movie gift certificates totaling over $30,000 that lacked documentation. Echoing similar concerns by the department's inspector general, investigators urged greater use of volume discounts and flagged several high-end retailers as questionable vendors that would require detailed paperwork to justify.

Among the other areas investigators say raise "red flags":

_Movie expenses. VA employees in 2007 made 68 charges totaling roughly $21,000 at Regal Cinemas. In light of previous questionable purchases of movie tickets, investigators say they will review the transactions case by case to see if the 2007 purchases are supported by the proper paperwork.

_Charges of $227.50 for harbor cruises in Baltimore and seven expenses totaling more than $6,603 at various Macy's locations. Such vendors were cited by the GAO in 2004 as questionable by virtue of the goods they typically provided and would need full documentation by VA employees to justify.

In response, the VA said it often pays for movies or harbor cruises as part of outpatient recreational therapy it provides for patients with schizophrenia and other problems. The VA did not immediately say whether all the required paperwork was submitted.

"I'm very concerned about frivolous, wasteful spending at the VA," said Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense. "With hundreds of thousands of veterans homeless, VA employees don't need to be staying at ritzy-glitzy high-priced hotels, possibly gambling with taxpayers' money."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on April 10, 2008, 06:35:25 PM
As far as I'm concerned, they had better be about the business of prosecuting to the full extent of the law. These folks need to repay every penny and spend a few years in prison.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 11, 2008, 11:57:51 AM
Rookie congressman pushes English as official language

A conservative congressman from Georgia says making English the official language of the United States government will help unify the country and save taxpayers money.

Rookie Congressman Paul Broun (R-Georgia) has introduced the "English the Official Language Act of 2008," which states that "no person has a right" to receive federal documents or services in languages other than English. The legislation is identical to a companion Senate measure sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).
 
Although Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and every major Democratic presidential candidate voiced opposition to the legislation last June during debates on CNN, Broun contends there is widespread support for the bill across the country.
 
"We have a saying: 'E Pluribus Unum' -- and the Unum, unity, oneness of America should be officially the English language," argues Broun. "It's what's going to bind us together, ... and it's, I believe, critical both economically as well as societally (sic) to have English as the official language in America."
 
The Republican lawmaker cites problems that have arisen in Europe due to factions of separate cultures. "[T]hey have not amalgamated into one culture within Europe or within Great Britain," he points out. "We cannot afford to have that happen in America."
 
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates it costs taxpayers yearly between $1 billion and $2 billion to provide language assistance under a Clinton-era executive order. That order created an entitlement to services provided in languages other than English.
 
Broun suggests that cost to taxpayers is probably ten times the OMB estimate.


Title: U.S. Peace Alliance Bill
Post by: Shammu on April 11, 2008, 05:31:17 PM
U.S. Peace Alliance Bill

There is currently a bill before the U.S. House of Representatives to establish a United States Department of Peace. This historic measure will augment our current problem-solving options, providing practical, nonviolent solutions to the problems of domestic and international conflict.

The legislation will pass from bill to law under one condition: that a wave of citizen interest rise up from the American people and make itself heard in the halls of Congress.

During the 20th Century, over 100 million people lost their lives to war -- most of whom were non-combatants. Now, at the dawn of the 21st century, the extent and current speed of nuclear proliferation makes the achievement of non-violent alternatives to war the most urgent need of the human race.

  A Department of Peace will work to:
 

    -- Provide much-needed assistance to efforts by city, county, and state governments in coordinating existing programs; as well as develop new programs based on best practices nationally

    -- Teach violence prevention and mediation to America's school children

    -- Effectively treat and dismantle gang psychology

    -- Rehabilitate the prison population

    -- Build peace-making efforts among conflicting cultures both here and abroad

    -- Support our military with complementary approaches to peace-building.

    -- Create and administer a U.S. Peace Academy, acting as a sister organization to the U.S. Military Academy.

From the growing rate of domestic incarceration to increasing problems of international violence, the United States has no more serious problem in our midst than the problem of violence itself. Prison-building is our largest urban industry, and we spend over 400 billion dollars a year on military-related expenditures. Yet there is within the workings of the U.S. government, no platform from which to seriously wage peace. We place no institutional heft behind an effort to address the causal issues of violence, diminishing its psychological force before it erupts into material conflict. From child abuse to genocide, from the murder of one to the slaughter of thousands, it is increasingly senseless to merely wait until violence has erupted before addressing the deeper well from which it springs.

The problem of violence is a many layered one, and its solution will be, as well. While no one action -- governmental or otherwise -- will provide a single solution to such an entrenched and deeply rooted problem, we must treat the problem itself as an all-systems breakdown requiring an all-systems response.

The campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peace is only one aspect of a fundamental response to the problem of violence, but it is critical. It represents an important collective effort, as American citizens, to do everything we possibly can to save the world for our children's children.

Throughout America, there are countless peace-builders and peace-building projects. Those skilled in ameliorating the effects of violence - from conflict resolution experts to nonviolent communicators - have proven their effectiveness at treating root causes of violence. Peace is more than the absence of war; it is a positive state of being predicated on the presence of a peaceful heart. The mission of the Peace Alliance is to move this realization from the margins of our political dialogue to its rightful, central place within our national understanding. The humanitarian impulse to foster brotherhood and justice is not just an utopian ideal; it is an issue critical to our national security.

Domestically, the Department of Peace will develop policies and allocate resources to effectively reduce the levels of domestic and gang violence, child abuse, and various other forms of societal discord. Internationally, the Department will advise the President and Congress on the most sophisticated ideas and techniques regarding peace-creation among nations.

The Peace Alliance educates and inspires thousands throughout the country with the knowledge, skill and enthusiasm to become powerful citizen activists on behalf of the Department of Peace legislation. Our campaign has citizen organizers working in all 50 states. Local activists are mobilizing a mighty wave of momentum by working with their members of congress, writing editorials, doing local radio and TV interviews, organizing local talks and trainings, getting city council endorsements, visiting with Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, Military Officials, Prison Officials, Directors of Abuse Shelters, School Boards, etc. to share and discuss how a Department of Peace would benefit their community.

U.S. Peace Alliance Bill (http://www.thepeacealliance.org/content/view/76/68/)
~~~~~~~~~~~

How sad that mankind still believes there can be peace without God. :'(

I will be e-mailing my senators and congressman asking them to vote no on this bill.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on April 11, 2008, 06:20:26 PM
Hello DreamWeaver,

Brother, you've already hit the nail on the head:  THERE IS NO PEACE WITHOUT GOD!

The problems of mankind started with the original sin of Adam and Eve. SIN is still the root of all problems for mankind, and JESUS CHRIST is the only cure! ONLY JESUS CHRIST can rescue us from the curse of sin and death.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on April 11, 2008, 09:06:24 PM
Rookie congressman pushes English as official language

A conservative congressman from Georgia says making English the official language of the United States government will help unify the country and save taxpayers money.

Rookie Congressman Paul Broun (R-Georgia) has introduced the "English the Official Language Act of 2008," which states that "no person has a right" to receive federal documents or services in languages other than English. The legislation is identical to a companion Senate measure sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).
 
Although Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and every major Democratic presidential candidate voiced opposition to the legislation last June during debates on CNN, Broun contends there is widespread support for the bill across the country.
 
"We have a saying: 'E Pluribus Unum' -- and the Unum, unity, oneness of America should be officially the English language," argues Broun. "It's what's going to bind us together, ... and it's, I believe, critical both economically as well as societally (sic) to have English as the official language in America."
 
The Republican lawmaker cites problems that have arisen in Europe due to factions of separate cultures. "[T]hey have not amalgamated into one culture within Europe or within Great Britain," he points out. "We cannot afford to have that happen in America."
 
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates it costs taxpayers yearly between $1 billion and $2 billion to provide language assistance under a Clinton-era executive order. That order created an entitlement to services provided in languages other than English.
 
Broun suggests that cost to taxpayers is probably ten times the OMB estimate.

I like this guy!  I just hope they don't chew him up and spit him out before he has a chance to do us some good.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on April 11, 2008, 09:08:42 PM
    -- Teach mediation to America's school children

   

I really don't like the sound of this.  It reminds of something out of a Frank Peretti book.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 16, 2008, 11:01:45 PM
Massachusetts suffering fallout from universal healthcare program

A leading healthcare reform expert says she's not surprised that the new universal healthcare program in Massachusetts brokered by former Governor Mitt Romney and Senator Ted Kennedy is running several hundred million dollars over budget.

Associated Press reports costs are soaring for the new healthcare law in Massachusetts.  Bay State lawmakers are considering a dollar-a-pack hike in the state's cigarette tax to help pay for the larger-than-expected enrollment in the law's subsidized insurance plans. Under the law, anyone making less than the federal poverty level is eligible for free care. Those making up to three times the poverty level can get subsidized plans.
 
Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Virginia-based Galen Institute, says although the number of insured residents has risen by nearly 350,000 since Mitt Romney signed the law two years ago, virtually all of it is subsidized by the taxpayer.

"When you make health insurance virtually free, people will sign up -- but then somebody has to pay the bill," Turner explains. "And not only are they looking at new taxes [to pay that bill], but they're also trying to put more and more clamps on prices to try to keep the prices down ...." But as most people know, she adds, "price controls don't work."
 
The president of the Galen Institute contends the state practiced bad budgeting. "If they expected to get to universal coverage, they should have assumed that all the people who are going to get free or nearly free care would sign up," she argues. "So something's not connecting here.
 
"I think it shows the difficulty of starting out with a goal for universal coverage without first addressing the important issue of cost," she continues, posing questions that should have been addressed up front. "Why does healthcare [and] why does health insurance cost so much? What can we do about that? And then expand coverage to more affordable coverage rather than trying to clamp a lid on the current system, as Massachusetts did."
 
Turner points out while more Massachusetts residents now may have an insurance card, they also have a bigger tax burden as a result of the state's new universal healthcare law -- and on top of that, they do not have better access to a doctor. "[E]ven people who have private insurance [and] are paying their premiums are finding it increasingly difficult to find doctors who will see them," she notes.
 
Some Bay State residents, Turner explains, are being put on waiting lists of 6-8 weeks to just get a physical because there are not enough primary-care doctors see all the people who now have insurance.
 
Turner says it is unfortunate that when there is a bigger role for government in the health sector -- as there is now in Massachusetts -- it opens the doors for bureaucracy to increase price, create mandates, and ultimately take away individuals' freedom to find the kind of health insurance that would better suit them.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Brother Jerry on April 17, 2008, 09:50:20 AM
Yep...caught the tailend of some report on the news the other day...talking about Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, and others.  They say the average cost per person is in excess of $750 per person per month.  And those are for smaller countries where the socialized medicine is actually working....

But I could not afford to pay $750 for myself, let alone for each other person in my family. 

And that is the short sightedness of these people who try and use these countries as examples....they fail to see how much it really does cost them.  It is not "free", each of these countries it is mandatory to pay the "tax" for medicine.  And in order to have a universal HC system would cost each person (rich or poor) a certain amount each month.  And in order to maintain the level of excellence we experience in health care here in the U.S. you can be the price tag would be about $1,000 per person per month.  And that would simply destroy many homes.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 17, 2008, 10:50:11 AM
Yep, even at $1,000 per month your figures are still quite moderate. According to figures given by proponents of universal health care the overall cost could reach as much as 69 Billion per year over what the current health care programs cost. U.S. population is currently just a little under 304 million. With a good sized number of those having zero taxable income it would reduce that population number even more. Even at the 304 mil number the math on this is outrageous.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on April 18, 2008, 09:30:01 AM
HILLARYCARE and anything like it is insane and won't work.

It boils down to something very simple for many with lower incomes who will be hit the worse: if you must choose between food and shelter or healthcare, you will choose the food and shelter. If someone says they will put you in jail for failure to pay for their mandatory healthcare, you'll choose jail and get the food, shelter, and healthcare free. It will actually be a choice of survival or not surviving for many, and we should know what the choice will be. My wife and I pay $500 a month for private healthcare plans, and this is ALL we can afford. The government can't compete with what we get for $250 each per month. We can't, so we won't pay much more than this and still eat - so I guess they can whistle "Dixie" if they pass something like this. We will keep our private coverage. So far, nobody has figured out a way to get blood out of a turnip, but maybe Hillary knows something we don't. (Small Print:  I don't think so.)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 19, 2008, 12:49:27 PM
Despite admission, latest Hill scandal 'still a whodunit'
Rogue $1- million entry popped up in spending bill after vote, before sent to president

Even as more information leaks out about the latest Congressional scandal, Congress is struggling to decide how – or whether – to investigate itself.

The crux of the scandal, known as "Coconut Road," is simple: When Congress passes a law, its wording is not supposed to change before it goes to the president for his signature.

But in 2005, a rogue entry popped up in a spending bill after the House and Senate had already voted on it, but before it landed on President Bush's desk.

The entry directed $10 million to Florida authorities to build a highway interchange they didn't want, but which would open up thousands of acres to be developed. That land was owned by a major contributor to Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska.

Pursued by bloggers and a watchdog group, the source of the tiny provision – known as "Coconut Road" – has mushroomed into a full-blown scandal. The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the matter, while Congress is debating how (and whether) to investigate how anyone could manage to pull such a fast one.

For months, no one has come forward to take credit.  But this morning, unnamed members of Young's staff are quoted in the Washington Post saying that yes, unnamed committee aides for Young "corrected" the law after it had been passed by Congress.  Young's office insisted that campaign donations were not the motive to make the change.

The earmarked money was always supposed to be for the interchange, but had been written as generic highway improvements, Young's spokeswoman said.  So they changed it.

Mystery solved? Hardly, says Keith Ashdown, a spending watchdog whose group, Taxpayers for Common Sense, first investigated the Coconut Road earmark and took the rare step of asking the House Ethics Committee for an investigation – six months ago.

For one thing, the role of another Florida congressman, Republican Connie Mack, is unclear. Mack "disavowed any association with the earmark request," the Post reported Wednesday - yet he authored a letter at the time expressing support for the controversial interchange. He has since pushed to reverse the earmark.

"This is still a case of whodunit," said Ashdown.  The identities of those involved are still unknown, he said, as well as those of anyone who may have directed the change – nor is it public knowledge what other staffers may have known about the illicit tweak.

"Other staff were involved," Ashdown said Wednesday. "We believe they didn’t intend to do wrong, but at best they were asleep at the switch. . . [but] they let this happen."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on April 19, 2008, 04:17:06 PM
Despite admission, latest Hill scandal 'still a whodunit'
Rogue $1- million entry popped up in spending bill after vote, before sent to president

Even as more information leaks out about the latest Congressional scandal, Congress is struggling to decide how – or whether – to investigate itself.


That's a real "Knee-Slapper".

(http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/moegreene/dunce.jpg)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 25, 2008, 08:35:03 AM
U.S. to provide nuke fuel to Arab states
Iran triggering proliferation concerns in Middle East

The Bush administration quietly signed an agreement to supply the United Arab Emirates with nuclear fuel and technology amid concerns Iran's continued enrichment of uranium will spur nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

The decision to go ahead with the UAE nuclear program also follows Treasury Department talks with UAE Sovereign Wealth Funds, positioning the federation of seven Gulf states to make further investments in U.S. financial institutions this year.

Wall Street financial analysts remain concerned that U.S. banks and securities firms will need additional capital infusions later this year as their asset bases continue to erode in the unfolding crisis in mortgage-backed securities.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al-Nahyan signed a memorandum of understanding Monday in which the U.S. agreed to support the UAE in the development of domestic nuclear technology for generating energy.

The UAE's Nuclear Energy Program Implementation Organization set the stage Sunday for the agreement with the State Department by issuing a white paper recommending the UAE forgo the domestic enrichment of uranium in favor of importing nuclear fuel from other nations, including the U.S.

In issuing the white paper, UAE Foreign Minister Sheik bin Zayed al-Nahayan emphasized the UAE created the Nuclear Energy Program Implementation Organization to develop the nation's peaceful nuclear energy program, complying with the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency requirements.

The State Department emphasized the agreement falls under the principles spelled out in the Joint Declaration on Nuclear Energy and Nonproliferation, issued by President Bush and then-Russian President Vladimir Putin July 2, 2007.

The agreement exemplifies a growing interest in nuclear technology by Middle East countries, including Saudi Arabia, in response to Iran's decision to continue enriching uranium, despite a U.S.-led move to intensify U.N. sanctions against Tehran.

Iran has consistently rejected a Russian proposal backed by the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Commission to supply Russian-enriched uranium in exchange for Tehran agreeing to stop its enrichment program.

Earlier this month, Iran reportedly begun installing 6,000 centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.

Iran now is using advanced IR-2 centrifuges that can enrich uranium at approximately double the rate of the older model P-1 centrifuges.

WND previously reported Arab nations are preparing to invest some $1.7 trillion accumulated in Sovereign Wealth Funds – greatly augmented by windfall profits from this year's oil-price spike – into U.S. companies, including banks and brokerage firms.

WND has reported Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two of the largest United Arab Emirate states, have been in quiet discussions with the U.S. Treasury, offering reassurances that their investments in U.S. banks and security firms would not impose restrictions usually dictated by Islamic law.

In September 2007, Dubai acquired 19.9 percent of the NASDAQ in New York, placing the Arab government in an ownership position of the second largest stock market exchange in the U.S.

In January, the Abu Dhabi government invested $7.5 billion in Citibank for a 4.9 percent provision plus a preferred coupon return of 11 percent, providing Citibank badly needed capital to make up for losses in bank assets suffered as Citibank-held mortgage-backed securities lost value.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 25, 2008, 12:00:57 PM
'Jihadist' booted from government lexicon

 Don't call them jihadists any more.

And don't call al-Qaida a movement.

The Bush administration has launched a new front in the war on terrorism, this time targeting language.

Federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counter Terrorism Center, are telling their people not to describe Islamic extremists as "jihadists" or "mujahedeen," according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Lingo like "Islamo-fascism" is out, too.

The reason: Such words may actually boost support for radicals among Arab and Muslim audiences by giving them a veneer of religious credibility or by causing offense to moderates.

For example, while Americans may understand "jihad" to mean "holy war," it is in fact a broader Islamic concept of the struggle to do good, says the guidance prepared for diplomats and other officials tasked with explaining the war on terror to the public. Similarly, "mujahedeen," which means those engaged in jihad, must be seen in its broader context.

U.S. officials may be "unintentionally portraying terrorists, who lack moral and religious legitimacy, as brave fighters, legitimate soldiers or spokesmen for ordinary Muslims," says a Homeland Security report. It's entitled "Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims."

"Regarding 'jihad,' even if it is accurate to reference the term, it may not be strategic because it glamorizes terrorism, imbues terrorists with religious authority they do not have and damages relations with Muslims around the world," the report says.

Language is critical in the war on terror, says another document, an internal "official use only" memorandum circulating through Washington entitled "Words that Work and Words that Don't: A Guide for Counterterrorism Communication."

The memo, originally prepared in March by the Extremist Messaging Branch at the National Counter Terrorism Center, was approved for diplomatic use this week by the State Department, which plans to distribute a version to all U.S. embassies, officials said.

"It's not what you say but what they hear," the memo says in bold italic lettering, listing 14 points about how to better present the war on terrorism.

"Don't take the bait," it says, urging officials not to react when Osama bin Laden or al-Qaida affiliates speak. "We should offer only minimal, if any, response to their messages. When we respond loudly, we raise their prestige in the Muslim world."

"Don't compromise our credibility" by using words and phrases that may ascribe benign motives to terrorists.

Some other specifics:

_ "Never use the terms 'jihadist' or 'mujahedeen' in conversation to describe the terrorists. ... Calling our enemies 'jihadis' and their movement a global 'jihad' unintentionally legitimizes their actions."

_ "Use the terms 'violent extremist' or 'terrorist.' Both are widely understood terms that define our enemies appropriately and simultaneously deny them any level of legitimacy."

_ On the other hand, avoid ill-defined and offensive terminology: "We are communicating with, not confronting, our audiences. Don't insult or confuse them with pejorative terms such as 'Islamo-fascism,' which are considered offensive by many Muslims."

The memo says the advice is not binding and does not apply to official policy papers but should be used as a guide for conversations with Muslims and media.

At least at the top level, it appears to have made an impact. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who once frequently referred to "jihad" in her public remarks, does not appear to have used the word, except when talking about the name of a specific terrorist group, since last September.

The memo mirrors advice distributed to British and European Union diplomats last year to better explain the war on terrorism to Muslim communities there.

It also draws heavily on the Homeland Security report that examined the way American Muslims reacted to different phrases used by U.S. officials to describe terrorists and recommended ways to improve the message.

Because of religious connotations, that report, released in January and obtained by AP this week, counseled "caution in using terms such as, 'jihadist,' 'Islamic terrorist,' 'Islamist,' and 'holy warrior' as grandiose descriptions."

"We should not concede the terrorists' claim that they are legitimate adherents of Islam," the report said, adding that bin Laden and his adherents fear "irrelevance" more than anything else.

"We must carefully avoid giving bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders the legitimacy they crave, but do not possess, by characterizing them as religious figures, or in terms that may make them seem to be noble in the eyes of some," it said.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 25, 2008, 12:44:34 PM
 House passes Coast Guard bill despite Bush veto threat

Defying President Bush's threatened veto, the House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill making the Coast Guard enforce security zones around eight liquefied natural gas terminals and any arriving tankers _all potential terrorism targets.
ADVERTISEMENT

The White House has complained that the requirement would divert the Coast Guard from other high-priority missions and provide an "unwarranted subsidy" for LNG owners.

The 395-7 vote margin on the $8.4 billion Coast Guard bill was well beyond the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto. Seven Republicans voted against the measure.

After the vote, the White House praised the passage of a GOP-backed amendment to the bill that permits the Coast Guard to take into account agency, state and local government security resources when deciding on security plans for LNG sites.

"The administration remains concerned about several key provisions in the House bill," said White House spokesman Trey Bohn. "However, the veto threat prompted members to adopt a Republican amendment which made significant changes to the bill. We will continue to work with members of Congress as this legislation moves forward."

The Senate is considering its own version of the bill.

Democrats scoffed at the White House's objections, saying Bush is ignoring the huge security threat posed by LNG sites on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

"I am simply appalled that this administration would refer to protecting our families as an unwarranted and unnecessary subsidy," said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who chairs the House Transportation subcommittee that oversees the Coast Guard.

A dozen more LNG terminals are being planned due to increased demand for natural gas and limited domestic supplies.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said the LNG security provision could hamper the flow of much-needed natural gas as energy prices and demand rise. "We're creating more red tape and more impediments," Mica said.

The Government Accountability Office says a terrorism attack on an LNG tanker arriving at a terminal could ignite an explosion and fire so fierce that people a mile away would be burned. But GAO auditors also say the Coast Guard is already stretched too thin to meet its own standards for protecting arriving LNG tankers from attack.

The bill also sets stricter crime reporting requirements for cruise ships and requires double hulls around fuel tanks on large cargo ships to prevent catastrophic oil spills like the one in San Francisco Bay in November.

To address complaints that crimes aboard cruise ships are underreported, the bill makes line operators report to the Homeland Security Department all security incidents, including deaths, serious bodily injuries and sexual assaults.

Cruise lines also are required to post crime statistics on an Internet site maintained by the Coast Guard, with links from the cruise line public Web sites.

"Sometimes, even cruise ships need sunshine," said Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif.

Cruise lines last year announced a voluntary agreement with the FBI and the Coast Guard to improve and standardize crime reporting.

"The bottom line is, the crime statistics provided by the cruise industry are inaccurate and inadequate," said Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn. "This has got to change."

Cruise line industry officials say the reporting requirement is redundant, since they are already doing so voluntarily.

The bill also addresses a problem that has plagued the Great Lakes region: invasive species that sneak into U.S. waters aboard oceangoing cargo ships and wreak havoc. Oceangoing ships would be required to install ballast water treatment equipment to keep foreign species from U.S. waters.

Ballast tanks help stabilize ships in rough ocean waters. But ballast water is widely considered a leading source of aquatic invaders, which compete with native species for food and habitat.

At least 185 invasive species have been identified in the Great Lakes, including zebra and quagga mussels, which clog water pipes and do more than $150 million worth of damage a year.

"This is a great day for the Great Lakes and the coastal areas," said Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich. "Let's get out there and fight those nasty zebra mussels."

The bill also would increase the Coast Guard by 1,500 members to 47,000. Another provision would tighten agency management controls over Deepwater, the $24 billion program to modernize the agency's aging fleet. It has been plagued by cost overruns, design flaws and lax oversight.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on April 26, 2008, 03:38:46 AM
It sure is nice that we are being given politically correct language to use when we talk about terrorists.  For those wondering, read the article two posts back.

I'm not going to worry about being politically correct, but I will try to be more accurate. Being politically correct will be my LAST CONCERN - IF ANY AT ALL.

How about:

Cowardly lunatics who kill, maim, and torture women, children, and other innocents while claiming to do so in the name of Islam.

or

Those claiming from Islam a Holy Hatred and obligation for genocide and human extermination based on religious beliefs.

Would the above be more accurate?


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on April 26, 2008, 05:21:52 PM
"Islamo-fascism"

Fascism:                                 

totalitarianism                         
despotism
dictatorship
repression
oppression

I calls em' as I sees em'.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on April 26, 2008, 10:19:42 PM
Fascism:                                 

totalitarianism                         
despotism
dictatorship
repression
oppression

I calls em' as I sees em'.

 ;D    ;D

UM? - Is it possible that many of us are suffering from lack of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS? NO, we don't SUFFER from telling the TRUTH! It HURTS more if we avoid the TRUTH or act like the TRUTH doesn't exist.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 29, 2008, 03:05:14 PM
Measure would benefit injured, disabled vets

Congressman Steve Pearce is touting a bill that would make it easier for injured or disabled military members to land a non-combat job in their branch of the armed forces.

Pearce (R-New Mexico) says very few of the American young people who are wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan get the opportunity to remain in uniform and make a career. To address that issue, he has introduced the Wounded Warriors Retention Act, a measure that would allow those injured or disabled in combat to get preferential consideration for desk jobs that serve logistical support roles.
 
"We got to looking all the way back to the Vietnam War and found that our disabled vets really did have difficulty just living life," the lawmaker points out. "Now these are the people who we sent over to fight for us, and then we kind of forget them. So we said let's not forget; most of them can make their own way -- they just need some sort of ability to stay in the service."
 
Pearce notes it takes seven people to put every soldier on the field. He argues it is a "tremendous" waste of human service unless those returning from the battlefield are given an opportunity to continue to serve their country.
 
"And the consequence of not doing that is that if we just pitch these people out on the street, they're looking at a 50 percent chance of being unemployed," he points out. "I have a brother in a wheelchair, so I've watched that since 1974 -- he's always found a job, but he's in that community of disabled."
 
Pearce, who says he does not anticipate opposition to the bill, calls it "a powerful piece of legislation that speaks to the heart of America." He also says "it's the right thing to do" for individuals who have "made a deep sacrifice."
 
The Republican from the Land of Enchantment is giving up his House position to run for the seat being vacated by longtime Senator Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico), who is retiring.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 01, 2008, 10:39:36 PM
New York strikes blow for 1st Amendment
Governor signs law protecting residents against suits in foreign courts

New York state fought back today against terrorism apologists who have used foreign libel laws to silence opponents as Gov. David Paterson signed a law granting protections under the First Amendment.

The Libel Terrorism Protection Act was inspired by New York-based author Rachel Ehrenfeld's battle with a British court over her 2003 book, "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Funded and How to Stop It."

New York officials said the law will make it more difficult for "libel tourists" to threaten authors and publishers with foreign libel suits. It bars enforcement of a libel judgment in foreign courts unless a New York court determines the decision is consistent with the free speech and free press protections guaranteed by the U.S. and New York state constitutions.

"New Yorkers must be able to speak out on issues of public concern without living in fear that they will be sued outside the United States, under legal standards inconsistent with our First Amendment rights," said Paterson. "This legislation will help ensure the freedoms enjoyed by New York authors."

Ehrenfeld, a WND contributor, called the law "a wonderful precedent," according to Publisher's Weekly.

She intends to "go back to court and win the case" and hopes "other American authors will continue to expose what needs to be exposed and that publishers will not be shy in publishing it."

Britain's libel law has been used in a number of instances against writers who speak out against international terrorism.

As WND reported, Saudi banker Khalid Bin Mahfouz filed suit against Ehrenfeld after she named him in her New York-published book as a funder of Islamic charities that supported terrorism.

She asserts there are more than 10 lawsuits outstanding by numerous plaintiffs in the U.S. claiming billions of dollars in damages from Mahfouz's alleged involvement in financing the 9/11 attack of the World Trade Center.

Only 23 copies of her book were sold in the United Kingdom, but Mahfouz took advantage of the country's liberal laws and filed the suit there, charging damage to his reputation.

The British court issued a $225,000 judgment against Ehrenfeld after she refused to appear, on advice of her counsel in Britain. The author then sought a judgment in New York declaring the British decision unenforceable in the U.S., because her work is protected under American law.

The New York Court of Appeals ruled Ehrenfeld's suit could not be heard under state law unless legislature made changes.

Paterson, who succeeded disgraced Gov. Eliot Spitzer last month, urged the federal government to take similar action.

"Although New York state has now done all it can to protect our authors while they live in New York, they remain vulnerable if they move to other states, or if they have assets in other states," said Paterson. "We really need Congress and the president to work together and enact federal legislation that will protect authors throughout the country against the threat of foreign libel judgments."

State Sen. Dean G. Skelos noted "the truth is a critically-important component of the war on terror."

"American authors, like Dr. Ehrenfeld, who expose terrorist networks and their financiers should not be subject to intimidation and lawsuits in foreign courts designed to circumvent our First Amendment rights," he said. "This is important legislation, and I thank Governor Paterson for signing it into law."

WND reported last year Cambridge University Press defaulted on a libel suit filed by Mahfouz, issuing an apology and agreeing to pay court fees and damages and destroy all unsold copies of a 2006 book by two American authors.

Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, said at the time that Cambridge University Press's apology had "ominous implications" for investigators of terrorism financing.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 02, 2008, 10:25:59 AM
National DNA database gets kickstart from feds
Tests could reveal facts 'making individual less useful to society'

With virtually no fanfare, President Bush signed into law a plan ordering the government to take no more than six months to set up a "national contingency plan" to screen newborns' DNA in case of a "public health emergency."

The new law requires that the results of the program – including "information … research, and data on newborn screening" – shall be assembled by a "central clearinghouse" and made available on the Internet.

According to congressional records, S.1858, sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., was approved in the Senate Dec. 13, in the House April 8 and signed by Bush April 24.

"Soon, under this bill, the DNA of all citizens will be housed in government genomic biobanks and considered governmental property for government research," said Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care. "The DNA taken at birth from every citizen is essentially owned by the government, and every citizen becomes a potential subject of government-sponsored genetic research."

Brase has objected extensively to plans in Minnesota to provide state government the same option now handed to the federal government by Congress.

The bill, she said, strips "citizens of genetic privacy rights and DNA property rights. It bill also violates research ethics and the Nuremberg Code.

"The public is clueless. S. 1858 imposes a federal agenda of DNA databanking and population-wide genetic research," Brase continued. "It does not require consent and there are no requirements to fully inform parents about the warehousing of their child's DNA for the purpose of genetic research.

"Already, in Minnesota, the state health department reports that 42,210 children of the 780,000 whose DNA is housed in the Minnesota 'DNA warehouse' have been subjected to genetic research without their parent's knowledge or consent," she said.

The federal plan sets up the coast-to-coast DNA collections then report the results to "physicians and families" as well as educate families about newborn screening.

"We now are considered guinea pigs, as opposed to human beings with rights," said Brase, warning such DNA databases could spark the next wave of demands for eugenics, the concept of improving the human race through the control of various inherited traits. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, advocated eugenics to cull from the population types of people she considered unfit.

In 1921, Sanger said eugenics is "the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems," and she later lamented "the ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all."

Such DNA collection programs are offered as screening requirements to detect treatable illnesses. Currently, the type of tests conducted varies from state-to-state, but the Health Resources and Services Administration has requested a report that would "include a recommendation for a uniform panel of conditions."

"Fortunately," Dodd said when his plan was launched, "some newborn screening occurs in every state. … This legislation will provide resources for states to expand their newborn screening programs."

So what's the big deal about looking into DNA to hunt for various disease possibilities?

Nothing, said Brase, if that's where the hunt would end.

However, she said, "researchers already are looking for genes related to violence, crime and different behaviors."

"This isn't just about diabetes, asthma and cancer," she said. "It's also about behavioral issues."

"In England they decided they should have doctors looking for problem children, and have those children reported, and their DNA taken in case they would become criminals," she said.

In fact, published reports in the UK note that senior police forensics experts believe genetic samples should be studied, because it may be possible to identify potential criminals as young as age 5.

In Britain, Chris Davis of the National Primary Headteachers' Association warned the move could be seen "as a step towards a police state."

Brase said efforts to study traits and gene factors and classify people would be just the beginning. What could happen through subsequent programs to address such conditions, she wondered.

"Not all research is great," she said. Classifying of people could lead to "discrimination and prejudice. … People can look at data about you and make assessments ultimately of who you are."

The Heartland Regional Genetics and Newborn Screening is one of the organizations that advocates more screening and research.

It proclaims in its vision statement a desire to see newborns screened for 200 conditions. It also forecasts "every student … with an individual program for education based on confidential interpretation of their family medical history, their brain imaging, their genetic predictors of best learning methods…"

Further, every individual should share information about "personal and family health histories" as well as "gene tests for recessive conditions and drug metabolism" with the "other parent of their future children."

Still further, it seeks "ecogenetic research that could improve health, lessen disability, and lower costs for sickness."

"They want to test every child for 200 conditions, take the child's history and a brain image, and genetics, and come up with a plan for that child," Brase said. "They want to learn their weaknesses and defects.

"Nobody including and especially the government should be allowed to create such extensive profiles," she said.

The next step, said Brase, is obvious: The government, with information about potential health weaknesses, could say to couples, "We don't want your expensive children."

"I think people have forgotten about eugenics. The fact of the matter is that the eugenicists have not gone away. Newborn genetic testing is the entry into the 21st Century version of eugenics," she said.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has posted a position statement on the issue, noting that many good things can result from genetic testing.

However, it expressed two significant areas of concern.

"History shows that this information will sometimes be leaked or misused, regardless of who controls it. When private companies leak information and break people's confidence, they have often been exposed and punished, as people no longer buy their services or sue. In contrast, when government agencies do the same, the guilty bureaucrats have often been protected and rewarded instead of suffering meaningful consequences," the group said.

The AAPS said in order to do the best possible job of protecting privacy, anyone who has access to DNA data should be "individually liable in the event of unlawful disclosure of genetic testing information. …"

The other area of concern is equally significant.

"Genetic testing could be used for purposes found immoral in the Hippocratic medical tradition. For example, a utilitarian use of testing, in this example also immoral, would be to test for conditions which would make an individual less useful to society for the purpose of killing that person, as has been done in some totalitarian systems, such as Nazi Germany. Likewise, the use of genetic testing in attempts to breed a super race would be immoral and unethical. In these examples, the utility of the person to the society is the deciding factor, a position antithetical to the Hippocratic tradition of primary responsibility to the individual patient rather than to an amorphous society or relativistic social policies," the group said.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was one of the few voices to warn of the dangers. Before the plan's approval, he said, "I cannot support legislation, no matter how much I sympathize with the legislation’s stated goals, that exceed the Constitutional limitations on federal power or in any way threatens the liberty of the American people. Since S. 1858 violates the Constitution, and may have untended consequences that will weaken the American health care system and further erode medical privacy, I must oppose it."

Paul said, "S. 1858 gives the federal bureaucracy the authority to develop a model newborn screening program. Madame Speaker the federal government lacks both the constitutional authority and the competence to develop a newborn screening program adequate for a nation as large and diverse as the United States. …"

He also said as the federal government assumes more control over health care, medical privacy is coming under assault.

"Those of us in the medical profession should be particularly concerned about policies allowing government officials and state-favored interests to access our medical records without our consent … My review of S. 1858 indicates the drafters of the legislation made no effort to ensure these newborn screening programs do not violate the privacy rights of parents and children," Paul continued.

"In fact, by directing federal bureaucrats to create a contingency plan for newborn screening in the event of a 'public health' disaster, this bill may lead to further erosions of medical privacy. As recent history so eloquently illustrates, politicians are more than willing to take, and people are more than willing to cede, liberty during times of 'emergency," he said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on May 03, 2008, 02:07:04 AM
Quote
National DNA database gets kickstart from feds
Tests could reveal facts 'making individual less useful to society'

With virtually no fanfare, President Bush signed into law a plan ordering the government to take no more than six months to set up a "national contingency plan" to screen newborns' DNA in case of a "public health emergency."

Brothers and Sisters,

This is illegal and Unconstitutional. It isn't just borderline - rather outrageous. As far as I'm concerned, they will need to learn one of three options:  1 )  NO!;  2 ) Get a court order for cases involving reasonable grounds that the person has committed a crime;  3 ) Whistle Dixie in the key of the person's choice. Invasion of a person's body is a serious matter and can only be done with either the person's consent or a court order. If it involves consent for medical treatment, the person receiving treatment decides who has access to that information and must sign a release of information form designating who can get that information.

There are cases involving serious crimes where various identifiers can be taken without the person's consent. Fingerprints and photographs are normal and have been authorized for many years. Other identifiers are quite possible, but they nearly always involve either the person's consent or a court order. In many cases, the other identifiers are used to eliminate the person as a suspect, so it's common for the innocent to consent and clear themselves. The difference here is the limited scope of what those OTHER identifiers can be used for: MAJOR CRIMES.

It's already common for hospitals to take finger and palm prints and footprints to identify newborn babies. This is more than sufficient for positive identification and has one purpose of settling disputes that the parents may have taken the wrong baby home. It also provides proof for a birth certificate and location of birth. OTHER testing is done for MEDICAL TREATMENT ONLY for possible or existing health problems or diseases in the baby. Pre-natal care is for the same purpose. The only other thing that comes to play in some cases involves dangerous communicable diseases that could potentially infect many other people. I might have missed some reasonable uses of identifiers, BUT ESTABLISHING A GOVERNMENT DOSSIER ON NEWBORN BABIES WILL NEVER BE LEGAL OR CONSTITUTIONAL WITHOUT THE PARENT'S CONSENT OR A COURT ORDER!

These OTHER IDENTIFIERS are none of the government's business without consent or the appropriate cause in a COURT ORDER. Invasion of a person's body is considered to be the WORST kind of invasion of privacy. It also involves the WORST CASE OF UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE! Property certainly involves a lower level of SEARCH AND SEIZURE, but that also most involve either PROBABLE CAUSE in a CRIME and/or A COURT ORDER. Acceptable methods of SEARCH AND SEIZURE are established by the LAW of the People and the CONSTITUTION of the People. It definitely involves a PERSON'S CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS that can't be taken away without a change OF THE LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION BY THE PEOPLE! In the absence of a LAWFUL change, those participating in the acts of this article would be subject to CIVIL DAMAGES AND CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. The only way I know of that LAWFUL changes could be made INVOLVES A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE because RIGHTS in the Constitution would have to be removed! IN OTHER WORDS:  THE GOVERNMENT CAN FORGET THIS OUTRAGEOUS, ILLEGAL, AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL CONDUCT! ANY ATTEMPT TO DO IT ANYWAY SHOULD INVOLVE PRISON! This would be a SERIOUS VIOLATION of civil and Constitutional RIGHTS UNDER THE COLOR OF LAW!


Title: Congress to transform America to socialism?
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 03, 2008, 02:03:49 PM
Congress to transform America to socialism?

The classic definition of socialism is: government control of the sources of production. A bill now before Congress, H.R. 2421, will give the federal government absolute control over all sources of production. This bill, if enacted, will instantly convert the United States into a socialist nation.

The debate, however, is not about the merits of socialism over capitalism and free markets; the debate is about water. The bill will give to the federal government control over all water in the United States, and control over all "… activities affecting these waters."

Water is essential in the production of virtually everything. If the government controls water, and all "activities affecting these waters," then the government controls the sources of production.

There is absolutely no need for the government to take this draconian step. Water is already regulated far beyond necessity. The control and regulation of water has stripped property rights from people in every state – often for no definable public benefit. This bill will destroy the last vestige of the idea of private property rights.

For more than a generation, the liberal philosophy that government should "manage" society has prevailed in the education system and in practice. The 1973 Endangered Species Act gave the federal government power to declare private property to be "critical habitat" under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Court decisions in the 1980s defined privately owned "wetlands" to be the jurisdiction of the federal government. The 1990s saw the rise of comprehensive planning as the most effective way to control the use of land. Now, we're faced with a bill to give government the power to control the use of water and all "activities affecting these waters," and with it goes all claims to private property rights.

Americans have accepted the idea that the protection of a single population of a sub-species of some bug or weed is more important than the rights of the property owner. Americans have accepted the idea that some appointed planning council knows better how land should be used than the people who own and pay taxes on the land. Now, Americans are expected to accept the notion that government should control the water supply, and thereby control the sources of all production.

With all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the current economic downturn, no one seems to be pointing to government's involvement in and mismanagement of the marketplace. Why Americans sat by and allowed government to take their freedom away piecemeal is a mystery posterity will surely ponder. Historically, Americans rallied behind whatever effort it took to keep socialism from overtaking this nation. Now, Congress is moving rapidly toward enacting a law that will effectively embrace socialism.

The voices in Washington in opposition to this transformation are few and are drowned out by big-name officials who command media attention. This condition did not occur overnight. For a generation, a government-controlled education system has produced people who actually believe that government should be the master of society, rather than society being the master of government.

For a generation, these people have been gaining political power in local, state and federal offices. Now, it is difficult to find an elected body of government anywhere that is not dominated by people who believe the power of government must supersede the power of the people.

This condition will not be corrected overnight – if ever. Someone has to teach a new generation why the U.S. Constitution produced the most prosperous nation ever. Someone has to explain to a new generation the difference between a free market and a market managed by government. Someone has to teach a new generation that the exercise of freedom does not require the government's permission.

The "someone" here will be the people who are elected to local, state and federal offices over the next several years. If the people who cherish freedom over government control fail to find and elect like-minded representatives, then freedom will continue to fade and government control – socialism – will continue to flourish.

Listen carefully to the candidates for every office, and reject those who campaign for more government programs and more government control. Identify those in the city council, county commission and in the state legislatures who vote for expanded government control – and vote for their opponents (if they advocate more freedom). Look at the list of cosponsors of H.R. 2421, and tell them to vote against this socialist bill. Read the bill yourself, and don't let your representative tell you that it doesn't expand government power over all "activities affecting these waters."

This bill is expected to see floor action within the next several weeks. If it is enacted, it will not likely ever be undone. Once government gets its hands on new power, it is never relinquished.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 03, 2008, 02:09:30 PM
Emissions bill could harm economy

A new piece of legislation designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for creating manmade "catastrophic" global warming, will lead to even higher energy costs and a nearly unprecedented expansion of federal government – says a climate change researcher.

The bill sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and John Warner (R-Virginia) calls for capping carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, transportation and industrial sources to achieve a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.  Lieberman argues the bill "curbs global warming without harming the U.S. economy."

But Marc Morano, minority communications director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, says the Lieberman-Warner bill would do untold damage to the country.

"The U.S. unilaterally trying to reduce emissions by 2050 [or] 2070, as various bills call for, will not have any detectable impact on the climate, pure symbolism – that's point one," he debates. "Point two, now we have a host of government and private sector studies that have come out now just showing that Lieberman-Warner will raise home energy [costs]...[and] it's going to cost jobs all across the board, there is no way to slice it," warns Morano.

The Energy Information Administration projects the Lieberman-Warner bill could lead to increases in Americans' average annual household energy bills of up to $325 in 2020 and $723 by 2030.

Morano also warns that the bill will also create new government agencies that will handle carbon pricing or carbon cap and trade. He believes that creating this type of bureaucracy will expand the federal government to record size.

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) recently dared his colleagues to stand up on the Senate floor a month from now and support a bill that will further raise gas prices. The bill is expected to be debated in the Senate in June, but Republicans have vowed to filibuster the measure if it is not amended.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 03, 2008, 06:24:28 PM
Same-sex marriage dispute on fast track
9th Circuit expedites appeal of decision to invalidate petition drive

Oregon citizens who say their rejection of same-sex marriage was quashed by the state legislature scored a small legal victory in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The appeals court granted a motion by the Alliance Defense Fund to expedite the appeal of a federal court judge's decision that invalidated a voter petition drive.

As WND reported, a coalition of citizen groups want Oregonians to decide on a law that created "domestic partnerships" for homosexuals and lesbians in the state. But state officials contended the petition drive failed because there were too many invalid signatures.

With the margin of failure a mere five votes, several citizens went to their county offices to find out whether their valid signatures had been counted and discovered they had not.

But county officials, citing orders from state officials, refused to count the signatures, prompting a lawsuit from the Alliance Defense Fund.

At a Feb. 1 hearing, U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman essentially determined voters in Oregon have no legal right to have their petition signatures counted, the ADF said.

ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks contended "no legitimate reason existed to refuse to allow these registered voters to participate in the democratic process."

"Our country is founded on the basic principle of government of the people, by the people, and for the people," he said. "It should stay that way in Oregon."

The ADF submitted evidence showing county clerks simply refused petition signers' requests to count their signatures after they had been "wrongfully rejected."

Oregon voters already have rejected same-sex marriage. In 2004, several thousand same-sex couples were given marriage licenses in Multnomah County, prompting Oregonians to approve by a 57-43 percent margin a constitutional ban on homosexual marriages. A court later nullified the licenses.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 08, 2008, 08:24:30 PM
House passes bill
to pinch pennies
Authorizes change at mint to reduce cost
of making coin from 1.26 cents to .7 cent

The House voted for cheaper change today, the kind that would make pennies and nickels worth more than they cost to make and save the country $100 million a year.

The unanimous vote advances the legislation to the Senate, but it's prospects are muddled by objections from the Bush administration and some lawmakers.

The bill would require the U.S. Mint to switch from a zinc and copper penny, which costs 1.26 cents each to make, to a copper-plated steel penny, which would cost .7 cents to make, according to statistics from the Mint and Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio, one of the measure's sponsors.

It also would require nickels, now made of copper and nickel and costing 7.7 cents to make, to be made primarily of steel, which would drop the cost to make the five-cent coin below its face value.

Advocates say that such actions would push back against surging metal prices and save taxpayers about $1 billion over a decade.

But even the Mint opposes the House-passed measure.

The legislation directs the Treasury secretary to "prescribe" -- suggest -- a new, more economical composition of the nickel and the penny. Unsaid is the Constitution's requirement that Congress have the final say.

The administration, like others before, chafes at the thought that Congress still clings to that authority.

Mint Director Edmund Moy said this week that the bill was "too prescriptive," in part because it does not explicitly delegate to the Treasury secretary the power to decide the new coin composition.

The bill also gives the public and the metal industry too little time to weigh in on the new coin composition, he said.

Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., is expected to introduce another version of the legislation in the Senate.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on May 10, 2008, 02:31:45 AM
Pastors Urged to Preach About Politics, in Hopes of Toppling IRS Ban

NEW YORK — Conservative legal advocates are recruiting pastors nationwide to defy an IRS ban on preaching about politicians, in a challenge they hope will abolish the restriction.

The Alliance Defense Fund, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., will ask the clergy to deliver a sermon about specific candidates Sept. 28. If the action triggers an IRS investigation, the legal group will sue to overturn the federal rules, which were enacted in 1954.

Under the IRS code, churches can distribute voter guides, run voter registration drives, hold forums on public policy and invite politicians to speak at their congregations.

However, they cannot endorse a candidate, and their political activity cannot be biased for or against a candidate, directly or indirectly.

The Alliance Defense Fund said Friday that the regulations amount to an unconstitutional limit on free speech and government intrusion into religion.

“It certainly does have a chilling effect,” said Mike Johnson, senior counsel for the fund. “I think that there is a lot of fear and intimidation and disinformation about the parameters that do exist.”

Johnson said about 100 pastors have expressed interest in participating so far.

The IRS has stepped up monitoring of nonprofit political activity during the 2008 election. Punishments can range from a financial penalty to loss of tax-exempt status.

IRS investigations are confidential and the agency does not discuss the cases.

However, the United Church of Christ, which counts Sen. Barack Obama as a member, has said that it is under IRS review because of a speech given by the Democratic presidential candidate at the denomination’s national meeting last year.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an advocacy group in Washington, monitors church political activity and consistently files complaints with the IRS. They said Friday that they will notify the agency of any pastor who participates in the ADF campaign.

Some religious groups support keeping politics out of the pulpit.

J. Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in Washington, which advocates for religious freedom, said churches should be involved in public issues, but partisan activity can “compromise the essential calling to spread the Gospel.”

“The church can’t raise prophetic fist at a candidate or at a party,” Walker said, “when it’s locked up in a tight bear hug with that candidate or party.”



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 12, 2008, 01:21:00 PM
Pelosi, Reid shunning Ten Commandments?

A coalition of faith-based groups has joined forces, calling on Congress to pass resolutions in both houses to focus on the Ten Commandments.

Bill Murray, son of deceased atheist leader Madelyn Murray O'Hair and chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, is part of the pro-Ten Commandments coalition.
 
"Both of these [resolutions] would authorize a Ten Commandments weekend in order to recognize the Ten Commandments as the foundation of law in this country," Murray explains. "But with Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House and Harry Reid in charge of the Senate, we can't have a voice. We can't get these out and open and celebrate the Ten Commandments," he contends.
 
According to Murray, it will take a grassroots effort to get a vote. "Hopefully, people will get the word that these resolutions exist and call their congressman and call their senators and let them know that we need these passed," Murray points out.
 
Murray says the resolutions are stalled. "The prospect of passing anything that respects our social values and the Christian heritage of the nation is extremely difficult," he laments. "Nancy Pelosi has spent most of the time as House Speaker naming federal buildings .... Over 40 percent of the bills that have passed were to name buildings.
 
"She's done things like putting soybeans in the congressional cafeteria, and nothing happens there," he continues. "And if it has anything to do with the cause of Christ or with social values or family values, it's just totally ignored. It's very difficult and we need to bring pressure to bear upon her to do things like this," Murray urges.
 
Strangely enough, the Supreme Court has a Ten Commandments display, but Congress so far will not budge on honoring them.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on May 12, 2008, 03:40:53 PM
Quote
A coalition of faith-based groups has joined forces, calling on Congress to pass resolutions in both houses to focus on the Ten Commandments.

Bill Murray, son of deceased atheist leader Madelyn Murray O'Hair and chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, is part of the pro-Ten Commandments coalition.

I've been reading about the good work of Bill Murray for some time. His mother was a one woman ARMY against CHRIST and probably did more to destroy Biblical values than any ten people in history. I've read that Bill Murray has genuine remorse for the work and accomplishments of his mother and is dedicated to undoing much of her evil work.

The HOLY BIBLE and the Ten Commandments are part of the backbone and foundation of our LAW, regardless of whether Congress and our government wants to admit it or not. This is just PLAIN AND BLUNT HISTORICAL FACTS THAT CAN'T BE DENIED! It would take many years to briefly scan the evidence of THESE FACTS! I must make the point that it would be the HOLY BIBLE - GOD'S WORD - not the books of false religions. Many translations of the HOLY BIBLE are quoted word for word in countless thousands of documents with Chapter and Verse listed. One must remember that Freedom of Religion was one of the MAIN reasons why we fought the Revolutionary War. The Geneva Bible was fairly common for the time because it didn't represent the Forced Religion of England. Regardless, the HOLY BIBLE is a big part of our foundation whether folks like Pelosi like it or not. THAT UNQUESTIONED RECORDED HISTORY CAN'T BE IGNORED, ERASED, OR DENIED! Just for the record, SCHOOL CURRICULUMS INCLUDED THE TEACHING OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 13, 2008, 12:24:16 PM
U.S. Senate takes up ANWR debate

As oil prices continue to soar the debate over opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploration intensifies.

Lawmakers debated the American Energy Production Act on the U.S. Senate floor Monday.

The legislation would allow exploration on the coastal plain of the refuge.   

It also encourages nuclear energy, oil shale exploration and coal-to-liquids technology.   

Democrats continue to oppose the ANWR measure but Sen. Lisa Murkowski told her fellow senators it would help the country transition to alternative energy.

"If we don't take these steps we'll continue to be in this exact same position, being held hostage by the world's oil cartel for decades until we have new alternative technologies," she said.

Still, at least one lawmaker thinks opening ANWR is not the answer.

"Drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge would result, when it's fully implemented 10 or 20 years from now, in one penny per gallon savings," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington.

Democrats are also pushing a measure that would impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies that have seen profits soar with high oil prices.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 13, 2008, 12:27:22 PM
The Senate is set to consider competing energy packages on Monday or Tuesday, including a Republican proposal that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Republican and Democratic leaders recently unveiled separate energy packages designed to show voters Congress is serious about tackling high gasoline prices at the pump. Analysts, however, have given both proposals the thumbs down for containing little that's actually likely to be signed into law.

Republicans – including Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski – are pushing a plan to boost domestic production off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in Alaska.

Murkowski, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has said she believes oil companies should be allowed to drill for oil along the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and that it can be done in an environmentally sound way.

Republicans claim opening new areas to drilling offshore and in Alaska would produce an additional 24 billion barrels of oil, or enough to satisfy U.S. consumption for five years, which could help knock as much as $63 off the price of a barrel of oil.

The price of West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude oil closed Friday at a record $125.96 a barrel.

"Opening ANWR would allow us produce more here at home, help wean us off foreign oil and provide capital and tax revenue to invest in alternative energy projects" said Aaron Saunders, spokesman for Stevens.

The GOP package includes a number of measures that have failed to pass muster in the past – even some Republicans acknowledge the package is not likely to get out of the starting gate.

The ANWR proposal faces stiff opposition from Democrats and their environmental allies, but Stevens and Murkowski insist it will provide a shot in the arm to the sluggish economy and provide additional domestic oil supplies in the future.

"Opening ANWR is part of a long-term approach to dealing with an energy crisis that is apparent every time consumers fill up their gas tanks or pay their home heating bills," Saunders said. "Americans are simply tired of paying astronomical energy prices because Congress would rather import oil than produce it domestically. It just doesn't make sense."

Allowing oil companies to tap ANWR would eventually add 1 million barrels of oil a day to the nation's supply, but environmentalists argue that new oil is at least 10 years away from reaching the market and will do little to ease energy prices in the near term.

"At some point Congress must change course and do what is best for America," Saunders said. "Yet attempt after attempt is blocked by one party. At some point, this opposition, which is based primarily on misinformation, has to end."

Democrats, meanwhile, introduced their own energy package last week to combat soaring gasoline prices. It focuses on reducing market speculation and reducing drilling incentives for major oil and gas companies.

Big Oil's loss would be renewable energy's gain as Democrats are proposing using revenue from repealing tax breaks for the oil and gas industry to invest in alternative forms of energy.

Members of both parties are expected to support a measure calling for a temporary halt to squirreling away crude oil in the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve while prices remain at record levels.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, is expected to offer an amendment to flood insurance legislation that would suspend filling the reserve if the 90-day average price of crude oil remains above $75 a barrel.

Republicans have already offered a similar measure to stop placing oil in the reserve, however it's expected to face opposition from Democrats because it includes language opening ANWR. The flood insurance bill is expected to come up on the Senate floor as early as Monday night.

Both parties say taking oil off the market tightens supply and exacerbates already high gasoline prices.

The U.S. Department of Energy is putting about 70,000 barrels of oil a day in the reserve as a hedge against future supply disruptions. President George W. Bush has rebuffed calls to halt the program, saying the amount of oil being taken off the market is not enough to affect prices.

Democrats are also unlikely to win support for their broader energy package because of measures that Republicans and the Bush administration see as targeted to punish the oil and gas industry.

The Democrats' plan includes a repeal of $17 billion in tax incentives for oil and gas companies and smacks the biggest oil companies with a tax on windfall profits.

Democrats are not expected to have the votes in the Senate to overcome a Republican filibuster threat or a potential White House veto.

Lawmakers have two weeks to finish work before the start of the Memorial Day recess when they have to go home to face voters frustrated over skyrocketing prices at the pump.

Regular unleaded reached $3.92 a gallon at some stations around Fairbanks over the weekend.

The motorist advocacy group AAA expects the average price in the Lower 48 to reach the $4 a gallon as the summer driving season heats up, which only means higher prices around Fairbanks.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 15, 2008, 03:05:34 PM
Shielding Official Leakers     

There is something unique about what has come to be called the War on Terror. In this conflict, as the U.S. government struggles to defeat the enemy and keep our people safe, it is up against not only those who overtly and unambiguously seek to destroy us. It also confronts those prepared to reveal classified information and programs, even when that makes it harder to vanquish our foes and protect this country.

The latter fall into four principal categories:

• Some call themselves "journalists" who work for traditional news organizations, notably the New York Times. On occasion, they win Pulitzer Prizes for compromising the nation's secrets.

• Some are members of what has come to be called the "new media" or "alternative media." Most traditional journalists detest the idea their trade is practiced by people who find in outlets like online publications, the blogosphere, YouTube and FaceBook vehicles to disseminate information worldwide and instantaneously. But the reach of the Worldwide Web is, well, worldwide and so is the impact of its "journalists."

• Among those making use of these "New Age" tools are some who use the guise of journalism as a cover for our enemy's disinformation and propaganda. In fact, some of the most capable users of the Internet routinely engage in information warfare on behalf of Islamofascist terrorist organizations like al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and their state sponsors.

• Then there are the individuals who hold positions of trust in the federal government itself. They have been given access to secret data and capabilities on the promise not to reveal such knowledge without authorization. Yet, some choose to violate their oaths in the furtherance of divergent policy agendas. Of course, folks in this category are not journalists. They are called "sources."

It is imperative to consider these four categories as the U.S. Senate prepares to consider legislation with the unobjectionable-sounding name of the "Free Flow of Information Act (FFIA) of 2007." The bill, S. 2035, is better known as the "media shield" law. It would be more accurate to call it the "Leaker and Other Enemies Shield Act."

Freedom of the press is, of course, one of the bedrock principles upon which this nation was founded. And those who dare criticize the media and its efforts to expand privileges it enjoys under the rubric of press freedoms — notably, officials responsible for prosecuting journalists' "confidential government sources" for illegally revealing classified information — generally are subjected to very bad notices.

It is a terrible idea — particularly in time of war — to provide "media shields" to anyone who can claim to be a journalist and to their lawbreaking government sources. Yet S.2035 would do precisely that.

The FFIA creates a highly problematic journalist's privilege. It would effectively prevent the federal government from compelling anyone "engaging in journalism" to give testimony or produce any document revealing that journalist's source, if the source gave the information under cover of confidentiality.

Were S.2035 to become law, investigators and prosecutors charged with bringing to justice sources who have engaged in criminal leaks would have to prove all of the following to the satisfaction of a federal judge:

(1) The government has first exhausted all other avenues besides the journalist to obtain a source's identity.

(2) There are reasonable grounds to believe a crime has taken place.

(3) The source's identity is "essential" to the investigation.

(4) The information disclosed was "properly classified" to begin with.

(5) The person who leaked the information had authorized access to it.

(6) The source's unauthorized disclosure "has caused or will cause significant, clear, and articulable harm to the national security."

(7) And nondisclosure of the source's identity would be contrary to the public interest when weighed against the other public interest in "gathering news and maintaining the free flow of information."

As a practical matter, as an array of Cabinet and sub-Cabinet officers responsible for keeping us safe and enforcing the law have warned the Senate, no source is going to be held accountable under this law. For example, Attorney General Michael Mukase and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell advised the Senate's leadership they would be hobbled by myriad Catch-22s inherent in the FFIA.

Consider two of these cited by the AG and DNI: How can a prosecutor show that a person who leaked information had authorized access to it (Requirement 5), without first knowing the identity of the source? How can a prosecutor show a leak "has caused or will cause significant, clear, and articulable harm to the national security" (Requirement 6), without first having to offer evidence to a judge that will reveal even more classified information?

By assuring "journalists" — the bill's definition is broad enough to cover all of the first three categories described above — they need not fear having to divulge the source of a leak, sources will feel even less compunction than they do today to break their promises and leak with impunity.

In short, the Free Flow of Information Act is not about freedom of the press. It is about freeing government officials of their legal responsibilities and enabling those who would do us all harm — whether intentionally or in the name of "the people's right to know."

The president's senior advisers have rightly indicated they will recommend his veto should this bill make it to his desk. Senators should ensure that the Leakers and Other Enemies Protection Act never gets there.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 19, 2008, 11:11:04 AM
'Cause-and-effect' behind high gas prices

Senator John Kyl says ethanol mandates as well as bad tax and regulatory policies are to blame for the exorbitant fuel prices hammering American families.

The American Automobile Association reports the price of gasoline has hit a nationwide record high and that many Americans are wondering what Congress is doing to bring the cost of energy down. On Friday, Senate Republicans held an energy forum that featured panelists from Shell Oil, the National Mining Association, and the Nuclear Energy Institute.
 
Speaking at the forum, Arizona Senator John Kyl (R-Arizona) said Congress has failed to appreciate the cause-and-effect relationship between too many actions.
 
"There is a cause-and-effect relationship between the ethanol mandates and the rising cost of food and fuel," stated the conservative lawmaker. "There is a definite cause-and-effect relationship between our tax policies, our regulatory policies, and our failure to control runaway litigation when it comes to the businesses that need to be present and able in the United States to supply what we need to supply to a nuclear-generation industry."
 
And according to the senator, another factor not usually associated with rising fuel costs has "a dramatic impact" on the cost of gasoline at the pump.
 
"
  • ur U.S. dollar isn't worth very much these days compared to what it used to be and compared to other countries' currencies," Kyl said, "[and] as a result ... we have to use a lot more dollars to buy the same thing."

Last week the Senate passed a seven-month suspension of placing oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, yet defeated a Republican package that would have increased oil production by opening a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 20, 2008, 11:31:02 PM
Naked truth: Court flays state strip-search of children
Social worker enters Christian school without cause, tells kids to remove clothing

Two children who attended a private Christian school in Wisconsin were illegally strip-searched and had their constitutional rights violated by a state social worker, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Monday.

In Michael C. v. Gresbach, the court said state worker Dana Gresbach violated the children's Fourth Amendment rights to freedom from unreasonable search when she entered Good Hope Christian Academy in Milwaukee, Wis., had the children pulled from the classrooms and told them to remove their clothing when she suspected the parents of spanking in February 2004.

Stephen Crampton, vice president of legal affairs and general counsel for Liberty Counsel, represented the parents of 8-year-old Ian and 9-year-old Alexis when they sued the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare and the caseworker.

"We are obviously pleased with the result, but candidly, we wish they had been more harsh on this renegade department that has ruined the lives of so many well-intentioned families already," he told WND.

Crampton said this type of overstep is common among social workers, and they often do not give it a second thought.

"The social worker performed these strip searches as a matter of routine, estimating that in perhaps one-half of the 300 or so cases she handled every year she subjected kids to a partial disrobing," he said. "In fact, she testified that she considered it so routine that she did not bother to discuss her intentions with her supervisor, even though she spoke to her on her way to the school."

The state had several social workers file affidavits saying they would have followed the same procedure. Crampton said, "That is an alarming admission, and we suspect you would find a similar pattern in social service offices all over America."

When Gresbach entered the school, she handed her business card to Principal Cheryl Reetz and told her she needed to see Ian and Alexis. Reetz asked the social worker if she could call the children's parents, but Gresbach refused to allow it, saying she would contact them at a later time. The principal then asked if she could remain in the room to observe the interview, but she was denied permission to do so.

According to court documents, state officials claimed they made efforts to speak with the parents and stepparents of the children, but the visits never occurred.

Crampton said the mindset of most social workers is that parents are the problem.

"They go to great lengths to lock parents out of the process, treating them as the enemy, and ultimately doing more harm than good by driving something of a wedge between the children and their parents," he said.

The social worker spent nearly 15 minutes alone in the room with each child. She searched Ian's wrists for bruising and asked him to pull up his shirt. He complied, and she examined his back for suspicious marks. Gresbach then privately inspected Alexis, asking her to pull down her tights and lift up her dress. The worker was unable to find any sign of injury on the children's bodies.

Gresbach's behavior is not a one-time incident uncommon among social workers. In Doe v. Carla Heck, the court addressed an eerily similar child abuse investigation where children's rights to freedom from unreasonable search were violated by the same state agency on the premises of another private educational facility.

"The problem almost always arises only in private schools," Crampton said. "Public schools, as agents of the government, routinely roll over and give social workers access to any student they wish to see, provide a room for them, and in short serve up our children on a platter, without bothering to contact parents," he said.

Gresbach claimed she was entitled to qualified immunity because her actions were reasonable under the Fourth Amendment; however, the court disagreed.

"We do not exempt child welfare workers from adhering to basic Fourth Amendment principles under non-exigent circumstances – to do so would be imprudent," the court stated. "… we do not believe that requiring a child welfare caseworker to act in accordance with basic Fourth Amendment principles is an undue burden on the child welfare system, particularly when it is necessary to conduct an examination of a child's body, which is undoubtedly 'frightening, humiliating and intrusive' to the child."

Crampton said Christian families have the freedom to follow scriptures in administering corporal punishment and should not have their rights violated by power-hungry government officials.

"That social workers and bureaucrats don't like it is no reason to allow the trampling of the constitutional rights of parents and their children," he said. "It is the high privilege and high responsibility of parents to oversee the care, custody and education of their children, not the state."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 20, 2008, 11:39:34 PM
Court strikes down partial-birth abortion ban
Even though similar federal law has been upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

A federal appeals court has ruled that Virginia's ban on late-term abortions, approved by the General Assembly in 2003 over objections from then governor Mark R. Warner (D), is unconstitutional.

In a ruling issued this afternoon, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said the procedures covered under Virginia's ban "imposes an undue burden on a woman's right to obtain an abortion."

The ruling will likely reignite the abortion debate in Virginia.

Supporters of Virginia's ban say it would stop the practice of killing infants moments after they are prematurely delivered. But the 2003 Virginia law did not include a health exception. Warner objected, but the legislature overrode him.

The 4th Circuit, one of the most conservative appellate courts in the nation, initially struck down the Virginia law in 2005 because it lacked an exception to safeguard a woman's health.

But in 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on some types of late-term abortions. The Supreme Court then sent the Virginia case back to the 4th Circuit for further reconsideration. Arguments were heard in November.

In today's 2 to 1 ruling, the appellate court noted there are differences between the federal ban and Virginia's law as it relates to the types of procedures that are prohibited.

The Richmond-based Family Foundation, which fought for the Virginia ban, said in a statement it hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will now reverse today's 4th Circuit ruling.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 20, 2008, 11:42:53 PM
House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on Tuesday allowing the Justice Department to sue OPEC members for limiting oil supplies and working together to set crude prices, but the White House threatened to veto the measure.

The bill would subject OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, to the same antitrust laws that U.S. companies must follow.

The measure passed in a 324-84 vote, a big enough margin to override a presidential veto.

The legislation also creates a Justice Department task force to aggressively investigate gasoline price gouging and energy market manipulation.

"This bill guarantees that oil prices will reflect supply and demand economic rules, instead of wildly speculative and perhaps illegal activities," said Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, who sponsored the legislation.

The lawmaker said Americans "are at the mercy" of OPEC for how much they pay for gasoline, which this week hit a record average of $3.79 a gallon.

The White House opposes the bill, saying that targeting OPEC investment in the United States as a source for damage awards "would likely spur retaliatory action against American interests in those countries and lead to a reduction in oil available to U.S. refiners."

The administration said less oil going to refineries would limit available gasoline supplies and raise fuel prices.

Foreign investment in U.S. oil infrastructure has declined in the last decade. But the state-owned oil companies of several OPEC nations are owners of U.S. refineries, and those investments could be affected if the legislation becomes law, said Arlington, Virginia-based FBR Capital Markets Corp.

The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office to carryout a study on the effects of prior oil company mergers on energy prices.

The Senate would still have to approve the House measure.

The Senate previously approved similar legislation as part of a broad energy bill. However, the OPEC-suing provision was removed after White House opposition in order to get the underlying energy legislation signed into law.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 22, 2008, 10:20:44 AM
OMB chief says Congress awaiting 'President Obama'
'It appears they believe they might have a better deal then'

The chief of the president's Office of Management and Budget says Congress appears to be awaiting "President Obama" for some budgeting decisions, hoping for a better result than they would get from President Bush.

Jim Nussle, head of the OMB, today was discussing the farm bill and a war supplemental appropriations plan at a White House press briefing.

Nussle was critical of Congress' performance, saying, "There are those who are suggesting we do need domestic spending – instead of accelerating the appropriations process for this coming year, instead it appears that Senate leaders, in particular, and even some in the House, are making the strategic decision to punt all of those appropriation bills until next year."

He continued, "So if the need is so urgent for spending, domestic spending, why not get your work done? Why not work on the appropriation bills instead of basically punting that until the middle of next year – which factually or technically they will be doing by waiting for what they believe is a Democrat president to make a better deal with?"

He said that suggests the issue is not about domestic spending, but is about "trying to hold the troops hostage in order to get a few pet projects."

Then he responded to the question: "What makes you think that they're punting until next year on the appropriation?"

"First of all, no appropriations bills are making it through the process. It appears through all of their announcements that they have made that – or many of the announcements that they have made that they believe that they might have a better deal with the next president. I assume they mean a President Obama. That being the case, they've decided instead to go for a continuing resolution strategy and wait for a better deal," he said.

He didn't correct the reference to "President Obama" or elaborate, so Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House, then asked, "I believe I heard you mention the words 'President Obama.' Does this mean the Bush administration is contending there is no chance for a President Hillary?"

"You know, as soon as that word came out of my mouth I thought, I should have made sure I attributed that to Sen. [Harry] Reid. I believe Sen. Reid was suggesting that. I have no prediction on the Democratic primary," Nussle then clarified.

In two other questions, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino dodged answering about measures to address the energy situation in America.

Kinsolving first asked: "Scott Stanzel, during Monday's briefing, spoke of the need to expand oil exploration in ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf, which columnist Cal Thomas notes has an estimated 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. But President Clinton vetoed exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And my question: Does the president believe that this veto compares to those claims of environmentalists that the Alaska pipeline would destroy the caribou?"

"I don't know – I'd have to consult Scott Stanzel on that," Perino said.

"Beg your pardon?"

"I was kidding. There's no room for humor," Perino said.

"There is room for humor. I'd be delighted to have humor," Kinsolving said.

"Not in this room. Look, our position on why we need to increase domestic exploration and production here in our own country is well known. It is critical if we are going to send a signal to the world market that we are serious about becoming more self-sufficient in our own country. And concerns about the caribou I believe have been taken into consideration, and that we have demonstrated that we have the technologies to be able to drill in a way that would protect the environment – not only the natural resources there, but also the caribou," Perino said.

Kinsolving also asked: "Reuters reports the House of Representatives voted 324-84 to have the Justice Department sue OPEC …"

"That's seems like a really large Congress," Perino said.

"…for limiting oil supplies and colluding on prices. And my question: Does the president believe the Senate will not follow the House in a similar veto-proof vote? And if not, why not?" Kinsolving finished.

"I don't know," Perino said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 23, 2008, 11:49:50 AM
Federal court rules against military's 'gay' policy
Some believe decision could mean end of 'don't ask, don't tell'

The U.S. military cannot automatically discharge people because they are gay, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday in the case of a decorated flight nurse who sued the Air Force over her dismissal.

The three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not strike down the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. But they reinstated Maj. Margaret Witt's lawsuit, saying the Air Force must prove that her dismissal furthered the military's goals of troop readiness and unit cohesion.

The "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue, don't harass" policy prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but requires discharge of those who acknowledge being gay or engaging in homosexual activity.

Wednesday's ruling led opponents of the policy to declare its days numbered. It is also the first appeals court ruling in the country that evaluated the policy through the lens of a 2003 Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas ban on sodomy as an unconstitutional intrusion on privacy.

Military policy
When gay service members have sued over their dismissals, courts historically have accepted the military's argument that having gays in the service is generally bad for morale and can lead to sexual tension.

But the Supreme Court's opinion in the Texas case changed the legal landscape, the judges said, and requires more scrutiny over whether "don't ask, don't tell" is constitutional as applied in individual cases.

Under Wednesday's ruling, military officials "need to prove that having this particular gay person in the unit really hurts morale, and the only way to improve morale is to discharge this person," said Aaron Caplan, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington state who worked on the case.

Witt, a flight nurse based at McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma, was suspended without pay in 2004 after the Air Force received a tip that she had been in a long-term relationship with a civilian woman. Witt was honorably discharged in October 2007 after having put in 18 years — two short of what she needed to receive retirement benefits.

She sued the Air Force in 2006, but U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton dismissed her claims, saying the Supreme Court's ruling in Lawrence v. Texas did not change the legality of "don't ask, don't tell."

The appeals court judges disagreed.

"When the government attempts to intrude upon the personal and private lives of homosexuals, the government must advance an important governmental interest ... and the intrusion must be necessary to further that interest," wrote Judge Ronald M. Gould.

End of 'don't ask, don't tell'
Gay service members who are discharged can sue in federal court, and if the military doesn't prove it had a good reason for the dismissal, the cases will go forward, Caplan said.

Another attorney for Witt, James Lobsenz, hailed the ruling as the beginning of the end for "don't ask, don't tell."

"If the various branches of the Armed Forces have to start proving each application of the policy makes sense, then it's not going to be only Maj. Witt who's going to win," Lobsenz said. "Eventually, they're going to say, 'This is dumb. ... It's time to scrap the policy.'"

An Air Force spokeswoman said she had no comment on the decision and directed inquiries to the Defense Department.

Lt. Col. Todd Vician, a Defense spokesman, said he did not know specifics of the case and could not comment beyond noting that "the DOD policy simply enacts the law as set forth by Congress."

Witt joined the Air Force in 1987 and switched from active duty to the reserves in 1995. She cared for injured patients on military flights and in operating rooms. She was promoted to major in 1999, and she deployed to Oman in 2003 in support of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

A citation from President Bush that year said, "Her airmanship and courage directly contributed to the successful accomplishment of important missions under extremely hazardous conditions."

Her suspension and discharge came during a shortage of flight nurses and outraged many of her colleagues — one of whom, a sergeant, retired in protest.

"I am thrilled by the court's recognition that I can't be discharged without proving that I was harmful to morale," Witt said in a statement. "I am proud of my career and want to continue doing my job. Wounded people never asked me about my sexual orientation. They were just glad to see me there."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 23, 2008, 02:35:22 PM
Congresswoman threatens to nationalize oil industry
Maxine Waters warns Shell president in House committee hearing

In a grilling of oil executives by a House panel yesterday, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., threatened to nationalize the industry if it didn't do something about the rising prices at the pump.

A report by Fox News, captured in a clip posted on YouTube.com, showed Waters challenging the president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, to guarantee the prices consumers pay will go down if the oil companies are allowed to drill wherever they want off of U.S. shores.

Hofmeister replied: "I can guarantee to the American people, because of the inaction of the United States Congress, ever-increasing prices unless the demand comes down. And the $5 will look like a very low price in the years to come if we are prohibited from finding new reserves, new opportunities to increase supplies."

Waters responded, in part, "And guess what this liberal would be all about. This liberal will be about socializing … uh, um. …"

The congresswoman paused to collect her thoughts.

"Would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies. …"

The oil executives responded, according to Fox News, by saying they've seen this before, in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.

__________________

It looks like the liberals are just exposing their objective of socialism instead of doing their part in solving the problem.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 26, 2008, 11:23:34 AM
Names of those opposing oil plan 'interesting'
'Certain United States senators from Illinois and New York' on list

The White House says it certainly is "interesting" to see the names of U.S. senators who opposed a plan to allow oil exploration and production in a tiny fragment of the massive Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including the names of "certain" senators from Illinois and New York.

The comment came in response to a question from Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House. He asked:

"Senate Minority Leader [Mitch] McConnell, [R-Ky.] and 28 other Republican senators introduced the Domestic Energy Production Act to allow oil production in only eight percent of the entire ANWR area. And my question: Does the White House believe that the nation needs to know that among those senators who voted to defeat this bill, which could have cut the now huge cost of gasoline, were certain United States senators from Illinois and New York?"

"No; it's very interesting, though. Thanks for pointing it out," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said today.

"The president realizes this, doesn't he?" continued Kinsolving.

"I don't know if he did a whip count," Perino said.

With gasoline costs for consumers skyrocketing in recent months to a level of around $4 a gallon now, McConnell's plan, the American Energy Production Act, S.2958, was added this week to the Flood Insurance Bill "as a solution to combat increases in oil prices and their effects on energy and commercial products," according to a report on the ANWR website. Opposing it were Democrat presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

McConnell said a previous highly touted "commonsense" plan from Democrats to lower gasoline prices had failed.

McConnell, instead of releasing oil from reserves, is calling for the opening of the outer continental shelf as well as the 10-02 Area of ANWR in Alaska, both of which are known to hold vast amounts of oil and gas reserves that right now are locked up by Congressional bans on exploration and production.

The ANWR report said, "decreasing supply when demand is going through the roof, McConnell argues, is a sure way to raise the price not lower it."

Theh report continued that McConnell noted that had then-President Clinton not vetoed successful ANWR legislation in 1995 the U.S. would be getting more than a million barrels of oil a day from the 10-02 area alone.

Also recommending action regarding the ANWR oil reserves are Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Reps. Mike Ross, D-Ark., and Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

The ANWR report said oil from that location "is predicted to increase American production by over one million barrels per day which at $100-plus per barrel prices is a tremendous savings to our national debt and boost to our economy."

The report continued, "This will be compounded by the hundreds of thousands of jobs that will be created nationwide from production in the 10-02 and also the up to $280 billion in tax royalties the federal government would gain from production."

In another question, Kinsolving asked about the status of U.S. currency.

"After six years of legal effort, the American Council for the Blind has finally won a decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that since all paper money, from $1s to $100s, are the same size, this discriminates against the blind. And my question: Since a federal judge noted that more than 100 other countries vary the size of their bills, does the White House believe we should as well?"

"That is something that the Treasury Department has been handling. They are named in the lawsuit, and they are taking it very seriously. And they'll be talking with the Justice Department, I'm sure, to determine their next steps, because I don't think – the litigation is not completed yet," said Perino.

That ruling affirmed a 2006 decision from a lower court, and observers speculate it could be the trigger to a redesign of U.S. currency.

The government had argued that even though the bills all are the same size, there are alternatives, such as using credit cards for using store clerks for help.

But the court opinion said the government failed to explain why changing the money would be an undue burden, noting the currency already has undergone changes in recent years, and adding raised marks or something to accommodate the blind would cost little.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on May 26, 2008, 03:41:00 PM
Quote
With gasoline costs for consumers skyrocketing in recent months to a level of around $4 a gallon now, McConnell's plan, the American Energy Production Act, S.2958, was added this week to the Flood Insurance Bill "as a solution to combat increases in oil prices and their effects on energy and commercial products," according to a report on the ANWR website. Opposing it were Democrat presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

Things like this really don't surprise me any more. It's hard to imagine but true that many of our politicians are Anti-American and don't even pay good lip-service to our biggest problems. Instead, they simply want to create new problems with massive government programs that will most certainly fail and break the bank. Besides, we're anxious for our taxes to go up!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on May 26, 2008, 05:10:07 PM
Things like this really don't surprise me any more. It's hard to imagine but true that many of our politicians are Anti-American and don't even pay good lip-service to our biggest problems. Instead, they simply want to create new problems with massive government programs that will most certainly fail and break the bank. Besides, we're anxious for our taxes to go up!

I don't think there is a single one that really cares about anything unless it lines their pockets.  They're proving that they could give a plugged nickle about the people.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on May 26, 2008, 05:54:47 PM
I don't think there is a single one that really cares about anything unless it lines their pockets.  They're proving that they could give a plugged nickle about the people.

 ;)  Sister,

If they find out that you have a plugged nickel, they'll find a way to take it. Hide it, and we'll keep this a secret.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 27, 2008, 10:45:26 AM
FCC considers stealthy 'Fairness Doctrine'

An English-language advocate is encouraging citizens to sign a petition expressing opposition to proposed new regulations by the FCC that would amount to a backdoor Fairness Doctrine.     

In a 2007 report, an ultra-liberal think tank known as The Center for American Progress issued a report called "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio." Jim Boulet of English First says its agenda was to cleverly recast the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" by using the term "localism."
 
"In 2007, they issued a report in which they bragged that if they could get more women and minorities to own stations, there'd be fewer stations carrying programs like Rush Limbaugh. What the regulations also do is we create a board of censors, really, who the radio station would have to meet with four times a year to listen to all their complaints -- and if they weren't satisfied, the radio station could lose its license," Boulet points out.
 
Unfortunately, he says, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has bought into the agenda with its "Report on Broadcast Localism and Notice of Proposed Rulemaker."
 
"Because the American people know how diabolical the Fairness Doctrine is, those who want to re-impose it on the airwaves and shut down programs have found a backdoor way to do it with the so-called 'localism' doctrine," Boulet contends.
 
One of the proposed regulations would require racial and sexual quotas for station ownership, and another would require that all "licensees should convene and consult with permanent advisory boards." Boulet says he knows what that will mean.
 
"These boards are going to be made up of people like the [Council on] American-Islamic Relations, The National Council of La Raza – all a bunch of professional grievance mongers who will never be satisfied until programs like Rush Limbaugh are no longer on the air," Boulet explains.
 
According to Boulet, the review process is expected to end on June 11, at which time the FCC will decide what to do. Should the proposals go into effect, he says Congress would need to pass a Resolution of Disapproval in both the House and the Senate to void the regulations. The website keeprushontheair.com carries a petition allowing individuals to let the FCC and elected officials know of their opposition to the localism doctrine.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 28, 2008, 11:05:40 AM
Scouts sue after Philly demands rent or new policy

A Boy Scouts chapter engaged in a long fight over gay rights has sued the city of Philadelphia to try to avoid paying $200,000 a year in rent to stay in the city-owned space that has been its headquarters for 80 years.

The Cradle of Liberty Council currently pays $1 annually for the space, but the city has given it until Saturday to open their membership to gays or start being charged fair-market rent.

The federal suit filed Friday accuses the city of censorship for targeting the Scouts but maintaining free or nominal leases with other groups that limit membership, such as Baptist and Roman Catholic church groups and The Colonial Dames of America.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts, as a private group, have a First Amendment right to bar gays. But the policy has had consequences, with municipalities, charities and donors withholding support.

"We will not allow discrimination in providing services on city property," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said Tuesday.

A 1982 city ordinance bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and other grounds.

"We're not punishing them for not admitting homosexuals," City Solicitor Shelley Smith said. "But they can't get free rent and violate our policy."

Smith said the city was unaware of any discrimination by other groups with city-subsidized space, but that it would investigate any complaints.

The Cradle of Liberty Council oversees about 300 troops in Philadelphia and suburban Delaware and Montgomery counties. It serves about 70,000 children, including 50,000 in the city, the suit said.

The Scouts say the higher rent would force them to cut programs, and represents the cost of sending about 800 needy children to summer camp.

"They're providing a tremendous public benefit. They're giving back a whole lot more than what they get from the city," said lawyer Jason Gosselin, who represents the Cradle of Liberty Council.

The group adopted an explicit nondiscrimination policy in 2003 after negotiations with the city. But it was forced to rescind it when the Boy Scouts of America said Philadelphia Scout officials could not deviate from national rules barring participation by anyone who is openly gay.

The Cradle of Liberty Council then negotiated compromise language that barred "unlawful discrimination."

"It was a non-issue once the 2004 agreement was reached, and then sort of out of the blue it's being brought up again," Gosselin said.

Smith said the city fears that the language does not go far enough—and provides the Scouts wiggle room to ban gays by citing the Supreme Court ruling.

"I think they think that their First Amendment right trumps our local ordinance," Smith said.

The city owns the Beaux Arts headquarters constructed by the Scouts in 1928 and the land beneath it. The Scouts have spent about $60,000 a year to maintain the building, and another $1.5 million for renovations in 1994, the suit said.

The building would be far from the first loss associated with the Boy Scouts' policy on homosexuals.

Film director Steven Spielberg resigned from the national group's advisory board. The city of Berkeley, Calif., stopped lending its marina for free to the Berkeley Sea Scouts. United Way chapters stopped funding programs, and the Defense Department stopped sponsoring troops.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 29, 2008, 05:03:38 PM
Voters to decide whether unborn 'persons'
Nation's 1st statewide initiative seen by some as threat to Roe v. Wade

Colorado voters in November will become the first statewide electorate in the nation to decide whether the unborn should be granted "personhood" under the law, pro-life advocates announced today.

Officials with Colorado for Equal Rights, which is sponsoring the proposed state constitutional amendment, confirmed state officials notified them enough valid signatures had been verified to place the issue on the election ballot.

The Colorado secretary of state's office confirmed 103,377 valid signatures, far surpassing the 76,047 required for the amendment, the group said. Officials with Colorado for Equal Rights said it will be the first time in U.S. history the issue of personhood will be decided in a statewide election.

"The people of Colorado have spoken, the secretary of state's office has certified our signatures and our equal rights amendment will be on November's ballot," said Kristi Burton, a spokeswoman for the organization.

"All humans should be protected by love and by law, and this amendment is a historic effort to ensure equal rights for every person," she said.

The group earlier turned in more than 131,000 signatures, officials said. The voters now are being asked to extend the U.S. Constitution's protections to the unborn, something supporters say the U.S. founders intended all along.

In a campaign that opponents fret is a direct challenge to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Consitution grants a right to abortion, the Colorado personhood amendment is a simple proposal.

"This proposed constitutional amendment will define a person in Colorado as a human being from the moment of fertilization, the moment when life begins," according to a statement at Colorado for Equal Rights.

"This amendment will establish a cornerstone for protecting human life in our society … and we all know this is the right thing to do," the statement said. "This campaign is not about the power of money – it is about the power of truth.

"We are giving Colorado voters an opportunity to vote their conscience and protect the most innocent and helpless ones among us. If life is protected from the very beginning, Colorado for Equal Rights believes that we can transform our nation from a culture of death into a culture of life," the group said.

The sponsors assembled more than 1,300 volunteer petition circulators.

"We at Colorado for Equal Rights are incredibly thankful for our many volunteers who worked so hard for each signature we delivered to the secretary of state's office and the churches who stood behind us and supported us," Burton continued. "This victory is the voice of the people and all credit goes our Creator."

Officials said the effort puts Colorado, where the nation's first state law allowing abortion was written by Dick Lamm, a former governor, at the front of efforts to protect life in the U.S.

"It gives us a foundation before we can make other pro-life laws," Burton said.

The same plan has been put forward in several state legislatures, but Colorado's campaign is the most advanced across the nation, she said.

Abortion industry leaders such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado are opposed to the plan.

But personhood arguments started gaining momentum after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the procedure known as partial-birth abortion can be restricted.

Groups, including Focus on the Family, noted it was the first court opinion in years that actually supported abortion restrictions and said it was a moral victory, while others, including the America Life League, countered that the court ruling actually would not prohibit a single abortion, just a way of doing them.

The Colorado plan targets a loophole U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun created when he wrote the original abortion opinion.

He concluded: "(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."

By defining the unborn as a person, supporters believe, voters can simply spread the covering of constitutional protection over them, too.

As WND reported, a recent Colorado case highlighted what supporters describe as the need for the change.

In the case, a Colorado judge dismissed some charges against a man who caused a fatal car crash, because the victim, at 8½ months of a pregnancy, had not yet been born.

"'Person' is a defined term for purposes of the homicide statutes," wrote Judge Richard Gurley in a March decision in the case involving the death of Lileigh Lehnen, the born-alive daughter of 26-year-old Shea Lehnen.

"The definition states that 'person,' when referring to the victim of a homicide, means a human being who had been born and was alive at the time of the homicidal act," the judge said.

Lileigh Lehnen was born during an emergency C-Section after the November 2007 accident that was triggered when Logan Lage, 24, apparently drove on the wrong side of the road and crashed his vehicle headon into Lehnen's car.

Lileigh Lehnen lived several hours and died of asphyxia, according to Mesa County Deputy Coroner Rob Kurtzman, who concluded the baby's death was a homicide and said the collision damaged the mother's placenta, limiting blood flow to the newborn.

Lage was facing a series of charges because of the baby's death, but his public defender, Will McNulty, challenged them on the grounds that the state law excluded the baby from the possibility of being a homicide victim.

The judge's order said Colorado law doesn't allow Lileigh Lehnen to be considered either a "person" or a "child" at the time of the crash.

"This outrageous ruling is a clear example of they hypocrisy of Colorado law," said Burton at the time. "If a child like Lileigh is not a person, what is she? There is no other answer."

Leslie Hanks, a longtime activist in the pro-life movement in Colorado, has said the affirmation that all "persons" have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights including the right to life is exactly what the nation's founders had in mind when they established the country.

"Colorado, which regrettably was in the forefront of the movement to deny the right to life to millions of the unborn, has now taken the first step to restore the right to life to all Americans, regardless of age, dependency, national origin or condition," said John Archibold, a founder of Colorado Right to Life as well as National Right to Life.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 30, 2008, 08:56:05 AM
Plan transforms doctors from healers to killers
State bill mandates physicians tell patients about assisted suicide

By the narrow margin of two votes, a bill has passed the California State Assembly that detractors are saying allows doctors to push patients toward medically assisted suicide.

The bill, AB 2747, would change the law by enabling doctors to first declare a patient as having less than a year to live, then requiring the doctor to provide the patient with a long list of end-of-life options, including a last-moments option that looks suspiciously like euthanasia.

Critics of the bill, which was advanced yesterday, point to a provision that adds "palliative sedation" and VSED (voluntary stopping of eating and drinking) to a patient's end-of-life options, extreme measures that have been previously reserved for patients within a few hours to a few days of death.

If the bill becomes law, critics say, a doctor could pronounce a patient within a year of death, encourage him to consider complete (sometimes irreversible) sedation, then proceed with VSED until the patient, unconscious and unaware, starved and dehydrated to death – in effect, physician-assisted suicide for anyone deemed "within a year of death."

Assemblymember Patty Berg, who co-sponsored the bill, wrote in California's Capitol Weekly that AB 2747 merely "requires healthcare providers to give complete answers to their terminal patients."

The bill itself states that "lack of communication between health care providers and their terminally ill patients can cause problems" and that "those problems are complicated by social issues, such as cultural and religious pressures." Further, "a recent survey found that providers that object to certain practices are less likely than others to believe they have an obligation to present all of the options to patients and refer patients to other providers."

Randy Thomasson, president of president of Campaign for Children and Families, a California-based pro-life group, says, however, "This deceptive bill will cause death and shorten life, despite its claims."

Thomasson sees an imminent danger that unscrupulous or cost-driven doctors might use the bill's provisions for communication as license to tell patients their death is coming within the year and move them toward life-ending choices.

"Some people are told they have a year to live," he points out, "then go on to live healthily for 12."

He also points out that in a state where food and hydration are considered "extraordinary measures" in living wills, patients stunned by the news they have less than a year to live may opt for choices that lead directly to their death. Depressed or confused patients might agree to the sedation, then die through VSED.

"Drying up and shriveling to death through dehydration is a fate worse than lethal injection," says Thomasson. "By transforming palliative sedation into a vehicle for assisted suicide, AB 2747 would transform doctors and nurses from healers and comforters into killers."

AB 2747 marks the fourth time in four years that Berg has attempted to pass legislation regarding end-of-life circumstances. Her previous attempts were more clearly euthanasia-related, including a bill in 2007 that would have permitted death by lethal injection.

Berg insists AB 2747 is not of the same mold: "Unlike my previous end-of-life bill," she wrote, "my new bill doesn’t give anyone any new options…Some, however, are still fighting last year’s battle and are trying to convince the gullible that my new bill is a Trojan horse, designed somehow to legalize aid-in-dying."

Thomassom sees Berg's value on "knowing all the options" as misguided.

"People who are ill need support, spiritual care, and counseling," he says, not dire predictions of death and options for dying. "Just as the assisted-suicide bills of the last three years have been rejected, so should the California Legislature reject AB 2747. Assisted suicide by total sedation ignores the sanctity of human life and violates life-affirming medical ethics."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on May 30, 2008, 11:43:17 PM
Plan transforms doctors from healers to killers
State bill mandates physicians tell patients about assisted suicide

By the narrow margin of two votes, a bill has passed the California State Assembly that detractors are saying allows doctors to push patients toward medically assisted suicide.


I can just see where this could go.  If a patient refuses, is the "doctor" going to "help and/or push" him anyway?  Is this how the "new" govenment is going to keep health costs down?  What a crock.  Totally unbelievable!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on May 30, 2008, 11:45:57 PM
I feel like we are living in a nightmare.  I just can't imagine what it will be like for those that are left behind.  The sad part is that they don't even see it coming!  By the time they do....
Well, I'm glad I won't be here, but still, just to watch it developing is so heart breaking.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on May 30, 2008, 11:53:38 PM
It is difficult to believe that so many people would be that naive to such things but it is believeable that it is happening as we are told in scriptures that such will be.

Yes, my heart goes out to all that will be here during the coming hard times.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on May 31, 2008, 12:36:20 AM
I feel like we are living in a nightmare.  I just can't imagine what it will be like for those that are left behind.  The sad part is that they don't even see it coming!  By the time they do....
Well, I'm glad I won't be here, but still, just to watch it developing is so heart breaking.

Hello GrammyLuv,

Sister, I think about this all the time. It's extremely troubling that many Christians don't see it coming either. Sadly, I really think this is because many Christians these days spend very little time with their Bibles. Very SADLY, many Christians these days really are "drive-thru" or "microwave" Christians. In the meantime, GOD is still serving spiritual food we need for these difficult times, but we do have to stop long enough to take it and eat it. There are also many critical things that we need to be doing for our families, our friends, and the lost.

Think about this one:  What would the average Christian be doing if they knew this was the last day, week, or month?


Love In Christ,
Tom

P.S. Please see the following two posts. I haven't posted them in some time, and I feel now is a perfect time.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on May 31, 2008, 12:37:13 AM
Matthew 24:23-31 NASB
"Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him. "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. "Behold, I have told you in advance. "So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them. "For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. "Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. "But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. "And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Matthew 24:32-44 NASB
"Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. "Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. "Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Revelation 11:1-13 NASB
Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. "Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months. "And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Ezekiel 7:1-9 NASB
Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me saying, "And you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel, 'An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land. 'Now the end is upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways and bring all your abominations upon you. 'For My eye will have no pity on you, nor will I spare you, but I will bring your ways upon you, and your abominations will be among you; then you will know that I am the LORD!' "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'A disaster, unique disaster, behold it is coming! 'An end is coming; the end has come! It has awakened against you; behold, it has come! 'Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come, the day is near--tumult rather than joyful shouting on the mountains. 'Now I will shortly pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you; judge you according to your ways and bring on you all your abominations. 'My eye will show no pity nor will I spare. I will repay you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst; then you will know that I, the LORD, do the smiting.

Ezekiel 7:14-20 NASB
'They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but no one is going to the battle, for My wrath is against all their multitude. 'The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city. 'Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, each over his own iniquity. 'All hands will hang limp and all knees will become like water. 'They will gird themselves with sackcloth and shuddering will overwhelm them; and shame will be on all faces and baldness on all their heads. 'They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling. 'They transformed the beauty of His ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things with it; therefore I will make it an abhorrent thing to them.

Ezekiel 7:25-27 NASB
'When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none. 'Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be added to rumor; then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law will be lost from the priest and counsel from the elders. 'The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the LORD.'"


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on May 31, 2008, 12:38:20 AM
Ezekiel 38:14-23 NASB
"Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it? "You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog." 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days through My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them? "It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," declares the Lord GOD, "that My fury will mount up in My anger. "In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. "The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. "I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains," declares the Lord GOD. "Every man's sword will be against his brother. "With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone. "I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD."'

Ezekiel 39:1-7 NASB
"And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel. "I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand. "You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. "You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken," declares the Lord GOD. "And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD. "My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.

Ezekiel 39:17-22 NASB
"As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, "Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. "You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. "So you will eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. "You will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war," declares the Lord GOD. "And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. "And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward.

Ezekiel 39:25-29 NASB
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. "They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. "When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. "Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. "I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD.

Isaiah 2:1-5 NASB
The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war. Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

Isaiah 9:2-7 NASB
The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

Isaiah 65:17-25 NASB
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness. "I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying. "No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will be thought accursed. "They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. "They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands. "They will not labor in vain, Or bear children for calamity; For they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, And their descendants with them. "It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. "The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent's food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain," says the LORD.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on May 31, 2008, 12:44:14 AM
Brothers and Sisters, there will be a literal RULE AND REIGN OF CHRIST! Israel will be restored, and these are the Promises of GOD to Israel! However, Israel is FORE-ORDAINED by GOD to endure much more suffering in the Tribulation Period before GOD will fulfill HIS Promise. Make no mistake - GOD will fulfill this promise, and it will be after THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST!

Isaiah 2:1-5 NASB
The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war. Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

Isaiah 9:2-7 NASB
The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them. You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian. For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on May 31, 2008, 04:52:02 PM
Think oil prices hurt now? Just wait

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2248967220080522?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=10005 (http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2248967220080522?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=10005)

Sky-high oil prices are causing pain at the pump, but bills for air conditioning this summer and heating next winter -- combined with rising food costs -- promise to squeeze U.S. consumers even more.

With gas at $4.00 a gallon, households already have less to spend on a new grill at Home Depot; a vacation at Walt Disney's Disney World; a new TV from Best Buy Co; or a new "hog" from Harley-Davidson Co.

And there are no signs things will get better soon for the consumer, long the driving force of U.S. economic growth.

"For the areas of the economy that rely on heating oil, high fuel prices are going to be another blow to the consumer this winter," said Jack Kyser, chief economist at the LA County Economic Development Corp.

"The hotter states will feel the pinch during the summer months but in the mid-America states where you get hot summers and cold winters, it's going to be very uncomfortable," he said.

"This is going to eat into the disposable income of American consumers -- supposing they have any left."

Oil prices, now $130 a barrel, have risen six-fold since 2002. On Wednesday, heating oil reached a record high above $3.90 a gallon and the price is expected to stay high.

Heating oil, which cost $3.29 a gallon in January, will likely cost $3.83 in December, according to the government's Energy Information Administration.

Those costs come at a time of rising food prices, forcing people to spend more on basics as wages fail to keep up. The effects on the economy could be profound.

"The American consumer will continue to pay for fuel, food and heat," said University of Maryland economist Peter Morici.

"But they will give everything else up," he said. "That's going to make it harder to sell the average consumer a television, a suit, or even a meal at a restaurant."

HARD TIMES

This could become an especially depressing reality in July and August, when back-to-school shopping starts, and in November, when holiday shopping gets under way.

Without strong sales during both of those shopping seasons, retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, J.C. Penney and Sears could post bleak results for the last two quarters of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

For many years, the consumer has been the engine of U.S. growth, accounting for around 70 percent of the economy.

But much recent spending has been done on credit, leaving Americans with a negative savings rate.

Now that consumers have been hit by the double-whammy of a weak economy and higher costs, the question is how much damage the engine has sustained and how long it will take to fix it.

Peter Schiff, president of money manager Euro Pacific Capital, warns that after years of profligate spending, the "chickens are finally coming home to roost".

"Our whole phony standard of living is imploding," he said. "We have borrowed and spent ourselves into oblivion."

"It's amazing that people can't figure out that America is broke."

WINTER OF DISCONTENT

Diane Swonk, chief economist of Mesirow Financial, says one of her biggest concerns for the short term is that the Bush administration's tax rebates, which were designed to stimulate the economy, will be used by consumers to fill their tanks and use air conditioning as usual rather than cutting back.

Many retailers, like Wal-Mart and Sears and supermarkets Kroger and Supervalu, have offered customers incentives to spend their rebate checks with them.

President George W. Bush signed into law a $152 billion fiscal stimulus package earlier this year to provide tax rebates to 130 million Americans. Some $107 billion of the total was allocated for households.

"The tax rebate is going to be a double-edged sword for consumers," Swonk said. "When the heating bills start coming in the fall things will not look so good."

"That should contribute to a contraction in consumer spending in the fourth quarter," she added.

Swonk said that among the industries that will continue to feel the pinch is the auto industry, a major employer.

That likely means that Thursday's announcement by Ford Motor Co that it was abandoning its long-touted goal of returning to profitability by 2009 will be followed by more bad news from Detroit.

With Ford and General Motors shares getting a battering on Thursday, investors were asking if the long-term prognosis of the Detroit automakers was becoming even bleaker.

"The economic circumstances are not good for Ford and they are not good for any of the automakers really; this isn't anything that is a Ford exclusive," said Erich Merkle, director of forecasting for consulting firm IRN Inc.

Edward Leamer, head of the UCLA Anderson Forecast Center, said that thanks to the combination of high spending in recent years and rocketing fuel costs, the consumer-engine of U.S. economic growth is close to failing.

"The global markets are telling us we are not as wealthy as we think we are and that we have spent beyond our means," he said. But Leamer said while the engine may be broken, the U.S. economic model is not: it just needs a new engine.

Thanks to the "rosy spot" of exports helped by a weak dollar, plus strength in commodities like coal and grains, the UCLA Anderson Forecast Center predicts the U.S. economy will suffer only a mild recession this year.

But without that retail engine of growth, "our long-term prospect is for sluggish U.S. economic growth," Leamer said.

"Unfortunately, there is nothing on the horizon in the U.S. economy that will take over from the consumer."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on May 31, 2008, 05:03:18 PM
Ezekiel 7:14-20 NASB
'They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but no one is going to the battle, for My wrath is against all their multitude. 'The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city. 'Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, each over his own iniquity. 'All hands will hang limp and all knees will become like water. 'They will gird themselves with sackcloth and shuddering will overwhelm them; and shame will be on all faces and baldness on all their heads. 'They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling. 'They transformed the beauty of His ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things with it; therefore I will make it an abhorrent thing to them.

Ezekiel 7:25-27 NASB
'When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none. 'Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be added to rumor; then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law will be lost from the priest and counsel from the elders. 'The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the LORD.'"


Seems to me that this is where we are.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on May 31, 2008, 11:21:19 PM
Seems to me that this is where we are.

Hello GrammyLuv,

Sister Yvette, there are portions of the Holy Bible that give very harsh and graphic descriptions. I still think that we're only close. I think we could multiply what we're seeing now by 100 and be there. I think the times will become so bad that many skeptics will start taking another look at the HOLY BIBLE. I think that the harsh and graphic descriptions will match perfectly at GOD'S Appointed time, and there will be little doubt for someone who can read a BIBLE. However, we are told that many will be deceived. As an individual, I don't believe that Christians will be here, but this is simply a matter of opinion on my part. I think that much depends on how one defines "WRATH". The CHURCH WHICH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST was not formed for WRATH - rather RESCUE AND SALVATION. Regardless of opinion, the times of the Tribulation Period may be rapidly approaching. Daniel called it a time "DETERMINED AGAINST ISRAEL", and the last half of the Tribulation period is known as "JACOB'S TROUBLE". The last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation Period is much worse, and this is why many people feel that the CHURCH will be RAPTURED "Mid-Tribulation". Others believe the RAPTURE is "Post-Tribulation". Regardless, it will be a horrible time. Daniel and other Old Testament Prophets knew NOTHING about the CHURCH WHICH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST. In fact, nobody knew about it until it was revealed to the Apostle Paul. THE TWELVE knew nothing about it until Paul taught them and convinced them. This is still causing great confusion today.

Israel is still waiting for her KING and MESSIAH. As Christians, we already have HIM, and HE rescued us from the curse of sin and death. In other words, Israel is waiting for an EARTHLY KING AND KINGDOM. As Christians, we have already been given a HEAVENLY KING AND KINGDOM. There's another interesting way to put this:  1) Israel is still waiting for a promised EARTHLY HOME and rescue by a promised KING and MESSIAH;  2) As Christians, we've already been rescued and have a HEAVENLY HOME with JESUS CHRIST. We're waiting to go HOME.


Love In Christ,
Tom

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 07, 2008, 02:45:54 PM
Prop. 13 property taxes in the voters' hands

Thirty years ago today, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13 as a way to keep seniors from losing their homes to skyrocketing property taxes. But the 1978 vote also ignited a revolution that dramatically changed the way people across America look at government and taxes.

The grassroots initiative has saved California property owners billions of dollars since it was passed, but the shackles Prop. 13 put on the ability of state and local governments to increase taxes could turn out to be its most important legacy. Even today, with the state facing a $17 billion budget shortfall, tax increases face certain opposition from many legislators and voters.

"Clearly, the Prop. 13 movement had the general attitude ... that government and its ability to tax people isn't to be trusted," said Mark Baldassare, head of the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. "That's very much the theme that Ronald Reagan picked up when he ran for president in 1980, and it's had a dramatic impact on national politics, particularly on the Republican side."

When GOP Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia put together his "Contract with America" in 1994 as part of the successful Republican effort to take control of Congress, his call for requiring a three-fifths majority vote on tax increases was straight out of Prop. 13. And when liberal Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama says that, as president, he would reverse President Bush's tax cuts only for the wealthiest Americans, he recognizes the same middle-class antipathy to taxes that Prop. 13's backers saw three decades ago.
A distrust of officials

Both Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann, the public faces of Prop. 13, disliked government almost as much as they despised taxes, and neither was willing to trust elected officials to do the right thing with the public's money.

That's one reason the measure not only put tight limits on property taxes but also required a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for state tax increases and a two-thirds vote of the people for most local tax boosts.

"The disaster of the moment was that people were being taxed out of their homes," said Joel Fox, past president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. "But Howard Jarvis and others behind the initiative were determined that they were going to control the tax monster."
More than property tax relief

The heated discussions backers of Prop. 13 had when they were putting the initiative together make it clear they were looking for more than property tax relief, said Ted Costa, who runs the People's Advocate, an organization founded by Gann.

"The overwhelming opinion was that the purpose of Prop. 13 was to limit the size of government," he said. "By the month before the election, it was clear that blue-collar voters and homeowners everywhere were using Prop. 13 to send a message to government."

It's a message that even many opponents of the initiative admit was needed.

For decades before 1978, property tax in California was based on a percentage of the assessed value of a home. Every two or three years, the county assessor would look at the sales prices of homes in a neighborhood and set a new and generally higher assessment, which generally meant higher property taxes.

But this low-key process went haywire in the runaway inflation of the 1970s, which sent home prices - and assessments - soaring. Homeowners paying $500 a year in property taxes in 1972 found themselves looking at a $2,000 tax bill in 1978. Between 1974 and 1978, the average value of a California home jumped from $34,000 to $85,000, and property taxes rose with it.

Homeowners, many of them seniors on fixed incomes, couldn't come up with the cash for their dramatically higher property tax bills and faced the terrifying prospect of losing the houses they had lived in for decades.

In one of the great grassroots political efforts in California history, Jarvis and Gann, joined by an army of angry and anxious homeowners, collected more than twice as many signatures as needed to get the initiative on the ballot. On election day, Prop. 13 passed with 65 percent of the vote.

But those angry voters didn't just celebrate and go home. After tasting the political power of ballot-box democracy, they quickly went back for more.

A year later, Gann wrote an initiative to limit government spending that passed with 74 percent of the vote. In 1982, Proposition 7, which prevented state income tax from rising with inflation, passed. Proposition 218, a 1996 initiative, required a public vote on many local assessment increases.
Tightening the screws

Each new measure tightened the screws on state and local government, either limiting revenues or making it tougher to raise money through taxes.

"Because of Prop. 13, taxpayers felt they needed to be in control because government wasn't giving them a fair shake," said Teresa Casazza, president of the nonpartisan California Taxpayers Association. "Taxpayers have a real skeptical view of how the government is taking care of the money it's receiving."

Requiring a two-thirds vote for any type of statewide tax increase has tied the Legislature in knots because Republicans, who make up more than a third of both the Assembly and the state Senate, have adamantly opposed any tax hikes.

California voters don't see the restrictions as a bad thing. In a Field Poll released today, 72 percent of those surveyed disapproved of changing Prop. 13 to allow the Legislature to raise taxes by a simple majority vote. When they were reminded that the state faces a multibillion-dollar deficit, the numbers barely moved.

"The huge deficit and state debt don't make a difference," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll. "Voters want to set a fairly high bar for increases in taxes and want to see bipartisan support."
Bureaucrats unhappy

Complaints about Prop. 13 come mainly from government officials and bureaucrats unhappy with the way the initiative transferred the power of the purse to the people paying taxes, said Fox, who worked closely with Jarvis.

"What was revolutionary is that under Prop. 13, certainty goes to the taxpayer," he said. "Before 1978, the certainty belonged to the tax collector."

Reagan, both as governor of California and as president, took the view that government was more the problem than the solution. But with the passage of Prop. 13, conservative voters saw a solution, a way to shrink government by starving it of revenue.

Costa, who took over People's Advocate after Gann died in 1989, has involved the organization not only in tax battles but also in ballot fights on such issues as term limits, victim's rights, legislative reform and the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis. He's talking about a ballot initiative that would define taxes to include several of the government charges and fees that don't now fall under Prop. 13's rules.

"We want to reduce the size of government," he said. "Our ballot measures don't say it in so many words, but that's understood to be on the top of any initiative we put out."

Prop. 13 conference

A conference on the 30th anniversary of Proposition 13 will be held today at UC Berkeley. The event, which is free and open to the public, examines the political, economic and fiscal impacts of the tax-limiting initiative. The conference begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Lipman Room on the eighth floor of Barrows Hall.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 07, 2008, 02:48:16 PM
Quote
A distrust of officials

A situation that is well earned by our politicians of today. We can see many of these reasons in our current congress and in those running for the office of President.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on June 07, 2008, 09:45:08 PM
Noah's Ark
The Lord spoke to Noah and said, "In six months I am going to make it rain until the whole world is covered with water and all the evil things are destroyed. But, I want to save a few good people and two of every living thing on the planet. I am ordering you to build an ark." And, in a flash of lightning, he delivered the specifications for the ark.

"OK," Noah said, trembling with fear and fumbling with the blueprints, "I'm your man."

Six months passed, the sky began to cloud up, and the rain began to fall in torrents. The Lord looked down and saw Noah sitting in his yard, weeping, and there was no ark.

"Noah!" shouted the Lord, "Where is My ark?" A lightning bolt crashed into the ground right beside Noah.

"Lord, please forgive me!" begged Noah. "I did my best, but there were some big problems. First, I had to get a building permit for the ark's construction, but Your plans did not meet their code. So, I had to hire an engineer to redo the plans, only to get into a long argument with him about whether to include a sprinkler system. My neighbors objected, claiming that I was violating zoning ordinances by building the ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning board. Then, I had a big problem getting enough wood for the ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that I needed the wood to save the owls, but they wouldn't let me catch them, so no owls. Next, I started gathering up the animals but got sued by an animal rights group that objected to me taking along only two of each kind. Just when the suit got dismissed, the EPA notified me that I couldn't complete the ark without filling out an environmental impact statement on Your proposed flood. They didn't take kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the Supreme Being. Then, the Corps of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed flood plan. I sent them a globe! Right now, I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission over how many minorities I'm supposed to hire. The IRS has seized all my assets claiming that I am trying to leave the country, and I just got a notice from the state that I owe some kind of use tax. Really, I don't think I can finish the ark in less than five years."

With that, the sky cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up and smiled. "You mean you are not going to destroy the world?" he asked hopefully.

"No," said the Lord. "The government already has."
 
(Forgive me but.....I just HAD to put this HERE!)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 08, 2008, 01:16:12 PM
How true.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 09, 2008, 11:24:01 PM
Child abuse investigators 'bullied' into falsifying reports
State welfare chief says D.A. office willing to 'cuss, scream, threaten' social workers

A parental rights advocacy group in Kansas was "floored" when the state child welfare chief admitted his social workers were being "bullied" into falsifying the reports that lead to children being taken out of their homes and placed in foster care.

In a meeting with Citizens for Change, Don Jordan, secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, had his comments recorded on tape: "In Sedgwick County oftentimes we end up writing things because it's what our social workers get bullied by the District Attorney's Office into writing."

Later in the meeting Jordan said, "I am working on our staff that we do our assessments properly and we not get bullied into writing things we don't believe. But then the reality comes down to, you send a 25-year-old social worker into a room with a 15-year county A.D.A. (assistant district attorney) who is willing to yell at them, cuss at them, scream at them and threaten them."

The reports Jordan was referring to, called affidavits, are official permanent records of a child abuse investigation, containing a social worker's summary of circumstances and interviews with parents, children and others who may have evidence of abuse.

Judges rely on the affidavits to determine the level of a child's risk and the potential necessity for removal into temporary custody or foster care.

Marlene Jones, a Wichita resident who contends her family lost custody of her grandson based on false information in an affidavit, was at the meeting where Jordan spoke. "I was so floored at what he said," she told The Wichita Eagle, "that this man acknowledged… he was aware of what was going on."

Vickie Burris, president of Citizens for Change, a non-profit group that supports families accused of abuse and opposes children being placed with strangers, said the recording of the comments was done by an observer, not a member of the group. Nonetheless, she told The Eagle that Jordan's comments confirm the group's suspicions, based on numerous complaints from families, that affidavits too often include false information.

Jordan has since sought to modify his comments and the use of the word "bullied," saying, "It was a poor choice of words. … I don't believe anybody's asked to perjure themselves or lie."

Deputy District Attorney Ron Paschal, who oversees juvenile cases in the mentioned Sedgwick County, told The Eagle that Jordan had called him to apologize. "He was pandering to this particular group," said Paschal, "He used 'pandering.' Those were his words."

Nola Foulston, the district D.A., called Jordan's comments "outrageous," and foresees fallout from the incident. "You can't un-ring the bell," she told The Eagle. "He's left the impression with citizens and individuals in the community that the District Attorney's Office is doing something we shouldn't be doing."

The fallout would come at a bad time for Foulston's office, which only last year came under fire for its involvement in Kansas' publicized "Tiller the Killer" case. Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline called Foulston a "loose canon" who "unlawfully usurped" the A.G.'s authority for political purposes during the saga of George Tiller, a late-term abortionist who faced 30 counts of violating Kansas' abortion laws.

District Judge Jim Burgess, who presides over Sedgwick County custody cases, told The Eagle he has heard complaints of social workers getting pressured, but he's never seen any evidence of it.

Kansas State Rep. Jim Morrison told The Eagle that he's heard the rumors, too, and that concerns about child custody cases aren't limited to Sedgwick County. He was one of a couple of state politicians who actually praised Jordan's candor. "I think it's good that (Jordan) is as frustrated as a lot of people who are complaining," he said.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on June 10, 2008, 12:18:54 AM
Bush Signs Order Requiring Federal Contractors to Ensure Employees' Immigration Status
Monday, June 09, 2008



WASHINGTON —  President Bush has signed an executive order requiring contractors and others who do business with the federal government to make sure their employees can legally work in the U.S.

Bush signed the order Friday and the White House announced the order Monday.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez planned an afternoon news conference to discuss the order and other ways the administration has stepped up its crackdown on illegal immigration.

The order says federal departments and agencies must require contractors to use an electronic system to verify that the workers are eligible to work in the U.S.

The order is aimed at cracking down on hiring of illegal immigrants. But people who overstayed visas or came to the country legally but do not have permission to work, such as some students or those awaiting work permits, also could be snagged with the system.

"It is the policy of the executive branch to enforce fully the immigration laws of the United States, including the detection and removal of illegal aliens and the imposition of legal sanctions against employers that hire illegal aliens," in the executive order says.

The order comes as a worker verification bill has essentially stalled in Congress. A Democratic immigration enforcement bill would require employers to check the citizenship and legal status of all their employees.

The issue has long been debated but has run into opposition over the years from business groups who say the E-Verify system is flawed and civil libertarians who say it will lead to discrimination and job losses by U.S. citizen workers misidentified as illegal workers.

Comprehensive immigration bills considered by Congress in 2006 and 2007 included worker verification measures. But after they failed, states began passing their own laws to keep employers from hiring undocumented workers.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 10, 2008, 12:25:51 AM
At least it is a small improvement.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 10, 2008, 12:56:09 PM
Republicans block windfall taxes on oil companies
Democratic package would have imposed levy on any 'unreasonable' profits

Senate Republicans blocked a proposal Tuesday to tax the windfall profits of the largest oil companies, despite pleas by Democratic leaders to use the measure to address America's anger over $4 a gallon gasoline.

The Democratic energy package would have imposed a tax on any "unreasonable" profits of the five largest U.S. oil companies and given the federal government more power to address oil market speculation that the bill's supporters argue has added to the crude oil price surge.

"Americans are furious about what's going on," declared Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and want Congress to do something about oil company profits and "an orgy of speculation" on oil markets.

But Republicans argued the Democratic proposal focusing on new oil industry taxes is not the answer to the country's energy problems.

"The American people are clamoring for relief at the pump," said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., but if taxes are increased on the oil companies "they will get exactly what they don't want. The bill will raise taxes, increase imports."

The Democrats failed, 51-43, to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster and bring the energy package up for consideration.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 10, 2008, 10:11:08 PM
Redefine marriage ... get sued

The governor of New York has tried to redefine marriage in the Empire State. For his efforts, he is getting sued.

New York Governor David Paterson signed an executive order on May 14 decreeing that all state agencies and programs must recognize same-sex "marriages" that are legally performed in other jurisdictions, even though New York law makes no provision for such partnerships.
 
Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), says the governor has stepped far beyond the scope of his legitimate authority. "What the governor of New York did was completely illegal because he has no authority to unilaterally redefine marriage," notes the attorney. "It's a complete assault on the people of New York and the democratic process. Marriage is a public policy matter to be decided by the people, not by elite government officials issuing executive edicts," Nimocks explains.
 
Paterson based his order on a lower-court decision in a case that is still under appeal and, therefore, is not binding on the state. ADF, on behalf of lawmakers and taxpayers in New York, has filed suit asking the court to block implementation of the policy. Nimocks says that Paterson, in pursuit of a radical political agenda, may not even realize the effect of his own order.
 
"He's subjected New Yorkers to foreign law in order to impose a radical redefinition of marriage on the people. The end effect here is that he's basically said that New York law on marriage is going to be what any other state or foreign jurisdiction says it is," the ADF attorney contends.
 
Nimocks does not believe Paterson will get away with this political stunt. "What he's done is wrong, and we expect the court to set him right because there is a separation of powers in this country. He's only the executive branch. It's the prerogative of the people and the legislative branch to set policy for their state," Nimocks says.
 
Paterson's decree came on the heels of a California Supreme Court decision legalizing marriages between people of the same sex. Pro-family advocates expect hundreds of homosexual activists to travel to the West Coast, get "married," and then return home to sue their respective states when they are denied the same benefits as legitimately married heterosexual couples. That could begin as early as next week -- the Golden State is due to begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples at 5:00 p.m. (Pacific) on Monday, June 16.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 10, 2008, 10:12:23 PM
Not only should he be sued he should also be kicked out of office for taking such actions without the consent of the people.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on June 11, 2008, 04:48:43 AM
This is another perfect example that many of the people's so-called representatives need to be spending some time in PRISON and school at THE IRON BAR HILTON! These are CRIMINAL ACTS!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 11, 2008, 11:46:43 AM
Bush orders feds to collect biometric data on terrorists
Presidential directives establish new authority with no congressional involvement

Two new directives signed by President Bush establish sweeping authority for federal executive departments and agencies to establish a coordinated "framework" to collect and retain biometric data on U.S. citizens identified as "known and suspected terrorists," without requiring public or congressional disclosure of the procedures.

Although the directives run over 1,700 words in length, Congress is not mentioned once, nor is there any specification of how the coordinated "framework" will be disclosed to the public.

WND contacted the White House press office for comment but received no return call.

The directives also do not specify any procedures for citizens to challenge their inclusion in the biometric database or any resulting consequences, such as restricted travel or additional government surveillance.

Biometric technologies use electronic means to capture individual-specific data on physical characteristics, including fingerprints, eye retina scanning, face recognition mapping and body imaging.

The contextual data that accompanies biometric data includes information on date and place of birth, citizenship, current address and address history, current employment and employment history, current phone numbers and phone number history, use of government services and tax filings.

Other contextual data may include bank account and credit card histories, plus criminal database records on a local, state and federal level. The database also could include legal judgments or other public records documenting involvement in legal disputes, child custody records and marriage or divorce records.

The new orders, issued Thursday, are identified as National Security Presidential Directive 59, or NSPD 59, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24, or HSPD 24, and titled "Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security." They instruct federal executive departments and agencies to use "mutually compatible methods and procedures in the collection, storage, use, analysis and sharing of biometric and associated biometric and contextual information" of individuals considered a national security risk.

In similar language, the presidential directives repeatedly stress that the coordinated data collection and storage procedures mandated across a wide range of federal bureaucratic structures will respect information privacy and other legal rights under United States law.

The directives, however, do not require the federal agencies collecting, sharing and storing biometric information on citizens to disclose to the American people or Congress their criteria for identifying targeted individuals or their data procedures.

The directives require the attorney general to provide legal policy guidance in coordination with the secretaries of state, defense, homeland security and the director of national intelligence, without reporting to Congress or the American people.

The directives also require the attorney general and the agency heads to "develop and implement mutually compatible guidelines for each respective agency for the collection, storage, use, analysis, and sharing of biometric and associated biographic and contextual information, to the fullest extent practicable, lawful, and necessary to protect national security."

The attorney general is given one year to implement the directives and report to the president through the assistant to the president for national security affairs, a position currently held by Stephen J. Hadley, and to the assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, currently Frances Townsend.

WND previously reported President Bush signed NSPD-51 and HSPD-20 on May 9, 2007, allowing the president to declare a "national emergency" and take over the direction of all federal state, local, territorial and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations, to continue functioning under the president's directives, without specifically requiring the approval of Congress.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 11, 2008, 04:21:44 PM
Democrats Try to Make Military Press Conferences Illegal

Congressional Democrats announced early in May that they wanted to make “military propaganda” illegal. To achieve this goal they passed new legislation that strengthened previous legislation that is supposed to ban the Pentagon from indulging in “propaganda” for the military.

This bill is supposed to stop the military from sending “any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes or behavior of the people of the United States in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly.”

In other words, the military is not allowed to talk to the American people or Congress for fear of disseminating “propaganda.”

The only way to fulfill this idiotic policy is to stop anyone in the military from ever speaking in public because, when you get right down to it, nearly any communication from the Pentagon, or any command staff in theater, will have the effect of “influencing” those who hear it. That is the nature of human communication, after all.

Of course this is a silly concept that the Democrat Party has come up with. Every single thing that man conceives of must be “sold” to everyone else to get implemented. The idea is born in the minds of one or a few and then those disciples of the idea go forth and begin a campaign to convince those who can put that idea into place that the idea is worthy of support. In essence, that is propaganda in its simplest form. The happy face is put on, the hands are shaken, and the plan is laid out for discussion. This is called being human! It’s how we all get things done.

Besides, what level of information becomes propaganda and what just “information”? To a rabid, anti-military nut any words from the Pentagon is “propaganda.” To the highest booster, none are. Who is to determine when what is being said becomes “propaganda”?

My guess is no one in the Democrat caucus is smart enough to know.

But, let’s look at the real reason this simple-minded policy was created. The real reason the Democrats want such a policy in place is to silence the military entirely. Democrats aren’t interested in keeping the tender ears of the people from being assaulted with “propaganda.” No, they want to be able to shut the military off from being able to appear before the American people to defend themselves against Democrat attacks. THAT is the true goal.

If the Democrat Party can keep the Pentagon in the can, then Congress and the Democrat Party will be the conduit of information between the military and the people. And the Democrat Party finds an enemy in the American military. So, what better way to further their own propaganda then by making sure the enemy’s will never be heard.

Stalin would be proud of Congressional democrats.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 12:01:37 PM
Biblical message
now criminalized
Penalties created for those criticizing
homosexuality outside church walls

A new Colorado law is helping homosexual activists achieve their goal of forcing Christians to teach biblical condemnation of homosexuality only behind the closed doors of their sanctuaries.

The as-yet untested state law promotes sexual identity "perception" to the level of skin color under state discrimination laws.

Some opponents are calling it a "bona fide censorship law," and top analysts for Focus on the Family, the Christian publishing and broadcast powerhouse, are expressing concern over the "mischief" they expect to follow the signing by Gov. Bill Ritter.

As WND reported, Ritter, a Democrat, struck gender-specific restrooms and locker rooms statewide when he signed the plan into law in May.

The law makes it illegal to deny a person access to public accommodations, including restrooms and locker rooms, based on gender identity or the "perception" of gender identity.

"Who would have believed that the Colorado state legislature and its governor would have made it fully legal for men to enter and use women's restrooms and locker-room facilities without notice or explanation?" said James Dobson, founder of Focus.

"Henceforth, every woman and little girl will have to fear that a predator, bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual or heterosexual male might walk in and relieve himself in their presence," Dobson said.

But now an analyst for Focus, Bruce Hausknecht, has told WND there are other, significant, potential ramifications hidden in the fine print of the new law.

The law provides an exemption allowing religious groups to continue teaching, inside their doors, the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality. But the exemption itself is ultimately harmful to the church, Hausknecht contends.

"It tends to marginalize the church," he said. "They'll say, 'It's just a church.' It will allow gay activists to continue to marginalize Christians. They'll say, 'Keep it within your four walls. That's all.'"

But there's further possible mischief that can result from a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation or "perception" when deciding "full and equal enjoyment of facilities, accommodations" and other factors, he said.

Religious publishers, he acknowledged, could be accused under the law for publishing biblical condemnation of homosexuality. Colorado Springs, where Focus in located, also is home to the huge Christian publishing operations of NavPress and the International Bible Society.

"There are those who simply by publishing Christian materials could find themselves charged with a violation of this statute," he said.

A spokesman for Ritter did not respond to a WND request for comment.

The actual impact of the new ban on people responsible for "public accommodations" expressing beliefs that do not support homosexuality are unclear at this point, largely because charges haven't been brought and challenges weighed regarding the law and its potential impact on First Amendment guarantees of freedom exercise of religion.

However, Hausknecht warned there is "danger" in those waters for any church that provides any service to its community.

It is possible the law's anti-"discrimination" demands could be triggered when outside groups come in to use a church meeting room, auditorium or recreation facility. For the safety of the churches, perhaps outsiders will have to sign a document stating agreement with the church's religious beliefs before being allowed in, he said.

The targets of complaints likely won't be churches themselves, but more likely church schools, programs that offer services to communities and the like, critics of the law said.

"The intent of the homosexual activists who put this law in [was to] marginalize the church, keep it inside the sanctuary," Hausknecht said.

Worse yet is that many small or medium size churches will have to go out of their way, including halting programs, to avoid a potential conflict, because they don't have the resources to wage a war over their beliefs, he added.

"It's a lot easier to avoid the conflict than incur the costs of fighting," he said.

Dobson earlier had nothing but criticism for Colorado's elected officials.

"This is your government in action. It represents a payback to Tim Gill and two other billionaires who have essentially 'bought' state legislators with enormous campaign contributions. Coloradans deserve better!" Dobson said.

"And by the way, because of the way this bill is written, it is not subject to the initiative process. There is no recourse," Dobson said.

Pastor Bob Enyart, a Denver-area activist on Christian issues, agreed with Focus' concerns over what appears to be a newly minted state discrimination against Christian beliefs. But he went further.

"WND reported on Canada banning opposition to homosexuality; likewise, Colorado's SB200 has 'forbidden' much publishing of Christian teaching on homosexuality, cohabitation, etc.," he said.

"This censorship aspect of the law has been utterly ignored," he said.

"The law exempts churches, but that's not good, that's an insult. I.E., bigotry is allowed only in churches. Whereas every other place of public accommodation including bookstores, retail & wholesale businesses, etc. cannot sell or even 'give away' anything that would advocate discrimination [against] gay adoption, homosexual marriage, etc.," Enyart said.

He cited one part of the new law:

    Section 8. 24-34-701. Publishing of discriminative matter forbidden. No person, being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent, or employee of any place of public accommodation... shall publish, issue, circulate, send, distribute, give away, or display in any way, manner, or shape or by any means or method, except as provided in this section, any communication, paper, poster, folder, manuscript, book, pamphlet, writing, print, letter, notice, or advertisement of any kind, nature, or description THAT is intended or calculated to discriminate or actually discriminates against... SEXUAL ORIENTATION, marital status... in the matter of furnishing or neglecting or refusing to furnish to them or any one of them any lodging, housing, schooling, or tuition or any accommodation, right [marriage], privilege [adoption], advantage, or convenience... on account of... SEXUAL ORIENTATION, marital status... [which] is unwelcome or objectionable or not acceptable, desired, or solicited."

The Old Testament condemns homosexuality as an "abomination," Enyart told WND. The New Testament includes a reference in 1st Timothy calling for the use of laws against crimes such as murder and homosexuality.

"There are free speech rights to condemn cohabitation, homosexuality, state that homosexuals should not marry, should not adopt children," Enyart said. "It's now illegal in Colorado for anyone involved in a facility or business of public accommodation to give any communication that would advocate discrimination based on marital status or sexual orientation."

He said many people simply choose not to believe what's happening.

"I have a hard time believing [it myself]," said Enyart.

He said he expects the law to be only "lightly" enforced until "it just becomes an entrenched part of our legal framework. They're not going to go out and arrest somebody for selling a Bible at Barnes and Noble."

But then in a few years, watch out, he said.

Enyart has printed a document he hands out that says, "This Anti-homosexual Flyer is Illegal in Colorado." It condemns the promotion of homosexuality in no uncertain terms.

"Homosexuality should be re-criminalized in Colorado," it states.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 12:02:44 PM
The U.S. is falling step by step and state by state. Yes, this is most assuredly an un-Constitutional law but little by little the courts and the governments are "reinterpreting", twisting or totally ignoring the Constitution for their own personal agendas. Yes, it is time for a new Constitutional Convention and not one that excludes The People of The United States and only includes dictatorial government employees that are NOT properly representing THE PEOPLE.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 12:04:52 PM
Lesbian activist sworn in as judge of family court
Governor ignores council vote, installs advocate of same-sex marriage

Massachusetts Gov. Duval Patrick has appointed lesbian activist and lawyer Maureen Monks as associate justice of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, effectively ignoring a dissenting vote by the Massachusetts Governor's Council.

WND received official word from the court that Monks was sworn in and formally assumed her position Friday despite the council's recorded 4-4 vote denying confirmation. Monks is required to win 5 votes to be confirmed by the council.

Monks, 49, a member and co-chair of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association, is an advocate for "gay" and women's rights. She has represented homosexuals pro bono for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.

The Governor's Council verbally voted 5-2 in favor of her appointment, but Democrat Mary-Ellen Manning arrived behind schedule and cast her vote against Monks. Democrat Marilyn Devaney switched her verbal "yes" to a recorded "no" before the meeting adjourned – effectively creating a 4-4 tie and failing to confirm Monks. Lt. Gov. Tim Murray was present but declined to cast a deciding vote.

Councilor Manning presented a statement explaining her objection to Monks' nomination, saying the lawyer did not disclose her history of "teaching same-sex marriage concepts to high school students" to the Governor's Council.

Manning also said Monks was prone to side with women over men and that her appointment would be in conflict with the public's perception of fair treatment. While the lawyer claimed to have represented "hundreds of women and men" in her questionnaire, a court review indicated that she had only represented one man in the last eight years.

Gov. Patrick said he considers the 5-2 verbal vote to be an official count, though the Massachusetts Constitution requires that all official votes be recorded. It does not indicate that verbal votes may be counted.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 12:06:51 PM
Again I say:

The U.S. is falling step by step and state by state. Yes, this is most assuredly an un-Constitutional law but little by little the courts and the governments are "reinterpreting", twisting or totally ignoring the Constitution for their own personal agendas. Yes, it is time for a new Constitutional Convention and not one that excludes The People of The United States and only includes dictatorial government employees that are NOT properly representing THE PEOPLE.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 12:17:18 PM
Justices let stand mayor's grant of same-sex benefits
Washington Supreme Court won't review decision creating conflict with state law

The Washington Supreme Court has refused to review a lower court's decision that allows the mayor of Seattle to grant same-sex marriage benefits to employees of the city, in apparent conflict with the state's Defense of Marriage Act, which had been upheld by the same Supreme Court.

The Pacific Justice Institute, a values-oriented public interest firm, brought the request to review the conflict with the state law.

The state's Defense of Marriage Act, which was upheld by the Washington Supreme Court, requires that the state not recognize same-sex marriages from outside the state.

However, the mayor of Seattle issued an executive order in direct contradiction of the state law, instructing all city departments to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions now, including California, for the purposes of employee benefits.

Pacific Justice challenged the order by filing suit, arguing the mayor did not have the authority to contradict state law. PJI staff attorney Matthew McReynolds argued the case at the Washington Court of Appeal earlier.

PJI said, "the appellate judges seemed to realize that the mayor's actions were setting a precedent for other mayors to grant benefits for bigamous and incestuous 'marriages.' However, the three judges on the panel sided with the mayor anyway."

Now the Supreme Court has declined to overturn that decision.

"This decision by the highest court in Washington is just another example of the serious attack by judicial and political activists to undermine the voices of voters and the will of the people," Brad Dacus, Pacific Justice president, said. "It is critical that voters amend their state constitutions to ensure the traditional definition of marriage is not thwarted by a handful of government officials."

Pacific Justice Institute encourages church leaders who are concerned about safeguarding their view of marriage to contact their offices. The organization said it already has received dozens of phone calls and e-mails.

In both California and Massachusetts, it was rulings from state Supreme Courts that found it unconstitutional to prevent same-sex duos from having the title "married." The Washington state Supreme Court decision contradicted those.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court concluded state law limiting marriage to one man and one woman does not violate the state constitution.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, 19 same-sex couples, had argued the ban violates a constitutional prohibition against granting privileges to one group of citizens but not another.

The high court got involved in that decision after a lower court ruled the state's Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

But the state Supreme Court noted in its ruling in 2006, "Although marriage has evolved, it has not included a history and tradition of same-sex marriage in this nation or in Washington State. … It cannot be overemphasized that our state constitution provides for a representative democracy and that the people, who have consented to be governed, speak through their elected representatives. When no fundamental right or suspect class exists, the public consensus, as evidenced by legislation adopted after robust debate, must be given great deference."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 12:29:27 PM
Define unborn as 'persons,' overturn Roe

Legislators in the nation's capitol hope versions of a bill just introduced in both houses of Congress provides a major piece of the legal standing needed to eventually challenge the basis of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

The "Life at Conception Act" declares the unborn to be persons under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, addressing the question that Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) says the Supreme Court left unresolved in 1973 -- and that only Congress can use to meet the conditions under which the high court said its conclusions supporting legal abortion can be reversed.
 
"Roe versus Wade itself said that if personhood is established, then Ms. Roe's position collapsed," Wicker points out. "In other words, if the fetus is a human life, then that is guaranteed specifically by the 14th Amendment."
 
Ten co-sponsors initially joined Wicker on the Life at Conception Act, whose companion legislation has been introduced in the House this session by Representative Duncan Hunter (R-California). Senate co-sponsors include Republicans Sam Brownback (Kansas), James Inhofe (Oklahoma), Jim Demint (South Carolina), and Mel Martinez (Florida).
 
"The legislation simply says that as a matter of federal law, yes, life does begin at conception and is therefore entitled to all the protections of any life under the Constitution of the United States," the Mississippi Republican explains.
 
Wicker acknowledges that Democrats have not allowed previous incarnations of this bill to the floor for a vote. But he and his co-sponsors are hoping the cause might be taken up now by presumptive Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain in an election year -- or at least brought to the public attention for discussion.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 12:31:37 PM
Seattle a 'mini-dictatorship'

Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute believes the Washington Supreme Court has laid the groundwork for mini-dictatorships.

Marriage in Washington is defined as a union between one man and one woman. Dacus sued the mayor of Seattle after he unilaterally issued an order in 2004 recognizing homosexual "marriage" from other jurisdictions, which now includes California. The state Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal, filed by Dacus, on the lower-court ruling favoring the mayor -- meaning he wins and the people lose, says the attorney.

"This is very alarming when we look at the fact that the people in the United States of America are reliant upon the laws of the land, not the unilateral decisions of mini-dictatorships," says Dacus, who explains that the ruling violates the tenants of democracy in that the people can make a decision, but a local official can reject it.

The decision also permits Seattle to provide benefits to the partners of homosexual employees.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 12:36:11 PM
The more I read about these politicians and judges making laws and rulings to fit their own agendas and ignore THE PEOPLE that have already ruled against these things the more that I want to do something about it.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 02:52:27 PM
Supreme Court opens up Gitmo lawsuit floodgates; Scalia: “The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today. I dissent.”

What’s that sound? The thunder of left-wing lawyers and Gitmo detainees jumping up and down for joy at the Supreme Court’s ruling this morning. Brace yourselves. Dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia warns that the ruling “will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed” and concludes “The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today. I dissent.”

Chief Justice John Roberts says the rule of law and the American people have lost out–and with this ruling, we “lose a bit more control over the conduct of this Nation’s foreign policy to unelected, politically unaccountable judges.”

Quote
    In a stunning blow to the Bush Administration in its war-on-terrorism policies, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign nationals held at Guantanamo Bay have a right to pursue habeas challenges to their detention. The Court, dividing 5-4, ruled that Congress had not validly taken away habeas rights. If Congress wishes to suspend habeas, it must do so only as the Constitution allows — when the country faces rebellion or invasion.

    The Court stressed that it was not ruling that the detainees are entitled to be released — that is, entitled to have writs issued to end their confinement. That issue, it said, is left to the District Court judges who will be hearing the challenges. The Court also said that “we do not address whether the President has authority to detain” individuals during the war on terrorism, and hold them at the U.S. Naval base in Cuba; that, too, it said, is to be considered first by the District judges.

    The Court also declared that detainees do not have to go through the special civilian court review process that Congress created in 2005, since that is not an adequate substitute for habeas rights. The Court refused to interpret the Detainee Treatment Act — as the Bush Administration had suggested — to include enough legal protection to make it an adequate replacement for habeas. Congress, it concluded, unconstitutionally suspended the writ in enacting that Act.

I’m reminded of what one DHS source pointed out to me when the high court ruled in favor of habeas corpus rights four years ago: “Hmm, now that the Gitmo detainees are entitled to habeas challenges and hearings by American courts and American judges, I wonder how long before they and their lawyers claim that they are entitled to asylum hearings as well?”

Won’t be long now!

Justice Scalia’s dissent says it all:

Quote
Both the Chief Justice and Justice Antonin Scalia issued dissenting opinions, and all four dissenters joined in both dissents. In his dissent, Justice Scalia writes, “The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.” Justice Scalia’s 25-page dissenting opinion concludes, “The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today. I dissent.”



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 12, 2008, 03:00:39 PM
That rumbling sound you hear isn’t drilling for oil, as it should be. No, that sound is the stampede of liberal lawyers rushing to save terrorist combatants after today’s shameful decision and the sound of our sovereignty crumbling. It will also be the sound following that of the terrorists blowing things up on our own land.

It’s no wonder al-Qaeda favors Democrats. They are “compassionate.” “Caring.” “Looking out for the little guy”  ::)  and making things easier for them to achieve their objectives.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on June 13, 2008, 01:07:54 AM
The U.S. is falling step by step and state by state. Yes, this is most assuredly an un-Constitutional law but little by little the courts and the governments are "reinterpreting", twisting or totally ignoring the Constitution for their own personal agendas. Yes, it is time for a new Constitutional Convention and not one that excludes The People of The United States and only includes dictatorial government employees that are NOT properly representing THE PEOPLE.

Pastor Roger,

You've already hit the nail on the head. Regardless, they can't remove the civil and constitutional rights of the majority of the country without changing the Constitution - due process - and most certainly requiring a vote of the people. With or without the consent of each individual, civil and Constitutional RIGHTS remain the same. This law is grossly illegal and Unconstitutional "ON ITS FACE" because it is in direct violation of existing RIGHTS that can't be removed. SO, enforcement "UNDER COLOR OF LAW" would be malicious prosecution. If an arrest was attempted - it would be an UNLAWFUL ARREST and FORCE IS AUTHORIZED TO RESIST AN UNLAWFUL ARREST! Any pre-law student could figure this one out in about 5 minutes, SO IT WOULD BE A KNOWN FACT UP FRONT THAT THE STATE KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT THEY WERE DOING WAS ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

This actually amounts to a mini-dictator taking power that is not his to take because power of that type does NOT exist in this country. Maybe this will turn out to be a good thing, and I'm completely serious. Some of my family and many Christians I know live in Colorado, and I can already tell you they won't pay any attention at all to this law - AND NO CHRISTIAN SHOULD PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THIS LAW! The exact opposite should be done by every Christian in Colorado DAILY and EXERCISE THEIR CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS THAT CAN'T BE REMOVED! Take the arrest and do NOT resist - refuse to pay any fines - and immediately give notice of pending civil and criminal actions IN FEDERAL COURT! Colorado would learn a VERY EXPENSIVE lesson before the criminal and civil cases even began. It appears that the government of Colorado has already made COMPLETE MORONS of themselves. It wouldn't take long at all to teach Colorado government a lesson. If Colorado government wanted to hold a hard line, Federal Troops could even be called in to FORCE COLORADO to honor the civil and Constitutional Rights of the Citizens. Minimal determination on the part of Christians just for a matter of days would result in a lesson and EXAMPLE for all. This would certainly be worth going to jail over. Every person charged or arrested would have easy civil and criminal recourse against the state, and the state government would become a laughing stock in about 2 or 3 days.

If one thinks about the options available for decent people, WHAT ARE THEY? They either stand up and keep their rights or LEAVE THE STATE! THERE MUST BE A STANDING UP TIME AND PLACE EVENTUALLY, AND THIS ONE SOUNDS LIKE THE BEST I'VE HEARD OF! We are either a free country operating under the Laws and Constitutions of THE PEOPLE or we lower ourselves to third-world dictatorship status. IF THIS ISN'T WORTHY OF STANDING UP - WHAT IS?


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on June 13, 2008, 01:33:00 AM
That rumbling sound you hear isn’t drilling for oil, as it should be. No, that sound is the stampede of liberal lawyers rushing to save terrorist combatants after today’s shameful decision and the sound of our sovereignty crumbling. It will also be the sound following that of the terrorists blowing things up on our own land.

It’s no wonder al-Qaeda favors Democrats. They are “compassionate.” “Caring.” “Looking out for the little guy”  ::)  and making things easier for them to achieve their objectives.



Brother, this is far too much to absorb in one day. It appears there are at least three massive events to deal with from ROGUE PUBLIC SERVANTS USURPING POWER THAT COULD NEVER BELONG TO THEM IN THIS COUNTRY. THAT KIND OF POWER BELONGS ONLY TO THE PEOPLE! I saw one issue I had to respond to, but I had no idea you had two more bomb-shells waiting on the next page. The Founders did foresee the possibility of TYRANNY AND ABUSE OF POWER, AND THERE ARE NUMEROUS LEVELS OF ACTIONS TO TAKE IN DEALING WITH IT. I think it's past time to start, and I know it will be unpleasant, but doing nothing does not appear to be a viable option. The GOVERNMENT is NOTHING BUT SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE. THE PEOPLE can replace it or abolish it with completely LEGAL ACTIONS.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 13, 2008, 02:23:18 AM
I am sure that there are many more such bombshells that we haven't heard about yet and that there are many more coming in the near future.

I am also sure that it will such a recourse as you have mentioned to attempt to remedy it.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 13, 2008, 01:32:51 PM
Democrat voter drive investigated for fraud
Louisiana authorities say clerks flooded with fake registrations

Louisiana's top election official has launched an investigation into a voter registration drive by the Washington-based Voting is Power organization, which is sponsored by the Muslim American Society and was hired by Democrats, after registrars were "flooded" with fake forms, including a couple for a gentleman named George W. Bush.

Secretary of State Jay Dardenne said this week he already has met with Voting Is Power, which has a stated goal of signing up millions of Muslims to vote in U.S. elections, and the discussions were cordial.

He said he's seeking information about the company's methodology and information on why so many voter registration applications turned out to be incomplete, duplicates, or just plain fraudulent.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the Washington-based VIP was hired by national Democrats to register up to 70,000 new voters before this fall's election.

But Dardenne said the organization's drives in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, New Orleands and Jefferson Parish resulted in "piles of sketchy applications" that demanded investigators' time.

The result, he said, was "busy work that is not leading to productive registration of voters," according to the AP.

Bloggers were having a good time with the allegations about the registrations of Bush and others.

"It has been a long-running joke amongst pundits that Election Day should be renamed 'Zombie Day' given all the dead people who seemingly rise from the graves and vote," concluded the FedPapers blog.

"Mind you, this is just one of many reasons why states are starting to get more stringent when it comes to voters needing identification before they can vote. Many people – the majority on the Left – have had a tizzy over the enforcement of such laws. Arizona was challenged when they enacted tougher laws regarding voter identification, but that was due to the illegal alien population here, and their tendency to vote when they are not legally allowed to do so," the blog continued.

"Chicago has the 'zombie' problem. Apparently, so does Louisiana," the blog said.

"We have some very real concerns about the data we are getting from them," Dardenne told a website for the Baton Route Advocate.

That report said Democrats were aware of some problems.

"With an effort this big there's always going to be glitches and problems along these lines," Brian Welsh, a spokesman for Democrats' Louisiana Victory 2008, said. "Obviously, we are ready to work with the registrars of each parish to make sure it's going as efficiently as possible."

Roger Villere, the state Republican Party chief, said the issue needs to be investigated.

Dardenne reported the cards being submitted include those for people already registered but others were incomplete and some had "blatantly false information."

Caddo Parish, for example, had George W. Bush as a voter applicant; other cards have been filed for inmates who cannot vote as well as various dead people, Dardenne confirmed.

"We want to safeguard the integrity of the process by making sure any group seeking to register Louisiana voters provide specific information and it's not bogging down registrars offices with work premised on false information," he said, according to the Advocate report.

On the newspaper site, an anonymous poster identified as Elliott expressed a high level of concern over those doing the signature collections.

"I wonder why a Muslim organization with links to the Muslim Brotherhood is hired by the Democratic National Party. I wonder why Barack Obama is the choice of Hamas," he wrote.

"Whether through violent or economic means, losing our identity in submission to this minority will prove our national undoing. The fault is not with Islam. The fault is our losing our traditional biblical moorings, the foundation upon which our republic was built!" he continued.

On the website for the MAS-VIP organization, its organizers state: "Islam mandates every Muslim to be unequivocally committed to social justice. Civic engagement may be the most powerful way to fulfill that mandate in a democracy. Our collective involvement with the electoral process allows us as a community to express our views, and influence the laws and policies which govern America."

It continued that "many dangerous laws were passed in the name of national security."

"Whether these laws and policies increase our national security is highly questionable. But these have been widely used to profile and persecute Muslims in America," the group said.

"Only with our vigorous commitment to the electoral process, we can begin to change this unfavorable climate," it says.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 13, 2008, 01:58:31 PM
Judicial supremacy strikes in Oklahoma

The elected representatives in Oklahoma passed a law to stem the tide of illegal immigrants and, faster than you can say "judicial supremacy," a federal judge blocked its enforcement. The court suspended key sections of the law even before it was due to take effect on July 1.

The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act was designed to prevent illegal immigrants from taking jobs from Americans and from evading taxes by working in the underground economy.

The Oklahoma law passed the State Legislature by overwhelming, bipartisan, veto-proof majorities (88-9 in the House, 41-1 in the Senate) and was signed by Democratic Gov. Brad Henry. Public opinion polls reported that the law enjoys 88 percent public approval, and it was recognized as a model for other states to copy.

The law required employers who have contracts with the state of Oklahoma to use the Oklahoma Status Verification System to verify the legal status of their employees. The law expanded the definition of "discrimination" to include firing a U.S. citizen while retaining an illegal as an employee.

The penalty for violating this law was requiring the employer to withhold state taxes in a manner to ensure that Oklahoma would receive all proper employment taxes, including taxes for those employees who are not legally in this country. Oklahoma should certainly be able to protect itself against the non-payment by illegal immigrants of taxes that Americans pay as a matter of course.

Even though the new Oklahoma law didn't go into effect, it is credited with reducing Oklahoma unemployment significantly below the national average. The bill's sponsor, State Rep. Randy Terrill, said, "Oklahoma is no longer OK for illegal aliens."

The big national news this month is the Department of Labor announcement that U.S. unemployment has surged to 5.5 percent, the sharpest monthly spike in 22 years. The unemployment figures are particularly painful for teenagers; only about one-third of 16- to 19-year-olds are likely to get summer jobs.

The employment picture in Oklahoma is quite different: Oklahoma's unemployment rate is now only 3.1 percent and dropping. That's because after the Citizen Protection Act was passed a year ago, illegal immigrants began leaving the state.

The lawsuit to overturn the Oklahoma statute was brought by the leading trade group for large corporations profiting from hiring illegal immigrants at the expense of U.S. citizens. The name of the case is Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Brad Henry.

The judge granted standing to the Chamber of Commerce to sue even though it had not been hurt one iota by the law that had not yet taken effect. The judge, in effect, legislated from the bench by blocking the statute from taking effect, so all its benefits might never be known.

The judge accepted the chamber's argument that Congress has pre-empted state laws by federal statutes about immigration. But we all know the federal government is incapable or unwilling to carry out the necessary enforcement of existing laws that the American people deserve to have enforced.

There is even a federal law called the Tax Injunction Act that prohibits federal courts from interfering with state taxation. The court sidestepped that law, declaring that the federal court could interfere because the Oklahoma statute is more like a regulation than a tax.

Across the country, 43 states have passed more than 182 immigration-related laws. Several leading decisions, such as the federal decision reviewing the ordinance passed in Valley Park, Mo., have upheld the laws against challenges.

Taxes and jobs are not the only reasons why states need to protect their citizens against illegal immigrants. Terrill says, "Our Bureau of Narcotics here in Oklahoma estimates that something in excess of 40 percent of the drug trafficking through Oklahoma is directly attributable to our illegal alien problem."

Courts should not interfere with legislative remedies to protect U.S. citizens from losing jobs to illegal immigrants who might not even be paying taxes on their wages. And we certainly should not tolerate drug trafficking coming in from Mexico.

Overturning the massive votes in the Oklahoma Legislature and the will of the people makes this decision one more example of how courts are trying to make themselves an elite branch of government whose every pronouncement is accepted as "the law of the land." It's time for Americans to rise up and reject the rule of judges and return to rule by our elected representatives.

Congress can and should withdraw jurisdiction from federal courts to interfere with prudent attempts by states to protect their governments and lawful residents. Congress could simply amend the Tax Injunction Act to clarify that federal courts lack authority to entertain any challenge to a state law that involves the collection of taxes from illegal immigrants.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 13, 2008, 02:06:36 PM
Homosexuality takes Congress by storm

The two openly homosexual members of the U.S. House of Representatives have recruited 50 of their colleagues to officially join them in promoting the homosexual agenda in Congress.

Democrats Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin are the only open homosexuals serving in Congress. They have joined with Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Christopher Shays of Connecticut, and 50 other Democrats to create the House Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus. Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, says it is a sad day when Congress enshrines official promotion of sexual immorality.
 
"How interesting that we now have a homosexuality, transsexual caucus – I guess you could call it – at the congressional level. It's just unbelievable that there are this many congressmen who are promoting homosexuality and transsexual perversion," LaBarbera laments.
 
While LaBarbera criticized the two Republicans for lending the appearance of bipartisanship to the group, he reserved his primary wrath for the Democrats.
 
"I think what this shows is that the hard-core Democratic Left is extremely pro-homosexual," he states. "Big city populations have many homosexual activists, and they're disproportionately powerful compared to the rest of the people in the district. Do I think that the average person in the district knows that these members are promoting homosexuality in this way? No way! But there are probably powerful homosexual constituencies in each one of these districts," LaBarbera explains.

Christians, according to LaBarbera, could learn something from the success of homosexual activists. With very small numbers, they have managed to create the perception of a much larger constituency and, thereby, have many of their political demands met.
 
"The gays are all about political power. They know how to vote. They're very committed. They're not apathetic like many Christians," says the activist. "And they've 'earned' this extraordinary total: 52 congressmen coming right out and saying, 'We are going to vote for homosexuality and transsexuality in Congress," LaBarbera contends.
 
The 52 members of the LGBT Caucus are: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Mike Honda (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Hilda Solis (D-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Peter Welch (D-VT), Howard Berman (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Robert Brady (D-PA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Susan Davis (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Phil Hare (D-IL), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Doris Matsui (D-CA), James Moran (D-VA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-Washington, D.C.), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), José Serrano (D-NY), Chris Shays (R-CT), Pete Stark (D-CA), Betty Sutton (D-OH), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Robert Wexler (D-FL), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
 
LaBarbera argues that the average voter in most of those 52 congressional districts has no idea that their elected representative is openly promoting sexual immorality.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 16, 2008, 01:15:57 PM
China to drill off U.S. coast

President Bush has been urged in a letter to do away with the moratorium on offshore drilling in the U.S.

The Institute for Energy Research sent the letter to President Bush urging him to exercise his authority to repeal the Executive Order banning energy production on America's outer continental shelf. The ban has been in effect since 1990. Congress also passes a similar ban on offshore drilling on a yearly basis.
 
Brian Kennedy is senior vice president for public affairs with the Institute for Energy Research. He argues the rationale behind his group's request that he believes would force Congress to take a longer view.
 
"We've gone ahead and asked the president to lead by ripping up the executive moratorium," Kennedy explains. "That would create a situation whereby the Congress would have to come up with a long-term strategy – not some annual ban that expires every year, but a long-term plan that would put some common sense and some flexibility into our offshore energy laws."
 
He wonders why the ban is still in place, seeing that China has plans to drill for energy 60 miles off the U.S. coastline. "The Cuban government has entered into contracts with China and a few other countries to begin to look at producing energy at the offshore, just 60 or so miles from the United States," says the Institute spokesman. "The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that restricts access to its offshore energy resources in the way that we do. It is what one senator called 'economic and strategic masochism.'"
 
Kennedy also contends there is no justifiable or defensible reason for the government to be restricting access to these supplies, especially considering the current energy situation. According to a Reuters article, House Republicans have recently vowed to push for more energy development within the United States. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) says Republicans will fight every single day over the next five months to hold the Democrats accountable for their "dismal record on producing more energy" in the U.S.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on June 16, 2008, 09:56:22 PM
Congress would have to come up with a long-term strategy – not some annual ban that expires every year, but a long-term plan that would put some common sense and some flexibility into our offshore energy laws."
 

Can you use "Congress" and "common sense" in the same sentence?

."The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that restricts access to its offshore energy resources in the way that we do.

I would say "Unbelievable....except that I believe it!"

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) says Republicans will fight every single day over the next five months to hold the Democrats accountable for their "dismal record on producing more energy" in the U.S.

I like this guy!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 16, 2008, 10:54:44 PM
Can you use "Congress" and "common sense" in the same sentence?

Yep ... "Congress lacks common sense." " Congress has zero common sense." A few more like that works for me.  :D :D


Quote
I like this guy!

Me, too.

It's good to see you back on here, sister. How did the camping trip go?



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on June 16, 2008, 10:57:03 PM
Can you use "Congress" and "common sense" in the same sentence?


Yep ... "Congress lacks common sense." " Congress has zero common sense." A few more like that works for me.  :D :D


Oh!!  I guess you can!


Title: Oklahoma to feds: Don't tread on me
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 16, 2008, 11:23:44 PM
Oklahoma to feds: Don't tread on me
State House defends its sovereignty from D.C. intrusion

Steamed over a perceived increase in federal usurping of states' rights, Oklahoma's House of Representatives told Washington, D.C., to back off.

Joint House Resolution 1089, passed by an overwhelming 92-3 margin, reasserts Oklahoma's sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and, according to the resolution's own language, is "serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates."

The Tenth Amendment states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Traditionally, this language has meant that the federal government is limited in its scope and cannot usurp the sovereign powers of states. In recent decades, however, as the size and reach of the federal government has expanded, many have come to question whether Washington has stepped on states' rights and gotten too big for its breeches.

Charles Key, the Republican state representative who authored the resolution, told WND that he introduced it because he believes the federal government's overstepping of its bounds has put our constitutional form of government in danger.

"The more we stand by and watch the federal government get involved in areas where it has no legal authority, we kill the Constitution a little at a time," he said. "The last few decades, the Constitution has been hanging by a thread."

Specifically, Resolution 1089 says the following:

"The State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."

The resolution resolves that Oklahoma will "serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers."

It also instructs that "a copy of this resolution be distributed to the president of the United States, the president of the United States Senate, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate of each state's legislature of the United States of America, and each member of the Oklahoma congressional delegation."

The resolution does not, as some have speculated, amount to secession, but it does send a warning signal to Washington: Oklahoma does not intend to be bullied by big brother government.

The Sooner State became a hotbed of federal vs. state authority clashes earlier this month when a federal judge blocked a portion of Oklahoma's tough immigration laws, ruling that plaintiffs would likely establish that the state mandates preempted federal immigration laws.

Oklahoma's immigration statute, known as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007, originated as House Bill 1804 (co-authored, incidentally, by Key). It has been characterized by USA Today as "arguably the nation's toughest state law targeting illegal immigration."

The statute prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving tax-supported services and makes it a state crime to transport or harbor illegal immigrants. It also mandates that businesses take measures to verify the work eligibility of employees and independent contractors.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and individual chambers of commerce in Oklahoma challenged the latter mandates, set to go into effect July 1, in court.

On June 4th, U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron issued an injunction against enforcing the July 1 mandates.

"We've just had a federal judge say that our immigration law's employer provisions are unconstitutional, claiming it as federal government territory," said Key in response. "That goes right to the issue of (Resolution 1089). The federal government doesn't have the right to have sole domain over that issue or many of the issues it has spilled over into."

Though House Joint Resolution 1089 received great support in Oklahoma's House of Representatives, it has now hit a roadblock. In the state's Senate, where the seats are split, 24-24, between Republicans and Democrats, the resolution was sent to the Senate's rules committee, where it languished without action until the legislature adjourned.

According to Key, the Senate has worked out agreements on how to manage the political tie, including power given to the Democratic senators to not hear certain bills. Those senators, says Key, refuse to even hear Resolution 1089.

In the House, where Republicans enjoy a 57-44 majority, Resolution 1089 received a hearing and was supported overwhelmingly on both sides of the aisle.

"I was on the Democratic side of the floor," said Key, "and one member went off talking about how far we've gotten, how bad (federal overreaches of power) are getting – it's the kind of thing you hear in coffee shops."

Key said his bill "is making a difference" in the way legislators in Oklahoma are talking and thinking about state's rights. "I think it will make even more of a difference," he said, "when I bring it up again." He vows to put the pressure on Oklahoma's Senate to pass a resolution like 1089, and he plans to begin communicating the cause with legislators around the country, urging them to bring up the issue in their states.

Key passed a similar resolution in 1994, when he was serving a previous tenure in the legislature. But that attempt was only a House resolution. He authored 1089 as a joint resolution because, he said, he wanted to increase its exposure. "As people who believe in this constitutional form of government," he said, "we need to bring this issue to a national level and debate."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on June 17, 2008, 03:43:00 AM
YEAH!

It sounds like Oklahoma is going in the right direction. Many Federal judges around the country ARE BUTCHERING the Constitution in almost countless ways these days. Many State Representatives of the people are doing the same things. The rule of law, civil rights, and Constitutional rights were the MORAL FOUNDATION that WAS UNDER GOD at one time not too long ago. This is what the devil is attempting to destroy as we speak.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 17, 2008, 01:49:19 PM
Senate sends Jindal bill on evolution

A bill to overhaul the way evolution is taught in Louisiana public schools easily cleared its final legislative hurdle Monday despite threats of a lawsuit.

Opponents, mostly outside the State Capitol, contend the legislation would inject creationism and other religious themes into public schools.

However, the Senate voted 36-0 without debate to go along with the same version of the proposal that the House passed last week 94-3.

The measure, Senate Bill 733, now goes to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is expected to sign it.

Backers said the bill is needed to give science teachers more freedom to hold discussions that challenge traditional theories, including Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

“It provides assurances to both teachers and students that academic inquiries are welcome and appropriate in the science classroom,” said Gene Mills, executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum.

Mills’ group touts itself as one that promotes traditional family values. It was called an influential mover behind the bill.

However, officials of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana and Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington, D.C., said the bill represents an intrusion of religion into public schools that may warrant a lawsuit.

“It is the ACLU’s position that we intend to do whatever is necessary to keep religion out of our science classrooms.” said Marjorie R. Esman, executive director of the group in New Orleans.

The legislation is called the Louisiana Science Education Act.

It would allow science teachers to use supplemental materials, in addition to state-issued textbooks, on issues like evolution, global warming and human cloning.

The aim of such materials, the bill says, is to promote “critical thinking skills, logical analysis and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied,” including evolution.

“I just believe that it is important that supplemental scientific information be able to be brought into the school system,” state Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa and sponsor of the bill, said after the vote.

Nevers said that, despite the rapid pace of changes in science, textbooks are only updated every seven years.

Critics said DVDs and other supplemental materials with religious themes will be added to classrooms to try to undercut widely accepted scientific views.

The bill cleared its final legislative hurdle in less than five minutes.

Nevers noted that the key change made in the House would allow the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to toss out science supplemental materials that it considers inappropriate.

Opponents contend the bill is a bid to allow the teaching of creationism and intelligent design. Christian creationism is the view that life began 6,000 years ago in a process described in the Bible’s Book of Genesis.

Intelligent design advocates believe that the universe stems from an intelligent designer rather than chance.

The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said in a prepared statement that the bill “is clearly designed to smuggle religion into the science classroom, and that’s unwise and unconstitutional.” Joe Conn, a spokesman for the group, said attorneys will review the bill.

Lynn’s group calls itself a national watchdog organization to prevent government-backed religious teaching.

Barbara Forrest, of Holden, a member of the group’s board of trustees and a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, also criticized passage of the measure.

“I think what the Legislature has done is an embarrassment to the state in the eyes of the entire country,” Forrest said.

Nevers downplayed talk of legal action against his bill.

“I don’t think any lawsuits will be brought because of this act,” he said.

Mills predicted that the bill will survive any legal challenge.

In 1987 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1981 state law that required equal time on creationism when evolution was taught in public schools.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 17, 2008, 11:24:02 PM
'Statue of Tyranny' case advances
Attorneys argue 10th Circuit ruling also would permit 'Hitler memorial'

Could some wealthy private party force the U.S. to allow a "Statue of Tyranny" in New York harbor alongside the famed Statue of Liberty? Yes, unless the U.S. Supreme Court reverses a confused free speech decision from a split 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, according to a law firm advocating for constitutional rights.

"The court of appeals' approach would make the government's display of the Statue of Liberty the speech of France, not the United States, entitling others to erect counter-monuments," said a brief filed with the high court by the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents the city of Pleasant Grove, Utah, in the dispute.

"Likewise, the Vietnam, Korean, World War II, and upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr., monuments in the nation's capital would likely be deemed private speech, not government speech, entitling Summum and everyone else with a monument to occupy their own corner of the National Mall," the brief said.

The case arose from a demand by the group Summum to have its "Seven Aphorisms" monument erected near a Ten Commandments monument on display, among other monuments and memorials, in Pioneer Park in Pleasant Grove, Utah. When the city declined, Summum sued. The ACLJ came to the defense of the city, and a federal district court in Utah refused to order the city to erect Summum's monument. Then a three-judge panel at 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver said Summum could insist upon erecting its own "Seven Aphorisms" monument because the city already displayed a monument of the Ten Commandments which was donated decades ago by the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

The ACLJ yesterday filed its opening brief on behalf of the city's rights in the case that could impact local, state and federal government decisions across the continent. The case essentially will decide, the ACLJ said, if cities will be faced with the choice of dismantling all monuments, memorials and other displays, "including long-standing patriotic and historical displays," or let "all comers install privately owned monuments or displays, regardless of content."

"The Supreme Court is faced with what we believe is an easy choice: preserve sound precedent involving the well-established distinction between government speech and private speech – or permit a twisted interpretation of the Constitution to create havoc in cities and localities across America," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, who will present oral arguments to the high court on behalf of Pleasant Grove.

"We're hopeful the high court will correct a troubling decision that ultimately would force local governments to remove long-standing and well established patriotic, religious and historical displays," he said.

The ACLJ's brief says the First Amendment does not require that a government park be turned into a "cluttered junkyard of monuments contributed by all comers," but the 10th Circuit ruling made several crucial errors and failed to recognize that.

"First, the court below fundamentally misapprehended the distinction between government speech and private speech in this case," the brief said. "Second, the court below misidentified the relevant 'forum.' Third, the court erroneously held that city parks are traditional public fora for private, unattended, permanent monuments. Fourth, the lower court erred by holding that a city's acceptance of donated monuments creates a designated public forum for private speech through such monuments," the brief said.

The concept of allowing anything as a monument is "scary," Frank Manion, of the ACLJ, told WND earlier. "The Minutemen in Massachusetts? We need a Redcoat. A George Washington statue? Why not George the 3rd. A Holocaust memorial? How about a Hitler memorial?"

The brief describes Summum as a "corporate sole and a church" founded in 1975 with headquarters in Salt Lake City. The "organization" lauds the principles of "psychokinesis, correspondence, vibration, opposition, rhythm, cause and effect, and gender," and promotes mummification of both people and pets.

The ACLJ said the Ten Commandments monuments are the real targets of the legal actions, because in many circumstances, cities or other governments likely would order such monuments removed, rather than order acceptance of others.

The ACLJ, which has worked on the case with the Thomas More Law Center, contends that the Constitution "does not empower private parties to force permanent displays into a park, crowding out the available physical space and trumping the government's own vision" for the parks.

"In the [related] Duchesne case, even an attorney for Summum admitted to the federal district court that its position could lead to bizarre results. Summum's attorneys told the court that if a city park is required to display monuments contributed by all comers, the city park may well end up looking like a cemetery with many, many monuments," the ACLJ said.

Under Summum's theology, adherents believe the first set of stone tablets Moses received on Mt. Sinai contained its seven aphorisms, "made by a divine being."

"The first set of stone tablets was not inscribed with the Ten Commandments. Rather, they contained aphorisms of a Higher Law that held very profound and deep meanings," the organization's website says.

The group believes Moses "had been initiated into an understanding of the inner, esoteric source" of those aphorisms, but when he "observed the immature behavior and attitude of the Israelites" he realized they could not understand them too.

"So Moses destroyed the stone tables and revealed the aphorisms to a select few."

The ACLJ warned earlier: "In 1886, the United States government accepted from the people of France a donation of a 151-foot tall colossal statue called 'Liberty Enlightening the World.' Since that time, the government has displayed this Statue of Liberty in a traditional public forum in New York Harbor.

"For years, demonstrators with messages to deliver have assembled, handed out literature and otherwise expressed themselves at the site subject to certain regulations of the time, place and manner of their expression. But it probably never occurred to any such demonstrators that they enjoyed a constitutional right to insist that the government allow them to erect their own 151-foot tall statue or monument setting forth an alternative message to that conveyed by Lady Liberty," the law firm warned.

"Under the flawed private speech jurisprudence of the panel in this case – there exists no principled basis upon which the government could turn down for permanent display on Liberty Island a donation of a 'Statue of Tyranny,' or, perhaps, a new copper colossus bearing the message 'Pay No Attention to the Lady With the Torch – the Golden Door is Now Closed,'" the legal briefs argued.

The brief notes "while 'The Great Gatsby' is admittedly not a government speech, the selection of that book for placement on a public library's shelves is government speech. F. Scott Fitzgerald (were he still alive) could neither insist on the book's inclusion … nor object to its removal from the shelves to make way for the latest Harry Potter book."

Unless overturned, the 10th Circuit ruling "threatens to wreak havoc upon governments at every level in their ability to control the permanent physical occupation of government land."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 18, 2008, 10:57:21 PM
Dems want control
over U.S. oil flow
Hinchey joins Waters, says
'We should own refineries'

The itch to control the U.S. oil industry is spreading among Democrats in Washington, with Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., joining in the chorus to nationalize the energy company assets.

"We (the government) should own the refineries," Hinchey said today, according to a Fox News alert. "Then we can control how much gets out into the market.

WND earlier reported when U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., during a grilling of oil executives by a panel of U.S. House members, threatened to nationalize the industry if executives were unsuccessful in bringing pump prices for gasoline down.

A report by Fox News, captured in a clip posted on YouTube.com, showed Waters challenging the president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister, to guarantee the prices consumers pay will go down if the oil companies are allowed to drill wherever they want off of U.S. shores.

Hofmeister replied: "I can guarantee to the American people, because of the inaction of the United States Congress, ever-increasing prices unless the demand comes down."

The Shell exec said paying $5 at the pump "will look like a very low price in the years to come if we are prohibited from finding new reserves, new opportunities to increase supplies."

Waters responded, in part, "And guess what this liberal would be all about. This liberal will be about socializing … uh, um. …"

The congresswoman paused to collect her thoughts.

"Would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies. …"

The oil executives responded, according to Fox News, by saying they've seen this before, in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.

Fox reported today the latest statements from Hinchey came as Democrats responded to President Bush's call for Congress to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling.

Democrats also said the reason the Appropriations Committee markup, where the vote on an amendment to lift a ban on offshore drilling was to be, was cancelled so that representatives could focus on a supplemental Iraq spending bill.

Hinchey, one of the more ardent opponents of off-shore drilling, simply said Congress will do what is "in the best interest of the American people. Not major corporations."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 18, 2008, 10:59:46 PM
Quote
Hinchey, one of the more ardent opponents of off-shore drilling, simply said Congress will do what is "in the best interest of the American people. Not major corporations."

... and not what is in the best interest of the people either.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 20, 2008, 04:01:30 PM
State denies cancer treatment, offers suicide instead
'To say, we'll pay for you to die, but not pay for you to live, it's cruel'

State officials have offered a lung cancer patient the option of having the Oregon Health Plan, set up in 1994 to ration health care, pay for an assisted suicide but not for the chemotherapy prescribed by her physician.

The story appears to be a happy ending for Barbara Wagner, who has been notified by a drug manufacturer that it will provide the expensive medication, estimated to cost $4,000 a month, for the first year and then allow her to apply for further treatment, according to a report in the Eugene Register-Guard.

But the word from the state was coverage for palliative care, which would include the state's assisted suicide program, would be allowed but not coverage for the cancer treatment drugs.

"To say to someone, we'll pay for you to die, but not pay for you to live, it's cruel," Wagner told the newspaper. "I get angry. Who do they think they are?"

She said she was devastated when the state health program refused coverage for Tarceva, the drug her doctor ordered for treatment of her lung cancer.

The refusal came in an unsigned letter from LIPA, the company that runs the state program in that part of Oregon.

"We had no intent to upset her, but we do need to point out the options available to her under the Oregon Health Plan," Dr. John Sattenspiel, senior medical director for LIPA, told the newspaper.

"I understand the way it was interpreted. I'm not sure how we can lift that. The reality is, at some level (doctor-assisted suicide) could be considered as a palliative or comfort care measure."

The 64-year-old Wagner lives in a low-income apartment in Springfield with her dog, the newspaper said.

State officials say the Oregon Health Plan prioritizes treatments, with diagnoses and ailments deemed the most important, such as pregnancy, childbirth and preventive care for children at the top of the list. Other treatments rank below, officials said.

"We can't cover everything for everyone," Dr. Walter Shaffer, a spokesman for the state Division of Medical Assistance Programs, told the paper. "Taxpayer dollars are limited for publicly funded programs. We try to come up with policies that provide the most good for the most people."

He said many cancer treatments are a high priority, but others reflect the "desire on the part of the framers of this list to not cover treatments that are futile."

Wagner, however, is ending up with the treatment needed when her lung cancer, in remission for two years, returned.

She reported a representative for the pharmaceutical company called and notified her the drug would be provided for at least the first year.

"We have been warning for years that this was a possibility in Oregon," said the "Bioethics Pundit" on the Bioethics blog. "Medicaid is rationed, meaning that some treatments are not covered. But assisted suicide is always covered."

"This isn't the first time this has happened either," the blogger wrote. "A few years ago a patient who needed a double organ transplant was denied the treatment but would have been eligible for state-financed assisted suicide. But not to worry. Just keep repeating the mantra: There are no abuses with Oregon's assisted suicide law. There are no abuses. There are no abuses!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 20, 2008, 04:07:37 PM
Constitutionality of light bulb ban questioned
Congressman doubts China imports answer to U.S. energy crisis

Members of Congress are beginning to have second thoughts about the ban on incandescent light bulbs effective in 2014 as a result of an energy bill signed into law earlier this year.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, says his objection is very basic – the Constitution doesn't authorize Congress to do anything remotely like banning a product that has been used safely and efficiently for more than 100 years in favor of Chinese-imported compact fluorescent light bulbs that pose considerable health and safety risks.

Poe cited the dangers associated with CFLs, which carry small amounts of mercury that can enter the environment through breakage and disposal. He also objected to reliance on the CFL alternatives when, currently, all are made in China.

"Congress passed an energy bill that should be called the anti-American non-energy bill because it punishes Americans for using energy when it should be finding new sources of available energy," Poe stated.

From the floor of the House, Poe addressed the dangers of the CFL bulbs, explaining the extensive cleanup required by the Environmental Protection Agency for simply breaking a bulb. When a bulb, which contains mercury, is broken, according to the EPA, the room must be evacuated for 15 minutes and aired out with windows, but not before all glass is removed, placed in a sealed glass jar and disposed of outside. Any remaining glass must be picked up with tape. In addition, central heating or air conditioning units must be turned off.

This is what the EPA officials say about light bulbs they want the public to use.

In addition, the bulbs cause photographs to fade and can interfere with radio signals, television and remote controls, according to Poe.

"Madam speaker, I have a Constitution here, like most members of Congress," Poe said. "I carry it with me, I've read it through and through but I don't see anywhere in the U.S. Constitution where it gives the government the right to control the type of light bulbs used in Dime Box, Texas, or anywhere else in the United States."

Poe criticized Congress' focus on regulation rather than working to develop natural resources during an energy crisis.

"I yearn for the day when Americans took care of America by developing our own abundant natural resources like coal, natural gas and crude oil to provide affordable energy to Americans," Poe remarked.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 21, 2008, 11:57:27 AM
House passes new surveillance law
Compromise bill easily approved, shields telecoms from related lawsuits

The House Friday easily approved a compromise bill setting new electronic surveillance rules that effectively shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits arising from the government's terrorism-era warrantless eavesdropping on phone and computer lines in this country.

The bill, which was passed on a 293-129 vote, does more than just protect the telecoms. The update to the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an attempt to balance privacy rights with the government's responsibility to protect the country against attack, taking into account changes in telecommunications technologies.

"This bill, though imperfect, protects both," said Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., and a former member of the intelligence committee.

President Bush praised the bill Friday. "It will help our intelligence professionals learn enemies' plans for new attacks," he said in a statement before television cameras a few hours before the vote.

The House's passage of the FISA Amendment bill marks the beginning of the end to a monthslong standoff between Democrats and Republicans about the rules for government wiretapping inside the United States. The Senate was expected to pass the bill with a large margin, perhaps as soon as next week, before Congress takes a break during the week of the Fourth of July.

The government eavesdropped on American phone and computer lines for almost six years after the Sept. 11 attacks without permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the special panel established for that purpose under the 1978 law. Some 40 lawsuits have been filed against the telecommunications companies by groups and individuals who think the Bush administration illegally monitored their phone calls or e-mails.

The White House had threatened to veto any surveillance bill that did not also shield the companies.

The compromise bill directs a federal district court to review certifications from the attorney general saying the telecommunications companies received presidential orders telling them wiretaps were needed to detect or prevent a terrorist attack. If the paperwork were deemed in order, the judge would dismiss the lawsuit.

It would also require the inspectors general of the Justice Department, Pentagon and intelligence agencies to investigate the wiretapping program, with a report due in a year.

Critics of the bill say dismissal is a foregone conclusion.

"These provisions turn the judiciary into the administration's rubber stamp," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. She opposes the bill.

Opponents of immunity believe civil lawsuits are the only way the full extent of the wiretapping program will ever be revealed.

Key senators voiced strong opposition to the compromise, although they're unlikely to have the votes to either defeat or filibuster the bill. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, condemned the immunity deal. He said that nothing in the new bill would prevent the government from once again wiretapping domestic phone and computer lines without court permission.

Specter said the problem is constitutional: The White House may still assert that the president's Article II powers as commander in chief supersede statutes that would limit him actions.

"Only the courts can decide that issue and this proposal dodges it," Specter said.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California disputed that, saying FISA would from now on be the authority for the government to conduct electronic surveillance.

"There is no inherent authority of the president to do whatever he wants. This is a democracy, not a monarchy," she said.

Some civil liberties and privacy groups are also opposing the bill. They object not only to the immunity provision but to what they consider the weakening of the FISA court's oversight of government eavesdropping. For example, the government can initiate a wiretap without court permission if "important intelligence" would otherwise be lost. It has a week to file the request for approval with the court, and the court has 30 days to act on it. But if the court objects to how the government is carrying out the wiretap, it could be weeks before those methods are changed or stopped.

"What we have here is the opportunity for the government to commit mass untargeted surveillance," said Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

Opponents also contend the privacy of Americans who communicate with people overseas is not adequately protected. The bill would allow the government to tap the foreigner's calls without court approval, and critics contend that innocent American conversations can be swept up in that.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment bill also would:

    * Require FISA court permission to wiretap Americans who are overseas.
    * Prohibit targeting a foreigner to secretly eavesdrop on an American's calls or e-mails without court approval.
    * Allow the FISA court 30 days to review existing but expiring surveillance orders before renewing them.
    * Allow eavesdropping in emergencies without court approval, provided the government files required papers within a week.
    * Prohibit the government from invoking war powers or other authorities to supersede surveillance rules in the future.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 21, 2008, 12:00:53 PM
'American Religious History Week' proposed

Some U.S. House members are calling for passage of a resolution designating the first week each May as "American Religious History Week."

The sponsor and many of the co-sponsors of House Resolution 888 made their appeal before a mostly empty House chamber June 17. All were Republicans except for North Carolina Democrat Mike McIntyre.
 
Congressman Trent Franks (R-Arizona) says the meaning of the First Amendment has been twisted. While Congressman John Carter (R-Texas) argued that Washington, DC, is not a totally secular city.
 
If the measure is approved, the designated week would coincide with the National Day of Prayer, which is held the first Thursday in May.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 23, 2008, 11:53:47 PM
Israel-Hating Republican

Forty-eight-year-old Rima Barakat-Sinclair has been a resident of Denver since 1987. Never having held political office before, she is currently running as a Republican for a State House seat in Colorado’s Sixth District, which is heavily Democratic and features the largest per capita Jewish population in the state. With the self-identified aim of working “for better understanding among peoples of different backgrounds,” Barakat-Sinclair has participated in numerous “interfaith dialogues” to promote “more tolerance” and create “a stronger united America.” She pledges undying allegiance to such ideals as “upholding the Constitution,” defending “individual freedom,” promoting “small government,” enacting “prudent tax and spending policies,” “investing in our children,” guaranteeing “freedom of religion,” and recognizing “the sanctity of human life.”

Oh, and by the way, she is a Muslim activist who considers Israel to be a nation of bloodthirsty monsters who indiscriminately murder innocent Palestinian women and children for no reason other than to satisfy their own beastly compulsions.

While working as a contract translator for CNN in 2003, Mrs. Barakat-Sinclair was part of an interfaith delegation of Christians and Muslims who paid a friendly visit to Yasser Arafat at his Ramallah headquarters, where, since December 2001, Israeli troops had been keeping him under virtual house arrest in an effort to derail his terrorist activities. Favorably impressed by the most prolific Jew-killer since Adolf Hitler, Barakat-Sinclair would later reflect: “I know the accusations about him [Arafat] supporting terror, but he was so confined and surrounded that to me it seemed more like visiting a tourist attraction than visiting a head of state. It was very, very weird.” Arafat’s main message to his visitors, she expanded, was that he felt “robbed of his legacy” because “the peace process had not gone forward.” Added the star-struck woman, “He [Arafat] flirted [with me] a bit, in a very nice way, you know, saying, ‘I like your hair, your long braids.’”

Barakat-Sinclair was a key participant in an October 2005 conference sponsored by Sabeel, a Jerusalem-based organization that supports a “one-state solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict, where Israel would continue to exist, but not as a Jewish state. Barakat-Sinclair led a workshop on the topic of the so-called “Right of Return” of those Palestinian refugees who (for the most part) voluntarily had left the region during the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel. At that time, the refugees sought out safe haven during what they anticipated would be a brief war that the Arab allies undoubtedly would win, and they fully expected to return to their homes within a few weeks -- once the fighting had stopped and the Jews had been crushed. Instead, the Arab armies were defeated. Barakat-Sinclair now calls for the re-admittance not only of the relatively few surviving people who were among those 725,000 original refugees, but also for the admittance of several millions of their descendants, a move that would transform Israel overnight into an Arab-majority state dominated by Muslims sympathetic to the aims of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In a July 2006 interview with CBS television, Barakat-Sinclair stood truth on its head when she condemned Israel’s “imprisonment of five million Palestinians” who, for their part, were “trying to resolve this conflict peacefully.” Israel had responded to those peace efforts, she said, by engaging in “more and more land-grabbing,” by erecting a wall “literally imprisoning hundreds of thousands of people,” and by incarcerating more than “ten thousand prisoners,” including women and children, “for no reason.” “Israeli soldiers now are known to be just bombing and killing babies,” she added for good measure. (Click here for video of this interview.)

Four months later, Barakat-Sinclair charged that a “depraved” Israel routinely carried out “massacres” by means of “the regular use of disproportionate firepower against a trapped population in Gaza” -- thereby demonstrating “the level of contempt with which the Israel government views Palestinian lives.” She told tales of sadistic Israeli soldiers beating handicapped people, gunning down women and babies, opening fire on crowds of beachgoers, breaking into homes at night and murdering entire families in their beds, and riddling children with bullets while the youngsters were merely harvesting strawberries. Likening Israel’s “mass slaughter” of Palestinians to the horrors that existed under “slavery, [South African] apartheid and Nazi concentration camps,” Barakat-Sinclair said that Israel “has turned back the clock to the time of the barbarians” by engaging in “the systematic indiscriminate murder of civilians and the illegal collective imprisonment of a whole nation.”

“As Americans we must understand that the world sees the United States as a collaborator in this endless carnage,” says Barakat-Sinclair. “The F-16s that drop Israeli death decrees upon the Palestinians were ‘Made in the USA.’ We finance and enable the perpetrators to commit these crimes with impunity and in violation of our own laws.”

Just as Barakat-Sinclair places no limits on the lies she is willing to tell about Israel, so is she prepared to go to any lengths to avoid criticizing Islamic terrorists. Indeed she has claimed on the air that the Hamas Charter does not in any way call for Israel’s destruction. Yet that document decrees plainly, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” The Charter further contains numerous calls for violent jihad to counter “the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine.”

Barakat-Sinclair also has defended Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi against his critics, calling him “a renowned Muslim scholar.” A disciple of the Muslim Brotherhood -- which Islam expert Robert Spencer describes as “the parent organization of Hamas and al-Qaeda” -- Qaradawi is a supporter of Palestinian terrorism who has been barred from entering the United States since 1999.

Barakat-Sinclair is a member of the Steering Committee of Muslims Intent on Learning and Action (MILA), an organization that seeks to increase Muslims’ involvement in the American political process. Her own current candidacy is a reflection of that mission.

To pass herself off as a conservative Republican, Barakat-Sinclair has had to resort to considerable deception. For instance, she falsely represented herself at the District Assembly as a pro-life opponent of abortion. Her duplicity on this issue eventually would come to light, however, when a researcher tracked down a quote where Barakat-Sinclair had told the Rocky Mountain News on August 14, 2004: “I would like to have a president who is pro-choice.”

Barakat-Sinclair’s opponent in the upcoming Republican primary (slated for August 12th) will be Joshua Sharf, a contract web developer whose professional career also has included work as a talk radio host, a financial analyst, and a defense and intelligence consultant for such projects as satellite systems and missile defense. In 2004 and 2005, Sharf served as an election judge, and in 2006 he was a delegate to the Colorado Republican state assembly. A blogger at his own View From a Height website and at Brent Bozell’s Newsbusters, Sharf is running as a traditional conservative Republican, and not, despite the overwhelmingly Democratic makeup of the district, as an identity candidate.

cont'd


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 23, 2008, 11:54:08 PM
Sharf has accurately characterized Barakat-Sinclair as “a terror apologist, and an avowed enemy of Israel, with no credible conservative credentials.” “When engaged in anti-Israel propaganda,” Sharf observes, she usually goes by [the name] Rima Barakat. When engaged in broader political work, she goes by Rima Sinclair.…”

Taking a page directly out of the leftist playbook, Barakat-Sinclair has cast herself as a victim, dismissing Sharf’s criticisms of her affinity for Islamic extremism as evidence of her opponent’s Islamophobic bigotry. Complaining that “these attacks on me have intense emotions of hate and militancy behind them,” she laments that her detractors “hate my religion, my very being.”

In an effort to gain favorable press coverage for her political campaign, Barakat-Sinclair has turned to the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs, a project of the Council for the National Interest (CNI). CNI’s stated mission is “to restore a political environment in America in which voters and their elected officials are free from the undue influence and pressure of a foreign country, namely Israel.” Specifically, the organization calls for: “total withdrawal of Israel from all occupied territory”; “an end to all acts of aggression, provocation, and retaliation by Israel”; “American recognition of a totally independent state of Palestine”; and “an elimination of all unaudited U.S. aid to Israel.” In short, CNI is no friend of Israel.

Barakat-Sinclair’s case is vitally important because it offers a vivid illustration of how a Muslim radical can effectively wage bloodless jihad against the West by infiltrating the government and gaining a platform from which to infect the entire body politic. Her strategy is wholly consistent with the plans that were laid out in a secret 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum on “the General Strategic Goal…in North America.” Explaining that the Brotherhood’s mission was to establish “an effective and...stable Islamic Movement” on the continent, this document outlines a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” for achieving that objective. It states that Muslims “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands...so that...God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.’”

Rima Barakat-Sinclair is the living embodiment of that strategy. Those who oppose this strategy must place their principles above party identification.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on June 24, 2008, 08:47:51 AM
Quote
Barakat-Sinclair’s case is vitally important because it offers a vivid illustration of how a Muslim radical can effectively wage bloodless jihad against the West by infiltrating the government and gaining a platform from which to infect the entire body politic. Her strategy is wholly consistent with the plans that were laid out in a secret 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum on “the General Strategic Goal…in North America.” Explaining that the Brotherhood’s mission was to establish “an effective and...stable Islamic Movement” on the continent, this document outlines a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” for achieving that objective. It states that Muslims “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands...so that...God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.’”

Rima Barakat-Sinclair is the living embodiment of that strategy. Those who oppose this strategy must place their principles above party identification.

This would be the best way to conquer this nation, and it appears to be happening now. There is much more than just Islam working from within. The powers of darkness are out in the open and working around the clock. The devil is very skilled in destroying and deceiving - especially the weak. Sadly, many of our self-professed Christians aren't very strong, and many of them might not be Christians at all. When adversity comes, real Christians are still strengthened in the ancient ways:  1) Prayer;  2) THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD living in our hearts;  3) GOD'S WORD;  4) CHRIST - OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR forever.  I'm not hinting that Christians enjoy difficult times, but I will do more than hint that Real Christians are Children of the KING OF KINGS regardless of the times or difficulties. In fact, times of difficulty many times makes us STRONGER - not WEAKER!  WHY?  -  We were bought with a price and are not our own. The Promises of GOD to us will be fulfilled regardless of what happens in this short life. AND, WE KNOW THIS WORLD ISN'T OUR HOME! Hopefully, we will yield ourselves for GOD'S Use - regardless of what it is.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Ephesians 1:18-23 NASB I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 24, 2008, 01:15:30 PM
This would be the best way to conquer this nation, and it appears to be happening now. There is much more than just Islam working from within. The powers of darkness are out in the open and working around the clock. The devil is very skilled in destroying and deceiving - especially the weak. Sadly, many of our self-professed Christians aren't very strong, and many of them might not be Christians at all. When adversity comes, real Christians are still strengthened in the ancient ways:  1) Prayer;  2) THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD living in our hearts;  3) GOD'S WORD;  4) CHRIST - OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR forever.  I'm not hinting that Christians enjoy difficult times, but I will do more than hint that Real Christians are Children of the KING OF KINGS regardless of the times or difficulties. In fact, times of difficulty many times makes us STRONGER - not WEAKER!  WHY?  -  We were bought with a price and are not our own. The Promises of GOD to us will be fulfilled regardless of what happens in this short life. AND, WE KNOW THIS WORLD ISN'T OUR HOME! Hopefully, we will yield ourselves for GOD'S Use - regardless of what it is.

How true this is.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 24, 2008, 01:16:27 PM
Battle over 'Fairness Doctrine' heats up
Support for 'censorship' largely divided on political lines

The president isn't going to blame the Democrats – yet – for not fully supporting a plan that would assure broadcasters in the United States their freedom from government-imposed censorship on their views and comments.

The issue concerns the ongoing battle over the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" by which the federal government used to require radio broadcasters to "balance" their comments between conservative and liberal viewpoints.

There have been a multitude of calls in recent years for that doctrine to be reasserted by the federal government, in light of the overwhelming success of more traditional perspectives on radio airwaves today.

A spokeswoman for President Bush today said he doesn't believe there's any need for such censorship.

"The president believes that the First Amendment, freedom of speech and the press, should not be denied to radio and television by the so-called Fairness Doctrine, doesn't he?" asked Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House.

"That's correct," said Dana Perino, the White House spokeswoman.

"Republican congressman Mike Pence of Indiana has introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act, which needs only 24 more signatures on a discharge petition to go to the House floor for a vote. And my question: Since, in the House, both of Maryland's Republicans have supported the Broadcaster Freedom Act, but all six of Maryland's Democrats have refused to do so, the president recognizes this as an indication the Democrats generally want the return of the Fairness Doctrine's on-air censorship, doesn't he?," Kinsolving continued.

"I don't know if that's necessarily the case, but it sounds like you have some lobbying work to do up on Capitol Hill, so we should dispatch you up there and see if you can get it done," Perino said.

CBS then noted, "He (Kinsolving) is not allowed to lobby and hold a press pass at the same time, remind him."

While that generated a laugh, the issue of "Fairness" censorship is serious for broadcasters around the nation.

Pence, in introducing his plan earlier, noted the Federal Communications Commission and its precursor developed the "Fairness Doctrine" in the 1930s and 1940s, but it fell by the wayside under President Ronald Reagan's veto in 1985.

"The lifting of the Fairness Doctrine has opened the public airwaves to free and vigorous discussion of controversial issues by individuals of all political stripes," he said. "Talk radio has emerged as a dynamic forum for public debate."

But he said the recent discussion has focused on "the need to level the playing field … A liberal think tank recently condemned what they called the 'massive imbalance' on the radio airwaves."

"Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would amount to government control over political views expressed on the public airwaves. It is a dangerous proposal to suggest the government should be in the business of rationing free speech," he said.

Pence, a former broadcaster, said his Broadcasters Freedom Act would ensure that "true freedom and fairness will remain on our radio airwaves."

He now is trying to assemble the signatures on a discharge petition that would force a House floor vote on the issue. The Indiana Republican needs two dozen more.

WND reported earlier when Bush expressed the opinion that the doctrine is "Orwellian."

Former White House spokesman Tony Snow also told WND when he held the post that the Fairness Doctrine is not needed, even though Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has lobbied for the provision.

In a column, WND founder and editor Joseph Farah, issued a warning about what would be coming if Democrats retain control of the Senate and House in November.

"Prepare for a major, frontal assault on the First Amendment – perhaps the worst in American history," he wrote, citing a letter written by U.S. Senate President Harry Reid, D-Ariz., to talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh's network several months ago, demanding he apologize for something he never said.

"It was a shot across the bow by an arrogant group of petty, wannabe tyrants who would, if they could, use the coercive power of the state to stifle all dissenting views," Farah warned.

"They would do it under the rubric of 'hate speech' legislation. They would do it with the rationalization of 'fairness' and 'accuracy' – two qualities they wouldn't recognize if they tripped over them. They would do it in the name of campaign finance reform. In fact, they would do it without any excuse whatsoever," he continued.

"To them, the First Amendment doesn't actually protect the inalienable right to free speech and the free press. It only protects their speech and their press. They want a monopoly on media. They had it once and they got spoiled. They decided they can't live without it any more."

He said come January 2009, if Reid still is running the Senate and Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., still is running the House, "they are going to pass a law bringing back the so-called 'Fairness Doctrine.' If Barack Obama is in the White House, he will sign it."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 24, 2008, 01:42:34 PM
Planned Parenthood provision defeated

Irate Americans have derailed a move to put more money in the pockets of Planned Parenthood.

Members of Congress had attached to the War Supplemental funding bill a provision that would have permitted Planned Parenthood to purchase drugs at already discounted prices. Planned Parenthood would then sell those drugs at a huge markup -- in some cases up to 1,400 percent (see earlier story).

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America says that does not make sense. "Planned Parenthood already gets over $300 million from our taxes through federal, state, and local funding," she points out. "[A]nd just in 2006 they reported $112 million in profit."
 
However, it took a tremendous grassroots push to convince Congress to drop the provision. Wright thanks the hard work of those who contacted their congressional representatives, and the hard work of the members of Congress who "negotiated with the Democratic leadership" in order to remove the supplemental bill.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 25, 2008, 12:56:02 PM
Court rejects death penalty for raping children
Ruling states execution would violate ban on cruel and unusual punishment

The Supreme Court on Wednesday outlawed executions of people convicted of raping a child.

In a 5-4 vote, the court said the Louisiana law allowing the death penalty to be imposed in such cases violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

"The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion. His four liberal colleagues joined him, while the four more conservative justices dissented.

There has not been an execution in the United States for a crime that did not also involve the death of the victim in 44 years.

Patrick Kennedy, 43, was sentenced to death for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter in Louisiana. He is one of two people in the United States, both in Louisiana, who have been condemned to death for a rape that was not also accompanied by a killing.

The Supreme Court banned executions for rape in 1977 in a case in which the victim was an adult woman.

Forty-five states ban the death penalty for any kind of rape, and the other five states allow it for child rapists. Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas allow executions in such cases if the defendant had previously been convicted of raping a child.

'National consensus against'
The court struggled over how to apply standards laid out in decisions barring executions for the mentally retarded and people younger than 18 when they committed murder. In those cases, the court cited trends in the states away from capital punishment.

In this case, proponents of the Louisiana law said the trend was toward the death penalty, a point mentioned by Justice Samuel Alito in his dissent.

"The harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large by the worst child rapists is grave," Alito wrote. "It is the judgment of the Louisiana lawmakers and those in an increasing number of other states that these harms justify the death penalty."

But Kennedy said the absence of any executions for rape and the small number of states that allow it demonstrate "there is a national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape."

Kennedy also acknowledged that the decision had to come to terms with "the years of long anguish that must be endured by the victim of child rape."

Still, Kennedy concluded that in cases of crimes against individuals — as opposed to treason, for example — "the death penalty should not be expanded to instances where the victim's life was not taken."

The decision does not affect the imposition of the death penalty for other crimes that do not involve murder, including treason and espionage, he said.

Louisiana case
Patrick Kennedy was convicted in 2003 of raping his stepdaughter at their home in Harvey, La., outside New Orleans. The girl initially told police she was sorting Girl Scout cookies in the garage when two boys assaulted her.

Police arrested Kennedy a couple of weeks after the March 1998 rape, but more than 20 months passed before the girl identified him as her attacker.

His defense attorney at the time argued that blood testing was inconclusive and that the victim was pressured to change her story.

The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the sentence, saying that "short of first-degree murder, we can think of no other non-homicide crime more deserving" of the death penalty. State Chief Justice Pascal Calogero noted in dissent that the U.S. high court already had made clear that capital punishment could not be imposed without the death of the victim, except possibly for espionage or treason.

A second Louisiana man, Richard Davis was sentenced to death in December for repeatedly raping a 5-year-old girl in Caddo Parish, which includes Shreveport. Local prosecutor Lea Hall told jurors: "Execute this man. Justice has a sword and this sword needs to swing today."

The high court's decision leaves intact Kennedy's conviction, but will lead to a new sentence. The case is Kennedy v. Louisiana, 07-343.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 25, 2008, 07:20:50 PM
Feds boot Boy Scouts
for Rainbow Family
'It appears the group has managed
to intimidate an entire federal agency'

About 1,000 members of the honor society for the Boy Scouts of America have been booted from a long-planned national service project in Wyoming by federal officials in favor of a gathering by the "Rainbow Family," an unorganized annual assembly of "free spirits" who commune with nature and each other.

The action has left local leaders infuriated.

"It's a matter of intimidation," Sublette, Wyo., County commissioner Joel Bousman told WND. "It appears the Rainbow group has managed to intimidate an entire federal agency."

As WND has reported, the honor society for the Scouts, the Order of the Arrow, has been working for several years to put together this year's public service project called ArrowCorps5.

The plans include about 5,000 top Boy Scouts from across the country donating an estimated 250,000 hours of time to restore, repair, rebuild, reclaim and refurbish miles of trails, acres and glens in the nation's forests.

"ArrowCorps5 is the largest, most complex, most challenging conservation project ever conceived by the Order of the Arrow and Boy Scouts of America," said Brad Haddock, chairman of the National Order of the Arrow Committee. "This project provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for each participant to set an example of leadership in service to those who treasure our national forests."

The week-long projects already have taken place in Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri and Manti-La Sal in Utah. The projects in George Washington and Jefferson National Forest in Virginia are going on this week. Work in Shasta-Trinity in California starts July 12 and at Bridger-Teton in Wyoming, the work was set to begin July 26.

But the conflict arose with the Wyoming location and dates, because Rainbow Family participants announced they would meet in the same general location as the Scouting work was to take place. The Rainbow Family events are not organized, there is no official website, and the makeup of the assemblage varies. Their activities grow to a peak over the July 4th weekend and then taper off, but the cleanup from the estimated 25,000 people expected to invade Wyoming's Sublette County, population 6,000, is expected to take the time the Scouts otherwise would have been doing repairs.

Mary Cernicek, a spokeswoman for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, told the Casper Star-Tribune federal officials will look for other work in another location to substitute for the Scouts.

"We're heartbroken, but we're committed to giving the Boy Scouts a good experience and providing them with the education and leadership skills they're seeking," she told the newspaper.

Bousman said it's fairly simple: The Scouts applied for permission for their project, filled out forms, went through red tape, and got permission. Then came the announcement from Rainbow members they've chosen the same location.

Mark Rey, the federal undersecretary supervising the U.S. Forest Service, met with Rainbow Family members recently in Pinedale, and urged them to move their gathering, the Star-Tribune said. They refused.

Rey told WND he thought the decision to move the Scouts to somewhere else and leave the Rainbow Family alone was the best under the circumstances. He said the government allows the Rainbow Family to bypass its regular permit requirements in favor of an "operating plan" but the bottom line was that the government didn't want to be arresting hundreds or thousands of people.

"They couldn't be expelled without a fairly significant amount of law enforcement activity," he told WND.

Sue Bradford, a Montana woman who has attended Rainbow gatherings since the 1990s, said the group told the Forest Service where members would assemble, but no one informed them of the conflict until it was "too late," according to the newspaper.

"The Boy Scouts have been planning this since 2004," Bousman told WND. "They've been through the planning process and have been working very cooperatively with our Forest Service. They've spent lots of money planning the biggest venture ever for the Boy Scouts.

"They did everything legally, they had their permits. But because of the fact Undersecretary Rey, for whatever reason, took it on himself to do what he has referred to as an experimental process by which he does not require the Rainbow Group to have any permit, the conflict developed," Bousman said.

The problem for the county is simple: Time and money to prepare for any law enforcement, public health, environmental impact or other needs for an itinerant group numbering roughly four times the county's permanent population.

"It basically undercuts the ability of our county's law enforcement team to prepare," he said.

"It's hypocritical to allow this group with no permit to replace the Scouts," he said.

One of the websites run by a volunteer who publicizes information about the Rainbow Family calls it "the largest non-organization of non-members in the world. We have no leaders, and no organization … I think it's safe to say we're into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles.

"We also believe that peace and love are a great thing, and there isn't enough of that in this world. Many of our traditions are based on native American traditions, and we have a strong orientation to take care of the the (sic) Earth."

Garrick Beck, a New Mexican who has attended Rainbow gatherings since 1972, blamed the federal government.

"It's a mess, and it's unfortunate, and there's plenty of blame," he told the newspaper. "But this never would have happened, or could have happened, if the Forest Service at the very beginning had said, 'No, this is not a workable site.'"

He said there already were several hundred people living on the land when the Forest Service raised the issue of the conflict.

Forest Service officials disagreed. They reported they warned Rainbow representatives during their initial meeting this site created a conflict with the Scouts.

Scott Scheffler, a volunteer spokesman for the Scouts, told WND the various work projects are making "immediate" changes. In Missouri, for example, 100 acres of invasive salt cedar was removed, restoring the area's water table, allowing grasslands to re-grow and restoring the area's beautiful vistas.

Not only are Scouts donating their time and talents, they are paying their own expenses to travel in most cases and fees of about $250 per person per week, to cover the costs of food, housing, equipment and the like, officials said.

There are about 4.7 million people ages 7-20 in the scouting program run by more than 300 councils across the United States and its territories. The Order of the Arrow involves about 180,000 of those. The Forest Service manages about 193 million acres of land across the U.S., roughly the equivalent of the state of Texas.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 26, 2008, 11:56:31 AM
Dem pledges: I'll 'rip apart' child-rape victims on stand
'I'm going to make sure rest of their life is ruined'

Massachusetts politician and defense attorney Rep. James Fagan is under intense public scrutiny after he promised to "rip apart" child victims of rape who testify if the state imposes strict sentences for sex offenders.

Fagan, a Democrat, made his controversial remarks on the state House floor, Fox News reported.

"I'm gonna rip them apart," Fagan said of child victims. "I'm going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined, that when they're 8 years old, they throw up; when they're 12 years old, they won't sleep; when they're 19 years old, they'll have nightmares and they'll never have a relationship with anybody."

As a defense attorney, Fagan said he would prevent accused child sex offenders from experiencing a "mandatory sentence of those draconian proportions."

According to the report, his statements angered both colleagues and activists.

"I thought his comments were over the top and unnecessary," said Bradley Jones, Massachusetts House minority leader. "I appreciate that he's a defense attorney, and felt he had a point to make, but I think it was unnecessary. It was excessive."

Mark Lunsford, a Florida father who lost his 9-year-old daughter after she was kidnapped, wrapped in a trash bag and buried alive by a sex offender in 2005, said he was shocked by Fagan's remarks. He told the Boston Herald that Fagan should have more respect for the rights of sexually abused children.

"Why doesn't he figure out a way to defend that child and put these kind of people away instead of trying to figure ways for defense attorneys to get around Jessica's Law?" Lunsford asked. "These are very serious crimes that nobody wants to take serious. What about the rights of these children?"

The bill Fagan was so strongly opposed to designates mandatory minimum sentences of 10 to 15 years for crimes against children. It has passed in the House and made its way to the Senate.

According to Fox News, law professor Phyllis Goldfarb said Fagan comments were somewhat truthful in that they describe a defense attorney's obligation to find holes in the prosecutor's case when a person accused of sexually abusing a child faces mandatory sentencing.

"It is fundamentally true … if the proof is coming almost exclusively through a child witness you may have to find a way to test it," Goldfarb said. "That's the attorney-client obligation there."

Goldfarb said Fagan's language might have been dramatic, but she said he was just describing his profession.

"You do have to challenge a witness," she told Fox News. "Some people find ways of doing that that are loyal to their role as defense attorneys – testing the proof (in ways) that aren't abusive to a witness, but it's very hard. And I think being put in that hard position is what he seems to be railing against here, using language that's probably a little bit hyperbolic."

According to Boston Herald reports, Lunsford plans to appear before the Massachusetts Senate to convince lawmakers to incorporate fixed prison sentences into the state's final version of Jessica's Law.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 26, 2008, 11:58:18 AM
Jindal condemns Supreme Court, signs castration bill
Governor glad for new law to punish sex offenders on same day as 'atrocious ruling'

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it struck down the death penalty for child rape in his state, Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a bill authorizing castration of sexual offenders.

Jindal – frequently mentioned as a potential vice-presidential nominee – said he was "especially glad" to sign the Sex Offender Chemical Castration Bill "on the same day the Supreme Court has made an atrocious ruling against our state's ability to sentence those who sexually assault our children to the fullest extent."

"Those who prey on our children are among the very worst criminals imaginable," Jindal said in a statement.

In a 5-4 vote announced yesterday, the Supreme Court's majority said imposing the death penalty in child rape cases violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

"The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.

Hailing the new state castration law, Jindal said that as a father of three children, as well as a governor, he believes "sexually assaulting a child is one of the very worst crimes, and I am glad we have taken such strong measures in Louisiana to put a stop to these monsters’ brutal acts."

"I want to send the message loud and clear – to the Supreme Court of the United States and beyond – make no mistake about it, if anyone wants to molest children and commit sexual assaults on kids they should not do so here in Louisiana," said the governor.

"Here, we will do everything in our power to protect our children, and we will not rest until justice is won and we have fully punished those who harm them," Jindal said.

The Louisiana bill, SB 144, gives the court the option of castration on a first conviction of aggravated rape, forcible rape, second degree sexual battery, aggravated incest, molestation of a juvenile when the victim is under the age of 13, or an aggravated crime against nature.

Castration is required on a second conviction of the listed crimes.

The bill also allows a court to order physical castration instead of chemical castration. Convicted sex offenders who undergo castration must still serve their full sentence.

In the case addressed by yesterday's Supreme Court ruling, 43-year-old Patrick Kennedy was sentenced to death for the rape of his 8-year-old stepdaughter. The assault was so severe the girl needed surgery to repair some of her organs.

Kennedy is one of two people in the country condemned to death for a rape not accompanied by a killing.

Both cases are in Louisiana, where proponents of the law argued there is a national trend toward the death penalty for child rape cases. Justice Samuel Alito pointed that out in his dissent, arguing the "harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large by the worst child rapists is grave."

"It is the judgment of the Louisiana lawmakers and those in an increasing number of other states that these harms justify the death penalty," Alito wrote.

Justice Kennedy contended, however, "there is a national consensus against capital punishment for the crime of child rape," based on the absence of any executions for rape and the fact that only five states allow it.

Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas allow executions for child rape if the defendant had a previous conviction for the crime.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 27, 2008, 12:08:44 PM
'Religion in private' OK, says ACLU
New limits on Christians leave family groups reeling

Colorado's new state law that was based on the apparent belief that free speech rights are not unalienable and they sometimes must be restricted is scaring residents who now fear expressing their opinions in public.

WND has reported previously that the law, SB200, which was promoted as an "anti-discrimination" plan favoring alternative sexual lifestyles and gender perceptions, has made it a criminal offense to discriminate against someone based on those lifestyles or perceptions.

The Christian publishing house Focus on the Family has called it a payback by the Democrat-controlled legislature and Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter to homosexual activists such as millionaire Tim Gill, who has donated widely to pro-homosexual political candidates.

The Focus analysis of the plan, according to spokesman Bruce Hausknecht, shows that besides the obvious impacts of opening restrooms and locker rooms statewide to members of either sex, depending on a perception of their gender, "the biggest danger this law poses is to the religious or moral consciences of small business owners who may object to doing business with people whose lifestyle they do not want to promote."

"Who would have believed that the Colorado state legislature and its governor would have made it fully legal for men to enter and use women's restrooms and locker-room facilities without notice or explanation?" Focus founder James Dobson said. "Henceforth, every woman and little girl will have to fear that a predator, bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual or heterosexual male might walk in and relieve himself in their presence."

Other groups also have issued warnings.

Colorado Family Action wrote of the plan: "This bill lays groundwork for state-sanctioned abuse of individuals and organizations who have faithfully held religious convictions and refuse to offer or sell goods or services to homosexuals, bisexuals, transgendered, or transsexual individuals because of such beliefs.

"This desire to limit the constitutionally guaranteed right to the 'free exercise of religion' can be seen in Cathryn Hazouri's, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, testimony given before the Colorado House Judiciary Committee," the group said.

"One may practice one's religion in private; however, once a religious person comes into the public arena, there are limitations in how the expression of their religion impacts others," she had said.

Individual residents also now are beginning to realize the potential of the new law, which was approved by the legislature with a declaration that it is needed for "public safety" so it is not subject to any vote of the people.

"Now, as I stand outside of a movie theater bathroom or a swimming pool shower room door and guard the most precious thing in my life: my wife and daughter's safety, modesty and privacy, I can no longer stop a man from entering a woman's domain," wrote a concern resident whose name was withheld. "(I will anyway, that's why I'm a criminal!)"

"An act that once was criminal is now legitimate, and what was taught to me as a virtue is now a vice. Not only am I liable for civil penalties but criminal, as I can be sentenced for up to a year in jail," he wrote.

"I immediately contacted my state representative, Wes McKinley, to ask him what his stand was on this bill. He proudly told me he supported it. I brought to his attention the recent case in New Mexico that was in national news. A photographer refused to photograph a lesbian ceremony. The lesbian couple found another photographer who would and then turned around and sued the Christian photographer for refusing. They won the suit and the photographer was fined over $6,000.00. I asked Rep. McKinley if he thought this was right. He told me no and assured me that wouldn't happen with this bill," the resident wrote.

"I then contacted my attorney who told me that SB200 does, indeed, open the door to this kind of litigation, and that I would have to be careful to not express my convictions in public in this kind of situation," he wrote.

He also reacted to Hazouri's comments, which were unchallenged by the state legislature.

She said, "You give up some of your rights when you go into the public square," the resident said. "Wow, I didn't know that. I was taught in school that these rights of free speech were 'unalienable.' Apparently, gay rights trump heterosexual rights, as well as the First Amendment."

"So, as long as I keep my convictions to myself and only express them in my home or church, I'm legal. Somehow, I don't think this is what the Bill of Rights meant," he said.

"Will SB200 be the end of it? No. Next, hate crime legislation must be passed so that it is illegal for me to write this letter (as it is now illegal in Canada); then enforced homosexual/transsexual indoctrination of our children in the public educational system; finally, all other alternative forms of education must be outlawed. Impossible, you say? It's already happened in California," he said. "As I'm being forced into this 'shotgun wedding' with the radical homosexual agenda, I hope it's not too late to 'speak now, or forever hold my peace.' What is it called when you are forced, against your will, to participate in a sexual lifestyle that you find objectionable? I believe that is called 'rape.' My state legislature has 'violated' me and charged me with the crime."

Tom Minnery, the senior vice president of government and public policy for Focus, told the Denver Post there are "multiple problems" with the plan, "but the problem of restrooms is the most breathtaking one. … With SB200, however, we no longer have two 'sexes,' we enter a brave new world with a myriad of 'sexual orientations' that must not be discriminated against, upon pain of the substantial civil and criminal penalties contained in the bill.

"Woe to the first women's fitness facility or mall owner who objects to a man dressed as a woman who wants to enter previously forbidden territory. And what an opportunity for sexual predators," he wrote.

He said every Christian, Jewish or Muslim business owner now is under a threat.

"We've seen … charges brought by homosexuals against a video reproduction business in Virginia, a medical clinic in California, an adoption service in Arizona and a church in New Jersey," he continued. "Colorado tops them all on the potential outrage meter, however, because in addition to civil fines and penalties, small-business owners can be prosecuted under the criminal laws of Colorado and spend up to one year in jail for trying to live according to their faith."

There are other groups preparing for full-scale war in Colorado.

"American RTL [Right to Life] Action is a political 527 group headquartered a half-block from the Colorado capitol, and we're not going to hire someone cohabitating outside of marriage, let alone a homosexual," said Steve Curtis, the group's president and former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. "SB200 also makes it a crime for us to publish biblical teaching on immorality, so we are prepared to violate this anti-Christian government censorship. The liberals always said what homosexuals do in private could never affect anyone else; of course that was always a lie; they're trying to criminalize traditional Christianity. The fight is on."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 28, 2008, 10:26:01 AM
State frees teachers
to criticize evolution
Global warming, origins of life,
cloning also may be scrutinized

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal this week signed into law the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows school districts to permit teachers to present evidence, analysis and critique of evolution and other prevalent scientific theories in public school classrooms.

The law came to the governor's desk after overwhelming support in the legislature, including a unanimous vote in the state's Senate and a 93-4 vote in the House.

The act has been criticized by some as an attempt to insert religion into science education and hailed by others as a blow for academic freedom in the face of pressure to ignore flaws in politically correct scientific theories.

Robert Crowther, director of communications for The Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank on science and culture, called the act necessary.

In an article posted on The Discovery Institute's evolution news website, Crowther wrote, "The law is needed for two reasons. First, around the country, science teachers are being harassed, intimidated, and sometimes fired for trying to present scientific evidence critical of Darwinian theory along with the evidence that supports it. Second, many school administrators and teachers are fearful or confused about what is legally allowed when teaching about controversial scientific issues like evolution. The Louisiana Science Education Act clarifies what teachers may be allowed to do."

Specifically, the act allows teachers in the state's public schools to present evidence both for and against Darwinian theories of evolution and allows local school boards to approve supplemental materials that may open critical discussions of evolution, the origins of life, global warming, human cloning and other scientific theories.

Teachers are still required by the act to follow the standardized science curriculum, and school districts are required to authorize both the teachers' classes and additional materials. The state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will have the power to prohibit materials it deems inappropriate, and the act prohibits religious instruction.

Section 1D of the act states that the law "shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion."

Despite section 1D, many national voices, including the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a New York Times editorial, and the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the measure.

Marjorie Esman, state director of Lousiana's ACLU told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, "To the extent that this might invite religion in the public school classroom, we will do everything we can do to keep religion out."

John West, a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, however, said opponents of the bill are misunderstanding it. Rather than being about infusing intelligent design or creationism into the classroom, he contends, the bill is about giving teachers the freedom to talk about the debates that already exist in science, even among evolutionists themselves.

"This bill is not a license to propagandize against something they don't like in science," West told the Times-Picayune. "Someone who uses materials to inject religion into the classroom is not only violating the Constitution, they are violating the bill."

Gov. Jindal released a statement at the time of the signing that read, in part: "I will continue to consistently support the ability of school boards and (the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) to make the best decisions to ensure a quality education for our children."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 01, 2008, 10:06:46 AM
Court affirms law calling unborn 'living human beings'
Ruling lifts Planned Parenthood injunction against state's abortion statute

A federal court ruled against Planned Parenthood and rejected an injunction against a state law requiring doctors to tell women seeking abortions that they may face serious medical conditions and will "terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit issued a 7-4 ruling Friday to lift an injunction against the South Dakota informed consent abortion law. Attorneys representing the Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Family Research Council in defense of the law.

"A woman's life is worth more than Planned Parenthood's bottom line," said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence in a press release. "Anyone truly concerned about the interests of women supports making sure they have access to all the information necessary to make a fully informed decision. Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, has argued adamantly to restrict the information women have about the lives of their pre-born babies. We're pleased the court's decision today will make sure women have access to the information they need and deserve."

The court said U.S. Supreme Court rulings allow a state to "use its regulatory authority to require a physician to provide truthful, non-misleading information relevant to a patient's decision to have an abortion, even if that information might also encourage the patient to choose childbirth over abortion."

The South Dakota act defines a human being as "an individual living member of the species Homo sapiens, including the unborn human being during the entire embryonic and fetal ages from fertilization to full gestation."

According to the law, a woman is not considered to be informed unless she receives written notice stating:

    * That the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being;
    * That the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being an that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota;
    * That by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated;
    * A description of all known medical risks of the procedure including depression and related psychological stress and increased risk of suicide

Planned Parenthood moved for the preliminary injunction against the law, arguing that it would "violate physicians' free speech rights by compelling them to deliver the State's ideological message."

The new ruling reverses a federal district court opinion barring enforcement of the 2005 informed consent law and sends the case back to district court.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 02, 2008, 11:22:35 AM
Attorney challenges ruling over justice's links to 'gays'
Lawyer in preacher's defamation case hit with $90,000 penalty

A Wisconsin attorney is challenging a state Supreme Court decision that he should pay a $90,000 penalty because the deciding vote was cast by a justice who accepted money from the attorney's opponents.

The case that sparked attorney James Donohoo's dispute with the high court was brought against a "gay' activist group called Action Wisconsin, which later called itself Fair Wisconsin. That group had described visiting pastor Grant Storms, who appeared at a conference on homofascism, as having advocated the murders of homosexuals.

Donohoo, on Storms' behalf, brought a defamation action, which a trial court judge, Patricia McMahon, dismissed as frivolous. An appeals level panel reversed the decision, concluding that the jury should have been given the dispute to resolve.

The state Supreme Court, however, stepped in and with the vote of Justice Louis B. Butler Jr., who had accepted campaign contributions from those opposing Donohoo, reinstated the order for him to pay about $90,000 in legal fees incurred because of the case.

Now Donohoo has filed paperwork with the court petitioning that Butler be excluded from making decisions in his case because of the more than $1,000 in contributions his opponents gave the judge.

Butler declined to return a WND call requesting comment on the situation. But Donohoo said Butler had reported a $300 donation from Lester Pines, a lawyer for Fair Wisconsin, but failed to report a donation of $125 from Peter Bock and donations of $100 and $1,000 from Ruth Irvings, both board members for the organization.

Donohoo told WND Butler had made a public commitment not to take contributions from parties with cases pending during his re-election campaign, and to report any contributions from attorneys for parties in pending cases.

"Equally disturbing, the Centers Advocate PAC held a hardcore intimate fundraising 'Garden Party' on August 26, 2007. This PAC's sole purpose is to advance the cause of LGBT equality, including same-sex marriage, and they work together for the same goals with Fair Wisconsin (Action Wisconsin). On January 22, 2008, the PAC endorsed Justice Butler, and an additional PAC Internet posting in March of 2008 again endorsed Justice Butler, explaining that Justice Butler had attended the August 26, 2007 'Garden Party,' and had spoken in support of LGBT equality," Donohoo told WND.

"A PAC Internet posting entitled 'Garden Party at Joseph Pabst Home' Sunday, August 26, 2007, reported that this fund raising event raised an unprecedented amount of $21,000 to work towards LBGT equality in Wisconsin," Donohoo said.

The PAC endorsement explained Center Advocates is "Wisconsin's only group dedicated to electing candidates who will work for and defend equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people."

It lists "Justice Louis Butler – Wisconsin Supreme Court" among those being endorsed.

"These candidates have a long history of advancing LGBT equality through legislation or support of current legislation that protects LGBT people," the PAC stated. "Each one has either voted in their positions against the amendment to ban same-gender marriage or have spoken out on behalf of fair and equal treatment of LGBT families in Wisconsin."

Should Butler be disqualified and no other votes changed, the Supreme Court opinion would deadlock 3-3, which would mean the appeals court decision that the case was not frivolous would stand, Donohoo said.

In Wisconsin, judges are not required to withdraw from cases involving people or groups over a campaign contribution. However, the code of conduct for judges requires avoiding even the appearance of impropriety.

"How can I feel it was impartial … when he's got these ties to the opposing party?" Donohoo said.

Another group, Wisconsin Family Action, Inc., also has raised similar issues about Butler's "impartiality."

Butler eventually lost in his April 1 election to Circuit Judge Michael Gableman of Burnett County.

"This pattern of conduct on the part of Justice Butler … including his failure to disclose to Attorney Donohoo the facts illustrating his bias and prejudice in cases involving LGBT issues, even after a judicial complaint was filed against him, constituted a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct," Donohoo wrote.

"It also fatally compromised Justice Butler's ability to participate in Attorney Donohoo's case. In light of the above facts, his participation in Attorney Donohoo's case reeks with the appearance of impropriety and undermines the public's confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary," he wrote.

"To pretend that Justice Butler's decision was not influenced by this homosexual issue would be disingenuous," he wrote.

He said the high court needs to answer whether is is "acceptable for a Supreme Court justice to continue to participate in a case where, while campaigning for re-election, the justice accepts serial contributions from a party " in the case.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 08, 2008, 11:22:36 PM
Latest buzz: Shock bracelets for all airline passengers
'Just when you thought you've heard it all'

A columnist at the Washington Times has issued a warning that the U.S. government actually has considered having airline passengers wear electronic bracelets that could be triggered like Tasers to stun the victim into immobility.

The alert comes from columnist Jeffrey Downing, who wrote that not only has a Canadian company proposed such a product and is advertising it, the U.S. government has put its interest in writing.

"It is conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes," said the letter posted on the company's website. It was purported to come from Paul S. Ruwaldt, of the Department of Homeland Security.

"Just when you thought you've heard it all," wrote Denning.

According to a company video on the website for Lamperd Less Lethal, the bracelets would be a help to the pilots and crew members on commercial air carriers, the "last line of defense" against terror attacks.

The video says passengers could be fitted with such "electronic ID bracelets" that they would wear until they disembark their flights. It is promoted as being able to replace a ticket, carry passenger information, track passengers through terminals, and track carryon luggage.

But the best part is that the bracelets could be discharged, as a gun, and leave the wearer "immobile for several minutes" although without causing "permanent injury."

"For a businessman on his way home, to a young family going south for a winter holiday, wearing an EMD bracelet during flight is a small inconvenience to assure their safe arrival," says the company. "Many, if not most, passengers would happily opt for the extra security."

The company even acknowledged the story about its product, because its video has been viewed constantly in the few days since Denning raised his concerns.

"It is amazing how much controversy our new research project has created," the company said on its website.

Denning, who according to The Aviation Nation writes a new aviation safety blog for the Times, was horrified.

"Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is a [euphemism] for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability, thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best. EMD stands for Electro-Muscular Disruption," he wrote.

"So is the government really that interested in this bracelet? Yes!," he continued.

"[Ruwaldt] wrote, 'To make it clear, we [the federal government] are interested in…the immobilizing security bracelet, and look forward to receiving a written proposal,'" Denning said.

"Would every paying airline passenger flying on a commercial airplane be mandated to wear one of these devices? I cringe at the thought," wrote Denning. "Not only could it be used as a physical restraining device, but also as a method of interrogation, according to the same aforementioned letter from Mr. Ruwaldt.

"Would you let them put one of those on your wrist? Would you allow the airline employees, which would be mandated by the government, to place such a bracelet on any member of your family?"

On the Times forums page, some readers ridiculed the idea of such measures.

"If you boarded the plane with the intent of terrorism, what would you do first? 1. Try to light your bomb shoes on fire. 2. Place your plastic explosives on the flight door to gain access to the cockpit. 3. Wave your weapon about and start shouting. 4. Remove your bracelet," posed "BrainGouge. "Ding ding ding, you chose #4, unless you sir are an idiot."

Lamperd, of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, also provides training and designs and specialized civil defense-related equipment. It boasts of expertise in "less-lethal tactics and equipment" that is used by military and police departments around the world for crowd control and "peacekeeping."

It also responded to the publicity about its proposal with a website statement:

"We wish to clear up any misconceptions regarding the EMD Safety Bracelet for Airline Security," the company said. "The bracelets remain inactive until a hijacking situation has been identified. At such time a designated crew member will activate the bracelets making them capable of delivering the punitive measure – but only to those that need to be restrained. We believe that all passengers will welcome deliverance from a hijacking, as will the families, carriers, insurance providers etc. The F-16 on the wingtip is not to reassure the passengers during a hijacking but rather to shoot them down. Besides activation using the grid screen, the steward/stewardess will have a laser activator that can activate any bracelet as needed by simply pointing the laser at the bracelet - that laser dot only needs to be within 10 inches of the bracelet to activate it."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 08, 2008, 11:42:54 PM
Congress' approval plunges to 9 percent
1st time ever rating for lawmakers sinks to single digits

This month's release of Rasmussen Reports' survey of congressional approval ratings serves a scathing reproach of politicians on Capitol Hill. For the first time since Rasmussen has been tracking congressional approval ratings, less than 10 percent of Americans say Congress is doing a good or excellent job.

Against President Bush's much-publicized poor approval ratings, today's poll shows Congress' numbers have plunged to less than a third of the president's.

The most recent report calculates a mere 9 percent approve of congressional performance, while a majority of Americans, 52 percent, say Congress is doing a poor job, which also ties a record high.

The Democrat-controlled Congress enjoys its highest rating among Democrat respondents, 13 percent of whom rated the Congress favorably. Only 8 percent of Republicans were willing to say Congress is doing a good job, while an almost non-existent 3 percent of unaffiliated voters gave Congress a positive rating.

The polling company also asked respondents if they thought Congress has passed any legislation in the last six months to improve life in this country. 12 percent said yes, while 62 percent said Congress has done nothing to improve life in America. A further 55 percent said it was unlikely that Congress would do anything in the near future to address important problems facing the nation.

Despite dismal ratings for the Democrat Congress, another Rasmussen Report released today shows Americans are unwilling to vote the majority party out of office. When given the choice, 47 percent of voters said they would vote for their district's Democratic candidate, while 34 percent said they would vote Republican.

In related Rasmussen Reports, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama holds a 6 percent lead over rival John McCain (46 percent to 40 percent) in a poll released today, and President Bush scored a 32 percent approval rating in a poll released last week.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 08, 2008, 11:43:52 PM
I'm really surprised that it is even at 9%.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 09, 2008, 03:19:49 AM
I'm really surprised that it is even at 9%.



WOW! - I was thinking the exact same thing while reading this! Their numbers would have been higher if they stayed home and did nothing at all. The numbers would definitely be higher had they kept their mouths SHUT and not talked about ANYTHING they wanted to do for the FUTURE! Maybe we could give them a pay increase for staying HOME and being QUIET! The ECONOMY might even start doing better, especially without the constant talk of raising taxes and paying for all kinds of dimwitted programs that have no chance of doing ANYTHING except WASTING MONEY! YES - I'M COMPLETELY SERIOUS!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 10, 2008, 12:02:23 PM
Senate passes telecom immunity, eavesdropping rules
Bows to Bush's demand to protect companies from lawsuits for helping spy on Americans

The Senate approved and sent to the White House a bill overhauling controversial rules on secret government eavesdropping today, bowing to President Bush's demand to protect telecommunications companies from lawsuits complaining they helped the U.S. spy on Americans.

The relatively one-sided vote, 69-28, came only after a lengthy and bitter debate that pitted privacy and civil liberties concerns against the desire to prevent terrorist attacks. It ended almost a year of wrangling over surveillance rules and the president's warrantless wiretapping program that was initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The House passed the same bill last month, and President Bush is expected to sign it soon. He scheduled a 4 p.m. EDT White House statement to praise the passage.

The long fight on Capitol Hill centered on one main question: whether to shield from civil lawsuits any telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on American phone and computer lines without the permission or knowledge of a secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The White House had threatened to veto the bill unless it immunized companies such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. from wiretapping lawsuits. About 40 such lawsuits have been filed, and all are pending before a single U.S. District court.

Numerous lawmakers had spoken out strongly against the no-warrants eavesdropping on Americans, but the Senate voted its approval after rejecting amendments that would have watered down, delayed or stripped away the immunity provision.

The lawsuits center on allegations that the White House circumvented U.S. law by going around the FISA court, which was created 30 years ago to prevent the government from abusing its surveillance powers for political purposes, as was done in the Vietnam War and Watergate eras. The court is meant to approve all wiretaps placed inside the U.S. for intelligence-gathering purposes. The law has been interpreted to include international e-mail records stored on servers inside the U.S.

"This president broke the law," declared Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis.

The Bush administration brought the wiretapping back under the FISA court's authority only after The New York Times revealed the existence of the secret program. A handful of members of Congress knew about the program from top secret briefings. Most members are still forbidden to know the details of the classified effort, and some objected that they were being asked to grant immunity to the telecoms without first knowing what they did.

Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter compared the Senate vote to buying a "pig in a poke."

But Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., one of the bill's most vocal champions, said, "This is the balance we need to protect our civil liberties without handcuffing our terror-fighters."

Just under a third of the Senate, including Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, supported an amendment that would have stripped immunity from the bill. They were defeated on a 66-32 vote. Republican rival John McCain did not attend the vote.

Obama ended up voting for the final bill, as did Specter. Feingold voted no.

The bill tries to address concerns about the legality of warrantless wiretapping by requiring inspectors general inside the government to conduct a yearlong investigation into the program.

The measure effectively dismisses about 40 lawsuits that have been bundled together. But at least three other lawsuits against government officials will go forward.

In one of those cases last week, a judge decided that surveillance laws trumped the government's claim that state secrets were imperiled by the lawsuit. However, the judge said the plaintiff could not use classified government documents it had accidentally received to prove it was subjected to illegal eavesdropping. It must instead use unclassified information to show it was wiretapped without court approval. FISA makes provisions for the use of secret evidence once a case is accepted.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California civil rights organization, intends to challenge the constitutionality of the immunity provision.

Beyond immunity, the new surveillance bill also sets new rules for government eavesdropping. Some of them would tighten the reins on current government surveillance activities, but others would loosen them compared with a law passed 30 years ago.

For example, it would require the government to get FISA court approval before it eavesdrops on an American overseas. Currently, the attorney general approves that electronic surveillance on his own.

The bill also would allow the government to obtain broad, yearlong intercept orders from the FISA court that target foreign groups and people, raising the prospect that communications with innocent Americans would be swept in. The court would approve how the government chooses the targets and how the intercepted American communications would be protected.

The original FISA law required the government to get wiretapping warrants for each individual targeted from inside the United States, on the rationale that most communications inside the U.S. would involve Americans whose civil liberties must be protected. But technology has changed. Purely foreign communications increasingly pass through U.S. wires and sit on American computer servers, and the law has required court orders to be obtained to access those as well.

The bill would give the government a week to conduct a wiretap in an emergency before it must apply for a court order. The original law said three days.

The bill restates that the FISA law is the only means by which wiretapping for intelligence purposes can be conducted inside the United States. This is meant to prevent a repeat of warrantless wiretapping by future administrations.

The bill is very much a political compromise, brought about by a deadline: Wiretapping orders authorized last year will begin to expire in August. Without a new bill, the government would go back to old FISA rules, requiring multiple new orders and potential delays to continue those intercepts. That is something most of Congress did not want to see happen, particularly in an election year.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is party to some of the lawsuits that will now be dismissed, said the bill was "a blatant assault upon civil liberties and the right to privacy."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 11, 2008, 12:19:12 PM
Congress warned: U.S. risks
'catastrophe' in EMP attack
Expert: Growing threat posed by Iran,
Russia, China, North Korea, terrorists

A top scientist today warned the House Armed Services Committee America remains vulnerable to a "catastrophe" from a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack that could be launched with plausible deniability by hostile rogue nations or terrorists.

William R. Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack and the former national science adviser to President Reagan, testified before the committee while presenting a sobering new report on "one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences."

It is the first report from the commission since 2004 and identifies vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructures, "which are essential to both our civilian and military capabilities."

Not taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat in the next three to five years "can both invite and reward attack," Graham told the committee.

The scariest and most threatening kind of EMP attack is initiated by the detonation of a nuclear weapon at high altitude in the range of 25 to 250 miles above the Earth's surface. The immediate effects of EMP are disruption of, and damage to, electronic systems and electrical infrastructure. Such a detonation over the middle of the continental U.S. "has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures that support the fabric of U.S. society and the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power," said Graham.

"Several potential adversaries have the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse, and others appear to be pursuing efforts to obtain that capability," said Graham. "A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. For example, an adversary would not have to have long-range ballistic missiles to conduct an EMP attack against the United States. Such an attack could be launched from a freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range missile to loft a nuclear warhead to high altitude. Terrorists sponsored by a rogue state could attempt to execute such an attack without revealing the identity of the perpetrators. Iran, the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism, has practiced launching a mobile ballistic missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea. Iran has also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode consistent with EMP attack, and described the tests as successful. Iranian military writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States. While the commission does not know the intention of Iran in conducting these activities, we are disturbed by the capability that emerges when we connect the dots."

Graham reminded the committee even smaller nuclear weapons can create massive EMP effects over wide geographic areas. He also pointed out that United Nations investigators recently found that "the design for an advanced nuclear weapon, miniaturized to fit on ballistic missiles currently in the inventory of Iran, North Korea and other potentially hostile states, was in the possession of Swiss criminals affiliated with the A.Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network."

Theoretically, an EMP attack is devastating because of the unprecedented cascading failures of major infrastructures that could result. Because of America's heavy reliance on electricity and electronics, the impact would be far worse than on a country less advanced technologically. Graham and the commission see the potential for failure in the financial system, the system of distribution for food and water, medical care and trade and production.

"The recovery of any one of the key national infrastructures is dependent upon the recovery of others," he said. "The longer the outage, the more problematic and uncertain the recovery will be. It is possible for the functional outages to become mutually reinforcing until at some point the degradation of infrastructure could have irreversible effects on the country's ability to support its population."

Graham took the EMP debate out of the realm of science fiction by reminding the committee that as recently as May 1999, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Russian leaders threatened a U.S. congressional delegation with the specter of such an attack that would paralyze the U.S.

He also quoted James J. Shinn, assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Security, who two weeks ago told the same House committee that China's arms buildup includes exotic experiments with electromagnetic weapons that can devastate electronics with bursts of energy similar to those produced by a nuclear blast.

"The consequence of EMP is that you destroy the communications network," Shinn said. "And we are, as you know, and as the Chinese know, heavily dependent on sophisticated communications, satellite communications, in the conduct of our forces. And so, whether it's from an EMP or it's some kind of a coordinated [anti-satellite] effort, we could be in a very bad place if the Chinese enhanced their capability in this area."

Graham says terrorists who get their hands on one or a few unsophisticated nuclear weapons might well calculate they could get the most bang for their buck from attempting an EMP attack.

Recovery from a widespread EMP attack could take months or years, Graham warned. The fact that key components of the U.S. electrical grid are not even manufactured in America and must be ordered a year in advance from foreign suppliers suggests just how complicated and time-consuming recovery might be. The high state of automation within America's utilities further complicates recovery. There just might not be sufficient trained manpower available to get the job done in a timely way.

"The commission's view is that the federal government does not today have sufficient human and physical assets for reliably assessing and managing EMP threats," said Graham. "The commission reviewed current national capabilities to understand and to manage the effects of EMP and concluded that the U.S. is rapidly losing the technical competence and facilities that it needs in the government, the national laboratories and the industrial community."

Graham said it's not too late for Congress to take the bull by the horns and take the steps necessary to prepare for the threat – and thereby reduce it.

"A serious national commitment to address the threat of an EMP attack can lead to a national posture that would significantly reduce the payoff for such an attack and allow the United States to recover from EMP, and from other threats, man-made and natural, to the critical infrastructures," said Graham.

Graham's predecessor as chairman of the commission had equally tough words on the impact of the EMP threat.

"Their effects on systems and infrastructures dependent on electricity and electronics could be sufficiently ruinous as to qualify as catastrophic to the nation," Lowell Wood, acting chairman of the commission, told members of Congress in 2005.

The commission's previous report went so far as to suggest, in its opening sentence, that an EMP attack "might result in the defeat of our military forces."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 11, 2008, 12:20:54 PM
Housing bailout includes new fingerprint demand
Hundreds of thousands of individuals, never suspected of crime, are targeted

Mortgage lenders and brokers and even office assistants and secretaries could be subjected to new federal demands to be fingerprinted under a provision of a massive housing bailout plan – with attachments – that is moving through Congress.

An alert about the fingerprinting requirement comes from John Berlau, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington.

"We are creating this burden that adds risks of identity theft with really no additional safeguards," he told WND of the plan included in the housing bailout, which was advanced in the U.S. Senate today on an 84-12 vote.

The bill was launched to address the wave of failing loans across the United States that have sent financial markets into a slide. President Bush has expressed a high level of concern over the plan, but is expected to face pressure from members of both parties to endorse it as the 2008 presidential election season advances.

At its heart is a government-backed mortgage insurance fund and new regulations for mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Yet the plan also includes other features that civil libertarians are finding alarming.

WND reported earlier when FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey said its provisions would require credit card companies, eBay, Amazon, Google and other companies to report what consumers buy to the federal government.

"This is a provision with astonishing reach," he said. "Not only does it affect nearly every credit card transaction in America, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, but the bill specifically targets payment systems like eBay's PayPal, Amazon and Google Checkout."

"What is the federal government's purpose with this kind of detailed data? How will this database be secured, and who will have access? Many small proprietors use their Social Security number as their tax ID. How will their privacy be protected? What compliance costs will this impose on businesses? Why is Sen. Chris Dodd putting this provision in a housing bailout bill?"

The bill's summary, FreedomWorks said, states:

    Payment Card and Third Party Network Information Reporting. The proposal requires information reporting on payment card and third party network transactions. Payment settlement entities, including merchant acquiring banks and third party settlement organizations, or third party payment facilitators acting on their behalf, will be required to report the annual gross amount of reportable transactions to the IRS and to the participating payee. Reportable transactions include any payment card transaction and any third party network transaction.

Now Berlau said representatives from groups as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Conservative Union also are objecting to the mandate for continuous fingerprint tracking.

Others joining in expressing their objections to Congress are officials for the American Policy Center, Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights, Natural Solutions Foundation, International Association of Whistleblowers, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Liberty Coalition and others.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Mel Martinez, R-Fla., have defended the requirement, saying their plan "would not violate the privacy rights of anyone."

They said the practice isn't even new.

But Berlau said the bill states fingerprint information will be used for continuous "tracking" rather than a one-time background check.

"The broad scope and lack of justification for the fingerprint mandates are the reason that diverse groups from the American Conservative Union and the American Civil Liberties Union have signed on to a recent letter opposing these very provisions of the bill," he said.

The major thrust of the bill is to provide tax credits to first-time buyers of unoccupied homes and assign $4 billion to help communities buy foreclosed homes. The bill also would authorize local housing authorities to issue billions in tax-exempt bonds to refinance subprime loans and provide low-income rental housing.

Berlau said the fingerprinting would be demanded of "hundreds of thousands of individuals never convicted nor even suspected of committing a crime." They would end up in government databases for "tracking."

Such statements leave the policy groups "troubled by the scope of this requirement and the lack of a justification as to how this would serve the goal of reducing mortgage fraud."

Berlau told WND that it wasn't secretaries in offices across the nation who took advantage of loopholes and made off with millions during the recent bubble in the mortgage industry.

In a commentary in the Wall Street Journal, Berlau said, "Even when a fingerprint registry will likely help fight terrorism or crime, many still fear it will lead to a surveillance state."

"Yet this week a measure creating a federal fingerprint registry totally unrelated to national security or violent crime may clear the Senate with little debate," he said.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 12, 2008, 01:28:46 PM
State troopers rebuke students for singing national anthem
Dems send security to halt patriotism in capitol rotunda

School students attending a youth leadership conference have been scolded by armed security officers in the California Capitol in Sacramento for singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" in the rotunda, according to organizers of the conference.

"The patriotic expression was apparently so egregious that state troopers were called in to the rotunda to rebuke the students," a statement from The Capitol Resource Institute said today.

"This was a ghastly overreaction to some students expressing their patriotism in the seat of government," said Karen England, executive director of CRI, and director of the youth conference. "These young leaders have sacrificed a week of their summer to come learn about our government system and this is the 'welcome' they receive from the government."

Conference organizers said several armed troopers entered the rotunda, accompanied by several capitol sergeants-at-arms, and they confronted conference organizers and students for singing without a permit from the legislature's rules committee.

The 45 students from all across California were in the statehouse as part of their participation in the City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference. At the intensive study sessions they learn the legislative and political processes.

"After spending the day meeting with lawmakers and their staff, the youth aged 14-18, engaged in a spontaneous expression of passion for their country by singing the national anthem and God Bless America," CRI reported. "Tourists walking through the capitol stopped to listen to the singing and clapped enthusiastically."

A similar expression of patriotism was exhibited by participants in the same conference just two years ago.

Officials said, however, it was a good lesson in liberty for those students, especially the two young participants whose father was held in a Communist prison in Romania and another student who is a Russian immigrant.

"These future leaders have seen first-hand how we are losing our liberties – including simply expressing our patriotism in public," said Meredith Turney, the legislative liaison for CRI Impact and a graduate of City on the Hill.

"I am deeply saddened by the treatment these young patriots received at our state capitol," she said.

In comments published on FlashReport, she elaborated: "A few years ago the students started the tradition of singing our national anthem in the rotunda at the end of the mock legislative session. While they were at the capitol today, the students wanted a practice run before their legislative session on the Assembly and Senate floors this Saturday. One student suggested singing God Bless America as well as the national anthem, and the other students enthusiastically agreed.

"Just moments after the students finished their impromptu patriotic expression, no less than four CHP officers descended upon the rotunda, along with two sergeant-at-arms. They confronted our staff and demanded to know why our students were singing in the rotunda without a permit from the rules committee. Apparently in the five minutes it took to sing the two patriotic songs, someone had called security and complained," she wrote.

"The City on the Hill students were absolutely shocked … Why would their elected officials send armed guards to stop them from expressing such love for their country? And why do citizens need a permit to sing patriotic songs in their public buildings?" she said.

The young leaders, however, were undeterred. They asked for and received a government "permit" to sing the national anthem in the capitol rotunda tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. and are inviting friends and family to join them.

"City on the Hill students are extremely grateful to Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa and his outstanding staff for obtaining the last-minute permits we need to exercise our 'freedom' in the place where freedom should be most fervently guarded," Turney said.

Of course such objections would happen in California.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 12, 2008, 08:56:36 PM
State troopers rebuke students for singing national anthem
Dems send security to halt patriotism in capitol rotunda

School students attending a youth leadership conference have been scolded by armed security officers in the California Capitol in Sacramento for singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" in the rotunda, according to organizers of the conference.

"The patriotic expression was apparently so egregious that state troopers were called in to the rotunda to rebuke the students," a statement from The Capitol Resource Institute said today.

"This was a ghastly overreaction to some students expressing their patriotism in the seat of government," said Karen England, executive director of CRI, and director of the youth conference. "These young leaders have sacrificed a week of their summer to come learn about our government system and this is the 'welcome' they receive from the government."

Conference organizers said several armed troopers entered the rotunda, accompanied by several capitol sergeants-at-arms, and they confronted conference organizers and students for singing without a permit from the legislature's rules committee.

The 45 students from all across California were in the statehouse as part of their participation in the City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference. At the intensive study sessions they learn the legislative and political processes.

"After spending the day meeting with lawmakers and their staff, the youth aged 14-18, engaged in a spontaneous expression of passion for their country by singing the national anthem and God Bless America," CRI reported. "Tourists walking through the capitol stopped to listen to the singing and clapped enthusiastically."

A similar expression of patriotism was exhibited by participants in the same conference just two years ago.

Officials said, however, it was a good lesson in liberty for those students, especially the two young participants whose father was held in a Communist prison in Romania and another student who is a Russian immigrant.

"These future leaders have seen first-hand how we are losing our liberties – including simply expressing our patriotism in public," said Meredith Turney, the legislative liaison for CRI Impact and a graduate of City on the Hill.

"I am deeply saddened by the treatment these young patriots received at our state capitol," she said.

In comments published on FlashReport, she elaborated: "A few years ago the students started the tradition of singing our national anthem in the rotunda at the end of the mock legislative session. While they were at the capitol today, the students wanted a practice run before their legislative session on the Assembly and Senate floors this Saturday. One student suggested singing God Bless America as well as the national anthem, and the other students enthusiastically agreed.

"Just moments after the students finished their impromptu patriotic expression, no less than four CHP officers descended upon the rotunda, along with two sergeant-at-arms. They confronted our staff and demanded to know why our students were singing in the rotunda without a permit from the rules committee. Apparently in the five minutes it took to sing the two patriotic songs, someone had called security and complained," she wrote.

"The City on the Hill students were absolutely shocked … Why would their elected officials send armed guards to stop them from expressing such love for their country? And why do citizens need a permit to sing patriotic songs in their public buildings?" she said.

The young leaders, however, were undeterred. They asked for and received a government "permit" to sing the national anthem in the capitol rotunda tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. and are inviting friends and family to join them.

"City on the Hill students are extremely grateful to Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa and his outstanding staff for obtaining the last-minute permits we need to exercise our 'freedom' in the place where freedom should be most fervently guarded," Turney said.

Of course such objections would happen in California.



Let me leave you with a quote from another thread.....










(http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn247/androide42/smilies/cannon%20fodder/CF-silly-mouth.gif)   (http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa148/CiscoKiDD1/0115000102080104042008070646eb4b440.jpg)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 16, 2008, 02:30:51 PM
Senate fast-tracks same-sex marriage expansion
Voice vote moves plan to state House, guv's signature expected shortly after

A resurrected plan to expand homosexual "marriage" opportunities has been fast-tracked by the state Senate in Massachusetts with a vote that moves the proposal immediately to the state House, with the governor's signature expected before the end of this month.

The proposal, previously put in a "kill" file by lawmakers, suddenly was resurrected today and given a voice approval by senators who did not even take a roll call vote.

Pro-family organizations say the plan will allow out-of-state same-sex duos to fetch drive-in "marriage" certificates in Massachusetts, then return home and create "havoc" by demanding their companies, cities, counties and states recognize them as married.

The conflict comes in that voters in 27 states already have approved state constitutional amendments limiting "marriage" to one man and one woman, and California is expected to vote on its similar plan in November.

Brian Camenker, chief of Mass Resistance, watched his state senate in action and described it as "completely orchestrated" by homosexual activists.

"It was horrible," he said. "It was as if the gays were playing them like a violin."

The voice vote, "was just a sort of murmur and that was it," he said.

"I'll tell you there's no more democracy in Massachusetts, no constitutional government. They were completely being run by the homosexual lobby," he said.

"The general population would never vote for that. The extent to which the state senate just rolled over for the homosexual lobby is absolutely breathtaking," he said.

"You would have thought they would have at least had a debate," he said.

What the senators decided to do was repeal a 1913 law that bars out-of-state couples from marrying in the state unless their "marriage" would be legal in their home state. That has precluded a mass assembly of homosexuals to "marry" in Massachusetts because until this year Massachusetts was the only state where such "marriages" were recognized.

California's state Supreme Court in May said it was unconstitutional in that state for officials to deny the status of "married" to homosexuals, and California does not have the same residency requirement imposed by Massachusetts.

Observers say the Massachusetts House likely will hold a vote later this week, and Gov. Deval Patrick is supportive of the change.

Opponents of the 1913 law said it was racist, even though Massachusetts has allowed interracial marriages since 1843.

Camenker said his organization and others lobbied earlier this year and the state senators placed the idea into a "study," which effectively stopped its advance. Suddenly, how, however, it was resurrected.

"The recent events in California have apparently energized the homosexual lobby. They apparently persuaded Sen. Robert Creedon (D-Brockton), Senate chairman of the judiciary committee, to take the unusual step of resurrecting it from the study to be voted on. Creedon, normally a pro-life, moderately pro-family senator, isn't running for re-election this fall. According to press reports, Sen. Diane Wilkerson (D-Mattapan), who led the charge to push for huge taxpayer-funding for homosexual programs in the schools, is the major force behind this also," Camenker said.

In California, however, same-sex "marriages" face an uncertain future, since a proposed constitutional amendment promoted by the ProtectMarriage.com organization already has been approved for this November's election ballot.

The amendment reads: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

And one of the followup questions would be: What happens to the "marriages" performed for same-sex couples between the time of the Supreme Court's opinion, and the possible veto of that opinion by the people of California.

In fact, homosexual groups now are actively trying to prevent the California vote, saying the five majority justices on the state Supreme Court simply can change the definition of a traditional social institution by vote, but the people cannot vote to protect it.

In Massachusetts, the mandate for same-sex "marriages" does not face that same uncertain future.

"This … would allow any homosexual couple in America to get 'married' here (in Massachusetts) – and cause havoc in their home states," Mass Resistance said. Such "couples" then would demand (using court challenges) that their home states legally recognize those marriages because of the US Constitution's 'full faith and credit' clause."

"This would make Massachusetts a sort of Mecca for gay weddings, and there will be instability around the country," Camenker told WND.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 16, 2008, 05:25:35 PM
Congress spares Vt., other states Medicare cuts

President George Bush vetoed federal legislation Tuesday that would have prevented cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, but within hours both the U.S. House and Senate had overridden that veto.

That reduction in payments for doctors treating Medicare patients went into effect at the start of the month.

Vermont and other rural states would have been hit the hardest if the president's veto had not been overridden. Doctors in Vermont and some other states faced not only the nationwide 10.6 percent cut, but the loss of an additional 1.6 percent differential for rural districts.

In addition, Vermont is facing an increase in Medicare-eligible patients as a large part of the population of the state grows older.

The U.S. House — which originally passed the bill 359-55 — overrode the veto by 383-41. Its fate was less certain in the U.S. Senate, which passed the original bill by 69-30. But that chamber voted to override by a 70-26 vote.

Bush wrote in his veto message that the bill "is objectionable" because it would reduce enrollment in privately administered Medicare Advantage plans.

"I support the primary objective of this legislation, to forestall reductions in physician payments," the president said in his statement. But he also urged Congress to send a new bill "that reduces the growth in Medicare spending."

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said the debate was really about whether Medicare is to be privatized or not. The Medicare Advantage program essentially paid insurance companies more.

"The administration's priority was protecting insurance companies," Welch said. "Congress stood up to the president and rejected his priorities and decided on the side of family doctors and patients."

"It is a stunning defeat of his goal of privatizing Medicare," Welch said.

"Vermonters depend on Medicare insurance being there when they need it. Overriding this veto helps keep that promise by averting disastrous cuts that would have affected all Vermonters who rely on Medicare," U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a statement. "I'm proud that there was a strong showing in Congress to stand up to the president and to the wealthy corporate interests who opposed this bill."

"Congress put the interests of 44 million American seniors covered by Medicare and the doctors who care for them over the interests of the insurance industry," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in a release.

Sanders noted that the measure also boosts reimbursements for community health centers that play a critical role in providing cost-effective primary health care and dental services to more than 86,000 Vermonters.

In his statement, Bush said the Medicare Advantage program has provided drug coverage to more Americans than would otherwise have had it.

Over the Fourth of July break members of Congress heard from constituents about the bill and that may be why the override vote in the House was stronger than the original vote for passage, Welch said.

"They heard loud and clear from their local docs and seniors," he said.

Doctors across the country, including in Vermont, have warned that some physicians may reduce the number of Medicare patients they see if the cuts go into effect.

"Our family doctors would have been on the verge of being driven out of business," Welch said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 16, 2008, 05:33:49 PM
More sign onto English official language bill

 Three more members of Congress became co-sponsors of H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act on Wednesday.

The support of Reps. Henry Brown (R-S.C.), Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Jon Porter (R-Nev.) brings the total number of co-sponsors to 152, making the bill one of the most supported bills in Congress.

The bill, which would make English the official language of the United States, is pending before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

A lobbying firm founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S. English Inc., is pushing Congress to pass the bill. Its Chilean-born chairman, Mauro Mujica, was pleased with the decision.

"At a time when some would have us believe that Americans need to learn the language of the immigrants," said Mujica, "I am pleased to see that a large contingent of congressional leaders remain focused on English, the language of opportunity and unity in our nation."

In 2000, 25.8 percent of Californians spoke Spanish as their primary language. English has been California's official language since Proposition 63 passed in 1986.

The bill permits the teaching of foreign languages in schools. Also, the bill states, "nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit (agents of the federal government) from communicating unofficially ... in a language other than English."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 16, 2008, 05:35:05 PM
Democrats plan second economic stimulus bill

Democrats controlling Congress ratcheted up expectations Tuesday for additional legislation to jump-start the dragging economy.

"We will be proceeding with another stimulus package," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said after meeting with several economists.

Pelosi said that recently issued tax rebate payments of $600 to individuals and $1,200 for married couples have helped the economy but that more is necessary to offset the drag of higher gasoline prices and other costs.

But President Bush cautioned in a White House press conference that lawmakers should "wait for the stimulus package to fully kick in" before passing another.

The Democratic effort is still in its formative stages, but most of the proposals mentioned by Democrats were rejected by Bush during negotiations that produced the earlier stimulus measure. A new package probably won't be acted on before Congress returns in September from its annual summer vacation.

New legislation could include: additional tax rebates, heating and air conditioning subsidies for the poor, infrastructure projects, higher food stamp payments and aid to the states.

Pelosi told reporters that she "would hope that (tax rebates) would be part of any package" but that some of the Democratic elements need to be attached. Pelosi said later Tuesday that she hopes proposals such as boosting food stamps and home energy subsidies would have more GOP support now, considering the sharp spikes in gasoline and food prices.

For his part, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., sounded less than enthusiastic about another round of tax rebates.

"The first thing we need to look at before we look at tax rebates is, what can we do to stimulate the economy?" Reid said. "And that's infrastructure development. That's bridges, highways, dams, and to put massive amounts of money into an infrastructure for renewable energy."

The discussion over a new economic stimulus bill comes as Congress is working to complete a broad housing rescue package to give new mortgages to hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure.

And a voter revolt over record gas prices has generated heated debate about further opening up the Outer Continental Shelf to oil exploration.

"To my Democratic colleagues who want this Congress take up a massive, taxpayer-funded 'stimulus' package, I offer them this piece of simple advice: the best way to stimulate our economy would be to take meaningful steps to reduce the price at the pump," said House GOP Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri.

Bush called for Congress to focus first on housing and energy legislation before turning to a new economic stimulus bill.

"Let's see how this stimulus package works and let us deal with the housing market with a good piece of housing legislation, and the energy issue with good energy legislation, and the trade issue with good trade legislation," Bush said.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 18, 2008, 11:00:47 AM
State Dept. promote 'Mosques in America'
Publishes '09 calendar featuring worship sites for only 1 religion

This now available from the U.S. State Department: "2009 Mosques of America Wall Calendar: Limited Edition for Ramadan."

"Yep, you read that correctly. It's 'perfect for Muslim outreach efforts," according to a commentary at the Gates of Vienna blog. "Where's the ACLU on this one?"

The product was being advertised by "Global Publishing Solutions," a division of the U.S. State Department, until bloggers started talking about it.

Officials then apparently hid the page behind the security of a password-protected wall. However, the page is still viewable in a Google cache of the website.

According to the Gates of Vienna, the government advertised:

    In celebration of Ramadan, Global Publishing Solutions (GPS) is offering a limited edition of the 2009 Mosques in America Wall Calendar. This 12-month calendar is perfect for Muslim outreach efforts, as well as office and event giveaways.

    The wall calendar features a vibrant photograph or photomontage for each month, displaying the beauty of mosques in America.

    The upper half of the hanging calendar depicts mosque facades or interiors, and the lower half displays a monthly calendar grid. The 28-page calendar is saddle-stitched and measures 23 x 30 1/2 cm (9 x 12 inches)

    This item is on sale until August 1st, 2008 in shrink-wrapped packs of 20 pieces.

"Remember," said the Internet commentator, "This was on an official State Department (state.gov) web page. GPS describes itself this way: 'The Global Publishing Solutions, manages this site as a gateway to information and transactions for their U.S. State Department clients."

On the Gates of Vienna site, a reader posted a comment recommending  the State Department "adorn the calendar with equally vibrant Quranic verses and hadiths, samples of what is preached in those mosques. For example: January: Kill the infidels wherever you find them. February: Allah's Apostle said: I've been made victorious with terror – and so on and so forth."

JihadWatch.org  pointed out the page was pulled after the weblog Snapped Shot posted an image of it yesterday. Snapped Shot said it seems the public servants at State "get all nervous when We, The People actually notice" what they're doing.

JihadWatch also made available captured screen shots of the top half and the bottom half of the page.

 

Gates of Vienna commented: "Since Islam is not really a religion, but a political ideology, the government's sale of an Islamocentric calendar evidently doesn't violate the separation of church and state. It's like selling photos of local Democratic Party Headquarters."

The cached page reveals the prices are $44 per pack if you order from 6-10 packs of 20.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 18, 2008, 11:20:59 AM
State's 'So Gay' campaign goes bust
Taxpayers fuming over funds to lure homosexual tourists from London

South Carolina's taxpayer-paid advertisement describing it as "So Gay" has backfired and could cost the state precious tourism dollars following a firestorm of criticism.

According to a report by the Palmetto Scoop last week, the state's Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism budgeted $5,000 to promote South Carolina's "gay"-friendly atmosphere in time for London's "Gay" Pride Week that ended Saturday. The operation promoted South Carolina and five major U.S. cities to homosexual travelers, touting "gay" beaches and Civil War plantations.

State distribution of funds for the campaign was called off following public protest from angry citizens, 2 million people observed the posters plastered in London subways.

State Sen. David Thomas, R-Greenville, claimed he had no knowledge of the campaign and demanded an audit of the Tourism Department's $14 million advertising budget.

"South Carolinians will be irate when they learn their hard earned tax dollars are being spent to advertise our state as 'so gay,'" Thomas told the Scoop. "South Carolina is a wonderful, family friendly destination not a Southern version of San Francisco. This campaign goes against our core values."

The Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement criticized "conservative 'Bible Belt' politicians" for cancelling the publicity stunt, saying the state stands to lose "gay" tourism funds. Ryan Wilson, president of South Carolina Pride, announced an effort to bring the promotion back by displaying South Carolina "Will Be So Gay" posters in London.

"South Carolina may not be 'so gay' currently – but we are going to show the world that we can be and we will be so gay, and gay friendly some day," Wilson said.

According to an MSNBC report, when the campaign was unveiled last month, the state tourism board confidently promoted the ad, saying "it sends a powerful positive message."

"For our gay visitors, it is actually quite wonderful for them to discover just how much South Carolina has to offer – from stunning plantation homes to miles of wide sandy beaches," a statement said.

An unidentified "low-level" employee who is said to be responsible for authorizing the campaign resigned his position with the state tourism agency following the backlash.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 18, 2008, 08:44:09 PM
State Dept. promote 'Mosques in America'
Publishes '09 calendar featuring worship sites for only 1 religion


Gates of Vienna commented: "Since Islam is not really a religion, but a political ideology, the government's sale of an Islamocentric calendar evidently doesn't violate the separation of church and state. It's like selling photos of local Democratic Party Headquarters."



No doubt.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 18, 2008, 09:23:19 PM
These last several posts are sickening! It's shouldn't take much imagination to see where things are going and what's going to happen. DO WE REALLY NEED TO WONDER IF GOD'S WRATH WILL BE RIGHTEOUS AT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST? NO! - IT'S LONG PAST DUE!

Love In Christ,
Tom



Favorite Bible Quotes 26 - 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are
spiritually discerned.


Title: State Dept. promotes 'Mosques in America'
Post by: Shammu on July 19, 2008, 03:10:56 AM
NOTE: I have imbeded links into this news article.

State Dept. promotes 'Mosques in America'
Publishes '09 calendar featuring worship sites for only 1 religion
Posted: July 18, 2008
12:10 am Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

This now available from the U.S. State Department: "2009 Mosques of America Wall Calendar: Limited Edition for Ramadan."

"Yep, you read that correctly. It's 'perfect for Muslim outreach efforts," according to a commentary at the Gates of Vienna blog. "Where's the ACLU on this one?"

(http://www.worldnetdaily.com/images/misc/mosquestwo.jpg)

The product was being advertised by "Global Publishing Solutions," a division of the U.S. State Department, until bloggers started talking about it.

Officials then apparently hid the page behind the security of a password-protected wall. (http://gps.state.gov/features/publications?go=view&id=50) However, the page is still viewable in a Google cache of the website. (http://209.85.215.104/search?q=cache:H_xbUgu-Nb0J:gps.state.gov/features/publications%3Fgo%3Dview%26id%3D50+%22mosques+of+America+wall+calendar%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us)

According to the Gates of Vienna, the government advertised:

    In celebration of Ramadan, Global Publishing Solutions (GPS) is offering a limited edition of the 2009 Mosques in America Wall Calendar. This 12-month calendar is perfect for Muslim outreach efforts, as well as office and event giveaways.

The wall calendar features a vibrant photograph or photomontage for each month, displaying the beauty of mosques in America.

The upper half of the hanging calendar depicts mosque facades or interiors, and the lower half displays a monthly calendar grid. The 28-page calendar is saddle-stitched and measures 23 x 30 1/2 cm (9 x 12 inches)

This item is on sale until August 1st, 2008 in shrink-wrapped packs of 20 pieces.

"Remember," said the Internet commentator, "This was on an official State Department (state.gov) web page. GPS describes itself this way: 'The Global Publishing Solutions, manages this site as a gateway to information and transactions for their U.S. State Department clients."

On the Gates of Vienna site, a reader posted a comment recommending  the State Department "adorn the calendar with equally vibrant Quranic verses and hadiths, samples of what is preached in those mosques. For example: January: Kill the infidels wherever you find them. February: Allah's Apostle said: I've been made victorious with terror – and so on and so forth."

JihadWatch.org  pointed out the page was pulled after the weblog Snapped Shot posted an image of it yesterday. Snapped Shot said it seems the public servants at State "get all nervous when We, The People actually notice" what they're doing.

JihadWatch also made available captured screen shots of the top half and the bottom half of the page.

Gates of Vienna commented: "Since Islam is not really a religion, but a political ideology, the government's sale of an Islamocentric calendar evidently doesn't violate the separation of church and state. It's like selling photos of local Democratic Party Headquarters."

The cached page reveals the prices are $44 per pack if you order from 6-10 packs of 20.
~~~~

Sure I'll order some to burn, I need some more fire starter for the fireplace. ;D


Title: Re: State Dept. promotes 'Mosques in America'
Post by: nChrist on July 19, 2008, 04:55:31 AM
NOTE: I have imbeded links into this news article.

State Dept. promotes 'Mosques in America'
Publishes '09 calendar featuring worship sites for only 1 religion
Posted: July 18, 2008
12:10 am Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

This now available from the U.S. State Department: "2009 Mosques of America Wall Calendar: Limited Edition for Ramadan."

"Yep, you read that correctly. It's 'perfect for Muslim outreach efforts," according to a commentary at the Gates of Vienna blog. "Where's the ACLU on this one?"

(http://www.worldnetdaily.com/images/misc/mosquestwo.jpg)

The product was being advertised by "Global Publishing Solutions," a division of the U.S. State Department, until bloggers started talking about it.

Officials then apparently hid the page behind the security of a password-protected wall. (http://gps.state.gov/features/publications?go=view&id=50) However, the page is still viewable in a Google cache of the website. (http://209.85.215.104/search?q=cache:H_xbUgu-Nb0J:gps.state.gov/features/publications%3Fgo%3Dview%26id%3D50+%22mosques+of+America+wall+calendar%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us)

According to the Gates of Vienna, the government advertised:

    In celebration of Ramadan, Global Publishing Solutions (GPS) is offering a limited edition of the 2009 Mosques in America Wall Calendar. This 12-month calendar is perfect for Muslim outreach efforts, as well as office and event giveaways.

The wall calendar features a vibrant photograph or photomontage for each month, displaying the beauty of mosques in America.

The upper half of the hanging calendar depicts mosque facades or interiors, and the lower half displays a monthly calendar grid. The 28-page calendar is saddle-stitched and measures 23 x 30 1/2 cm (9 x 12 inches)

This item is on sale until August 1st, 2008 in shrink-wrapped packs of 20 pieces.

"Remember," said the Internet commentator, "This was on an official State Department (state.gov) web page. GPS describes itself this way: 'The Global Publishing Solutions, manages this site as a gateway to information and transactions for their U.S. State Department clients."

On the Gates of Vienna site, a reader posted a comment recommending  the State Department "adorn the calendar with equally vibrant Quranic verses and hadiths, samples of what is preached in those mosques. For example: January: Kill the infidels wherever you find them. February: Allah's Apostle said: I've been made victorious with terror – and so on and so forth."

JihadWatch.org  pointed out the page was pulled after the weblog Snapped Shot posted an image of it yesterday. Snapped Shot said it seems the public servants at State "get all nervous when We, The People actually notice" what they're doing.

JihadWatch also made available captured screen shots of the top half and the bottom half of the page.

Gates of Vienna commented: "Since Islam is not really a religion, but a political ideology, the government's sale of an Islamocentric calendar evidently doesn't violate the separation of church and state. It's like selling photos of local Democratic Party Headquarters."

The cached page reveals the prices are $44 per pack if you order from 6-10 packs of 20.
~~~~

Sure I'll order some to burn, I need some more fire starter for the fireplace. ;D

This is an absolute outrage! The excuse is also BALONEY, especially considering that "Separation of Church and State" as interpreted today is a manufactured LIE that never existed! This was and is a Christian Nation - just not a Baptist, Church of Christ, ABC, XYZ, or any other Christian denomination Nation. This is what the founders installed, and they installed it for a Christian people who fought a revolution for their Christian FREEDOM. GOD IS OUR SUPREME COMMANDER, AND JESUS CHRIST - VERY GOD - IS OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR! This is our roots - our heritage, and the ONLY TRUTH! Over 200 years of HEAVILY documented history serves as absolute PROOF for this only TRUTH. Our public buildings, public records, Constitutions, and documents that would require huge warehouses BEAR WITNESS OF ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST! THIS MASSIVE TRUTH IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ERASE, HIDE, OR FORGET! It's simply an inconvenient ABSOLUTE TRUTH to the devil and the powers of darkness with the devil.

Every generation has fought, bled, and died to preserve our Christian ways of life and our Christian FREEDOMS guaranteed by our Laws and our Constitutions! Our Laws and Constitutions are still in place, and the majority of the people are still self-professing Christians. At present, we do have rogue courts and a rogue government VIOLATING our Laws, Our Constitutions, our Freedoms, and our Rights. HOWEVER, THE ROGUES HAVE NO POWER EXCEPT THAT WHICH IS GIVEN BY THE PEOPLE! We haven't given THIS POWER, and WE WON'T!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 22, 2008, 11:57:04 PM
Why Democrats don't want to lower gas prices
Senator lets cat out of the bag on Bloomberg TV show

A Democratic senator on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee inadvertently explained why her colleagues have no intention of ending the moratorium on offshore oil drilling or increasing the areas open for exploration and production – no matter how popular the idea might be with gas prices soaring.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV's "Money and Politics" last night, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., explained Democrats don't want to increase supplies of oil and gasoline because they want to wean Americans off of petroleum products.

Asked point-blank if Democrats in the Senate would consider how increasing the supply of oil would lower the prices that are pinching U.S. consumers, Cantwell replied: "Oh, we definitely want to move beyond petroleum. And so there will be a supply side offered by the Democrats and it will include everything from battery technology to making sure that we have good home domestic supply, and looking, as I said about moving faster on those kind of things like wind and solar that can help us with our high cost of natural gas."

In other words, no.

The point was underlined by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, who said Democrats are not even permitting debate on legislation and amendments designed to increase the supply of oil and gasoline to U.S. consumers.

"Today, the appropriations markup that was going to include amendments that would open up the outer continental shelf and maybe even shale in Colorado and Utah was canceled," she told the same Bloomberg interviewer. "It wasn't postponed, it was canceled. So that indicates to me that the majority is not going to try to have an open debate, but I hope I'm wrong. If they have an open debate, and we're allowed to have amendments, and we have a balanced plan that includes production in all the sectors, then I believe we can meet this problem in a bipartisan way, and that's what we should be doing for America."

WND's Joseph Farah is spearheading a grassroots battle to flood Congress – and particularly the Democratic leadership – with e-mails, phone calls, letters and text messages demanding action that can lead the country in the direction of energy independence.

"Right now, that means lifting the moratorium," he says. "That's the first step. If we can't agree on that as Americans today, then we are in for a long period of national economic decline. If we can't push Congress to do the right thing with even a strong majority of Democrats behind us, then this country is simply no longer a place where the will of the people means anything."

Farah's goal is to force Congress to act in the next two months – before it adjourns for the year.

"There's an election coming up one month after that adjournment date and even the most entrenched incumbents know how sensitive this issue is," says Farah. "Now is the time to let them hear you."

Farah's plan is simple: "I want to bring Congress to its knees," he says. "I want to melt down their phones. I want to flood their e-mail boxes. I want to hold them as political hostages. The ransom demand is to unleash the free market to begin exploring and pumping domestic crude oil and getting it to market as fast as possible. We've got two months to make our voices heard. Let's make history by bringing this recalcitrant body of elitists into compliance with the will of the people and the rule of law."

After eagerly waiting for someone else to take the lead on demanding action of Congress, Farah came to the conclusion no one else was going to do it.

"We're running out of time," Farah says. "If we let these rascals, these scoundrels, leave town before they lift all their ridiculous bans and restrictions on drilling for domestic oil, this country is headed for a major recession. Even worse, we'll head into a new year and a new presidency with the Washington elite thinking they put one over on us again."

Farah says the only thing that can prevent the disaster of gasoline prices of $6, $7, even $8 a gallon in the near future is a general uprising of the American people.

Besides the call to action, Farah is also devoting the current issue of Whistleblower magazine, the monthly print complement to WND, to the critical topic of "the energy independence revolution."

"It's time to stop business as usual," he says. "Every day, you need to make some phone calls, you need to write some emails, you need to use Skype and text messages and even send some letters through the Post Office. This grass-roots movement has to build steadily for the next two months. We cannot allow Congress to adjourn without lifting the ban on drilling in ANWR, offshore and on public lands under which we know there are vast reserves of oil."

Farah says it's a national emergency and needs to be treated as such.

"I hope radio talk show hosts across the country will embrace this bipartisan, non-partisan movement," he says. "There is no question in my mind this is what the American people want. Now it's just time for them to impose their will on their elected representatives who, in their chauffeured limousines and taxpayer-supported travel, are hopelessly out of touch with their constituents, with people who are finding it difficult to make ends meet."

Farah says he is convinced Congress will act only if the people steamroll members into action. He points to the way the Dubai port deal and so-called "comprehensive immigration reform" were killed by popular uprisings in recent years.

"We can make this happen, again," he says. "But this time, we won't just be stopping something bad from happening. We will be doing something that is very good for the country – something that will improve the lives of all of us, something that will improve national security, something vital for the future of the nation."

Congress is set to adjourn in late September.

"I'm going to do everything in my power to push Congress into action in the next two months," Farah says. "I know I can't do it by myself. But I know if the American people get mobilized nothing can stop them. You have to let members of Congress know you are serious. You have to persuade them and their staffs they are not returning to Washington next year if they fail to act in America's interest before they leave town."

Before then, you can reach members of the House by calling 202-224-3121 or 202-225-1904. The official House website contains web pages for all members and includes email addresses for most.

You can reach members of the U.S. Senate by calling 202-225-6827. The official Senate website also contains web pages for all members and includes email address for some.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 23, 2008, 03:13:49 PM
I have just emailed my senator: Cantwell.  (please I'm ashamed to even say that she represents us.  Or DOESN'T represent us as the case really is.)

I forgot to save my letter and I certainly wasn't as eloquent as my brother was, but the message was there all the same.  My brother has a way with words.  I just have a hot-head and nerve!

Grammyluv


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 23, 2008, 06:16:51 PM
I have just emailed my senator: Cantwell.  (please I'm ashamed to even say that she represents us.  Or DOESN'T represent us as the case really is.)

I forgot to save my letter and I certainly wasn't as eloquent as my brother was, but the message was there all the same.  My brother has a way with words.  I just have a hot-head and nerve!

Grammyluv

 ;D   ;D    ROFL!

Some folks call that "the bull in the china closet syndrome", and I don't know of anyone who has it.   :o   ::)   8)  Most have said that we are far too shy and reserved. UM? - I'm hard of hearing - maybe they said something else.   ;D

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/scare/scare060.jpg)

(Small Print:  maybe those bulls need to be turned loose from time to time.)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 23, 2008, 06:23:50 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/bullchinashopbox031307DAVID.jpg)


 ;D ;D ;D ;D




Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 23, 2008, 06:52:53 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/bullchinashopbox031307DAVID.jpg)


 ;D ;D ;D ;D




 ;D   ;D   ROFL!  -  Consider this one snagged.  I might also have to go buy that game and try to find out more about this mysterious ailment.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 23, 2008, 07:03:15 PM
;D   ;D   ROFL!  -  Consider this one snagged.  I might also have to go buy that game and try to find out more about this mysterious ailment.

It's fun.  ;D



(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/ram_belier2.jpg)

It was the bull, your honor. I witnessed it myself.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 23, 2008, 07:25:14 PM
Well, my mother always said I was "gutsey".  Must've been from that time my grade school principal called to tell her that I had come to his office asking for a different 4th grade teacher because I didn't like the one I had!

Glad I could make ya all laugh!  ;D


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 23, 2008, 10:16:33 PM
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has just released his
398 page "Priorities for America" omnibus spending bill
(S. 3297) authorizing a massive $11.3 billion in federal
spending--making it the largest earmark in history!

At a time when American families are struggling under the
strain of skyrocketing gas prices, and 85 percent think
the U.S. economy is seriously off track (according to a
TIME/Rockefeller Foundation poll), Harry Reid is trying
to siphon more of your tax-dollars to fund 34 new federal
programs--including $17 million over five years for the
Captive Primates Safety Act (S. 1498), and $12 million
for a botanical greenhouse in Maryland!

Many of the bills included in Reid's omnibus plan have never even
been considered in committee, while others have been altered
before being added to his package!

Worse yet, our Capitol contact expects Reid to file cloture on
the motion to proceed to the bill as early as Thursday with a
vote on Saturday... This is why Congress enjoys a 9 percent
approval rating.

This is just another obscene example of "government
gone wild". It's no longer about serving the people. Accountability
has been cast aside, and it’s every Congressman (and woman) for him
or herself.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 23, 2008, 10:22:05 PM
Louisiana the Only State to Promote Academic Freedom (So Far)

Last month, Louisiana became the only state to set into law some measure of academic protection for teachers who wish to present more than one side of the origins debate. The Louisiana Academic Freedom Act, authored by State Senator Ben Nevers, will shield public school teachers from discrimination or job termination if they introduce material on controversial topics in the science classroom, including evidence against biological evolution.

The bill was signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal, who has already received criticism for his Christian background. Critics, including well-known evolution supporters from the National Center for Science Education and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, say the bill’s intention is to introduce creationism into the classroom.

But just what exactly in the bill’s provisions irks these critics?

The bill states Louisiana recognizes that “an important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills that they need in order to become intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens.” Also, that “the teaching of some scientific subjects, such as biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy, and that some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.”1

Rather than promoting a specific religious agenda, Section E of the bill “protects the teaching of scientific information, and this section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion.”1

There is no doubt that problems exist in Darwin’s evolutionary and natural selection theories, but rather than inform students of these truths, evolutionists would prefer to only have their brand of science presented to the impressionable minds of the next generation, with no questions asked. Critics have accused creation and intelligent design proponents of “using” legislative bodies to pass laws favoring an open origins debate in the classroom. They fail, however, to mention their own use of the judicial system to support evolution-only teaching (as in the highly-publicized 2005 Dover case2).

A basic U.S. government high school course should remind us that in a democracy, legislators vote on policy to reflect the will of the people who elected them. The judicial system exists to interpret those laws, not to create new ones to fit the will of the few. According to a Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life nationwide survey,3 in 2005 a significant number of Americans did not think evolution was the best explanation for the origins of human life.

Similar legislative bills have failed in South Carolina, Alabama, Michigan, Missouri, and Florida. Hopefully, these states and the rest of the nation will follow Louisiana’s example to offer our nation’s students the freedom to learn and the opportunity to become objective and critically-thinking adults.



Title: U.S. government: We know parenting better than you
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 24, 2008, 03:11:31 PM
U.S. government: We know parenting better than you
Proposals would give Washington unprecedented control over kids

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to debate two bills that could give the federal government unprecedented control over the way parents raise their children – even providing funds for state workers to come into homes and screen babies for emotional and developmental problems.

The Pre-K Act (HR 3289) and the Education Begins at Home Act (HR 2343) are two bills geared toward military and families who fall below state poverty lines. The measures are said to be a way to prevent child abuse, close the achievement gap in education between poor and minority infants versus middle-class children and evaluate babies younger than 5 for medical conditions.

'Education Begins at Home Act' – HR 2343

HR 2343 is sponsored by Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., and cosponsored by 55 Democrats and 11 Republicans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing the Education Begins at Home Act would cost taxpayers $190 million for state home visiting plus "such sums as may be necessary" for in-hospital parent education.

While the bill may appear to be well-intentioned, Pediatrician Karen Effrem told WND government provisions in HR 2343 to evaluate children for developmental problems go too far.

"The federal definition of developmental screening for special education also includes what they call socioemotional screening, which is mental health screening," Effrem said. "Mental health screening is very subjective no matter what age you do it. Obviously it is incredibly subjective when we are talking about very young children."

While the program may not be mandatory for low-income and military families, there is no wording in the Education Begins at Home Act requiring parental permission for treatment or ongoing care once the family is enrolled – a point that leads some to ask where parental rights end and the government takes over. Also, critics ask how agents of the government plan to acquire private medical and financial records to offer the home visiting program.

"There's no consent mentioned in the bill for any kind of screening – medical, health or developmental," Effrem said. "There are privacy concerns because when home visitors come into the home they assess everything about the family: Their financial situation, social situation, parenting practices, everything. All of that is put into a database."

Effrem said it does not specify whether parents are allowed to decline evaluations, drugs or treatment for their children once they are diagnosed with developmental or medical conditions.

"How free is someone who has been tagged as needing this program in the case of home visiting – like a military family or a poor family?" she asked. "How free are they to refuse? Even their refusal will be documented somewhere. There are plenty of instances where families have felt they can't refuse because they would lose benefits, be accused of not being good parents or potentially have their children taken away."

When WND asked Effrem how long state-diagnosed conditions would remain in a child's permanent medical history, she responded:

"Forever. As far as I know, there isn't any statute of limitations. The child's record follows them through school and potentially college, employment and military service."

Effrem said conflicts could also arise when parents do not agree with parenting standards of government home visitors.

"Who decides how cultural tolerance is going to be manifested?" she asked. "There's some blather in the language of the bill about having cultural awareness of the differences in parenting practices, but it seems like that never applies to Christian parents."

'Providing Resources Early for Kids'

The Pre-K Act, or HR 3289, is sponsored by Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and cosponsored by 116 Democrats and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. Estimated to cost $500 million for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2013, the bill provides funds for state-approved education. Government workers would reach mothers and fathers in the hospital after a baby has been delivered to promote Pre-K programs.

"They give them information about Child Care Resource and Referral Network so they can get the child into a preschool or daycare that follows the state standards and get the mom working as quickly as possible," she said. "It's always that sort of thing: It's a list of resources, it's intruding on parental autonomy and authority and it's not necessarily accurate or welcome information."

While parents may choose to be involved in preschool programs, Effrem said the Pre-K Act poses similar concerns about government trumping parents' rights.

"Once they are involved, they don't have any say over curriculum," she said. "There's plenty of evidence of preschool curriculum that deals with issues that have nothing to do with a child's academic development – like gender, gender identity, careers, environmentalism, multiculturalism, feminism and all of that – things that don't amount to a hill of beans as far as a child learning how to read."

Effrem said the Pre-K Act extends a "really messed-up K-12 system" to include even younger, more vulnerable children.

"This is an expansion of the federal government into education when there really is no constitutional provision for it to do so."


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 24, 2008, 05:19:13 PM
*CAIR Islamofascist-Symp Dawud Walid Whines As Michigan Reps Amend Intelligence Bill:  "None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this act may be used to prohibit or discourage the use of the words or phrases 'jihadist,' 'jihad,' 'Islamo-fascism,' 'caliphate,' 'Islamist' or 'Islamic terrorist' by or within the intelligence community or the Federal Government"


Hoekstra fights ban on terms that describe terrorists

The Bush administration advises officials to avoid the use of certain words when describing terrorism, saying the terms are inappropriate and counter-productive. But four members of the Michigan congressional delegation want to ban federal funds for initiatives that prohibit the use of the words, like "jihadist" and "Islamist."

Muslims have long considered the words slurs. The American and British governments now say the words unintentionally honor terrorists while marginalizing moderate Muslims, who believe that Islam provides no rationale for extremism, let alone terrorism.

Regardless, U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Holland, offered an amendment last week to the 2009 Intelligence Authorization Act that would ban financing for any restriction on such words. Reps. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield Hills, Thaddeus McCotter, R-Livonia, and Bart Stupak, D-Menominee, also voted for the amendment.

"None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this act may be used to prohibit or discourage the use of the words or phrases 'jihadist,' 'jihad,' 'Islamo-fascism,' 'caliphate,' 'Islamist' or 'Islamic terrorist' by or within the intelligence community or the Federal Government," the amendment reads. It was approved by a 249-180 vote in the House. The Senate is working on its own authorization bill, and no such amendment has been offered, to date.

"I am sympathetic to the argument that if used inappropriately, the words can be counterproductive, but I find that the people who are criticizing this are very short on alternatives," Hoekstra said. "So how do they want us to describe al-Qaida and what they are involved with?"

Muslim leaders said that even the Bush administration, which they blame for critical errors in the war on terrorism, now realizes the terms are ill-advised.

"We believe that Rep. Hoekstra's misguided decision reinforces the positions of extremists and may unintentionally legitimize al-Qaida and other anti-American forces," said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Michigan. "CAIR supports using terminology such as 'criminals,' 'murderers' or 'terrorists' that helps isolate extremists and remove the false cloak of religiosity they use to justify their barbaric actions."

Muslims and government officials say jihad often in everyday life, against immorality and evil. Jihad is a spiritual pursuit to which they are called, Muslims say, and those who embrace jihad bring themselves closer to God. The fact that terrorists like Osama bin Laden and others brandish the word to rationalize murder demonstrates how far they exist beyond the bounds of Islam.

A memo issued to state department employees this year cautioned against the usage. The Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center followed with similar advisories.

Spokesmen for McCotter and Knollenberg said while they are aware Muslims find the words objectionable, they believe intelligence officials must be free to describe events as they see them.

The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Arab American Institute, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and CAIR have all urged officials to adopt a broader view of Islam, to more effectively counter the extremists.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 25, 2008, 02:16:41 AM
"So how do they want us to describe al-Qaida and what they are involved with?"



Oh, those bad guys.  Those bad, bad guys.  If only they'd behave themselves.  Those poor, little, misunderstood darlings.
Yeah.  Right.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 25, 2008, 02:49:38 AM
Oh, those bad guys.  Those bad, bad guys.  If only they'd behave themselves.  Those poor, little, misunderstood darlings.
Yeah.  Right.

Even that would be considered too harsh by most liberals. After all it is our fault that they act the way they do. If we would just give them what they want they wouldn't be a problem.   ::) ::)



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 25, 2008, 03:26:41 AM
Even that would be considered too harsh by most liberals. After all it is our fault that they act the way they do. If we would just give them what they want they wouldn't be a problem.   ::) ::)



Yeah.  Like our country.  As it is, seems like they are doing a pretty good job of just helping themselves to it, while our govenment looks the other way.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 25, 2008, 08:15:44 AM
That "Land for Peace" strategy that Israel tried sure did work well. UM? - NO, it didn't work at all because that isn't what they want. They want the total elimination and annihilation of Israel. UM? - what country would be next on their list for elimination and annihilation? Anything LESS would not make them happy and would really be like putting a tiny band-aid on a major wound.

If they were able to wipe Israel completely off the map, aren't we all smart enough to know that another country would then occupy their attention? In other words, THERE IS NO WAY TO MAKE THEM HAPPY! In fact, the simple act of trying to make them happy is viewed by them as a sign of weakness. The attempt actually identifies that entity as a viable target. Believe it or not, this is the TRUTH!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 25, 2008, 09:45:17 AM
That "other country" is already in their sites and is being worked on for quite some time now as that "other country" has been standing in the way of their objective. Not only have we been under attack violently but are also seeing a fifth column that is working on destroying us all from within. There are a large number of not so sleepy "sleeper cells" within the U.S. that has already taken over a considerable amount of our government (cities, counties and starting on states and federal) and is already instilling sharia law in those areas. We see the rest of our government kowtowing to the "rights" of islamists all the while ignoring the legal rights of others.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 25, 2008, 10:47:54 AM
That "other country" is already in their sites and is being worked on for quite some time now as that "other country" has been standing in the way of their objective. Not only have we been under attack violently but are also seeing a fifth column that is working on destroying us all from within. There are a large number of not so sleepy "sleeper cells" within the U.S. that has already taken over a considerable amount of our government (cities, counties and starting on states and federal) and is already instilling sharia law in those areas. We see the rest of our government kowtowing to the "rights" of islamists all the while ignoring the legal rights of others.



Had anything even close to this happened 50 years ago, could you guess what the reaction would have been? In fact, something much smaller would have resulted in a drastic response. The response to many circumstances of today would have been radically different 50 years ago in just about every major controversy of society. Some would say that we were less civilized 50 years ago, but I would disagree completely and believe the opposite. We were obviously a more Godly society 50 years ago. There were some exceptions, but we also treated each other better 50 years ago. I'll just say that overall, we had a greater desire to please GOD. Also overall, our expectations were much higher, and what we would tolerate was much different.

Many would quickly cite medical and scientific advances over the last 50 years and state that the quality of life is better today. They would also cite that we live longer. However, I think that the quality of life was much better 50 years ago, even though we had the worries of the Cold War. Remember, I know there were exceptions. We were pretty poor, so my views were not clouded by wealth or advantage.

Love In Christ,
Tom



Christian Quotes 10 - Now blest in heavenly places In Christ at God's
right hand; And filled with all His fulness Complete in Him to stand.
Sing to the praise and glory Of Him Who thus hath shown Such gracious
love and mercy, To call us for His own. -- William Hallman


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 25, 2008, 02:20:30 PM
Here is the form letter that I got back from Senator Cantwell's office.  I doubt that she ever saw my email.  My brother got the same one as near as I can tell.

Dear Ms. Bainter,

 Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about the high energy prices in Washington state. I appreciate hearing from you on this matter of utmost importance to families and businesses across our nation.

 As I'm sure you know, the last few months have seen the highest recorded average gasoline and diesel prices ever seen in Washington. With volatile oil prices over $135 per barrel, and gasoline and diesel pump prices topping $4 per gallon across the country, consumers are struggling to make ends meet with ever shrinking disposable incomes. Airlines are going bankrupt, truckers aren't getting paid enough to cover skyrocketing diesel prices, and families are cutting down on trips to the mall and cancelling summer vacation plans - further exacerbating our economic downturn.  Average national gasoline prices are the highest they've ever been, double what they were just a year ago, and still climbing. Our state continues to have some of the highest prices in the country, despite the fact that Washington's refineries are supplied primarily by Alaskan oil, produce almost twice the refined product that we need for in-state consumption, and have a comprehensive pipeline distribution system.

 I recognize the tremendous burden these unprecedented prices have put on families and Washington businesses and I am concerned that the lack of transparency in U.S. energy futures markets may explain some of the record prices we face. Energy market experts, oil company executives, and major industrial energy consumers have testified to Congress that the price of oil and gas can no longer be explained or predicted by normal market dynamics or their historic understanding of supply and demand fundamentals. Numerous experts have concluded that unprecedented jumps in crude oil prices are due in large part to rampant speculation in the energy commodities markets.

 To combat this speculation, on June 23, 2008, I introduced the Prevent Unfair Manipulation of Prices (PUMP) Act (S. 3185), the Senate companion to a bill (H.R. 6330) introduced by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI). If enacted, the PUMP Act would close the full range of loopholes being used by oil market speculators and dark market exchanges and give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) the ability to better prevent traders from establishing powerful positions in commodity markets that could be used for manipulative purposes. In addition, the bill would require public monthly reporting of index fund data and strengthen Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authority to prosecute manipulation in natural gas and electricity markets. Industry experts have testified before Congress that enacting the PUMP Act into law could bring down the world price of oil to the marginal cost of production, which oil industry and market experts believe is around $60 a barrel, within 30 days.

 Furthermore, the landmark 2007 Energy Bill included language I authored giving the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) new authority to prosecute and impose fines of up to $1 million per day on anyone who uses a manipulative or deceptive device or contrivance to distort the crude oil, gasoline, or petroleum distillate markets. In the months since the Energy Bill was enacted, I have put pressure on the FTC to make sure they utilize this new regulatory authority as soon as possible. With petroleum prices at unprecedented levels, we need a cop-on-the-beat to make sure Americans aren't being exploited by bad marketplace actors. On May 2, 2008, I welcomed the FTC's decision to issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, a critical first step in a rulemaking process , and I plan to continue to push the commission to finalize this rule in the next few months.

 To further address the threat of market manipulation, on April 21, 2008, I sent a letter with Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA-1) to the President calling for the creation of a Department of Justice Oil and Gas Market Fraud Task Force to examine fraud and manipulation of oil and gas markets. The Department of Justice stepped in to help investigate Enron's manipulation of electricity prices a few years ago, now it needs to step up and investigate potential corruption in oil and gas markets. Washingtonians felt the economic pain of an Administration slow to act while Enron and other bad market actors were pillaging West Coast ratepayers and now they deserve vigilant oversight from the feds when it comes to gas prices.

 Rapidly growing energy needs in Washington state, and across the country, call for diverse solutions. In the search for answers, some have called for expanding domestic oil and gas exploration, including in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), to decrease the price Americans are paying at the pump. While the intent behind this suggestion is surely sincere, it simply won't fix the problem. The truth of the matter is that the Unites States only holds about three percent of the world's oil reserves and will never affect world oil prices. In fact, the Energy Information Administration, an agency within the Department of Energy, reported recently that drilling in all the offshore areas currently "would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030." The United States simply cannot become an energy leader through domestic exploration, but we should seize the opportunity to become a world leader in energy efficiency, conservation technology, and renewable energy technology.

 While Washingtonians like you have been working harder to pay the tab at the gas pump and on heating bills, oil companies have been reaping record profits. Exxon Mobil announced their 2007 net profit earlier this year - $40.6 billion - breaking records for the highest quarterly and annual profits ever for a U.S. company. Combined oil company profits exceed $600 billion since 2001. While I want U.S. companies to be successful, hugely profitable companies don't need taxpayer subsidies and shouldn't be allowed to avoid paying royalties for oil and gas taken from public lands. I believe it is time to level the playing field by removing decades-old subsidies to the mature oil and gas industries and invest in clean energy technologies that will keep more money here at home. I recently led an effort to pass legislation in the Senate that, if enacted, would extend clean energy tax incentives scheduled to expire at the end of 2008. On April 10, 2008, the bipartisan Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act (S. 2821), which I introduced with John Ensign (R-NV) just a week earlier, was included as an amendment to the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 (H.R. 3221) that passed the Senate later that day by a vote of 88 to 8. This legislation, cosponsored by 43 of my Senate colleagues, would provide the continuation of clean energy production incentives for wind, solar and other renewable sources, and incentives to improve energy efficiency that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, save people and businesses money, and reduce energy costs over time.

 Please be assured that, as a member of the Senate Energy, Commerce, and Finance Committees, I will continue working to develop responsible solutions to the current energy crisis and to provide price relief to Washingtonians. At the same time, I am working with my colleagues to develop balanced and sustainable solutions to our nation's long-term energy needs.

 Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  Finally, you may be interested in signing up for my weekly update for Washington state residents. Every Monday, I provide a brief outline about my work in the Senate and issues of importance to Washington State.  If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

 Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 25, 2008, 06:04:47 PM
Typical democratic smelly by-products. The PUMP Act was tried before and failed miserably. It sure to fail again. All this amounts to is an attempt to buy some time, to put off having to handle the problem until at after the elections at which time they won't do a thing about it. As it has already been said by the democrats, they don't want gas and oil prices to drop. They want us to suffer high energy costs until someone can come up with reliable alternative energy which will also be costly.

What we need is a DUMP Act. Dump the democrats into prison for not doing their jobs.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 25, 2008, 08:31:15 PM

What we need is a DUMP Act. Dump the democrats into prison for not doing their jobs.



(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x125/luvmarley_bucket/cid_006701c66bbe0d2562b00900a8c0Dis.gif)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 26, 2008, 02:35:55 AM
 ;D   ;D   ;D    ROFL!

I many times think we would be better off by dumping all of them. We could let the Barnum and Bailey Circus run it all. The Ringmaster would be the President. How about that for a plan.   ;D


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 26, 2008, 02:38:13 AM
P.S. to the last post.

The bearded lady would be the Vice-President.

The clowns would be in charge of foreign affairs.

 ;D


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 26, 2008, 10:52:09 AM
I am sure they would do a much better job than the clowns we have now.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 26, 2008, 11:48:03 AM
Congress' bailout opens doors to eminent domain seizures
Warning issued about 'bonanza' of potential property confiscations

The congressional plan to bail out the U.S. housing and mortgage industries, which could be approved by Congress and signed by the president as early as this weekend, actually endangers Americans' housing, according to the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

"Of all the unintended consequences of the housing bill that passed the House – of which there will likely be many – one of the most ironic and far-reaching may be this: that whatever security marginal homeowners have from foreclosures, their homes will be far less safe from being taken by a bureaucrat through eminent domain," John Berlau wrote on the organization's website.

According to the Wall Street Journal the White House says the bill needs to be enacted soon so its new authorities will start taking effect.

The sweeping package, the report said, "is the government's most aggressive response to rising foreclosures and fragile credit markets. It creates a new regulator for ailing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and establishes a $300 billion program to expand the Federal Housing Administration's ability to guarantee mortgages."

However, some of the details included in the hundreds of pages of the bill are likely to surprise – and concern – Americans. For example, there's a requirement for a new fingerprint registry for those who are associated with the mortgage industry, raising privacy concerns for many.

There's also a provision many are interpreting as allowing the federal government to obtain information about online spending, money transfers and purchases, including ordinary eBay purchases.

Now comes the concern that the new proposal's affirmation of the Kelo decision by the U.S. Supreme Court actually could make the situation worse for homeowners.

That still-bitterly opposed Supreme Court opinion in Kelo v. New London decided in 2005 that the U.S. Constitution allows the taking of private property for private economic development, a decision decried by WND columnist Ellis Washington as "a blatant violation of citizen property rights, also an obvious misinterpretation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which mandates, 'nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.'"

Berlau explains his worries about the wake of the Kelo verdict, and the new provisions in the housing bailout plan.

"Some states have passed laws protecting property owners by barring eminent domain solely for economic development purposes. But for the many states that still allow this practice, the federal government is often the source of funds for the projects that result in the use of eminent domain. Efforts to bar federal funds to be used on projects that make use of this type of eminent domain have stalled in this and the last Congress," he said.

"To their credit, the drafters of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which passed the Senate on July 11, at least recognized this danger of throwing billions in construction grants to state and local governments. So they put in a clause stating, 'No funds under this title may be used in conjunction with property taken by eminent domain, unless eminent domain is employed for a public use.' The clause then adds that 'public use shall not be construed to include economic development that primarily benefits any private entity," he said.

"But this language has vanished from the House bill," he said.

Replacing it is language that "would give governments substantially more leeway to take land."

That provision changes the Senate's prohibition on funds "used in conjunction with property taken by eminent domain" with the looser ban of using funds for a "project that seeks to use the power of eminent domain."

"This new language in the House bill would give property-grabbing bureaucrats an easy way around the supposed prohibition on using eminent domain," Berlau said. "All they would have to do is take property for any reason that Kelo allows, and then come up with another project for the specific use of that property. If land were grabbed for general economic development, as Kelo permits, and then a new project were created for a city to sell this land to developers, this would likely not be a violation of the House bill. After all, the new project isn’t 'seeking' to use eminent domain, it is merely using land that had already been confiscated."

He warned of the potential for the bill to "stimulate a bonanza of state and local property confiscation of the type green-lighted in the Supreme Court's 5-4 deciion Kelo v. New London."

"This new language means … there will be virtually nothing stopping states and localities from using the federal housing grants to help themselves to confiscate housing," he said.

Senators can be reached through the Capitol HIll switchboard at 202-224-3121.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 26, 2008, 04:50:23 PM

The clowns would be in charge of foreign affairs.

 ;D

They already are!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 26, 2008, 04:51:24 PM
I am sure they would do a much better job than the clowns we have now.



Oops didn't see this one!  Just goes to show that great minds think alike!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 26, 2008, 05:30:49 PM
Oops didn't see this one!  Just goes to show that great minds think alike!

 ;D ;D



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 29, 2008, 01:26:04 PM
This is from my brother this morning...

Hi Sis,
You know Senator Murray surprised me a bit here. She does make a very important point. Just because we open more land for drilling is no guarantee that the oil companies will drill. They are having record profits right now, why drill more and lower those profits. Maybe it is time for a publicically/government owned oil company that is not interested in record profits for shareholders, etc., but one that is interested in that 90 years of oil for the public.  Oh my gosh, did I just say that - more government control? I do think that she has a point though. Who says that the oil companies will drill and lower prices? She did give me food for thought there - at least I think she wrote her own letter, unlike Cantwell.
Randy



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Forwarded Message: Response from Senator Murray Response from Senator MurrayTuesday, July 29, 2008 8:23 AMFrom: Senator@murray.senate.

Dear Mr. -----:

 Thank you for writing me regarding your support for oil drilling in the United States. I appreciate hearing your views on this important matter.

 Just this week, I filled up my gas tank in Washington State at $4.45 a gallon. I understand and share your concern about how high gas prices are affecting families, businesses, and our entire economy, and I am dedicated to finding solutions to this problem. There are many options that I am discussing with my colleagues, from addressing speculation in the futures market to expanding the number of leases for land available to oil companies.

 As you know, President Bush recently proposed expanding the amount of area available for domestic oil production in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Bans on oil drilling and development were placed on parts of the OCS by both Congressional legislation in 1982 and by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, and later extended by President Clinton until 2012. President Bush is calling on Congress to lift the ban and allow for expanded offshore drilling in the OCS, arguing that lifting the ban will lower oil prices and allow for more domestic production of oil.

 However, oil companies have made it clear they would not necessarily choose to increase refining or production of gasoline and other petroleum products even if those OCS acres were made available. In fact, there are currently 41 million acres in the OCS that are leased for oil drilling, and of those, just over 8 million are being drilled, according to the Minerals Management Service (MMS). That leaves approximately 33.5 million acres of OCS lands that are already open for drilling, and yet oil companies have chosen to not drill there. In addition, MMS estimates that roughly 79 percent of America's technically recoverable offshore oil reserves are available for leasing, while just 21 percent are covered by the current ban. Since oil companies have failed to increase domestic production by using the acres open to them, there is no guarantee that they would increase production even if additional OCS acres were made available.

 Rather than giving oil companies access to more land and allowing them to drill at their own pace, I believe Congress should strongly encourage the utilization of lands already available for drilling. That is why I am working closely with Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) on a proposal to speed up domestic oil production on federal lands that are already leased by shortening lease terms and requiring oil companies to comply with benchmarks on their progress. In addition, the proposal would accelerate leasing in acres that are currently open to leasing. These areas are estimated to contain 78.5 million barrels of oil, which is enough to displace our imports from the Persian Gulf for 90 years.

 The proposal would also target reducing demand for oil by investing in public transportation and clean, renewable fuels and battery technologies to decrease our dependence on oil and diversify our energy supplies. Also, this proposal would target oil companies and the tax breaks they currently receive. Even though large oil companies have reported years of record profits, they have failed to make adequate investments in increasing supply and instead are using their excessive profits to buy back their own stock. I firmly believe in making short-term investments to help resolve this situation while also making long-term investments in fuel efficiency, renewable fuels, and limiting our dependence on fossil fuels.

 As you know, there is evidence that speculation in the futures market may also be impacting the price of oil. I am working with my colleagues to prevent excessive speculation and manipulation and to ensure that energy trading markets are properly regulated. That is why I coauthored S. 3268, the Stop Excessive Speculation Act of 2008, to help address speculation on the energy futures market. This bill will increase the monitoring capabilities of our regulatory agencies and require traders to disclose more information that could be helpful in tracking and prosecuting illegal practices. Once implemented, these measures will ensure the price of oil is not being artificially inflated by traders who stand to benefit from high oil prices.

 Easing the price at the pump and reducing America's dependence on oil are two of my top priorities. I am working to accelerate oil production on lands that are already available, repeal tax breaks for oil companies, and invest in energy efficiency and create a cleaner, more diversified energy supply using American workers and innovation. I know real families are struggling, and I share your concerns and will keep your thoughts in mind as the 110th Congress continues to debate energy legislation. Thank you for contacting me, and please don't hesitate to write again.

 I hope all is well in Yakima.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 29, 2008, 01:42:58 PM
There are oil companies right now that are not doing so well that would like to expand. These companies would love the opportunity to have access to the blocked areas.

It is true that there are approx 41 million acres in the OCS that are leased and not being drilled in. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) that is mentioned above has stated that the oil companies are drilling in those areas that have proved to be worthwhile geologically to find oil, that the majority of the unused leased area does not show any likelihood of producing oil.

It is also true that under current legislation there is no guarantee that oil companies leasing that land that does show promises will actually make use of it. It is for this reason that if Congress does lift the ban on these areas and allow the companies to lease the land it should be with the provision that they loose the rights to that land if it is not used productively in a certain amount of time and released to someone that will.

The suggestion of a "publicically/government owned oil company" would be just falling into line with what Pelosi, Reid and the likes actually want. It would fall into the category of socialism with communism following shortly thereafter.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 29, 2008, 02:05:25 PM
Thanks PR.  I put this here specifically to get input.  I KNEW there had to be a catch somewhere.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 29, 2008, 05:19:23 PM
The Donkey Congress is allergic to debate

Conservative stalwart Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint blew the whistle last week on a new report from the Congressional Research Service showing that 94 percent of bills passed in the Dem-controlled Senate have been rammed through without debate or vote.

Via CNS:

Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) dismissed Democratic claims of obstructionism and expressed outrage last week over a government report that shows the majority of bills that have passed in the Democrat-controlled Senate of the 110th Congress have done so without any debate or even a vote.

“The U.S. Senate has a nine percent approval rating, because the American people believe that much of our work is done in secret with no debate, no transparency and no accountability,” Coburn told reporters at press conference Wednesday at the Capitol.

“This report shows that the reality is worse than the public’s fears. Instead of encouraging open debate, I’m disappointed that Majority Leader Reid often chooses secrecy or demagoguery,” he added.

Coburn was referring to a non-partisan study released on June 10 by the government’s Congressional Research Service (CRS), which indicates that 855 of the 911 bills passed by the Senate of the 110th Congress have been streamlined by Democratic Party leadership with a procedural tactic known as Unanimous Consent (UC), which requires no debate or even a vote.

With the Senate’s traditional August recess about to start, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has repeatedly accused Republicans, however, and especially Coburn and DeMint, of blocking UC on legislation that he says is critical to the well-being of many Americans.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 29, 2008, 05:20:39 PM
Democrat Senate Passed 94% of Bills without Debate or Roll Call Vote

Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) dismissed Democratic claims of obstructionism and expressed outrage last week over a government report that shows the majority of bills that have passed in the Democrat-controlled Senate of the 110th Congress have done so without any debate or even a vote.

“The U.S. Senate has a nine percent approval rating, because the American people believe that much of our work is done in secret with no debate, no transparency and no accountability,” Coburn told reporters at press conference Wednesday at the Capitol.

“This report shows that the reality is worse than the public’s fears. Instead of encouraging open debate, I’m disappointed that Majority Leader Reid often chooses secrecy or demagoguery,” he added.

Coburn was referring to a non-partisan study released on June 10 by the government’s Congressional Research Service (CRS), which indicates that 855 of the 911 bills passed by the Senate of the 110th Congress have been streamlined by Democratic Party leadership with a procedural tactic known as Unanimous Consent (UC), which requires no debate or even a vote.

With the Senate’s traditional August recess about to start, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has repeatedly accused Republicans, however, and especially Coburn and DeMint, of blocking UC on legislation that he says is critical to the well-being of many Americans.

Coburn and DeMint have a reputation for reading and objecting to bills that would have otherwise passed without debate or objection, Bryan Darling, director of Senate relations for the conservative Heritage Foundation, told CNSNews.com.

Reid has also objected to a procedural tactic know as filibuster, which Republicans have used to block legislation they oppose.

“I had out here earlier today our Velcro chart, 79 [Republican] filibusters,” said Reid on June 25. “Is it any wonder that the House seats that came up during the off-year went Democratic? Is it any wonder that the State of Mississippi sent us a Democratic House Member? … It is no wonder because they see what is going on over here.”

Reid was referring to a flip chart that the Democrats use to tally the number of GOP filibusters. As of Friday, July 25, there were 85 Republican filibusters, according to Reid’s press office.

On Thursday, Reid introduced the Advance America’s Priorities Act, which is nicknamed the “Coburn Omnibus” because it patches together 40 bills, many of which Coburn has already stopped from passing through the Senate by Unanimous Consent.

Reid’s press secretary, Jim Manley, told The Hill on June 27 that the omnibus is a reaction to Coburn’s obstruction.

“Look what happened last time we did this: Sen. Coburn held up action on dozens of bills for narrow, personal reasons, demanding debate and four amendments,” said Manley.

“These bills were held up for months. The Senate had to waste precious time to allow him to offer a few amendments. That is not debate and amendment. It is abuse, obstruction and delay,” he said.

“Things have gotten so bad that Republican senators have approached Reid to ask that their bills be included in the package,” Manley added.

But Coburn said on Wednesday that forcing costly bills before Congress right before a recess is typical of the Democratic leadership’s approach to legislating.

“They [Democrats] have tried to ram them [bills] through right before recess to pressure us to give up,” said Coburn. “But senators shouldn’t fear debate on these important bills.

“It’s in the best traditions of our republic to demand the Senate actually do its job and have a public debate on bills that expand government and increase the burden on taxpayers. Senator Reid can complain all he wants, but Republicans represent millions of Americans whose voices are being silenced by Democrat strong-arm tactics,” he added.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 29, 2008, 09:36:43 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

I can understand why the Democrats don't want many of the bills to come to the floor for discussion and debate. There's a good chance that the people will find out about them also. It would be dangerous for the public to find out about some of the things they're trying to do, so they try to keep that a secret. These are our public servants trying to push things through in secret. If they don't want to discuss the bills and vote on them - they don't want to do their job they were elected to do. SEND THEM HOME and put someone in office who wants to do the work.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 29, 2008, 10:48:32 PM
I remember Governor Moonbeam (now Attorney General Jerry Brown) quite well. He needs to leave his history as completed history instead of trying to keep making more.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 30, 2008, 01:01:18 AM
Oil? Ah, let Russia have it
State Department gives away 125,000 square miles of Alaskan ocean floor

Even if Congress follows President Bush's lead in opening off-shore oil exploration, there exist over 125,000 square miles of sea bottom that won't be explored, because the State Department – amid controversy and against the will of Alaskans – has surrendered the land to Russia.

Eight islands and their surrounding sea floors were ceded to the former Soviet Union as part of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Maritime Boundary Treaty in 1991, a treaty signed by the U.S. Senate and President George Bush but never ratified by the Soviets. Nonetheless, an executive agreement enforcing the terms of the treaty until ratification has been in place through three presidencies, meaning the State Department officially recognizes the islands as Russian territory.

Alaskan legislators, who were given no input or authority on the island giveaway, have long protested the treaty, declaring it null and void without Russian ratification.

And since last week's U.S. Geological Survey estimating that 90 billion barrels of oil lie undiscovered and technically recoverable above the Arctic Circle, those 125,000 square miles of seabed have taken on newly appreciated value. Five of the islands lie north of the Artic Circle, and the other three sit at the western end of Alaska's Aleutian island chain.

Carl Olson, a retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander and chairman of State Department Watch, a nonpartisan foreign policy watchdog group, explained to WND the significance of the State Department's stance: "The area off the coast of an island that a nation may use is called the exclusive economic zone. The group in charge of defining that is the State Department. So (the president and Congress) can say the off-shore areas are opened up, but still not recognize these quarter of a million square miles available for American oil exploration."

Alaska state Rep. John B. Coghill told WND earlier, "The issues involve not only state sovereignty over vital territories but also significant national defense concerns and substantial economic losses over fisheries and petroleum."

The Alaskan legislature and a sympathetic California legislature have both passed resolutions asking Congress to allow Alaska at the bargaining table with Russia to resolve the islands' ownership. After almost 20 years of official protests, the U.S. State Department has yet to acknowledge Alaska's arguments.

"It's totally anti-public, anti-Congress, anti-state actions – but unfortunately the State Department thinks it has the power to adopt this boundary line with the Russians without anybody's consent outside themselves, " Olson told WND. "The State Department is basically chopping off a piece of Alaska and giving it to a foreign government without Alaska having any say in it."

The lands in dispute include the islands of Herald, Bennett, Henrietta, Jeanette, Copper Island, Sea Lion Rock, Sea Otter Rock, and Wrangel, which is the largest of the eight, roughly the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, including the Aleutian Islands, which presumably would include Copper Island, Sea Otter Rock and Sea Lion Rock. In 1881, U.S. Captain Calvin L. Hooper landed on Wrangel Island and claimed it for the U.S. Also in 1881, the U.S. Navy claimed the islands of Bennett, Jeannette, and Henrietta. The British held Herald Island, but they gave up that claim, permitting the U.S. to take it.

American citizens had occupied Wrangel Island from approximately 1881 to 1924, when Russian soldiers landed and forcibly removed the American occupants from its shores. The Russians then reportedly used the island as a concentration camp.

Many Alaskan legislators believe the islands were part of their state, even after the Wrangel invasion, though the U.S. State Department officially disagrees. Without a ratified treaty designating them as Russian, those same legislators and Carl Olson believe the islands still are American territory and can be reverted to the U.S. easily.

The only thing binding the islands to Russia is "in the form of an executive agreement," Olson told WND, "which means it can be changed with the stroke of a pen by the president, because it has no force of law."

"We have been steadily maintaining the pressure," said Olson. "It's just a matter of finding sympathetic people in Washington and the other states to go for it. There's plenty of organizations who have endorsed our efforts, so we keep up the drumbeat."

Coghill has also sought the support of other states, claiming that the federal State Department has overstepped its authority in giving away a state's land. "If they can do this to Alaska," he warns, "they can do this to any state."

U.S. State Department officials did not return WND telephone calls to discuss the matter, but a State Department webpage devoted to the island controversy denies that islands were ever claimed by the United States and explains that though the treaty between the U.S. and Russian Federation was never fully ratified, "In a separate exchange of diplomatic notes, the two countries agreed to apply the agreement provisionally."

The webpage concludes, "The U.S. has no intention of reopening discussion of the 1990 Maritime Boundary Treaty."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 30, 2008, 01:32:37 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/pelosi20reid202.jpg)


The BIG lie!

BIG = Bold Ignominious Government



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 30, 2008, 01:58:57 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/pelosi20reid202.jpg)


The BIG lie!

BIG = Bold Ignominious Government



UM? I want to know how the passage of a large number of bills without debate, without a vote, and without public knowledge fits into this so-called "OPEN GOVERNMENT". How can they stand behind signs like that with a straight face? The ONLY thing I can think of is years of practice in LYING!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 31, 2008, 10:56:31 AM
Military 'gay' ban supporters demonized by Congress
'Show hearing would have made Stalin proud'

The chief of The Center for Military Preparedness says the reaction to her testimony before a congressional hearing has proven her point: That allowing open homosexuality in the U.S. military will create an atmosphere of intense persecution for those who disagree with the lifestyle choice.

Further, it would damage the military's morale, handicap its capabilities and deprive it of thousands of good service members, Elaine Donnelly told WND.

She was reacting to the recent hearing before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel and committee chief U.S. Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif.

Robert Knight, of the Culture and Media Institute, described the hearing like this: "Surrounded by hostile faces in the gallery, hostile faces of the liberal congressmen who dominated the 'hearing,' and the skeptical faces of reporters from liberal media, Mrs. Donnelly listened stoically while other witnesses trashed her personally during their testimony. Because of the rules, she was not able to respond until called late in the proceedings for her own testimony."

At issue was the 1993 imposition by President Bill Clinton of the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policies that allow homosexuals who did not publicly announce their lifestyle choice to participate in the U.S. military even though the underlying law still banned that.

Congress now is on a campaign to correct such "rights" violations and is considering changing that law.

But according to reports, Donnelly's invited testimony was met with derisive comments about her objections to homosexuals in the military, and her supporting arguments for those objections.

Donnelly said such a reaction simply confirmed her premise.

"Show me members of Congress who verbally abuse witnesses testifying before them, and I will show you a group of liberals doing everything they can to prevent the witnesses from being heard," she said.

"My mission as an invited witness was to defend the 1993 statute that Congress actually passed, which states that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military," she said. "Accompany me was Brian Jones, a retired sergeant major of the U.S. Army's elite Delta Force.

"We did our best to present testimony on the consequences of repealing that law, and our statements are on the record. We had difficulty being heard, however, because liberal members of the committee avoided relevant issues by attacking our motives and asking absurd questions," she said.

She continued, "The barrage of personal insults and diversionary insinuations, ironically, served to prove my point. If the 1993 law is repealed:

    * "The new policy will be forced cohabitation with homosexuals, 24/7, in all military communities, including Army and Marine infantry battalions, Special Operations Forces, Navy SEALS, and all the ships at sea, including submarines. This would be tantamount to forcing female soldiers to cohabit with men in intimate quarters, 24/7, with no recourse but to leave or avoid the military all together.

    * "Taking the 'civil rights' argument to its logical, misguided conclusion, the military will be required to give special rights to professed (not discreet) homosexuals, and enforce a corollary policy of 'zero tolerance' of anyone who disagrees. The military does not do things halfway. Commanders will not be able to improve the situation, since they might be accused of 'intolerance' themselves.

    * "Current incidents of sexual misconduct involving men and women will be increased three-fold, to include male/male and female/female issues.

    * "To make the new policy 'work,' valuable training time will be diverted to 'diversity' training reflecting the attitudes of civilian gay activist groups. This training will attempt to overcome the normal human desire for modesty and privacy in sexual matters – a quest that is inappropriate for the military and unlikely to succeed.

    * "Any complaints about inappropriate passive/aggressive actions conveying a homosexual message or approach, short of physical touching and assault, will be met with career-killing presumptions about the motives of the person who complains: bigotry, homophobia, racism, or worse. As a result, untold thousands of people to leave or avoid the all-volunteer force."

Tommy Sears, the executive director for the center, agreed.

"It quickly deteriorated into a show hearing that would have made Stalin proud," he wrote. "Elaine and Sgt. Major Jones gave their opening statements, and shortly the rout was on. The Democrats' tactic was to ask a lengthy question (which more times than not turned into a polemic against Elaine), expending much if not all of their allotted time. Any time left for a response from Elaine or Sgt. Maj. Jones was of little consequence, as they were cut off or shouted down by congressmen or congresswomen who then would launch into another mini-speech."

He said members of Congress clearly intended to "demonize as morally repugnant (bigoted, homophobic, or worse) anyone who dared disagree with the Democrats' and homosexual activists' point of view."

He said, "Since the hearing, staff and other regular observers of Congress have commented to me that Wednesday's session was the shoddiest display of decorum, particularly on the House Armed Services Committee, that they had ever seen."

"Particularly capricious was Rep. Vic Snyder, D-Ark.," Sears said. "I found outrageous his gratuitous comments with regard to Elaine's submitted testimony and motives. He insinuated that had Congressman [Barney] Frank been there, Elaine would find his presence objectionable because Frank would 'sexualize the atmosphere.' Snyder's sarcastic manner and interruption of Elaine's answer made it difficult for her to counter with the obvious – members of Congress do not cohabit with Barney Frank."

"Chris Shays, R-Conn., showed up, even though he is not a member of the committee. He tried very hard to get Elaine to say something – anything – personally critical of the female Navy captain who was there. When she refused to do that and said she was there to discuss public policy, he began demagoguing Elaine, her testimony, and her arguments," Sears said.

One woman even asked: "Mrs. Donnelly, when did you realize that you were a heterosexual?

But Sears said such behavior provides Congressional documentation for Donnelly's point: If the ban on homosexuals in the military is repealed and people are subjected to passive/aggressive behavior that sexualizes the military's no-privacy atmosphere, anyone who "objects" will be condemned for "homophobia" or worse.

"So no one will complain. They will just leave – or avoid the military in the first place. As a result, the military will lose thousands of good people," Sears said.

Knight said Donnelly kept her cool throughout, and "carefully laid out the case for the law that Congress passed in 1993 and which has been upheld by multiple courts."

He also explained he's seen such behavior before.

"A few years ago I was debating the topic of 'gay marriage' at an Ivy League college with a prominent lesbian activist. At one point, she lost her cool, got off message and started loudly denouncing the Bush Administration's Iraq policies and people like me. Finally, the moderator reined her in. I never raised my voice. I stayed on point. Afterward, when we talked in a student lounge, she exclaimed that she didn't know what had happened, but that 'both of us just started yelling at each other.' No, she had been yelling at me. She projected her anger on to me, which is something I see certain gay activists doing quite often, accusing their opponents of hate where there is none.

"This is what military personnel who oppose homosexuality as immoral can expect to face in a new climate of politically correct enforcement of pro-homosexual sentiments if the ban is lifted," Knight said.

Donnelly told WND the behavior of the committee simply was unprofessional and rude.

"The one good thing that may come out of this hearing; it remains to be seen whether the responsible members of the committee will understand the behavior, the treatment I received is exactly the kind of presumption of motive gays in the military will cause," she said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 31, 2008, 01:44:38 PM
New York to sell roads, bridges, tunnels to close budget gap?
Governor cites 'private-public partnerships' as way to stem tide of red ink

Warning of an approaching economic calamity, Gov. Paterson yesterday called an emergency session of the state Legislature - and raised the specter that New York may have to sell off roads, bridges and tunnels to close a massive budget deficit.

In a rare televised address, the Democratic governor cited "private-public partnerships" involving the sale of state assets - widely condemned by critics as fiscal gimmickry - as one way to stem a tide of red ink brought on by the sagging economy and woes on Wall Street.

"We can't wait and hope that this problem will resolve itself," Paterson said. "These times call for action, and today I promise you there will be action."

Profit-tax collections from the state's 16 biggest banks, which were at $173 million in June 2007, fell to $5 million last month, Paterson noted. That's a shocking 97 percent plunge.

 But the governor's five-minute speech offered few specific solutions to a three-year budget deficit. The gap has ballooned to $26.2 billion from $21.5 billion - a whopping 22 percent increase - in just 90 days.

Next year alone, the state expects to face a budget deficit of $6.4 billion, up from a projection in March of $5 billion.

Paterson promised to examine ways to trim the state work force and consider deeper budget cuts beyond the 3.3 percent he ordered after taking office this spring.

"We're going to end the legislators' vacations and bring them back to Albany to reprioritize the way we manage New York state's finances," he said.

Paterson said he would ask lawmakers during the session on Aug. 19 to take up his proposal to cap school property taxes at 4 percent a year.

In a nod to the tax cap's chief opponent, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), the governor also promised action on Silver's pet proposal to increase home-heating subsidies.

But Silver reacted coolly.

"If it is our intention to ask working families to shoulder the burden of these cuts, we must ensure that our most affluent citizens share that burden," he said.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-LI) cautioned Paterson that any cuts to school funding were off the table.

The "sale" of state assets has been tried in the past during difficult economic times and has been met with condemnation from budget watchdogs.

The most famous - or infamous - example: former Gov. Mario Cuomo's sale of Attica prison to a semi-independent state agency in 1991 to raise $200 million. Many critics noted that the bond sale cost the state hundreds of millions extra over the next few years.

"One gets a little concerned when 'selling off state assets' and 'budget deficits' get mentioned in the same sentence," said Elizabeth Lynam, a state policy expert with the Citizens Budget Commission.

"If it's used to close a budget gap, it's a one-shot. It's doesn't help you in the long run. It's a fiscal gimmick."

Mayor Bloomberg last night praised Paterson's effort "to tackle the serious problems we face" this year.

"The governor demonstrated that he is ready to stand up to the interest groups that will no doubt protest before the State House, just as they took to the steps of City Hall earlier this year," Bloomberg said.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 31, 2008, 01:45:20 PM
I wonder who is going to buy all of this?    ::) ::) ::)



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 31, 2008, 01:50:31 PM
Bush set to lift ban on HIV-positive foreign visitors
$48 billion AIDS relief bill will lift law targeting tourists, immigrants

President Bush appears poised to sign into law a multibillion-dollar AIDS relief bill that will lift a long-standing ban on HIV-positive foreign visitors and immigrants.

The U.S. Senate and House voted to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to remove a statutory ban on foreign visitors and immigrants infected with HIV. Bush has said publicly that he plans to sign the $48 billion AIDS bill, also known as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, this week.

John Nechman, a Houston immigration lawyer who specializes in immigration cases involving HIV-positive clients and has lobbied for changes in the law, called the ban's removal significant and symbolic.

"It's kind of like the homosexual conduct statute that existed forever," Nechman said. "It stigmatized gay and lesbian people so much by its very existence, even if it wasn't enforced. This law being in immigration code as the only disease that was listed as an excludable disease was sort of that same stigma. It came about at a time when people feared that HIV could be contracted by sneezing in a room or from mosquitoes."

The ban was enacted in 1987 and amounts to one of the world's most restrictive policies for dealing with HIV-infected immigrants and travelers. Under U.S. law, foreigners with HIV are not permitted to immigrate to the U.S. — or even visit temporarily — unless they qualify for narrowly defined waivers.

Misunderstanding, hysteria
The U.S. remains one of only 12 countries that bar the admission of those with HIV.

"In the early days, it was a bit easier to understand why the ban was in effect," said Dr. Mark Kline, head of retrovirology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and director of the school's AIDS International Training and Research Program. "There was a substantial amount of misunderstanding and hysteria associated with the evolving epidemic. Now, we're 20 years later, and we know definitely that the virus is not passed from person to person in any casual way."

The House voted on Thursday 303-115 to approve a bill that would reauthorize the AIDS relief package through 2013. The Senate version of the bill passed July 16 on an 80-16 vote.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, circulated a letter dated July 23 to his colleagues before the House voted on the bill, urging them to oppose lifting the ban. His spokeswoman, Kim Smith, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

"Allowing thousands of aliens with HIV/AIDS into the U.S. inevitably will threaten the health and lives of Americans," he wrote. "Why should we take this risk?"

Bush has said he will sign the bill, but that does not remove all of the barriers for HIV-positive tourists and would-be immigrants. It will then fall to Health and Human Services to decide whether HIV should remain on the list of diseases that bar entry to the U.S.

HHS has discretion to determine what constitutes "communicable diseases of public health significance" that would bar a noncitizen from entering the U.S. The agency now lists eight diseases — including HIV, tuberculosis, leprosy and gonorrhea — as basis for denying admission to the U.S. as a tourist or immigrant.

A spokeswoman at the HHS press office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday referred comment to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC spokeswoman Christine Pearson said she could not comment since the AIDS bill has not yet been signed and is "pending legislation."

Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality, a New York organization that has lobbied for repeal of the ban, said it is difficult to predict HHS' actions.

"We're reluctant to read the tea leaves too aggressively, but we're certainly optimistic that HHS will act," she said, calling Congress' actions "an incredible advance."

In 2007, 938 immigration applicants were denied admission to the U.S. because they had a communicable disease, according to U.S. State Department statistics. However, of those applicants, 478 were later allowed entry after receiving waivers from the federal government. State Department officials say there's no breakdown of the applicants' diseases available.

The U.S. does not require HIV tests for all foreign visitors — only for people planning to immigrate permanently. However, short-term visitors are asked in the visa application process whether they have a communicable disease.

'A positive message'
Kelly McCann, CEO of AIDS Foundation Houston, said the ban hurt attendance at international AIDS conferences hosted in the U.S. in recent years and called its lifting overdue.

News of plans to lift the ban coincides with the International AIDS Conference, which starts Sunday in Mexico City.

"I think it's a very positive message to the world that the president is sending — that there is no reason to discriminate against people soley on the basis of their HIV status," Kline said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on July 31, 2008, 02:08:02 PM
Reminds of an old Merle Haggard song..."Swingin' Doors".


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on July 31, 2008, 02:24:18 PM
... and them doors are a swingin fast.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on July 31, 2008, 04:20:45 PM
If the liberal idiots get their way on forced gay education of children and other measures, I wonder how long it would take to increase AIDS and other dreaded diseases by 500% or more. If one thinks about everything happening, it's INSANE AND EVIL. Sex is becoming MANDATORY PUBLIC and Christian morals are becoming MANDATORY PRIVATE! The end result of death and suffering isn't an issue worthy of considering. By the way, I'm talking about DEATH AND SUFFERING in this short life. I must also add that this self-imposed death and suffering is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE. WHAT LEADS UP TO THIS DEATH AND SUFFERING IS ALSO DESTRUCTIVE TO EVERY FACET OF OUR SOCIETY! THERE ARE NO PROS TO CONSIDER - JUST CONS! Again, this is simply INSANE AND EVIL! We don't even make NORMAL sex public, so why should we make PERVERTED sex public. Sex isn't supposed to be PUBLIC - NORMAL OR PERVERTED!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 01, 2008, 11:37:45 AM
I've posted the responses I've gotten from my senators to emails I had written, I think.  Here is the one I just received from my congressman.
What an idiot....(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x125/luvmarley_bucket/CF-silly-mouth.gif)


Dear Yvette:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about rising gas prices. I appreciate hearing from you about this important issue.

 

With oil well over $100 per barrel and gas prices averaging over $4 a gallon, I am very concerned that consumers are suffering both at the pump and at the grocery store. Food prices are continuing to rise, largely due to increased transportation and fertilization costs. For this reason, I recently voted for HR 6022, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) Fill Suspension and Consumer Protect Act, which passed the House and Senate overwhelmingly and was signed into law by President Bush. This legislation will temporarily suspend oil shipments to the SPR, which is currently 97% full, through the end of the year. It is estimated that the increased supply available on the American market from suspending shipment to the SPR could bring gas prices down by as much as 24 cents a gallon.

 

At the same time, I do not think that suspending SPR deliveries will solve our problems, nor can it replace long-term strategies to bring down gas prices. Accordingly, I have supported a number of different approaches that have been passed through the U.S. House of Representatives this Congress, including legislation to increase fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, crack down on price gouging and manipulation in the oil markets, and increase investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I do not, however, support drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The limited resources that might be extracted from these lands, and the minimal impact that it might have on prices, cannot compare to the potentially catastrophic environmental effects of drilling. We cannot drill our way to energy independence and any attempt to do so seriously contradicts our responsibly combat global warming.

 As the 110th Congress progresses, I will keep your remarks in mind and will continue to advocate for policies that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, bring down gas prices, and reduce our nation's carbon footprint.

(As soon as we get your big clodhoppers out of the way maybe we can make some progress on real issues.)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 01, 2008, 11:53:49 AM
The suspension of the SPR had no effect at all on the price of oil/gas as was evidenced by the market. It was when President Bush rescinded the Executive Order on drilling that we saw a slight reduction in the prices. This action by the President was just the first step that needs to be taken in order for drilling to start. We can see though that it did have an effect and that effect will be even greater if the House gets off their do-nothings and remove the drilling ban completely. These Senators and Representatives like this one need to stop pandering to the incorrect actions and information put out by environmentalists and do the job they were elected to do in order for that to happen.

 


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 01, 2008, 02:40:33 PM
Kerry: 'Al-Qaida Leadership is More Capable of Attacking Today' than on 9/11
Senator proposes $7.5 billion in 'non-military' aid; says 'winning the war of ideas' against al-Qaida important to climate change, AIDS.

Al-Qaida poses a bigger threat to the United States today than it did on Sept. 11, 2001, and the only way to prevent more attacks is to spend money on non-military international aid, according a July 31 speech by one-time presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

     “[T]he statistics tell the story. And as John Adams reminded us, facts are stubborn things. Today, terrorist attacks are at historic highs. The al-Qaida leadership is reconstituting along the Afghan-Pakistan border,” said Kerry at the Center for American Progress. “The al-Qaida leadership is more capable of attacking today than they were on September 11 of 2001. The Taliban is resurgent. Hamas is tightening its grip on Gaza and Hezbollah is running a state within a state.”

A 2007 report from the State Department suggested that al-Qaida had reconstituted only “some of its pre-9/11 operational capabilities,” but that there had been and increase in deaths and injuries as a result of terrorism. Dell Dailey, coordinator of the Office for Counterterrorism attributed that increase to more frequent use of suicide bombers.

     Kerry used the Washington, D.C. speech to unveil what he called a “new approach” to fighting terrorism. The approach amounted to $7.5 billion in expenditures on non-military aid over five years to support Pakistan, a U.S. ally in the war on terror.

    “[W]e must make better use of our foreign aid to improve our standing with the Pakistani people,” Kerry said. “We’ve tried to do this now with a bill that we just passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday. And it is a bill to provide a sustained commitment to dramatically increase non-military assistance – $7.5 billion over five years. And we want to ensure that it goes directly to the people, while ensuring that we get what we pay for in terms of military assistance.”

     The end result of winning the “war of ideas,” as Kerry labeled it, would improve the United States’ standing in the world and put the country in a better position to solve problems ranging from global climate change to the AIDS epidemic.

     “So looking at all these conflicts, the big picture is this – focusing on winning a war of ideas as opposed to just killing terrorists, will not only enable us to defeat our enemies, it will restore our ability to have a positive impact on change in other areas,” Kerry said.

     “All of these things are connected,” according to Kerry. “[G]lobal climate change, AIDS, the efforts with respect to failed states, counter-narcotics efforts, consistency on human rights and understanding and defining the real relationship with the nation of Islam (sic) and our leadership role with respect to our values.”

     The issue of a potential terrorist attack recently generated criticism of Sen. John McCain’s campaign. The Republican presidential candidate’s adviser Charlie Black told Fortune magazine a terrorist attack would be of “a big advantage” to McCain in the presidential elections in a story published on June 28, some media and Obama surrogates were critical.

     “Well, I mean it’s just a breathtakingly stupid thing to say,” CNN’s Jack Cafferty said on the June 23 “The Situation Room. “However, it’s probably true. And in the twisted logic of politics, John McCain is perceived as the guy who is more capable of handling the war on terror. So it's probably true. But you just don’t say stuff like that in polite company – not that we're polite company, but we’re company and you don’t talk that way to us.”

     Even Obama, himself, told Iowa caucus voters to reject “the politics of fear” in a speech in late December. Kerry formally endorsed Obama in a speech shortly after the Iowa caucuses on January 10 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Yep, Let's just throw more money into the problem instead actually fixing the problem.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 02, 2008, 12:14:49 PM
Congressman wants Gitmo moved ... to Supreme Court grounds
'There can be no better way ... to exercise its new self-appointed war powers'

An East Texas congressman wants Gitmo moved to Supreme Court grounds You can practically see the sarcasm dripping off the wording in this bill U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert of Tyler filed last week proposing a new location for Guantanamo Bay.

In light of the Supreme Court's recent ruling that Gitmo detainees are protected by the U.S. Constitution’s habeas corpus protections, Gohmert wants to move the controversial jail to the Supreme Court grounds, "confined by adequate fencing."

"There can be no better way for the United States Supreme Court to exercise its new self-appointed war powers than to house the prisoners whom it has taken a greater role in overseeing," Gohmert writes.

It's impossible to miss Gohmert's feelings toward the justices when he offers, "Should the detainees need the use of restroom facilities, they shall use the facilities inside the United States Supreme Court building."

The bill also allows the justices to take over guard duty whenever they want and threatens to cut the court's budget in half if they don't follow the bill's guidelines.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 02, 2008, 01:20:11 PM
The bill also allows the justices to take over guard duty whenever they want and threatens to cut the court's budget in half if they don't follow the bill's guidelines.



Our government officials sound like a bunch of spoiled, unruley children.
" Wahh, I'm telling!"  "Wahh, if you don't play the way I play then I'll take my bat and ball and go home!"
It is really discusting to sit and watch.  They all need a nap and a time out.  Actually, they all need to go somewhere else, to a land far, far away.  Or get real jobs where they actually have to work for a living.  I am so sick of every single one of them and their "me" attitudes.
Excuse me...I have to go outside and spit.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 02, 2008, 03:06:37 PM
Our government officials sound like a bunch of spoiled, unruley children.
" Wahh, I'm telling!"  "Wahh, if you don't play the way I play then I'll take my bat and ball and go home!"
It is really discusting to sit and watch.  They all need a nap and a time out.  Actually, they all need to go somewhere else, to a land far, far away.  Or get real jobs where they actually have to work for a living.  I am so sick of every single one of them and their "me" attitudes.
Excuse me...I have to go outside and spit.

I agree totally. I think that this article is a stab at humor by Louis Gohmert in regards to the Supreme Court's decision to make laws of their own instead of enforcing laws already on the books. It is also a slam on those in the house and senate that are always submitting eroneous bills for just about anything other than the real issues. I really can't blame him for his frustrations and think this is a better way to express them than those that just walked out and went on summer break without facing those real issues. Congress has become nothing more than a bunch of clowns in a three ring circus and Louis Gohmert has made quite a statement in regards to just that.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on August 02, 2008, 05:18:27 PM
Congressman wants Gitmo moved ... to Supreme Court grounds
'There can be no better way ... to exercise its new self-appointed war powers'

An East Texas congressman wants Gitmo moved to Supreme Court grounds You can practically see the sarcasm dripping off the wording in this bill U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert of Tyler filed last week proposing a new location for Guantanamo Bay.

In light of the Supreme Court's recent ruling that Gitmo detainees are protected by the U.S. Constitution’s habeas corpus protections, Gohmert wants to move the controversial jail to the Supreme Court grounds, "confined by adequate fencing."

"There can be no better way for the United States Supreme Court to exercise its new self-appointed war powers than to house the prisoners whom it has taken a greater role in overseeing," Gohmert writes.

It's impossible to miss Gohmert's feelings toward the justices when he offers, "Should the detainees need the use of restroom facilities, they shall use the facilities inside the United States Supreme Court building."

The bill also allows the justices to take over guard duty whenever they want and threatens to cut the court's budget in half if they don't follow the bill's guidelines.



 ;D   ;D   ;D

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/favor/favor051.gif)

 ;D  This is a great idea. I don't know anything about this Congressman, but I like him. What happens if the bill passes?   ;D   ROFL!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 02, 2008, 05:37:04 PM
;D   ;D   ;D

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/favor/favor051.gif)

 ;D  This is a great idea. I don't know anything about this Congressman, but I like him. What happens if the bill passes?   ;D   ROFL!

Now that would be funny.

 ;D ;D


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 02, 2008, 11:04:48 PM
Dems leave on vacation, GOP revolts

A group of House Republicans staged a revolt after Democrats passed a non-debatable adjournment resolution to shut down the chamber for a five-week vacation.

 Even though lights, microphones and C-SPAN cameras were turned off, about 40 Republicans took to the House floor and railed against Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-California) refusal to hold a vote on legislation to allow offshore oil drilling. Their speeches were met with applause from tourists in the visitor's gallery.

 One of the GOP protesters, Representative Thad McCotter (R-Michigan), says Republicans were "silenced in a Stalinist manner." "It's a representative government. Our constituents are outraged at the way the Democrats have run this Congress into the ground and done nothing on their behalf, and we were not going to have our people's voices silenced, and we're not going to let this issue go because it's not about Republican or Democrat, it's about American," he argues. "Working Americans cannot afford to wait for gas price relief just because the Speaker wants them to."

 He believes part of the reason Congress is so hated by the American people is because they "care more about politics than about working people." "That is why they went on a five-week paid vacation without doing their job," McCotter contends.

 McCotter says he understands that Nancy Pelosi's commitment to environmental extremism would lead her to block a vote on increasing domestic energy production, but he does not understand why she would stop members from even talking about the issue on the House floor.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 03, 2008, 12:02:23 AM
Leaders to debate Palestinian refugee problem

A leading Christian Zionist thinks the Palestinian refugee problem has been propagated by Arab countries and the U.N. at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and the state of Israel.


 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will reportedly be proposing ideas to the United Nations, the European Union, and Russia on how to resolve differences between Israel and the Palestinians over Palestinian refugees. Rice is expected to present a draft document in a meeting that will be held under the auspices of the U.N. General Assembly in September in New York.

 Jim Hutchens, president of The Jerusalem Connection International, believes Rice's document needs to address the issue of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which was set up uniquely for Palestinian refugees. "It's unlike any refugee program in the world or refugee program that the U.N. sponsors -- and for all practical purposes, it's been a hoax," he contends. "It's been something that has perpetuated rather than solve the Palestinian problem." Hutchens adds that there has been no commitment or goal to resolve this problem, and he accuses the U.N. and Arab nations of perpetuating the problem in order to delegitimize Israel.

 Hutchens says UNRWA needs to be dissolved because the billions of dollars funneled into the agency have mostly been "squandered or squirreled away by Yasser Arafat and other Palestinian leaders into Swiss banks."  The U.S. contributes millions of dollars to the U.N. agency annually.

 Instead he suggests that a viable solution to the refugee problem would be to relocate them in Jordan. But Hutchens acknowledges that Jordan's King Abdullah will be hesitant to embrace the idea because of his past experience with the Palestinians. "Yasser Arafat attempted to go in and take over Jordan under King Abdullah's father King Hussein in the early [19]70s," Hutchens points outs. "We had the 'Black September' event that took place there when King Hussein recognized that Yasser Arafat wanted to take over Jordan. Matter of fact, Arafat said that Jordan is Palestine. Arik Sharon said the same thing, but that notion has been shelved over the last several years," he says.

 Hutchens notes that Palestinian refugees could be relocated to a number of Arab countries and resettled, but those countries are also unwilling to allow that to happen.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 03, 2008, 12:12:16 AM
I shake my head so much it is becoming a tick.  Could somebody please tell me why we pour billions of dollars everywhere but here?  I see our own "refugees", the homeless, everyday on the streets.  Our mission turns away 19 out of every 20 women that call for shelter because we can only accommodate so many.  Some of them don't have "recovery" issues.  They are single, divorced/abused moms that have no place to go and no income.  Even if they could find work, the cost of living and the cost of daycare is too far out of reach.  True, we have a welfare system but it's not adequte and the ones that have abused it make the social workers leary towards the ones that really need it.

Almost every article I read, the amount of "billions" are being spent willy nilly.  It's insanity in the first degree.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 03, 2008, 12:20:06 AM
Could somebody please tell me why we pour billions of dollars everywhere but here?

You answered your own question, sister.   ;) ;D


Quote
It's insanity in the first degree.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 03, 2008, 12:38:55 AM
Thanks for clarifying that for me PR!  (http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x125/luvmarley_bucket/cid_006701c66bbe0d2562b00900a8c0Dis.gif)  I can see clearly now!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 04, 2008, 12:26:24 AM
Fuel-injected GOP back in House today
Gas prices, oil production on agenda despite Democratic recess

"The American people did it," says WND Editor Joseph Farah, who, in the face of rising gas prices, launched a campaign 14 days ago to pressure Congress to lift restrictions against offshore oil drilling and other limits on domestic exploration and production.

Farah says the response Friday by House Republicans to keep demanding action despite an August recess called by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi shows the campaign is making its mark.

"The Democrats are running scared – literally," he says. "That's why they went home for the month. They're afraid of defections on this issue by their own members. The pressure was rising day by day."

Farah believes that pressure needs to rise in the home districts as representatives meet with constituents over the next month.

Meanwhile, House Republicans will be back on the floor today talking about gas prices – and they may stay all week.

"In an urgent memo sent to GOP members and staff Saturday ('A Call to Action on American Energy'), Republican Leader John Boehner and Whip Roy Blunt hailed Friday's action, and encouraged House Republicans to return to the Capitol beginning Monday morning to help keep the historic effort going," said a release from Boehner's office.




Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 04, 2008, 01:18:26 PM
Fuel-injected GOP back in House today
Gas prices, oil production on agenda despite Democratic recess

"The American people did it," says WND Editor Joseph Farah, who, in the face of rising gas prices, launched a campaign 14 days ago to pressure Congress to lift restrictions against offshore oil drilling and other limits on domestic exploration and production.

Farah says the response Friday by House Republicans to keep demanding action despite an August recess called by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi shows the campaign is making its mark.

"The Democrats are running scared – literally," he says. "That's why they went home for the month. They're afraid of defections on this issue by their own members. The pressure was rising day by day."

Farah believes that pressure needs to rise in the home districts as representatives meet with constituents over the next month.

Meanwhile, House Republicans will be back on the floor today talking about gas prices – and they may stay all week.

"In an urgent memo sent to GOP members and staff Saturday ('A Call to Action on American Energy'), Republican Leader John Boehner and Whip Roy Blunt hailed Friday's action, and encouraged House Republicans to return to the Capitol beginning Monday morning to help keep the historic effort going," said a release from Boehner's office.


Maybe writting our senators and congressmen did help a bit.  I know I was on it!
To quote another 70's saying: "Power to the People"!   ;D


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 04, 2008, 01:24:09 PM
Maybe writting our senators and congressmen did help a bit.  I know I was on it!
To quote another 70's saying: "Power to the People"!   ;D

Whether it did any good or not at least there are still some people that realize their jobs are on the line in regards to the actions that they take.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 05, 2008, 12:31:07 PM
State: Just in case,
we'll take your gun
Cops allowed to seize firearms
even before crime is committed

A new report to the Connecticut state legislature shows police have used the state's unique gun seizure law to confiscate more than 1,700 firearms from citizens based on suspicion that the gun owners might harm themselves or others.

The state's law permits police to seek a warrant for seizing a citizen's guns based on suspicion of the gun owner's intentions, before any act of violence or lawbreaking is actually committed.

The law was first proposed in 1998, following a mass shooting at the Connecticut Lottery Corporation that left five dead, including the gunman. Since the law went into effect Oct. 1, 1999, according to new Office of Legislative Research report, police have made more than 200 documented requests for warrants to seize firearms from citizens, and only two of the requests have been denied.

The law has remained hotly debated since its passage, as some point to possible murders and suicides it may have prevented, and others worry that police would abuse the law.

"It certainly has not been abused. It may be underutilized," Ron Pinciaro, co-executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, told the Waterbury Republican American. "The bottom line from our perspective is, it may very well have saved lives."

Attorney Ralph D. Sherman, who has represented several of the gun owners whose firearms were confiscated under the law, disagrees.

"In every case I was involved in I thought it was an abuse," he told the newspaper. "The overriding concern is anybody can report anybody with or without substantiation, and I don't think that is the American way."

Joe Graborz, executive director of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, an affiliate of the ACLU, told WND the law "continues to invest unusual and far-reaching powers in police authority that does not belong there" by requiring "police to act as psychologists in trying to predict and interpret behavior."

"What is the standard of proof on this?" he asked. "The way this law is written, it can and will be easily abused by police."

Under the statute, dubbed the "turn in your neighbor" law by opponents, any two police officers or a state prosecutor may seek a warrant, following a specified process of investigation, to confiscate guns from people deemed a risk to harming themselves or others. The vast majority of cases, however, begin when a person – usually a spouse or live-in, according to the OLR report – file a complaint.

Shortly after the law was passed, Thompson Bosee of Greenwich, Conn., had his guns and ammunition seized by police. Bosee told WND in 1999 he suspects a neighbor, with whom he has had words regarding the neighbor's driving on Bosee's property, might have reported him.

"They had a warrant for my guns, they arrested my guns," said Bosee.

A member of both the NRA and the American Gunsmithing Association, Bosee said he works on his guns in his garage and is not ashamed of it.

Although Greenwich Police would not comment, they released a list of the guns and ammunition they seized from Bosee, including six handguns, three rifles, one shotgun, one submachine gun and 3,108 rounds of ammunition.

The new OLR report shows that in most cases, relatives or neighbors of the gun owner filed the complaint when they feared for their own safety or feared the owner was suicidal. In a case from Southington, however, a man had his gun taken for threatening to shoot a dog.

Attorney Ralph Sherman told WND the law's cruelty to animals justification for gun seizure worries him.

"If I throw a rock or a newspaper at a dog in my yard or in my garden, that doesn't mean I'm mentally unbalanced," he said. "What if a neighbor doesn't like me and sees that?"

In October 2006, according to the Republican American, police obtained a seizure warrant after a man made 28 unsubstantiated claims of vandalism to his property. The police application for seizure described the man as paranoid and delusional, citing extensive self-protection measures installed on the man's property, including alarms, cameras and spotlights.

Four months after the man's guns were taken, a judge ruled that police had failed to show the man posed any risk and ordered the guns returned. According to the ruling, the gun owner had no history of documented illness, criminal activity or misuse of firearms. "In fact, the firearms were found in a locked safe when the officers executed the warrant," the ruling said.

The law dictates that courts hold a hearing within 14 days of a seizure to determine the eventual fate of the guns. In most cases, according to the OLR report, the guns are held for a period of up to a year, destroyed or sold. The Republican American reports that in 22 of the more than 200 cases, the guns were ordered returned.

Connecticut State Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, House chairman of the Judiciary Committee and one of the chief authors of the law, told the Republican American he wasn't aware of any pending challenges to the law's constitutionality.

"The whole point was to make sure it was limited and constitutional," he said.

Sherman however, said the law hasn't been challenged yet, simply because it is used sparingly and a test case would prove too costly for the average gun owner.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 05, 2008, 12:35:13 PM
Builder sent to jail for flood mitigation
Local officials demanded work, feds claim regulations banned it

An Idaho man is being sent to prison for meeting his local government's demands during a subdivision development to fix a drainage problem that periodically had left the town of Driggs flooded, after federal officials then said their regulations banned such work.

The dire situation for developer Lynn Moses is being publicized by Bryan Fischer, the chief of Idaho Values Alliance, who said the "crime" for which Moses has been sentenced to 18 months in prison was, "Protecting the city of Driggs from flooding."

Moses' lawyer, Blake Atkin of Salt Lake City, confirmed the circumstances of the case, explaining that although the federal government repeatedly has denied having jurisdiction over the work involved, an opinion shared by the U.S. Supreme Court, Moses nevertheless was convicted on charges relating to his work on the streambed of Teton Creek, an intermittent runoff channel that has water in it for about eight weeks out of the year.

"Worse, Mr. Moses has been convicted of 'pollut(ing) a spawning area for Yellowstone cutthroat trout,' despite the fact that there have been no fish in this stream bed for more than 150 years," Fischer wrote. "[A resident] who has lived near the flood channel for 18 years, says he has never seen fish in this stream bed. And it's not even possible for the stream bed to serve as a spawning ground since it only has water two months out of every year in the first place."

Atkin told WND the issue began nearly 30 years ago when Moses started developing a parcel of ground adjacent to the creek.

"The county said, 'You have got to take care of this flooding or we will not let you build. By the way, we want a new road and while you're building this subdivision, build us a drainage channel to make sure the water goes (where we want it),'" Atkins said.

Moses hired an engineer and contacted the federal government to obtain permission the project, and the Corps of Engineers told him there was no federal jurisdiction, since it was an intermittent stream without any regular water flow.

The same conversation took place several times over the years, including in the 1990s when a Corps of Engineers staff member tried to convince a federal prosecutor to bring a case against Moses.

"The U.S. attorney told him to take a hike since the Corps had no jurisdictional authority to initiate legal action," Fischer said. "According to former state legislator Lee Gagner, the Corps 'discussed his process many times with him, but could not show where they had jurisdiction on the seasonal, intermittent stream,' Gagner adds, '[T]o this day they do not have written rules indicating this to be true," Fischer said.

Atkins said that very issue has been raised several times in the course of the case against Moses, but no court ruling ever has addressed it.

Then came a new a decision to pursue the case and the conviction after jurors were told by Judge Lynn Winmill to disregard Moses' attempts to submit the project to the Corps of Engineers and statements about U.S. government determinations regarding the channel in the 1980s and 1990s.

However, on the day Moses was sentenced to 18 months in prison, the U.S. Supreme Court released its Rapanos case, in which Justice Antonin Scalia confirmed the Clean Water Act gives the federal government jurisdiction only over "relatively permanent, standing or continuously flowing bodies of water," not intermittent streams.

Explicitly, he said, "The 'waters of the United States' does not include channels through which water flows intermittently or ephemerally, or channels that periodically provide drainage for rainfall."

Corps of Engineers' rules then were modified to include that provision.

However, Fischer said, the actual determinations and conclusions didn't matter.

"Mr. Moses has been forced to spend almost $400,000 of his own money in a losing effort to defend himself for protecting the city of Driggs from catastrophic flooding," Fischer said.

Now Moses is facing prison, and his daughter, 17, is facing the loss of her sole surviving parent as she approaches her senior year in high school. Moses' wife died of a heart attack about a year and a half ago, and Fischer said friends reported the stress of the 25-year battle with the government probably contributed.

Atkins told WND that under the various government definitions, the location where Moses did work is not wetlands, not a stream or river and on uplands.

He said his latest effort on behalf of Moses is a motion that essentially asks the trial court voluntarily to reverse the conviction, since there are none of the essential elements of a crime to be prosecuted. It was a year ago when Moses lost an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided against hearing the case.

Fischer said the longtime problem in the location was that city property several times had been flooded by high water flows triggered by the buildup of gravel bars and downed trees.

"Teton County required him to implement an engineer's plan to modify the Teton Creek stream bed to prevent the flooding of subdivision property, caused by the buildup of gravel bars and downed trees, during high water flows in the spring," Fischer said. Federal officials concluded they had no jurisdiction over intermittent streams.

"For years he has walked the entire length of the creek to evaluate conditions and then remove gravel bars, sand, logs and debris as necessary to keep the channel clear and satisfy the subdivision's obligation to the county," Fischer said.

"When Driggs flooded in the spring of 1981 – due to a clogged culvert under a county road – the county approached the Corps a second time, asking for funding and help to replace the culvert with a bridge to prevent future flooding. Once again, the Corps said, Nope, not our problem, not our fault, not our responsibility to fix, we don't have jurisdiction," Fischer said.

In fact, in 1984 the U.S. Forest Service needed to build a road and took about 5,000 cubic yards of gravel from the streambed.

"Although the director of the EPA in Idaho, Jim Wernitz, asserts that Mr. Moses had damaged 'wetlands' associated with the stream, there are no wetlands there! The very word requires that land be, well, wet, but the stream bed is bone dry for at least 10 months out of every year," Fischer wrote.

"His attorney calls the whole thing 'a travesty,' which is just about the mildest thing that can be said about this unconscionable miscarriage of justice," Fischer wrote.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 05, 2008, 11:49:51 PM
White House strongly denies forged-letter claim
Author contends administration concocted evidence of Saddam link to al-Qaida

California Democrat Nancy Pelosi may be trying to save the planet — but the rank and file in her party increasingly are just trying to save their political hides when it comes to gas prices as Republicans apply more and more rhetorical muscle.

But what looks like intraparty tension on the surface is part of an intentional strategy in which Pelosi takes the heat on energy policy, while behind the scenes she’s encouraging vulnerable Democrats to express their independence if it helps them politically, according to Democratic aides on and off Capitol Hill.

Pelosi’s gambit rests on one big assumption: that Democrats will own Washington after the election and will be able to craft a sweeping energy policy that is heavy on conservation and fuel alternatives while allowing for some new oil drilling. Democrats see no need to make major concessions on energy policy with a party poised to lose seats in both chambers in just three months — even if recess-averse Republicans continue to pound away on the issue.

“The reality is we will have a new president in three months, and what Bush and the Republicans are trying to do amounts to a land grab for the oil companies,” said one senior House Democratic aide involved with party strategy. “I don’t think we have to give in at all pre-election — we have many more options postelection.”

It’s a reality that Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.) personally delivered to President Bush recently.

Rahall spent more than an hour last week talking to the president about energy. Bush spent the entire flight aboard Air Force One, and much of a subsequent limousine ride, grilling the West Virginia Democrat about legislative solutions to the high price of gasoline, Rahall said last week.

So, does the president think Congress can get anything done this year?

“No,” Rahall replied in a short interview with Politico. “He’s realistic about it.”

Asked if Congress will produce a comprehensive energy bill in September before Congress adjourns again for elections, Rahall replied, “This year? No.”

Instead, the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources believes Democrats are all about 2009.

“We’ve laid the groundwork this year,” Rahall said.

Democratic House aides say the energy agenda has been carefully gamed out in strategy sessions, and Pelosi always intended to take heat on gas prices while tacitly encouraging more vulnerable Democrats to publicly disagree with her and show their independence.

Freshman Democrats like Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania and Don Cazayoux of Louisiana have taken her up on the offer.

Altmire has said a drilling vote “will happen,” while Cazayoux, hoping to hang on to his seat in a conservative Baton Rouge-area district, on Friday sent a letter to Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) demanding a vote on more domestic oil exploration.

“There will be a vote,” said Altmire, who faces a rematch with former GOP Rep. Melissa Hart this fall in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

Indeed, Congress must vote before Sept. 30 to renew the annual moratorium; otherwise, it will lapse on its own, giving states the right to decide whether private companies can search for potential drilling sites three miles offshore. .

“My view is that if we have a vote, let’s make it a rational policy,” said Altmire, whose district includes viable coal and nuclear industries. “We can’t let Republicans hold this issue hostage because of one vote.”

Cazayoux, in his letter, says “the current debate seems to be bogged down in partisan one-upmanship.”

To some extent, House Republicans seem to be playing right along with the strategy, taking Pelosi’s name in vain dozens of times during their rebel House sessions over the past few days and making her the villain who won’t allow oil drilling votes.

“It’s grossly unfair to the Democrats who want a vote,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). “[Pelosi] needs to cut that out.”

The Senate has also gone with a run-out-the-clock strategy, with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calling for a bipartisan energy summit but promising no major energy votes. Reid embraced the drilling and conservation proposals of the bipartisan Senate “Gang of 10” last week, but he made further commitment on the energy debate.

Reid, like Pelosi, is expecting to have a much stronger governing majority in the Senate next year, so he has little incentive to give in to Republicans on energy policy as long as he thinks it won’t hurt Democrats.

Even as they face heat from constituents during the August break, Democrats say they aren’t going to cave in to popular pressure.

“We feel pretty comfortable with where we are,” said Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-Mass.), who is close to the Democratic leadership. “This is a not a new issue. This just didn’t happen today. We’ve been working on this for months.”

Democratic insiders said that Pelosi and other party leaders were “not rattled” by the GOP floor rebellion, and at this point, it’s not clear if the Democrats will even pay a price on energy. State-level polling conducted by Democrats suggests that voters still view President Bush and the GOP as the incumbent power in Washington, and Democratic strategists believe any anti-incumbent wave would hurt Republicans more than Democrats.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, one of the leaders of the rogue GOP House session, said he realizes that Democrats are “in a four-corners stall right now,” and admits that “it gets more challenging” for Republicans if they lose more seats in Congress.

Democrats are also comforted somewhat by the fact that crude oil prices have gone down more than 10 percent from their summer highs, and if the U.S. economy enters a recession, prices may fall further due to slackening demand.

“There is no crisis on our side of the aisle,” a top House Democratic leadership aide said. “We have a plan, and we will stick to it.”


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Barbara on August 06, 2008, 04:19:17 PM
Not sure if this was posted already, or if this is the right place to post it:

States face increasingly tough choices as budget crises deepen nationwide

Juliet Williams
Associated Press

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is laying off as many as 22,000 state employees. New York's raising the possibility of selling - or more accurately, leasing - the Brooklyn Bridge. Nevada is burning through its rainy-day fund like a gambler on a losing streak. And Maryland is pinning its hopes on slot machines.

With the economy in a slide and the housing market crisis, states are rolling up tens of billions of dollars in budget deficits in one of the worst financial crunches in the U.S. since the 1970s.

The startlingly rapid drop-off in tax revenue is forcing many states to make some hard decisions: Raise taxes? Cut programs and jobs? Dip into reserves? Borrow money? Lease or sell state assets?

"They're all terrible choices," Nevada Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley said of the cuts her state made in a special session last month. "I believe we should never have to make these kinds of choices ever again."

Worse, economists say the red ink is only going to get deeper later in the fiscal year when 2008 tax returns start coming in.

"The big question is when will states hit the bottom? We don't know," said Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures in Colorado.

As of June, more than 30 states faced deficits totalling a projected $40 billion, or more than triple the gap of the previous year, according to the NCSL.

California, which still does not have a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, is looking at a 15.2 billion dollar deficit, an amount that dwarfs that of all other states.

The next highest at the start of the fiscal year was New York's, at $5.2 billion.

California lawmakers are at odds over how to deal with the problem. The Democrats are proposing a combination of spending cuts and $8.2 billion in higher taxes. The Republicans oppose any new taxes but haven't come up with the spending cuts to close the gap.

In addition to eliminating up to 22,000 part-time and temporary jobs Thursday, Schwarzenegger imposed a hiring freeze and ordered that as many as 200,000 state workers receive the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour until a budget is passed - a move that is certain to be challenged in court, even though the employees will get their back pay eventually.

"I will not be able to pay my rent, buy food or put gas in my car to transport my children," said Roz Myers, a receptionist for a state agency who protested in front of the Capitol this week over the plan.

Among those facing the loss of their jobs are retired state employees who work under contract, temporary and part-time workers such as those who fill in at the Department of Motor Vehicles, seasonal employees and student assistants.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 06, 2008, 04:47:12 PM
It's as fine a place to post it as any and it doesn't matter if it was already posted. Brother Bob and I both end up posting the exact thing in different places all the time because we didn't see that the other one had already done it.

Yes, this economy is starting to hurt everyone even the government offices. Some want to raise taxes because of it. That will only hurt the economy that much more. I can understand Gov Schwarzenegger taking the action that he is. Yes, it will also hurt people and the economy will also suffer but not as much so as raising taxes will.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on August 06, 2008, 09:59:45 PM
I just want to know if more choices would be available if BIG BUCKS were stopped for illegal aliens! SO, they're going to lower the wages of lawful workers or fire them AND still spend the BIG BUCKS for all kinds of services for people who are committing a crime just to be here. Just health care and schooling costs are massive, and this doesn't address a big list of other expenses that SHOULD BE ILLEGAL! NOW they want LEGAL taxpayers to foot the bill in more than one way. What is it going to take to wake people up in California? In fact, what will it take to wake the entire nation up? CUT THE LEGAL WORKERS FIRST - WHAT'S THIS?!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 06, 2008, 10:07:42 PM
I just want to know if more choices would be available if BIG BUCKS were stopped for illegal aliens! SO, they're going to lower the wages of lawful workers or fire them AND still spend the BIG BUCKS for all kinds of services for people who are committing a crime just to be here. Just health care and schooling costs are massive, and this doesn't address a big list of other expenses that SHOULD BE ILLEGAL! NOW they want LEGAL taxpayers to foot the bill in more than one way. What is it going to take to wake people up in California? In fact, what will it take to wake the entire nation up? CUT THE LEGAL WORKERS FIRST - WHAT'S THIS?!

That is an excellent point and one that I should have thought about myself. I'll just chalk it up to old age and stick to that story.  :D :D

You are right though. The liberal government in much of our government is doing just that ... putting illegal aliens and non-residents ahead of their own constituents.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on August 06, 2008, 10:41:03 PM
That is an excellent point and one that I should have thought about myself. I'll just chalk it up to old age and stick to that story.  :D :D


 ;D   ;D   I need to use that same story pretty often. HOWEVER, I must point out that many younger people miss the point completely, and they don't have any excuse! Budgets are breaking in many places, AND MONEY IS STILL BEING SPENT IN INSANE WAYS! Our public servants might as well be serving from mental institutions. After all, they're too dangerous to be turned loose unsupervised. It appears that the most dangerous people in our society right now are our own elected public servants.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 06, 2008, 11:15:58 PM
  Our public servants might as well be serving from mental institutions.

If the senator that is sueing God is any indication....they are!!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 07, 2008, 12:17:14 AM
Our public servants might as well be serving from mental institutions.

If the senator that is sueing God is any indication....they are!!

Yeah. I thought that Congress was transferred into a mental institution, especially the House.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 07, 2008, 01:44:19 AM
Yeah. I thought that Congress was transferred into a mental institution, especially the House.



Is that why it's called the "White House"?  Men in white coats?

(http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/dixiemouse1006/Men/straight-jacket.gif)  (http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x249/katenoie/smileys/whacky110.gif)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 07, 2008, 10:29:17 AM
Is that why it's called the "White House"?  Men in white coats?

(http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd121/dixiemouse1006/Men/straight-jacket.gif)  (http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x249/katenoie/smileys/whacky110.gif)

Could beeeee ...



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Barbara on August 07, 2008, 01:02:31 PM
;D   ;D  I must point out that many younger people miss the point completely, and they don't have any excuse! Budgets are breaking in many places, AND MONEY IS STILL BEING SPENT IN INSANE WAYS! Our public servants might as well be serving from mental institutions. After all, they're too dangerous to be turned loose unsupervised. It appears that the most dangerous people in our society right now are our own elected public servants.

Amen!!!! But I don't think we can use the words 'public servants' anymore. They do their own thing without any regard for the public and what we've already let them know WE DON'T WANT - and that is illegal immigration. We want them to CLOSE THE BORDERS!!

But I don't think they have ears to hear or eyes to see. They're heading down a slippery slope and serving a god that we don't, and leading much of the American public by the nose down that same slope - THE BLIND LEADINGTHE BLIND.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 07, 2008, 01:45:29 PM
Amen!!!! But I don't think we can use the words 'public servants' anymore. They do their own thing without any regard for the public and what we've already let them know WE DON'T WANT - and that is illegal immigration. We want them to CLOSE THE BORDERS!!

But I don't think they have ears to hear or eyes to see. They're heading down a slippery slope and serving a god that we don't, and leading much of the American public by the nose down that same slope - THE BLIND LEADINGTHE BLIND.

You have earned my "Hit the Nail on the Head" award!

(http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x125/luvmarley_bucket/thumb_hammer.gif)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 07, 2008, 02:15:46 PM
Amen!!!! But I don't think we can use the words 'public servants' anymore. They do their own thing without any regard for the public and what we've already let them know WE DON'T WANT - and that is illegal immigration. We want them to CLOSE THE BORDERS!!

But I don't think they have ears to hear or eyes to see. They're heading down a slippery slope and serving a god that we don't, and leading much of the American public by the nose down that same slope - THE BLIND LEADINGTHE BLIND.

You are totally correct and it is up to The People to either take this country back or to let it continue down that slippery slope. I'm afraid that it will be the latter one as their are too many that are becoming either lukewarm or totally cold.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 07, 2008, 03:22:01 PM
San Francisco fest features public sex with no arrests (AGAIN!)
'This is what the gay agenda is all about'

I'm only posting a portion of this article because I feel that even the modified somewhat version given it are still too sickening and immoral a thing to post here.

The article explains in simple terms the depravity that was allowed by the San Francisco mayor and the fact the police officers were prevented by the mayor to act on laws that prevented these acts. Not only were there live acts of homosexuality there was also allowed vivid acts of sexual slavery and personal violence against others during aberrant sex all in the name of "civil rights" and "freedom of expression".

As one reader of the article commented it is "vomit inducing".

A report from one of the organizations reporting on this said, "It is telling to us that the same city whose mayor, Gavin Newsom (D), ignited the 'same-sex marriage' crusade in California by illegally issuing 'gay marriage' licenses – openly tolerates and celebrates gross perversions, nudity and sexual lawlessness on its streets.

These photos do not fit in with the slick, national 'gay' marketing plan, to be sure. Nevertheless, the pathetic and debased spectacle is as much an offspring of the 'GLBT' movement as the current quest for homosexual 'marriage.' The latter radically redefines and corrupts an ancient institution created by God to order relations between man and woman as the basis for family life. Perverse events like 'Up Your Alley' … mock any notion of right and wrong – as the reckless pursuit of anything-goes 'tolerance' leads governmental authorities to enable and promote evil, turning freedom into sexual anarchy while causing a breakdown in law and order.

They don't want Americans to see this side of their agenda … But we must face reality and come to grips with the truth that 'rights' based on aberrant sex are not genuine civil rights.

Like the pantless perverts wandering around in sneakers-only at 'Up Your Alley,' the liberals' pro-homosexual 'tolerance and diversity' program is now fully exposed as a soulless and bankrupt ideology. According to its precepts, nothing can be judged as wrong (sexually-speaking) – except, of course, normal, historic Judeo-Christian mores."

World Net Daily reports:

"WND made multiple attempts to reach officials in San Francisco for a comment on the apparent lack of obscenity and indecency regulation enforcement during the festival.

Officials with the San Francisco police department's media relations office declined to return a message left by telephone. Also declining to return a message requesting a comment was the office of Newsom. Officials in the media office for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents the district, also declined to comment at all on the XXX-rated festival."




Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on August 07, 2008, 04:36:06 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

The public obscenity in San Francisco could be addressed by a group of decent people determined to see the law enforced. It would require legal guidance and all kinds of evidence. The actions would be time-consuming, and they would have to be methodical. All kinds of charges would need to be filed in various courts, and detailed records of everything would be required. There is a REFUSAL by all levels of government to serve the public according to the law. There are a variety of criminal and civil remedies that should be initiated. We already know there would be multiple levels that would refuse, and the evidence of that refusal would become part of future actions with other courts and higher courts. It would be difficult, but it could be done with the right patience, determination, and legal guidance. It would be best for a large number of people to be involved in this action - the larger - the better.

The bottom line is they have levels of lawless, rogue government, law enforcement, and courts. The people are not receiving equal protection under the law, and only the PERVERSE appear to have any rights. Federal Courts and Federal Prosecutors would have to be eventually involved, but mass numbers of criminal and civil actions should be filed at the lower levels first. EVERY citizen has the rights to initiate these actions, and the results of each specific action would become evidence in later actions. Eventually, the lawless, rogue entities would lose criminal and civil cases. Many would lose their jobs and go to prison, and that's exactly what needs to happen. The lawless entities would be replaced under emergency measures - possibly even Martial Law. They could be held accountable under the law. I realize this would be a large and lengthy operation, but it could be done. By the way, it's MORE THAN JUST POSSIBLE! It would fail only if the people lost patience and gave up.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Barbara on August 07, 2008, 09:41:03 PM
We read that in Sodom and Gomorrah the officials had allowed places to 'bed down' in the streets and that was why the people wanted to drag the Angels out into the streets. This sounds exactly like that, a shadow picture painted for us to show the depths to which a human soul can sink. But then comes sudden destruction.

blackeyedpeas, are you saying there's anything we can do - like writing our own representatives? If so, we'll get something written and sent tomorrow!

This has to be stopped - for the sake of our children and all of us around the country. There are too many 'special interest' groups that live outside of the law, and those that live according to the law and live decent, hardworking lives are swept aside in order to placate, and encourage these groups. But the people of this country are being manipulated by the media, and they are getting the country they 'think' they want.

May the Lord wake them up to the folly of their ways!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on August 07, 2008, 10:44:23 PM
We read that in Sodom and Gomorrah the officials had allowed places to 'bed down' in the streets and that was why the people wanted to drag the Angels out into the streets. This sounds exactly like that, a shadow picture painted for us to show the depths to which a human soul can sink. But then comes sudden destruction.

blackeyedpeas, are you saying there's anything we can do - like writing our own representatives? If so, we'll get something written and sent tomorrow!

This has to be stopped - for the sake of our children and all of us around the country. There are too many 'special interest' groups that live outside of the law, and those that live according to the law and live decent, hardworking lives are swept aside in order to placate, and encourage these groups. But the people of this country are being manipulated by the media, and they are getting the country they 'think' they want.

May the Lord wake them up to the folly of their ways!

Hello Sister Barbara,

Representatives and the Governor were contacted on the last gay parade that involved public nudity and gay sexual acts on the street in full view of children. Nothing was done, and those contacted ignored it. I'm talking about something much more active involving individual effort. I would actually be talking about organized mass filings of criminal charges and civil actions by people who were actually there and witnessed it. It would probably have to involve photographs, video, etc. - not just of the event, but every action following it with the police, prosecutors, etc. San Francisco is far beyond just writing a letter to a representative. As far as I know, the representatives are among the organizers of these public, obscene events. The representatives will be among those charged.

Any citizen can file a citizen's arrest statement of charges to be filed. In this case, the most appropriate charges should be filed on various people, and legal guidance would be best throughout the entire process. As an example, it would be great for 200 to 500 decent people to organize themselves on the next event. I would be talking about appropriate collection of evidence and proper procedures being followed in a lengthy chain of actions that would all have to be recorded. It could easily take 6 months to a year of many actions and many filings to force the cases to be heard and force the appropriate actions. Local and state actions would have to be exhausted first, and there is ever reason to believe they would do nothing. However, this would be part of the case, and the denial or refusal to enforce the law would be the main part of the case. The first tactics would be to record their denials and refusals as evidence to be used against them. By the way, there would be NO reason for the 200 to 500 participants to violate the law themselves at any point in the process. In fact, violation of the law should be avoided by the participants because it would hurt their cases.

I'm actually talking about an organized approach by a group of citizens to put the RULE OF LAW back in place and appropriately deal with a lawless, rogue government refusing to serve the people. All in this group would have to be willing to testify numerous times in open court. There would also need to be a determination NOT to accept any kind of settlement that would let the government off the hook. Nobody would be exempt from criminal and civil remedies, including the Governor. It would be horrible to expend this type of effort and not follow it through to the maximum allowed by law. Pelosi rode in the last gay parade, and she obviously refused to do anything. I'm almost sure that the State Attorney General's Office was also involved. I'm talking about ALL of them going to jail and paying criminal and civil penalties to the limit of the law. Any future government that took their place would know that things WOULD BE DONE ACCORDING TO THE LAW!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Barbara on August 08, 2008, 10:52:23 AM
Hey - thanks grammyluv for that award!!! I never got one before!!!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Barbara on August 08, 2008, 11:02:57 AM
Hi blackeyedpeas,

This certainly is a rough one to take. I remember vaguely a man in Pennsylvania a few years ago, that protested with scripture from the Bible during a gay pride parade because of the offensive things going on, and he was the one that was arrested for hate crimes and inciting a riot. It seems you'd really have to be very versed in how to collect the evidence. You'd think there'd be some people in that area that would be concerned enough to form an alliance, especially Christians. It's gotta be a hard thing to witness though.

Things are going from bad to worse extremely fast. It is a sad state of affairs in our once Godly and beloved country. But GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED!!   

I also wanted to add that McDonalds sponsered the parade in San Francisco, from an American Family Assoc. Action Alert:

MacDonald's says they "stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination and harassment," here is what they won't tell you. McDonald's helped sponser the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade...

AFA asked McDonald's to stay neutral in the culture war. The company refused saying they will continue to support the gay agenda including same-sex marriage. AFA has called for a boycott of McDonald's restaurants.

McDonald's spokesman Bill Whitman told the Washington Post that those (even Christians) who oppose homosexual marriage are motivated by hate, saying that, '...hatred has no place in our culture...."


Families are who support McDonald's - if we stopped taking our innocent children there, maybe they'd get the message. I think it's a very good idea to
Boycott McDonald's!!!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 08, 2008, 11:34:00 AM
The organization "Americans For Truth" had a member(s) at the fest and took many pictures and films of the atrocities there where police were present in the pictures also. There is also one of the police making a statement to this group that they had orders from the Mayor not to enforce any laws against this group.

AFT did an excellent job in collecting a lot of evidence in this aspect. Now it is just a matter of presenting it to the right people and getting something done about it. As was said this was done during the last such event and no one did anything about it. Our politicians and judges either are afraid to take such action against San Francisco and the people of this "fest" or they are supporters of it to begin with.

Personally I think it is again up to The People, those that are sickened of these events to stand up to it. To do something, legally of course, to bring charges against and to replace these individuals in office that are supporting this garbage. This means more than just the government in San Francisco.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on August 12, 2008, 05:42:21 AM
Brothers and Sisters,

It's a cheap and non-existent argument to say that intolerance for EVIL is hate. In the San Francisco case, the use of the word "hate" is twisted to use against decent people complaining about nudity and perverted sex acts done in public and in front of children on a public street. The use of the word "hate" by McDonald's and others is clever, but it won't work. There are lots of things that civilized people don't tolerate when they live in a society under the RULE OF LAW. As far as I'm concerned, the LAME use of the twisted and non-existent HATE ARGUMENT makes their position worse. Does McDonald's allow nudity and ANY kind of sexual acts in their restaurants? IF NOT, WHY NOT? Using their twisted logic, it would be HATE if they didn't. Anyone with common sense can see the NONSENSE of the HATE argument. BY THE WAY, THE "HATE ARGUMENT" IS SKILLFULLY USED USUALLY AGAINST CHRISTIANS! The objective is to slowly reprogram people into thinking it's wrong to protest EVIL and OBSCENE behavior and DEMAND that it be stopped.

As far as I'm concerned, McDonald's no longer exists. If they're so proud of their stance, let them TRY to post RAUNCHY AND OBSCENE pictures of the San Francisco GAY PRIDE PARADE all over their windows and see how long they stay in business. IT ISN'T A MATTER OF HATE, RATHER ONE OF COMMON DECENCY AND MORALS!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 13, 2008, 12:16:21 AM
Electronic cuffs planned for dads
'I don't see any safeguards. This presumes men guilty'

Illinois has joined a growing contingent of states to adopt a law that will put electronic GPS tracking bracelets on men who have not been convicted of any crime, but might be involved in a messy divorce.

The plan, named in memory of Cindy Bischoff, who was attacked and murdered by a former boyfriend, was signed into law just days ago, and is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.

And while its goal of protecting women and children from out-of-control husbands and fathers is good, it goes too far and violates the civil rights of innocent fathers, according to a lawyer for a group that will challenge it.

"Electronic tagging devices can be appropriate as a condition of parole or probation," said attorney Jeffery M. Leving, who is a nationally known fathers' rights advocate, the author of "Fathers' Rights" and "Divorce Wars" and founded DadsRights.com. "The Cindy Bischof Law goes far beyond this, placing long-term electronic tags on men who have never been found guilty of any crime."

According to a website set up in memory of Cindy Bischoff, there are about a dozen states, including Washington, Minnesota, Utah, Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida and Massachusetts, that now have similar provisions. The campaign's goal is to prevent what happened to Bischof from happening to others.

But Leving said there are major constitutional issues that need to be resolved.

"The law carries a presumption of guilt," Leving said, "without the benefit of a trial, yet the foundation of our entire criminal justice system is based on a defendant being presumed innocent until proven guilty."

He said such restraining orders are not unusual at all.

A recent article by two leaders of the State Bar of California's Family Law Section said such orders "are increasingly being used in family law cases to help one side jockey for an advantage in child custody." And the Illinois Bar Journal has described them as part of the "gamesmanship" of divorce.

But Leving said the full impact of Illinois' new law is that judges can order anyone – mostly men and fathers – to wear a GPS tracking device if they simply are accused of violating an order of protection, with no court conviction or adjudication required.

In fact, he said, "such orders are generally done ex parte, without the accused's knowledge and with no opportunity afforded for him to defend himself."

Such lack of information for the men can result in unknowing violations, Leving said.

"A man can accidentally be in the same park or mall as his ex-wife/girlfriend, and the electronic monitoring device could lead to his arrest even if he never actually saw her. Some men have even been tricked into violating the orders by former spouses. The device will make this easier-a woman could call her estranged husband, tell him she needs him to come to her house because of a crisis with their children, and then have an electronic record of his violation," he said.

"Perhaps such a drastic measure would be warranted if the men forced to wear the devices had meaningful and fair trials, and were found to be guilty of violent or dangerous crimes. However, the Bischof Law empowers judges with the ability to mandate the GPS tracking device on anyone who is accused of violating an order of protection," he said.

"Unfortunately, the rush to protect the abused is so incredibly aggressive that the rights of the accused have been violated," he said. "I don't see any safeguard in this law. This law basically presumes in these situations [men] are guilty."

He said his organization will be working with lawmakers to make them aware of the potential pitfalls of their new law, and will be watching cases as they develop in order to pursue a court challenge to its constitutionality.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 13, 2008, 12:18:40 AM
Fairness Doctrine to control online content?
FCC commissioner warns reinstated powers could require balance on websites

There’s a huge concern among conservative talk radio hosts that reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine would all-but destroy the industry due to equal time constraints. But speech limits might not stop at radio. They could even be extended to include the Internet and “government dictating content policy.”

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell raised that as a possibility after talking with bloggers at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. McDowell spoke about a recent FCC vote to bar Comcast from engaging in certain Internet practices – expanding the federal agency’s oversight of Internet networks.

The commissioner, a 2006 President Bush appointee, told the Business & Media Institute the Fairness Doctrine could be intertwined with the net neutrality battle. The result might end with the government regulating content on the Web, he warned. McDowell, who was against reprimanding Comcast, said the net neutrality effort could win the support of “a few isolated conservatives” who may not fully realize the long-term effects of government regulation.

“I think the fear is that somehow large corporations will censor their content, their points of view, right,” McDowell said. “I think the bigger concern for them should be if you have government dictating content policy, which by the way would have a big First Amendment problem.”

“Then, whoever is in charge of government is going to determine what is fair, under a so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine,’ which won’t be called that – it’ll be called something else,” McDowell said. “So, will Web sites, will bloggers have to give equal time or equal space on their Web site to opposing views rather than letting the marketplace of ideas determine that?”

McDowell told BMI the Fairness Doctrine isn’t currently on the FCC’s radar. But a new administration and Congress elected in 2008 might renew Fairness Doctrine efforts, but under another name.

“The Fairness Doctrine has not been raised at the FCC, but the importance of this election is in part – has something to do with that,” McDowell said. “So you know, this election, if it goes one way, we could see a re-imposition of the Fairness Doctrine. There is a discussion of it in Congress. I think it won’t be called the Fairness Doctrine by folks who are promoting it. I think it will be called something else and I think it’ll be intertwined into the net neutrality debate.”

A recent study by the Media Research Center’s Culture & Media Institute argues that the three main points in support of the Fairness Doctrine – scarcity of the media, corporate censorship of liberal viewpoints, and public interest – are myths.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 13, 2008, 12:14:02 PM
Congressional Republicans are poised to shut down the government if they are not allowed a vote on new oil drilling legislation.

This comes even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated she could budge on allowing a drilling vote, which so far she and her Senate counterpart have blocked from seeing daylight in Congress.

Current bans on the Outer Continental Shelf and oil shale drilling expire on the first day of the coming fiscal year: Oct. 1. Now, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is leading a group of GOP senators celebrating the day, which they have dubbed "American Energy Freedom Day."

"The overwhelming majority of Republican Senators have pledged to protect October 1 as American Energy Freedom Day so we can reduce dependence on foreign oil and lower the cost of gas at the pump," DeMint said, according to a release from his office.

"Many people aren’t aware that the bans on drilling must be renewed every year, and all we have to do is allow these prohibitions to expire on October 1. In just 50 days, Americans will have the freedom to pursue their own energy resources here at home. Our letter is very straightforward: we will actively oppose any effort to extend the bans on offshore drilling and oil shale," DeMint said.

This is setting the stage for a showdown in September with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and most other Demorats who oppose this drilling.

In response to DeMint, Reid spokesman Jim Manley said: "Isn't this the same day that Republicans would be endangering the delivery of Social Security checks because of their misguided attempts to promote energy policies that will do nothing to deal with the short term problems facing the country?"

Reid and Pelosi have avoided holding votes on drilling because of growing support among their own ranks for such legislation amid rising energy prices. Democratic leadership maintains new drilling won't change prices in the near term.

Reid and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., even cancelled markups of spending bills that renewed the moratoria, a move that was a tacit admission that there were enough votes to override Democratic opposition to drilling.

Reid has said he intends to try to renew the bans when Congress returns in September through a continuing spending resolution -- a measure used to bypass the annual spending bills, and adopt the current spending levels until the new Congress takes its seat. But to pass his version, Reid will need a filibuster-breaking 60 votes, which could prove difficult.

In a letter from DeMint to Reid, DeMint indicates the GOP has the votes to sustain any veto of a continuing resolution that might get 60 votes.

But if Congress can't agree to a continuing resolution before Oct. 1, the government shuts down.

Pelosi, speaking Monday on CNN's "Larry King Live," said "We can do that. We can have a vote on (oil drilling)."

The Hill newspaper reported she indicated that a vote would be part of a larger package that included one of her pet projects, releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. She says she believes that would reduce gasoline prices immediately, whereas, she says, oil drilling might never reduce prices.

"But it has to be part of something that says we want to bring immediate relief to the public and is not just a hoax on them,” Pelosi said.

She even indicated that she might support a package that includes drilling, according to The Hill.

“It’s not excluded, let’s put it that way,” Pelosi said.

But Republicans who have been protesting Democrats' anti-drilling stance said they are not impressed with Pelosi's apparent change of heart. Lawmakers told reporters Tueday morning her comments don't go far enough, and they still want a vote.

Pelosi's apparent change in heart comes as Republicans on Capitol Hill have taken the diminished bully pulpit to decry Democrats' actions over energy prices. Although the House is officially out of session, House Republicans have stayed in Washington grab whoever they can, whether its reporters or tourists, to criticize Democrats, they say, for not holding a vote on drilling.

Republicans believe that lifting a ban on offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf not only would increase long-term domestic fuel capacity, but drop prices immediately by sending a signal to the oil markets.

Democrats instead have sought more market controls, the release from the petroleum reserve, and a requirement that federal lands already under lease be explored before more federal land, like the OCS, is doled out to oil companies.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 13, 2008, 10:48:24 PM
U.S. green lights
'anything into oil'
Defense Department OKs facilities
turning natural produce into energy

A Georgia company looking to solve America's energy problem has finally teamed up with the federal government, hoping to make millions of barrels of oil every day from virtually anything that grows out of the Earth.

Bell Bio-Energy, Inc. says it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Defense Department to build seven test production plants, mostly on military bases, to quickly turn naturally grown material into fuel.

"What this means is that with the seven pilot plants – the military likes to refer to them as demonstrations – with those being built … it gives us the real-time engineering data that we need to finish the designs for a full-scale production facility," J.C. Bell, the man behind the project, told WND today.

"In 18 months or so, we will start manufacturing oil directly from waste and we will build up to about 500,000 barrels a day within two years. In another six months, we'll reach a million barrels a day."

As the United States now imports about 13 million barrels of oil a day, the only obstacle then to total energy independence from foreign sources will be the money needed to develop the processing plants, he said.

"Working with the USDA we've identified enough waste material around the country, we truly believe we can make the United States totally energy independent of foreign countries in about five years," he said.

WND originally reported on the project in March as Bell, an agricultural researcher, confirmed he'd isolated and modified specific bacteria that will, on a very large scale, naturally and rapidly convert plant material – including the leftovers from food – into hydrocarbons to fuel cars and trucks.

That means trash like corn stalks and corn cobs – even the grass clippings from suburban lawns – can be turned into oil and gasoline to run trucks, buses and cars.

He said he made the discovery standing downwind from his cows at his food-production company, Bell Plantation, in Tifton, Ga.

"Cows are like people that eat lots of beans. They're really, really good at making natural gas," he said. "It dawned on me that that natural gas was methane."

WND also reported how the national news media more or less ignored his announcement of a potential solution to America's dependence on Middle East nations for its oil.

But the U.S. military was listening. And Bell now confirms his agreement with the Department of Defense, the Defense Energy Support Center and the Army will have seven demonstration facilities built at Fort Benning and Fort Stewart in Georgia, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort AP Hill in Virginia, Fort Drum in New York and Fort Lewis in Washington, as well as one more installation in San Pedro, Calif.

"We should have all of the plants running within 60 days," he said. "This is a big step in our growth, from the engineering that we develop with these plants, we will be able to build our full-scale production facilities and be in full production in the next 12 to 18 months.

"Everyone now accepts the fact that we can make oil through bacterial action and now it is just a matter of time and money until we are turning out one million to two million barrels per day," he said.

He told WND the first full-scale facility probably will cost $100 million to $125 million to build, and that an investment of $2.5 billion likely will be needed to reach a production level of a million barrels per day.

But he said the return – even if the oil were sold for $70 a barrel, just half of what it was going for six weeks ago and still substantially lower than the current market rate of about $110 a barrel – would be significant.

"It will feel very, very good to be to the point where we finally turn off the spigot from overseas," he said.

The process previously had been verified, said Dr. Art Robinson, a research professor of chemistry at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine who publishes the Access to Energy newsletter. "These other ways [of producing energy] work; the only question is if they're competitive in price. Any hydrocarbon under pressure and temperature can turn into oil."

How big does Bell believe the process eventually could be?

"With minor changes in the agricultural and forestry products, we could create two to two and a half billion tons of biomass a year, and you're looking at five billion barrels of oil per year," he said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 15, 2008, 10:06:09 AM
Libya to receive reparations for Reagan air strike
Country will be paid 'settlement' for U.S. retaliation after terrorist attack

Despite 189 American lives lost in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, the U.S. settled all lawsuits against Libya for terrorist killings and restored diplomatic relations with the country today – with reparations to be paid to Libya.

President Ronald Reagan ordered air strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi on April 15, 1986, after Libyan terrorists planted 6 pounds of plastic explosives packed with shrapnel on the dance floor of La Belle discotheque in Berlin, killing three people – including two U.S. soldiers – and maiming 200 others.

Two years later, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded in a terrorist attack by a Libyan intelligence agent. The blast killed 268 people from 21 countries, including 189 Americans. U.S. families filed 26 lawsuits against Libya for the 1988 bombing of the plane en route to New York from London.

The Bush administration began to consider restoring a relationship with the country in 2003 after Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi promised to end production of weapons of mass destruction, halt terrorist activities and reimburse U.S. families of victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 and other terrorist bombings. Following its pledge, U.N., U.S. and European sanctions were lifted, Libya was taken off the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism and the country was granted membership in the U.N. Security Council.

An agreement required Libya to complete $2.7 billion in payments it had said it would provide to the families of victims. According to Associated Press reports, a senior Libyan government official claims there were also three lawsuits filed on behalf of Libyan citizens in response to Reagan's air strikes – attacks that Libya says killed 41 of its people and Gadhafi's adopted daughter.

Susan Cohen, mother of a 20-year-old woman killed in the Pan Am Flight 103, expressed outrage upon hearing news of the U.S.-Libya settlement.

"Gadhafi is an absolute horror," Cohen told WND. "He has done many, many terrible things. He blew up the French plane, and he blew up the American plane. And what does the Bush administration do? The Bush administration is far more on the side of the Libyans than it is as far as the victims of terrorism go, though it talks a good line about caring about terrorism. If they can make friends with Moammar Gadhafi because they want his oil, then that tells you where they stand."

Cohen said she cannot understand why the U.S. would reimburse Libyans for Reagan's air strikes – attacks that were a result of Gadhafi's bombing of the disco. She believes the U.S. pushed for diplomatic relations because the agreement could result in more contracts for American oil companies.

"I think this is absolutely horrible," she said. "It's really sickening, and it's really dirty. They are being very private and secretive about it."

While Libya has given $8 million of the $10 million it owed to many of the 268 families involved in the Pan Am explosion, it had refused to pay $2 million because of a disagreement with the U.S. about reciprocal obligations.

Nicole Thompson, a State Department spokeswoman, told WND, "The settlement goes to both sides. The settlement is for outstanding claims on the part of Libya as well as the United States."

When asked whether the U.S. will make reparations payments to Libya, Thompson responded, "Yes."

An Associated Press report reveals that foreign companies conducting business in Libya – including U.S. companies – will begin paying into a fund to award damages to both Libyan and American claimants.

When WND asked the State Department spokeswoman if oil companies would have any part in paying reparations, she said, "I don't have any information on that, but the fund has been established. I have no information on what the financial agreement will be or the financial compensation that will be paid."

While Thompson said Libyans will receive a settlement as part of the agreement, she declined to reveal the source of the money.

"None of this will be U.S. government funding," she said.

The State Department has provided little information about the agreement. It issued a short press release stating only the following:

    The United States and Libya concluded a comprehensive claims settlement agreement on August 14 in Tripoli. Both parties welcomed the establishment of a process to provide fair compensation for their respective nationals, and thereby turn their focus to the future of their bilateral relationship. They also underscored the benefits an expansion of ties would provide for both countries as well as for the American and Libyan peoples.

The U.S now plans to open an embassy in Tripoli, confirm a U.S. ambassador to Libya and grant Gadhafi's government immunity from more terror-related lawsuits, according to the Associated Press. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to visit Libya before the year's end.

"Condoleezza Rice is going to Libya to kiss Gadhafi's feet," Cohen said. "So this is what has come? He blew up an American plane. And I am supposed to have faith in the government of this country?"

U.S. diplomat David Welch delivered a personal letter from President George Bush to Gadhafi and signed the new agreement with Ahmed al-Fatouri, head of America affairs in Libya's Foreign Ministry.

"We went through a long path of negotiations until we reached this agreement," al-Fatouri said. "It opens new horizons for relations based on mutual respect. ... The agreement turns the page on the negative past forever."

However, Cohen doesn't share his sentiment.

"This is done after the murder of my innocent daughter and 270 people killed," she said. "Gadhafi was the one who was behind the attack on that disco, and Reagan responded. Does that mean the Republican administration is saying that Ronald Reagan and Gadhafi are equivalent terrorists?"


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 16, 2008, 11:52:42 AM
Lawmakers take up battle against light bulb ban
'Government has substituted its choice for the American consumer's'

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and 24 other representatives on Capitol Hill have asked the government to reconsider mandating that all Americans use exclusively compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, in light of growing concerns over the safety and environmental impact of the bulbs.

As WND reported, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed into law in December, phasing out the use of traditional, incandescent light bulbs in favor of CFLs beginning in 2012 and culminating in a ban on incandescent bulbs in 2014.

"Most Americans, if you ask them, have no idea that the government has already made a choice for them," Bachmann said in a televised MSNBC interview. "The government has substituted its choice for the American consumer's choice. Most Americans have no idea they won't be able to choose their own light bulbs."

Now, concerns about mercury in the bulbs and mercury vapor released when a CFL is broken have led Bachmann and a group of legislators in the House to second-guess the government's choice.

"Each light bulb contains between 3-6 milligrams of mercury," Bachmann said. "There's a question about how that mercury will fill up our landfills, and also if you break one in your home, you'll have mercury that instantaneously vaporizes in your home. That poses a very real threat to children, disabled people, pets, senior citizens. And I just think it's very important that Americans have the choice to decide, would they like an incandescent or a (CFL)?"

Bachmann and a group of 24 other representatives – including nationally-known figures such as Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Tom Tancredo – have sponsored H.R. 5616, the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.

The act repeals the parts of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that dictate the use of only CFLs unless the comptroller general can submit a report that finds specific financial benefits of using the bulbs, environmental benchmarks achieved by their use, and evidence that alleviates concerns of mercury dangers from CFLs.

Bachmann introduced the bill in March because, she said, she thought Congress had "acted a bit prematurely" in taking a popular environmentalist cause and making it a government dictate.

"I just don't think it's a good idea for Congress to jump on board fads every time a fad comes along," she said. "I think we can trust the intelligence of the American consumer to make the choice that they'd like to make."

Following the introduction of H.R. 5616, the bill was sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and then sent to the Subcommittee on Energy & Air Quality, where it has languished without action or a hearing for five months.

"I have nothing against those light bulbs," Bachman said. "But I think the American public should have the right to choose which light bulb they'd like to purchase because there are some real environmental concerns with the [CFL]."

"It really isn't an example where you have to choose between the environment and personal choice. You can have both," she said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 16, 2008, 11:55:30 AM
Court trashes right to vote
'That is a dangerous precedent for the future of the democratic process in America'

An appeals court ruling has trashed the right of Oregon residents to vote on issues in their state by affirming the state's refusal to count referendum signatures even when they were verified in person by the voter.

"In America, every citizen's vote should count. The court has tossed aside one of the most important rights we have as Americans," Austin R. Nimocks, a senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, said.

"Oregon voters deserve to be heard on this referendum. More than enough Oregonians signed the petitions for it. The people didn't thwart this effort; government bureaucracy did. That is a dangerous precedent for the future of the democratic process in America," he said.

The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an Oregon judge's decision denying state citizens the right to vote on a referendum on a new state law critics contend violates the state's voter-approved definition limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

The appeals court cited the opinion of a handwriting analyst instead of the voters who signed the petition and called the state's "interests" more important than voters' rights.

At issue was the refusal on the part of state officials to count individual voters' signatures on the petition even after the voters themselves verified their signatures.

"Although regulations on the referendum process implicate the fundamental right to vote, the state's important interests justify the minimal burden on plaintiffs' rights," the ruling from Judge Ted Goodwin said.

The law at issue, along with another one, provides all the rights of marriage to unmarried, same-sex couples in the state despite voters' expressed wishes. The ADF's lawsuit over the state's refusal to put the issue on the 2008 election ballot first generated a restraining order to prevent the new law from taking effect while the lawsuit over the petition signatures was heard. That legal action later, however, was abandoned by the court.

The district court at that point simply ruled that Oregon voters have no legal right to have their signatures counted, and the appeals court has upheld the ruling.

The state reviewed the tens of thousands of signatures submitted on the referendum issue by a sampling method, ultimately determining there were 55,083 valid signatures, 96 short of what was required. However, a change in just a half a dozen signatures in the sampled portion would have tipped the decision the other way.

At the time the state made that announcement, individual voters checked with their local county officials and found their valid signatures had been arbitrarily disallowed, and state officials had issued orders that county election offices not allow anyone to correct the mistakes.

"No county gave notice to voters with rejected signatures. The counties also refused to consider extrinsic evidence presented by voters," the appeals court ruling said, agreeing the actions were proper.

"Oregon's important interests justify this minimal burden on the right to vote," the court concluded.

Restore America, one of the organizations that promoted the referendum plan, asserted the court's ruling has "swept under the carpet, out of sight, out of mind," the important issue of counting votes.

The court opinion, instead of citing the voters who signed the petition on the issue of the validity of their signatures, cited a handwriting analysts' opinion on whether the signatures were valid or not.

A second related plan approved by Oregon lawmakers that was challenged by voters also will not be on the 2008 ballot, officials confirmed earlier.

Senate Bill 2 was the other half of the package of bills approved by lawmakers that essentially created lookalike "marriage" in Oregon for same-sex duos.

Opponents wanted the votes since voters had in 2004 affirmed by a wide margin that marriage was to be reserved for couples of only one man and one woman.

Restore America leaders said the Oregon Supreme Court simply refused for 10 weeks to make a decision on the wording of the petition to repeal SB2.

The group said as a result, the court simply "ran out the clock" by preventing critics of the law from having enough time to gather the essential signatures that cannot be collected until after the wording is approved.

Opponents of the homosexual "marriage" plans were left by the court decision with less than a week to collect about 100,000 signatures, Restore America said.

The group says the campaign on the recognition of same-sex relationships now will be restarted with plans for voter decisions on the issues in November 2010. Volunteers are being coordinated at Concerned Oregonians.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 16, 2008, 03:25:54 PM

Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act.



(http://i511.photobucket.com/albums/s358/VanessaDivine/Great20Idea.jpg)

Free the light bulb and incarcerate all doorknobs!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 16, 2008, 03:32:14 PM
(http://i511.photobucket.com/albums/s358/VanessaDivine/Great20Idea.jpg)

Free the light bulb and incarcerate all doorknobs!

Yeah! ... and there are a lot of doorknobs in office.



Title: The 21st-Century Boston Tea Party
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 19, 2008, 11:52:57 AM
The 21st-Century Boston Tea Party


Republicans in Congress are staging a historic 21st-century Boston Tea Party on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

On Aug. 1, Speaker Nancy Pelosi - without addressing gas prices that continue to hover near $4 per gallon - adjourned Congress for five weeks, dimmed the lights, turned off the microphones and C-SPAN cameras and attempted to remove the press and visitors from the House chamber.

Republicans refuse to leave the chamber because the issue is about much more than gas prices. It is about much more than energy. It is about the U.S. economy, jobs and national security. It is about who we are as a people.

It is about the U.S. airline industry, which is laying off flight attendants, mechanics, pilots and airport workers. It is about the American auto industry laying off assembly workers and closing plants. It is about the tourism industry and hundreds of other industries and workers from coast to coast.

The Capitol is the People's House, not the Speaker's House. More than 70 percent of Americans favor increased American energy exploration, yet the Speaker of the House refuses to allow a vote on a real energy bill that reflects the people's will. Over the last 30 years, radical environmentalists - represented by Mrs. Pelosi and her allies who better reflect her San Francisco congressional district rather than the rest of America - have effectively prevented any meaningful American energy production.

They shut down nuclear energy, oil and gas exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refugee, and the construction of new oil refineries.

The net result of such a radical agenda is that our dependence upon foreign sources - that use less environmentally conscious methods than the United States - has escalated from 20 percent of the gas we use to 70 percent. We send $1.2 billion a day overseas to buy oil from foreign countries, damaging our economy and enriching countries that, in many instances are not our friends.

We can no longer defend buying oil from the Middle East, Russia or South America when we have our own supply off our coasts, under public lands in the Western United States and in Alaska, and in millions of tons of oil shale. Liberal Democrats in Congress are forcing us to compete in the global free market with one hand tied behind our back.

Every month the United States runs a trade deficit of $60 billion, most of which is related to energy. Imagine the impact on the U.S. economy if we invested that money in the exploration and production of American energy. It would lead to job creation, it would ripple through the economy, the dollar would strengthen and we would finally see some stability in energy prices.

Look at the extraordinary development in Dubai, the unfettered spending by Venezuela, and the vigorous economic boom in the Middle East. The United States has the ability to benefit from a similar economic opportunity, but Mrs. Pelosi is ensuring that the U.S. economy remains a bust that fails the people of Michigan and Arizona.

Our refusal to use American oil and natural gas resources also emboldens hostile nations and leaves our economy vulnerable to acts of terrorism.

Democrats frequently say America is funding both sides of the fight with radical jihadists, and they are right. Every dollar we spend on oil from the Middle East or Venezuela, costs us jobs while funding our enemies either directly or by providing income to people who bankroll them.

Why not resolve the problem by allowing for bold solutions that produce more American energy and allow us to achieve energy independence?

An "all of the above" strategy that includes U.S. energy sources, improving energy efficiency, emerging technologies and renewable supplies such as wind, solar and geothermal and conservation must guide America's energy future, and will allow us to realistically wean our economy off fossil fuels.

Ingenuity is the essence of the American people. We have faced and overcome every challenge placed in our way; we won our independence from Britain, the most powerful nation in the world at the time; we defeated fascism and communism; we conquered polio; and we put a man on the moon. We will overcome this energy crisis, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other defeatists notwithstanding.

Republicans should continue the 21st-century Boston Tea Party in Washington until Democrat leaders heed the American public's call to action and allow America to access the significant energy resources we have placed off-limits for purely political reasons.

Not one more barrel of foreign oil. Not one more American laid off because we choose to leave our vast energy resources untapped. And, not one more dollar spent to fund our enemies.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 21, 2008, 11:43:21 AM
Wait. We Have How Much Oil?

Republicans may be planning a crude surprise for Democrats this October. I mean crude in the sense that it will involve unrefined petroleum.
 
Since the House recessed earlier this month, Republicans have been demanding that Speaker Nancy Pelosi call it back into special session to vote on whether to allow new offshore oil-drilling.
 
The Republicans know Pelosi won’t do that. So, what do they really want?
 
Let’s start with some sense of the oil resources America could develop if Congress would allow it.
 
In 2006, the Interior Department estimated that about 85.9 billion barrels of “undiscovered technically recoverable” oil sits offshore on the Outer Continental Shelf within U.S. territory.
 
In 2007, the Energy Department’s “Task Force on Strategic Unconventional Fuels” reported that: “America’s oil shale resource exceeds 2 trillion barrels, including about 1.5 trillion barrels of oil equivalent in high quality shale concentrated in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. ... Depending on technology and economics, as much as 800 billion barrels of oil equivalent could be recoverable from oil shale resources yielding (more than) 25 gallons per ton.”
 
This combined 885.9 billion barrels of recoverable oil that the government estimates lies undeveloped within U.S. territory is almost three and a half times as much as the 260 billion barrels in proven oil reserves that lie under Saudi territory.
 
America is an oil-rich country.

 
Since 1982, however, each year’s Interior appropriation has included language forbidding Interior from selling oil-drilling leases in about 85 percent of the acreage comprising the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. (In July, President Bush lifted an executive order -- originally imposed by his father -- that essentially duplicated this congressional moratorium.)
 
Since this fiscal year, the Interior appropriation has also included a moratorium, sponsored by Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., that forbids Interior from issuing final regulations governing the sale of leases to develop oil shale lands. This effectively stops leases from being sold.
 
Because these moratoria are part of an appropriations bill that runs for only one fiscal year, they also run for one year. If not renewed by Sept. 30, they expire.
 
Unless Congress enacts a new law banning offshore leases and oil-shale leases, Interior can legally start selling these leases on Oct. 1.
 
This fact was not lost on House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., when I interviewed him on Aug. 7. I asked him if President Bush should veto any bill that includes a moratorium.
 
“My view is that the president should just take the position right now that these moratoriums will end on September the 30th and the Democrats have to be responsible for putting them back in,” said Blunt.
 
“Well, the Democrats wouldn’t be responsible, congressman,” I said. “With all due respect, President Bush would have to sign the moratorium into law for it to exist.”
 
“And I don’t think he should do that,” said Blunt.
 
“So, if a bill passes Congress that has that moratorium, your belief is President Bush, your advice to him is: Mr. President, veto that bill?” I asked.
 
“That’s right,” said Blunt. “And my advice to him today would be to start the process up right now for what we do on Oct. 1 when this moratorium is ended and move forward assuming that there will be no moratorium after September the 30th.”
 
“You would tell him to instruct those people in the Interior Department, who are responsible for administering these leases for the offshore oil and the shale oil, to begin the process of getting ready so that on Oct. 1 he can sell a lease?” I asked.
 
“I would,” said Blunt.

“And you would go ahead and sell those leases? You would say: ‘Let’s do it. Let’s move ahead’?” I asked.

“Well, after Oct. 1 when there is no moratorium,” said Blunt. “The studies are there. The resource is there. We know you can safely go after it. The American people are hurting. We need to do whatever is necessary.”

The Democrats would likely attempt to pre-empt such a strategy by using the traditional method Congress uses for ramming through legislation that cannot stand on its own: They will roll almost all fiscal 2009 appropriations into one monstrous continuing resolution and attach to that monstrosity the offshore oil and shale oil moratoria.

They will say to President Bush, If you want to develop U.S. oil resources, you must first shut down most of the U.S. government. You must be willing to face a massive national controversy over oil drilling and government spending.

President Bush might balk at that. For conservatives, it’s a two-fer.



Title: 'Civilian national security force' redux
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 21, 2008, 10:29:55 PM
'Civilian national security force' redux

It was just over a month ago that I broke the story of what I called "Barack Obama's $439 billion secret."

That was his initiative to create something he called a "civilian national security force" he promised would have a budget as big as the U.S. military's.

Obama made the campaign promise in a July 2 speech in Colorado Springs – then inexplicably deleted references to the initiative from his website while others mysteriously disappeared from transcripts of the speech distributed by the campaign.

In talking about his plans to double the size of the Peace Corps and nearly quadruple the size of AmeriCorps and the size of the nation's military services, he made this rather shocking (and chilling) pledge: "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

I mentioned that I had never heard anyone inside or out of government use the phrase "civilian national security force" prior to that speech. But that doesn't mean no one ever used it. I think I have tracked down the answer to what this force is all about. I think I know who coined the term, who came up with the idea and who is pushing for the future.

And the bad news is it is someone in a prominent position in the Bush administration and likely to remain in that post no matter who is elected president Nov. 4

You might ask: "Now, how can that be? You're telling me there is a Cabinet-level operative in the Bush administration who will continue in his post whether John McCain is elected or Barack Obama?"

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. And it is this powerful person who is the mastermind behind the "civilian national security force."

Enough of the mystery – let me tell you who this high-level Bush administration Cabinet officer is and why he will remain in his powerful position no matter who Americans send to the White House in 2009.

His name is Robert Gates, and he is the defense secretary.

Are you shocked?

Are you surprised that a Bush administration defense secretary would find favor in the eyes of both McCain and Obama?

Don't be. It's true. There really isn't that much difference between McCain and Obama, as I keep telling you. When it comes right down to it, even on matters of defense policy, they both like Robert Gates and want him to continue running the Defense Department.

Obama said as much in an interview with the editors of the Army Times July 13: "I do think that Secretary Gates has brought a level of realism and professionalism and planning to the job that is worthy of praise. I think that the Pentagon is operating more effectively. I think he has improved greatly the relationships with the Joint Chiefs and the military generally."

That's high praise from a candidate who won the nomination of his party by telling the American people the Iraq war was a lost cause.

But what does Gates have to do with the concept behind the "civilian national security force"?

Gates invented the idea.

Last fall Gates began giving a series of speeches about the need to create a more modern State Department and a "civilian national security force" that could "deploy teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside the military."

Gates' idea was big – seemingly as big as Obama's $439 billion vision: "If we've got a State Department or personnel that have been trained just to be behind walls, and they have not been equipped to get out there alongside our military and engage, then we don't have the kind of national security apparatus that is needed. That has to be planned for; it has to be paid for. Those personnel have to be trained. And they all have to be integrated."

While McCain hasn't personally suggested keeping Gates on in McCain administration, his national security adviser has.

Besides that, Gates is the establishment's man. Check out the editorials calling on both McCain and Obama to keep him in his position – the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, why even the Roanoke Times, for heaven's sake. The media establishment is gaga over Gates.

So, just wanted to let you know, whether you vote for McCain or Obama, you are very likely to get a very expensive if slightly ill-defined "civilian national security force" either way.

But don't expect any debate about this.

Don't expect either Obama or McCain to tell you they want to create a new multibillion-dollar bureaucracy – within the State Department, of all things.

This is on a need-to-know basis, at this point. And, right now, neither Obama or McCain believe you have any need to know.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 21, 2008, 10:38:31 PM
New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers

A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday.

The plan, which could be made public next month, has already generated intense interest and speculation. Little is known about its precise language, but civil liberties advocates say they fear it could give the government even broader license to open terrorism investigations.

Congressional staff members got a glimpse of some of the details in closed briefings this month, and four Democratic senators told Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey in a letter on Wednesday that they were troubled by what they heard.

The senators said the new guidelines would allow the F.B.I. to open an investigation of an American, conduct surveillance, pry into private records and take other investigative steps “without any basis for suspicion.” The plan “might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities,” the letter said. It was signed by Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

As the end of the Bush administration nears, the White House has been seeking to formalize in law and regulation some of the aggressive counterterrorism steps it has already taken in practice since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Congress overhauled the federal wiretapping law in July, for instance, and President Bush issued an executive order this month ratifying new roles for intelligence agencies. Other pending changes would also authorize greater sharing of intelligence information with the local police, a major push in the last seven years.

The Justice Department is already expecting criticism over the F.B.I. guidelines. In an effort to pre-empt critics, Mr. Mukasey gave a speech last week in Portland, Ore., describing the unfinished plan as an effort to “integrate more completely and harmonize the standards that apply to the F.B.I.’s activities.” Differing standards, he said, have caused confusion for field agents.

Mr. Mukasey emphasized that the F.B.I. would still need a “valid purpose” for an investigation, and that it could not be “simply based on somebody’s race, religion, or exercise of First Amendment rights.”

Rather than expanding government power, he said, “this document clarifies the rules by which the F.B.I. conducts its intelligence mission.”

In 2002, John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, allowed F.B.I. agents to visit public sites like mosques or monitor Web sites in the course of national security investigations. The next year, Mr. Bush issued guidelines allowing officials to use ethnicity or race in “narrow” circumstances to detect a terrorist threat.

The Democratic senators said the draft plan appeared to allow the F.B.I. to go even further in collecting information on Americans connected to “foreign intelligence” without any factual predicate. They also said there appeared to be few constraints on how the information would be shared with other agencies.

Michael German, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union and a former F.B.I. agent, said the plan appeared to open the door still further to the use of data-mining profiles in tracking terrorism.

“This seems to be based on the idea that the government can take a bunch of data and create a profile that can be used to identify future bad guys,” he said. “But that has not been demonstrated to be true anywhere else.”

The Justice Department said Wednesday that in light of requests from members of Congress for more information, Mr. Mukasey would agree not to sign the new guidelines before a Sept. 17 Congressional hearing.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 22, 2008, 10:56:53 AM
Dem Mantra of More Deaths By Terror Under Bush Disproven

A new independent study shows that deaths from terrorism have actually declined by more than 40 percent since 2001. This flies in the face of the constant Democrat mantra that states the opposite, that terrorism has increased since Bush initiated the War on Terror. It is a mantra that the media have helpfully spread for their friends at the DNC.

We’ve heard it again and again from the left in this country; deaths by terror have increased under George W. Bush and his War on Terror has failed. Along with so many on the left side of the aisle in the U.S., Barack Obama has said this several times in the past, too. At the Democratic debate at Saint Anselm College on Jun 3, 2007, for instance, Obama said that Bush’s war has failed. “We live in a more dangerous world,” Obama said on that stage, “partly as a consequence of Bush’s actions…”

Of course, this talking point ignores one small bit of common sense. When a battle is joined, casualties are sure to rise until an end is declared. After all, when both sides are joined in battle (as opposed to but one), deaths are sure to rise before they fall, it being always darkest before the dawn, and all.

But that bit of common sense aside, the Democrats have been fond of using a study by Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, research fellows at the Center on Law and Security at the NYU School of Law, to prove that terrorism is worse under Bush. In fact, this study appears right on Obama’s own website in an entry by one of his bloggers, Deb Henry.

Bergen and Cruickshank claimed to have found a 607 percent increase in terrorism since 2003. They defined terrorism as an act of violence, or the threat of violence, calculated to create an atmosphere of fear and alarm. They didn’t just count actual deaths and attacks, but added threats to their statistics. Who cannot see that such a method would wildly inflate the numbers?

But the new study by Simon Fraser University in Canada tells a far different tale than the favorite lefty study.

First of all, they found a major flaw in past studies.

Quote
    The reason that the NCTC, MIPT, and START global fatality tolls rise so dramatically after 2003 is because all three datasets are counting a large percentage of all civilian fatalities from intentional violence in Iraq’s civil war as deaths from“terrorism.” For example, NCTC’s estimate for fatalities from terrorism in Iraq in 2006 is 13,343. This is nearly 80 percent of the total Iraqi civilian fatality toll of 16,657 for that year as estimated by the independent US organization, icasualties.org.

    …But they are unusual because counting the intentional killing of civilians in civil wars as terrorism,” as all three datasets do, is a sharp departure from customary practice. As Ohio State University’s John Mueller has noted: “When terrorism becomes really extensive in an area we generally no longer call it terrorism, but rather war or insurgency.” Moreover, as a July 2007 US Congressional Research Service report noted, NCTC’s Iraq data are “largely the product of sectarian violence, rampant criminal activity, and home-grown insurgency–[and therefore] grossly distort the global terrorism picture.”

As reported by the Moblie Press-Register, Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria wrote in praise of the study that “it ‘makes no sense’ to count civilian casualties in a war zone as deaths caused by terrorism, Mr. Zakaria wrote. Since the mid-1990s, thousands of civilians have been killed in war zones in other countries around the world, and those victims weren’t counted as casualties related to terrorism.”

Other polls also support the claim that the world is not “more dangerous” since the war on terror began.

Quote
    A 2002 Pew Research Center poll of Muslim countries found alarming levels of support for al-Qaida and its tactics. In Lebanon, for instance, 74 percent of the respondents said they believed suicide bombing was justified.

    Four years later, Pew polled again in Muslim nations and discovered very different attitudes. The percentage of people in Lebanon who said they thought suicide bombing was justified had fallen to 34 percent. In Jordan, support for suicide bombing plummeted 20 points between 2002 and 2007.

Such polls show a sharp decline for support of terrorism in the Muslim world since the invasion of Iraq. “Obviously, the war didn’t fuel extremist views in Muslim countries,” as the Press-Register notes.

Even more amazingly, this new study finds a 65 percent decline in terrorist attacks since 2004.

Also…

Quote
    There has been an “extraordinary, but largely unnoticed, positive change” in the sub-Saharan African security landscape, with the number of conflicts being waged reduced by more than half between 1999 and 2006, and the combat toll dropping by 98 per cent.

    A decline in the total number of armed conflicts and combat deaths around the world also continues.

All this seems to explode that old the-world-is-more-dangerous myth that the Democrats have promulgated for the last six or seven years. Chances are the media will not talk much about this study, the Democrats will continue on as if it never happened, and Bush Derangement Syndrome will continue unabated.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 23, 2008, 10:10:20 AM
Feds protect doctors from being forced to perform abortions
'Freedom of conscience is not to be surrendered upon issuance of a medical degree'

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released information yesterday about a proposed new rule that would strengthen protection for medical professionals who refuse to perform abortions for moral or religious reasons.

"Health care professionals should not be forced to provide services that violate their own conscience," said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, in a conference call with reporters.

The Associated Press quoted Leavitt saying, "Freedom of conscience is not to be surrendered upon issuance of a medical degree."

The rule, if confirmed, would apply to the nation's several hundred thousand medical institutions that receive federal funding. It would compel them to certify in writing their compliance with three currently existing federal laws that allow health professionals to exempt themselves from performing procedures contrary to their conscience.

Leavitt told reporters the new rule would severely penalize violating institutions, including the loss of government funding, and make it easier for health care professionals who feel they've faced retaliation for their decisions of conscience to file a complaint.

The wording of the 42-page proposed rule also makes it clear that the right of conscience does not extend to doctors only but to any who "assist in the performance" of abortions. The rule specifically cites the example of nurses and workers who clean the equipment used in abortion and sterilization procedures.

Several organizations, including Planned Parenthood, have objected that the proposed rule is too vague and could limit patients' access to reproductive services.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, told the AP that the rule "fails to give assurances that current laws about abortion will not be stretched to cover birth control."

Leavitt, however, confirmed in his blog that while an earlier version of the rule leaked out with wording that may lead to that conclusion, the current wording strictly covers abortion and sterilization.

"Nothing in the new regulation in any way changes a patient's right to any legal procedure," Leavitt told the AP.

"This regulation is not about contraception," he said. "It is very closely focused on abortion and a physician's conscience."

Meanwhile, pro-life groups are lauding the new rule.

"This proposal ensures that doctors and other medical personnel will retain the constitutional right to listen to their own conscience when it comes to performing or participating in an abortion," Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, told the AP. "These regulations will ensure that pro-life medical personnel will not be forced to engage in the unconscionable killing of innocent human life."

The proposed rule makes the case for its necessity within the text:

"There appears to be an attitude toward the health care professions that health care professionals and institutions should be required to provide or assist in the provision of medicine or procedures to which they object, or else risk being subjected to discrimination," the rule states. "In some instances the standards of professional organizations have been used to define the exercise of conscience to be unprofessional, forcing health care professionals to choose between their capacity to practice in good standing and their right of conscience."

Leavitt explained on his blog recent guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, for example, could be interpreted to require a doctor to perform abortions to be considered competent. If a doctor won't, he or she can't practice medicine.

"Freedom of expression and action are unfit barter for admission to medical employment or training," Leavitt told reporters.

Before the rule is finalized, the Department of Health and Human Services has established a 30-day public comment period. The text of the rule contains an invitation for people to submit comments directly to www.Regulations.gov or via email at consciencecomment@hhs.gov. If commenting online, people are asked to click on the "Comment or Submission" link and enter the keywords "provider conscience."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 26, 2008, 09:55:33 AM
Homosexual adoption ban to appear on ballot
Family group obtains required signatures to let voters decide


A ban against unmarried couples becoming foster or adoptive parents is scheduled to appear on Arkansas ballots this fall – and some say the measure is geared at denying homosexuals the chance to raise children.

The Arkansas Family Council Action Committee submitted 85,389 of the required 61,974 voter's signatures to place the proposal on the Nov. 4 ballot, according to Associated Press reports. Family Council President Jerry Cox said getting the proposed act on the ballot is a significant step for families.

"Arkansas needs to affirm the importance of married mothers and fathers," he said. "We need to publicly affirm the gold standard of rearing children whenever we can. The state standard should be as close to that gold standard of married mom and dad homes as possible."

In 2006, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled against a state policy preventing "gays" from becoming foster parents. The Family Council reacted by acquiring enough signatures to place the initiative on the Arkansas ballot.

Arkansas Families First, a self-described coalition of citizens concerned about Arkansas' children, has threatened to file a lawsuit to prevent the ban from being placed on the ballot. The group says the ban discriminates against unmarried couples and would "deny loving homes to the children who need them most."

Debbie Willhite, a representative of Arkansas Families First, said the organization has discovered several invalid signatures on the petition. The group questions the constitutionality of the ban.

According to the report, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is against the proposed ban, but he admitted it is likely to prevail in a legal challenge.

In 2004, Family Council successfully passed an Arkansas constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Its proposals receive support from several churches.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: HisDaughter on August 28, 2008, 01:03:27 PM
So.....I get my phone bill yesterday and I see that it has almost doubled since I discontinued service in March and reconnected in June.  Remember I was between apartments?  I just have a basic, no frills, no thrills, no long distance service because it is strictly to hook my computer up to.
So I call Quest this morning to see what is up.  Why has it gone up $8.41 in just four months!!!  My bill used to be $13.30 and now it's 21.91.
Well the fellow read me off the taxes.  It is ALL FEDERAL TAXES!!

So lets say that Quest has 1,000,000,000 customers with basic service.  I'm sure they have more customers than that, and there are probably hight taxes with higher services, but lets just go with that figure.  That means that the federal government is making 8,410,000,000 A MONTH just from these customer's PHONE BILL alone!

Oh, what happened to the good old days when we could just band together and throw a good old fashioned Boston Tea Party!  They've got us my the throats and they are going for the jugular!

I thanked the nice young man for his help but then I couldn't help myself...I told him that I sure hoped and prayed that he wasn't going to vote Democrat or we'd be seeing a whole lot more of this!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 28, 2008, 01:24:50 PM
That's almost a 40% increase. It is beyond ridiculous and they do want more. I'm all for that Tea Party.



Title: Dangerous Ground - US to guarantee treaty dividing Jerusalem
Post by: HisDaughter on August 28, 2008, 02:54:35 PM
Dangerous Ground - US to guarantee treaty dividing Jerusalem

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, completing a visit to the region today, has been pressing Israel to sign a document by the end of the year that would divide Jerusalem by offering the Palestinians a state in Israel's capital city as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to top diplomatic sources involved in the talks.

The Israeli team, led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has been negotiating the division of Jerusalem – despite claims to the contrary – but would rather conclude an agreement on paper by the end of the year that would give the Palestinians a state in the West Bank, Gaza and some Israeli territory, leaving conclusions on Jerusalem for a later date, the informed diplomatic sources told WND.

The sources said the Palestinian team has been pushing to conclude a deal by January on all core issues, including Jerusalem, and has been petitioning the U.S. to pressure Israel into signing an agreement on paper that offers the Palestinians eastern Jerusalem.

Rice, the sources said, has asked Israeli leaders to bend to what the U.S. refers to as a "compromise position," concluding an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by the end of the year that guarantees sections of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. But Israel would not be required to withdraw from Jerusalem for a period of one to five years.

The diplomatic sources said the plan is that once an Israeli-Palestinian deal is reached on paper by January, Bush would issue an official letter guaranteeing that the U.S. supports the conclusions of the document.

Any Israeli-Palestinian paper agreement is to finalize a process that began at last November's U.S. backed Annapolis conference, which seeks to create a Palestinian state, at least on paper, before Bush leaves office.

One Palestinian negotiator speaking to WND described as "crazy" the intensity and frequency of Israeli-Palestinian talks in recent weeks, saying both sides have been meeting on a daily basis, usually at the highest levels. The negotiator said Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Chief Palestinian Negotiator Ahmed Queri have been leading the talks.

The negotiator said Jerusalem is being discussed by both sides and that the two teams are "closer than ever" on coming to an agreement on the status of the city.

This claim was verified to WND by other diplomatic sources involved in the negotiations.

The Palestinian negotiator said Jerusalem would be divided along the framework of the 2000 U.S.-brokered Camp David accords. He said the general philosophy for dividing Jerusalem would be "Arab for Arab and Jew for Jew," meaning that most Arab-majority eastern sections of Jerusalem would be granted to the Palestinian Authority while Israel would retain Western, Jewish-majority sections.

Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site – during the 1967 Six Day War. The Palestinians have claimed eastern Jerusalem as a future capital. About 244,000 Arabs live in Jerusalem, mostly in eastern neighborhoods. Jerusalem has an estimated total population of 724,000, the majority Jewish.

A number of Arab-majority eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods widely regarded as slated for a Palestinian state include large numbers of Arabs who live on Jewish-owned land illegally. The Jewish National Fund, a U.S.-based nonprofit, owns hundred of acres of eastern Jerusalem land in which tens of thousands of Arabs illegally constructed homes the past few decades. Arabs are now the majority on the Jewish-owned land in question.

Asked by WND whether Jerusalem is currently being negotiated, Mark Regev, Olmert's spokesman, simply stated, "No."

Olmert has several times denied Jerusalem is being negotiated. Members of his government coalition have promised to bolt his government and precipitate new elections if Jerusalem is discussed in talks.

Olmert, facing several criminal investigations described as "serious," recently announced he will resign after his Kadima party holds primaries next month to chose a new leader. That leader is widely expected to continue Israeli-Palestinian talks, especially if frontrunner Livni takes Olmert's place.

The diplomatic situation in Israel is such that many commentators believe Olmert has an interest in concluding some sort of agreement quickly. Many believe he would like his input in an Israeli-Palestinian agreement to be among his final "achievements."

WND first exclusively reported Aug. 1 that Olmert told the PA he intends to accelerate negotiations to reach some understanding on paper as soon as September.

Over the weekend, the Israeli media quoted officials close to Olmert stating the prime minister is working for an interim document as soon as next month to be presented to the United Nations. The document likely will not be the conclusion of negotiations but an outline of some of the breakthroughs regarding the West Bank and Gaza.

One PA negotiator told WND of the planned paper: "Papers are very important. It puts limits on the new prime minister. For example, the weak point of Israeli-Syrian negotiations are papers signed by former prime ministers that now must be abided during current negotiations."

U.S.-influenced plan splits nation

Regarding the expected agreement on the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the general plan, according to top diplomatic sources, is to create a Palestinian state in the vast majority of the West Bank, but for Israel to retain large West Bank Jewish community blocs of Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and the areas surrounding Jerusalem, and some land in the northern West Bank adjacent to Israel.

A plan being floated and heavily influenced by the U.S. grants the Palestinians passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on territory that would be jointly patrolled by Israel and the PA. The passageway would give the Palestinians access to areas close to central Israeli population centers.

An area from the Israeli Negev nearly equivalent in land mass to the territory Israel would retain in the West Bank would be transferred to the West Bank – marking the first official Israeli plan that calls for pre-1967 land to be given to the Palestinians. Pre-1967 refers to Israeli territory that was not reconquered in the 1967 Six Day War. Much of the plan previously was published by WND in a series of articles in recent months and was published last week by Israel's Haaretz daily.

The plan would be set out on paper and implemented on the Israeli side in stages, while the PA would need to first retake control of the Gaza Strip from Hamas before Israel would give them most of the West Bank.

Jerusalem division plan revealed

Regarding the division of Jerusalem, top diplomatic sources said both sides are close to agreements on specific issues.

One PA negotiator claimed the U.S. has guaranteed the Palestinians that sensitive areas in eastern Jerusalem in which what he termed "extremist Jews" are purchasing real estate would be handed to the Palestinians.

"The Israelis had no problem with this," the PA negotiator claimed. "We were also told not to worry too much about scattered Jewish properties in Arab neighborhoods, or yeshivas (Jewish seminaries) in the Old City."

The PA negotiator's claim could not be verified by sources in Jerusalem.

According to informed Israeli and Palestinian sources, officials from the State Department in 2008 presented both negotiating sides with several proposals for consideration regarding the future status of Jerusalem. It was unclear whether the U.S. proposals were accepted.

One U.S. plan for Jerusalem obtained by WND was divided into timed phases, and among other things called for Israel eventually to consider forfeiting parts of the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.

According to the first stage of the U.S. proposal, Israel would initially give the PA some municipal and security sovereignty over key Arab neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. The PA would be allowed to open some official institutions in Jerusalem, could elect a mayor for the Palestinian side of the city and would deploy some kind of so-called basic security force to maintain law and order. The specifics of the force were not detailed in the plan.

The initial stage also calls for the PA to operate Jerusalem municipal institutions, such as offices to oversee trash collection and maintenance of roads.

After five years, if both sides keep specific commitments called for in a larger principal agreement, according to the U.S. plan the PA would be given full sovereignty over agreed upon eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods and discussions would be held regarding an arrangement for the Temple Mount. The plan doesn't specify which parts of the Temple Mount could be forfeited to the Palestinians or whether an international force may be involved.

The PA also could deploy official security forces in Jerusalem separate from a non-defined basic force after the five year period and could also open major governmental institutions, such as a president's office, and offices for the finance and foreign ministries.

The U.S. plan leaves Israel and the PA to negotiate which Jerusalem neighborhoods would become Palestinian.

According to diplomatic sources familiar with the plan, while specific neighborhoods were not officially listed, American officials recommended sections of Jerusalem's Old City as well as certain largely Arab Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Jabal mukabar, Beit Hanina, Abu Dis, and Abu Tur become part of the Palestinian side. Also recommended were the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Shoafat, Kfar Akev and Qalandiya


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on August 29, 2008, 03:11:46 AM
Brothers and Sisters,

I get sick and angry reading about men negotiating and debating the land of Israel and Jerusalem. Think about this for a moment and try to understand that this land isn't subject to mankind's whims, treaties, negotiations, and debates. GOD has already ruled on this issue, and HIS Ruling is final. I realize that mankind will disobey GOD'S ruling, but CHRIST will take what is HIS at HIS SECOND COMING.

Christians, believe it or not - JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF IS THE ANOINTED KING OF ISRAEL, AND HE WILL NOT BE DENIED! CHRIST will take HIS Throne - the Throne of David in Jerusalem - and HE will Rule and Reign over the earth. Mankind won't be taking anything that belongs to GOD - at least for long. I consider it disrespectful to GOD for men to discuss dividing what belongs to GOD! GOD will give mankind what HE pleases, but mankind WILL NOT take from GOD what mankind pleases. Who in their right mind wants to steal something that belongs to the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE? GOD HAS ALREADY CLAIMED THIS LAND, AND IT IS PART OF HIS PROMISES TO ISRAEL! Anyone who reads the Holy Bible can easily understand this. My question is simple, "What kind of fool wants to go directly against what ALMIGHTY GOD has claimed and Promised?" Do we have anyone negotiating the peace who knows how to read the BIBLE?


Love In Christ,
Tom



Famous Christian Quotes 56 - "All of us who were engaged in the
struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending
providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy
opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our
future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful
friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have
lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing
proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men.
And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it
probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?" -- Benjamin
Franklin (To Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention)


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 29, 2008, 09:48:12 AM
Do we have anyone negotiating the peace who knows how to read the BIBLE?[/b]

Even if they have read the Bible unfortunately most of them do not take it for what it is and think that they can still compromise with evil and win. It is a lesson that many will have to learn the hard way.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 29, 2008, 10:53:29 AM
Dem cops cuff, stuff Christian girls
Sidewalk chalk messages challenged Obama's moral positions

Two teenagers who had been given city permission to write their messages protesting Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's support for abortion on public sidewalks during the Democratic National Convention this week were shoved to the sidewalk, cuffed and arrested for doing just that.

The two are part of the Survivors organization, a Christian, pro-life activism group dedicated to educating and activating high school and college age individuals.

It is called Survivors because those born after 1972 are survivors of the abortion holocaust, the group said. "One-third of your generation has been killed by abortion in America."

Spokeswoman Danielle Versluys told WND the group had consulted with Denver city officials as well as police prior to the DNC, and had been told that chalk messages on sidewalks would be allowed. Even though the city's deputy chief was in the meeting, that message apparently didn't get forwarded to officers on the street.

Just about the time Obama, an ardent abortion supporter whose advocacy for the procedure has gone even further than that of the National Abortion Rights Action League, was making a surprise visit to the DNC meeting at which vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden was speaking to the crowds, the girls were participating in "A Prayer for Change" protest outside the hotel where Obama was staying.

"I was peacefully sidewalk chalking when I was forcefully pushed to ground by a police officer from behind," Jayne White, 17, described. "As I was being cuffed on the ground, the police officer pushed his knee into the back of my neck. I was pulled roughly off the ground and taken away. I was given no warning to stop and was completely shocked when I was arrested.'

Julia Giacopuzzi, age 15, was surprised by a police officer twisting her arms behind her back and using them to lift her off the ground to be handcuffed.

"I was rushed by a police officer without warning and lifted up off the ground and was cuffed. I was then dragged by the police into the Westin Hotel," she said.

Throughout the DNC, the youthful members of the organization have been using sidewalk chalk to raise attention to the issue of life with the permission of City Attorney David Fine and Denver Deputy Chief of Police John Lamb.

"It was understood by the young women that sidewalk chalk was an accepted medium, and they were given no warning by the police before being cuffed and dragged away," the group said.

Versluys told WND the two later were released, and it was unclear whether they will face a prosecution in Denver yet.

"It blows my mind," she said. "I think the officers were keyed up. We're not sure whether they acted of their own accord or had orders."

Also arrested in the incident was Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition in Washington. Officials said he was threatened with a felony for "leading" the event.

"I am horrified and outraged at the treatment of these two girls. Not only were they legally expressing their opinions on the public sidewalk, but they were doing so peacefully and without incident. The officers acted without provocation, and should be ashamed of themselves for terrorizing two young women," Versluys said.

"I am also appalled that the city of Denver boasted of the city's preparation for the convention but clearly neglected to train their police force to respect the First Amendment and the rights of citizens to peacefully demonstrate," she said.

"The city of Denver sent a clear message to civic-minded young people this week: the First Amendment doesn't apply here," she said.

(The arrests were video taped. The tape, which starts well before any police action, shows that there was no verbal warning from police and that these girls were being very peaceful in their protest when the police quickly moved in and took the girls down, handcuffing them. )

"I am shocked at how cowardly these police officers behaved by attacking little girls without warning or provocation," said Troy Newman, chief of the Operation Rescue campaign in Wichita, Kan.. "There was absolutely no reason for [any violence.]"

He said his organization the chalk protesters "conducted themselves peacefully and appropriately at all times."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on August 29, 2008, 11:44:59 AM
Brothers and Sisters,

We should remember that a lot of weird and evil things are happening in Colorado right now. I would suspect that just about all kinds of demonstrations - EXCEPT CHRISTIAN - were welcome. It's hard to say what was communicated to the officers or what their orders were. I spent my life in law enforcement, so I have reflected on things like this. I give thanks that I was only asked a very few times to do anything I knew was wrong, and I refused. They did attempt discipline, but the Grievance Board over-ruled the discipline and dismissed it. Regardless, disciplinary actions in police work are usually harsh, expensive, and hard to deal with whether the disciplinary action sticks or not. Very few people could take something like that very often, so I would suspect that they've hired some pretty liberal cops and many others have probably left the state or sought other employment. Bluntly, I don't know any police officers who hate Christians, and I certainly don't know any who would purposely mistreat Christians or violate the rights of Christians. The Police Department I served on for 25 years was staffed by nearly ALL Christians, and I really didn't think that was unusual for this part of the country. Most of the officers I know from other agencies are also Christians, so stories like this are hard to understand. I've only been retired since 2001, but maybe things have changed. Things have definitely changed in Colorado, but I have no idea how long those changes took.

As far as I know, conduct like this by police officers on my department would still result in harsh discipline. Further, I don't know any officers who would obey an order to go rough up a bunch of Christians and make false arrests. These arrests would be FALSE ARRESTS unless there is much more to the story than what we're hearing. It's important to note that a False Arrest can result in much more than just harsh department discipline. There can be serious criminal charges involved and civil remedies that would immediately bankrupt any police officer. As a conclusion, it would be stupid for any police officer to obey an illegal order given by a superior. If the police officer was forced to make an immediate choice, the only wise choice would be to resign. SO, I'll have to say that I don't understand this case.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 29, 2008, 12:07:21 PM
You were quite fortunate to have a police dept that you had.

I live in a very liberal oriented state. After all this is the state that Obama is Senator of. We have also had a major change in the police force here recently. Without getting into it too much and possibly getting myself into some un-needed trouble let me just say that I would not be surprised if something of that nature happened here pretty soon if it hasn't already happened.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 30, 2008, 08:54:54 AM
California plans to drug depressed patients to death
'Nothing in the bill prohibits this horror'


Just as Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama was in Denver preaching to a crowd of thousands of fans about the "change" he wants to see in the United States, his party compatriots in the California Legislature were making a "change," by approving a controversial plan that would allow nurses to assist terminally ill patients with suicide.

"AB 2747 allows a physician assistant or a nurse to opine that a patient is 'terminal,' and then push for unnatural death by 'palliative sedation,'" said Randy Thomasson, chief of the Campaign for Children and Families shortly after the vote.

"Depressed patients who succumb to this pressure will be drugged unconscious and die from dehydration, usually within five to 10 days. Nothing in the bill prohibits this horror," he said.

Forty-two Democrats in California voted in favor of the plan: 30 Republicans and two Democrats opposed the plan.

"AB 2747 pushes suicide through the back door at the hands of non-physicians taking advantage of depressed patients," Thomasson said. His organization has been alerting Californians to raise their concerns about the plan for sudden death with floor alerts, phone calls and e-mails.

"AB 2747 cheapens the value of human life by endorsing suicide as an option. Gov. Schwarzenegger should pledge to veto this very dangerous bill," Thomasson said, describing how the author, Assemblywoman Pattie Berg of Eureka, "deceptively changed" the bill to appear that "voluntarily stopping of eating and drinking" and "palliative sedation" no longer were on a list of "symptom management" options.

But the final bill "is broad enough to easily include these suicide techniques," Thomasson said.

The specific references to those treatments simply were changed to "other clinical treatments useful when a patient is actively dying."

According to the CCF report, Assemblyman Van Tran of Costa Mesa warned the bill has no protections for patients "who could be mistakenly diagnosed as 'terminally ill' but would have many, many full years of life ahead."

"The bill does not otherwise attempt to expressly define terminal illness that each of these health care professionals would have to diagnose to trigger the offer of counseling end of life options. It is not clear why nurse practitioners and physician assistants could make such a significant diagnosis. It is further not clear from the bill how making such significant diagnoses on a case-by-case basis can be done by such practitioners and assistants based on so-called 'standardized procedures and protocols' not further defined by the bill. The potential effect of AB 2747 is extremely broad and could cause irrevocable harm."

Added Republican Doug La Malfa of Yuba City: "We really go down a slippery slope when we contemplate the ending of life in such a way that it could be coerced. You have people in a very precarious situation, in a very awkward situation, that when thrust upon them with options to end their life, you have people that may feel like they have no use anymore. They feel like they're not of value anymore, and that taking one of these options, they may feel, is the only way out, that they've become a burden to their family or to someone else. I would hate to put people in that kind of position. They're already feeling vulnerable, and now, confronted with ways to end your life – this is a very delicate and, I think, dangerous idea here. You could have people like heirs that are anxious to get the estate started and quietly coercing people into making decisions like this."

"Total sedation (TS) – called by some 'terminal sedation,' 'palliative sedation,' or 'slow euthanasia' – is a protocol recently added to the lexicon of contemporary medical interventions and is a construct actively promulgated by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)," wrote Dr. Howard M. Ducharme, past chair of the philosophy department at the University of Akron. "It is defined as 'the application of pharmacotherapy to induce a state of decreased or absent awareness (unconsciousness) in order to relieve the burden of otherwise intractable suffering. However, any quick acceptance of TS would be ill-advised because of the many 'devils in the details.'"



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 30, 2008, 09:27:58 AM
Texas to teachers: Bible will be taught
Plan requires instruction in both Old and New Testaments

The Bible's history and literature will be required to be taught in public schools in Texas under a new law that has been clarified by the state attorney general to mean exactly what it says.

"This is a huge victory for the people of Texas and, I think, for people across the country for academic freedom," said Jonathan Saenz, a lawyer for Liberty Legal. "There are 1,300 references to the Bible in the works of Shakespeare alone. Over 60 percent of the allusions studied in [advanced placement] English come from the Bible. Students are going to be better academically and culturally when they hear about the Bible."

The decision is a result of work by the state legislature as well as an opinion from Greg Abbott, the state's attorney general, in a letter to Education Commissioner Robert Scott. House Bill 1287 was approved by state lawmakers in the spring of 2008, and it was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry. It states all school districts must offer the course as an elective at the high school level by the 2009-2010 school year.

Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, the author of the plan, said if 15 or more students express interest in the course, districts must provide it.

"A lot of schools don't know they can have the course, and this bill notifies them that the Supreme Court ruled school districts can offer it," Chisum said earlier in advocating for the plan. "School districts should know they can offer the course because it better prepares students for college literature and history classes."

Kevin Franck, of the People for the American Way, told the San Antonio newspaper his group isn't necessarily opposed to the plan, but will be watching its implementation.

And Chisum said the legislature specifically addressed the Bible, not the Quran or any other religious writing, because "the Bible as a text … has historical and literary value."

"It can't go off into other religious philosophies because then it would be teaching religion, when the course is meant to teach literature," he said.

Saenz told WND the actual curriculum – whether schools use only the Bible or another text – is left up to the local school district boards.

"Students more and more have been demanding the courses," he said. "The problem has been that school districts have been threatened [by activists] for offering the courses.

"Now they've got the state board of education's clear guidelines, and support from the attorney general," he said.

He said his organization has been involved in the adoption of the law from its beginning. Counting members of both houses in the legislature, the vote in Texas was 167-3 for the plan.

Liberty Legal, a group committed to defending religious freedoms and First Amendment rights, had been asked to submit a brief on the issue of requiring schools to teach the Bible.

Saenz told WND the requirement allows such education to be either in a regular class or a separate class.

He noted that in one school district close to Dallas, already 160 students have signed up for the class.

Among the subjects that must now be taught in Texas are English, math, science, social students, health, physical education, fine arts, economics, technology and "religious literature, including the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and New Testament."

"A school district must, of course, offer instruction in the subject matter … 'as required curriculum,'" said the attorney general's opinion, confirming for state education officials the legislature's intent. "The Legislature did not mandate that this curriculum instruction be provided in independent courses.'

One group, the Greensboro, N.C.-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, promotes its curriculum as the only one that uses the Bible as its primary textbook. Supporters include the conservative American Family Association, Eagle Forum and Plano-based Liberty Legal.

Council President Elizabeth Ridenour said the group's material already is being used in 54 Texas school districts. There also are other curriculums that use their own textbooks.



Title: Court gives Planned Parenthood 'license to lie'
Post by: Shammu on September 04, 2008, 12:37:46 PM
Court gives Planned Parenthood 'license to lie'
Abortion opponents incorrectly accused of advocating violence
Posted: September 04, 2008
12:20 am Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A state judge in Illinois has given the billion-dollar Planned Parenthood corporation "a license to lie," according to pro-life activists incorrectly accused by the company of having a "well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property."

The ruling, which dismissed parts of a libel action brought by the activists, came from Judge Judith Brawka, who interpreted the published accusations by Planned Parenthood and its executive, Steve Trombley, against the citizens opposing a new abortion mega-clinic in Aurora, Ill., as protected under the state's Citizen Protection Act.

The allegations were found in several locations, including an ad in the Aurora Beacon News that was headlined "Don't Let the Extremists Deny Vital Health Care to the People of Peoria," and it warned "Joe Scheidler and his Pro-Life Action League have a well-documented history of advocating violence against both persons and property, as well as other related criminal activity."

Lawyers with the Thomas More Society of Chicago sued over the claims, saying they apparently were drawn from an old court case against Scheidler and the League brought by the National Organization for Women on behalf of abortion clinics nationwide.

But any accusation in that case later was turned into a "legal nullity," Brejcha told WND, because of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions to reject the claims on votes of 8-1, and 8-0.

As WND reported, Brejcha earlier demanded a retraction from Planned Parenthood and Trombley. Instead Trombley repeated them.

"He stood up 5 feet away from me in the lobby of the federal building and repeated these outrageous lies," Brejcha said.

The unsuccessful NOW case essentially accused pro-lifers of using organized crime tactics against clinics.

WND reported in 2006 that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled for the third time in favor of pro-life activists who were sued by NOW over their aggressive demonstrations at abortion clinics under the federal RICO organized crime statute.

In 2003, WND reported NOW had lost its second round in the Supreme Court in a decisive 8-1 ruling. The feminist group charged that protests organized by Scheidler's Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League amounted to extortion under RICO.

However, Planned Parenthood argued in the current libel action brought on behalf of the pro-life organization and its members that under the state's Citizen Participation Act the billion-dollar tax-subsidized corporation had "absolute immunity" because it made the statements "in furtherance of the constitutional rights to petition, speech, association, and participation in government" and those carry immunity from liability "regardless of intent or purpose."

"Planned Parenthood has been granted a license to lie," said Eric Scheidler, the son of Joe Scheidler and the communications director for the Pro-Life Action League. He's among the Aurora, Ill., residents who brought the libel suit.

"This ruling gives Planned Parenthood, and any other organization with deep pockets, total immunity for making false, defamatory statements against private citizens," he said.

The Aurora residents have opposed the abortion mega-clinic that was built by Planned Parenthood using a front company so that residents would not realize what was being constructed.

According to officials with PLAN, the state's Citizen Participation Act was established in 2007 to protect small grassroots organizations lobbying for government action from large corporations who want to scare them into silence with the threat of costly lawsuits.

But PLAN said in this case, it’s the billion-dollar company, Planned Parenthood, that is alleging it is intimidated by the small group of city residents who oppose its abortion business.

"Because the ad [Planned Parenthood] ran contained a line urging readers to call their local alderman in support of the new clinic, Judge Judith Brawka interpreted it and the letter to city council as being protected," PLAN said.

"The judge didn't decide Steve Trombley is innocent of libeling us, but that it didn't matter even if he were guilty," said Scheidler.

The judge is allowing Scheidler to file an amended complaint based on four specific items in which Planned Parenthood made similar statements and did not include the appeal for government action, and PLAN said it is possible under the judge's interpretation they may not be protected.

Scheidler also said an appeal was being considered.

"Illinois lawmakers drafted the Citizen Participation Act to protect people's freedom to speak their minds, not to keep citizens from defending their good names," said Scheidler. "If this ruling stands, anyone can spread deliberate, malicious lies about another person, as long as their statements can be construed as seeking action from any unit of government, including voters. That should scare all Illinoisans who care about honesty and accountability."

Scheidler said he could be forced to pay all of Planned Parenthood's legal costs associated with the libel suit, which he estimates could be more than $50,000. That would mean bankruptcy for him and his family, but he said that's a price he's willing to pay.

"No matter what lies Steve Trombley and Planned Parenthood may tell about us, pro-lifers in Aurora are peacefully saving babies from abortion at Planned Parenthood every week," he said.

The next hearing on the four remaining counts is scheduled in October.

PLAN was launched by Joseph Scheidler in 1980 with the aim of saving unborn children through non-violent direct action. Through prayer vigils outside abortion facilities and sidewalk counseling, the League reaches out to abortion- bound women and couples with abortion alternatives, confidential counseling and access to pregnancy resources.

As WND has reported, the same mega-clinic also is being targeted by other action alleging city officials violated their own zoning codes in allowing the construction project to move forward.

The Thomas More Society said it has filed formal appeals to both the Aurora Building Code Board of Appeals and the Zoning Board of Appeals on behalf of Fox Valley Families against Planned Parenthood.

"The appellants claim that the city continues to refuse to apply the correct ordinance to Planned Parenthood, even after the city conceded that its outside attorneys applied the wrong ordinance to the facility during their legal review in September of last year," the law firm announcement said.

The situation also has been clouded by reports Planned Parenthood's subsidiary, Gemini Office Development (GOD), falsified permit applications, obtained an invalid building permit, had invalid building inspections, and violated other city laws during the construction process.


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 05, 2008, 11:41:23 AM
Shocking trend: U.S. courts citing Wikipedia
Department of Homeland Security, immigration judge consult 'free encyclopedia'

An immigration judge is under fire after he cited Wikipedia in his ruling, and some say it is just the newest example of a disturbing trend.

The online "free encyclopedia," written and edited by its users, has been considered an unreliable source by teachers, authors, editors, patent examiners, librarians and researchers. But now a judge has based part of his ruling on a Wikipedia entry, Bender's Immigration Bulletin reported.

Homeland Security cites Wikipedia

An Italian woman named Lamilem Badasa entered the United States using fraudulent papers and applied for asylum under Article III of the Convention Against Torture. It was denied because she did not have valid identification. However, she acquired a travel document from Ethiopia to prove her identity – a pass known as laissez-passer.

The Bureau of Immigration Appeals agreed to resubmit her case to an immigration judge. After reviewing her documents, Department of Homeland Security officials claimed laissez-passer does not establish identity – and to explain the purpose of the travel document, they provided an entry from Wikipedia.

At the time of this WND report, the website's laissez-passer entry was four paragraphs long and did not cite a single reference or source. Yet, an unnamed immigration judge took DHS' information, ruled against Badasa, denied asylum and rejected her appeal.

Following his decision, the Bureau of Immigration Appeals claimed it "did not condone or encourage the use of resources such as Wikipedia.com in reaching pivotal decisions in immigration proceedings," according to last week's ruling filed by Judge Steven M. Colloton of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. It said the immigration judge's decision "may have appeared more solid had Wikipedia.com not been referenced."

The self-described "free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" tells the public, "Don't be afraid to edit – anyone can edit almost any page, and we encourage you to be bold! Find something that can be improved, whether content, grammar or formatting, and make it better." The organization simultaneously claims federal law protects it from liability of its users' edits because it operates an "interactive computer service."

The Bureau of Immigration Appeals "presumably was concerned that Wikipedia is not a sufficiently reliable source on which to rest the determination that an alien alleging a risk of future persecution is not entitled to asylum," according to court documents.

Badasa was granted a new review by the appeals court, and the case was sent back to the Bureau of Immigration Appeals.

Courts catch Wikipedia fever

In "Courting Wikipedia," the American Association for Justice recently revealed an alarming trend toward courts referencing the website in more than 100 published opinions.

"The citations are sometimes inexplicable," Jason Richards wrote. "The Seventh Circuit, for example, cited Wikipedia in a recent drug case to provide background information on the defendant ("Radomski is a former trainer of the Polish boxer Andrew Golota – the world's most colorful boxer"), even though Judge Richard Posner, who wrote the opinion, had firsthand experience of the Web site's unreliability."

In another Seventh Circuit case, John M. Rickher v. Home Depot, Inc., the plaintiff cited Webster's II New College Dictionary and Random House Webster's College Dictionary definitions for "wear and tear" in a class action suit against the company's damage waiver for tool rentals. The court opted instead to use a definition found on Wikipedia:

    Although it is true that dictionary definitions of "wear and tear" often employ the word "damage," that does not mean that damage and "wear and tear" are synonymous. Wear and tear is a more specific phrase that connotes the expected, often gradual, depreciation of an item. See Wear and Tear, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_and_tear , last visited May 30, 2008.

"t provides an example of a disturbing trend," Richards continued. "More and more law students and law professors are citing to entries in this publicly authored Web site in their papers, attorneys are relying on it in their legal briefs, expert witnesses are using it to support their opinions, and courts are citing the source either tangentially or, even worse, as the primary legal basis for their opinions."

The report reveals the Eleventh Circuit was the first court to cite Wikipedia in its 2004 published opinion. It did so to explain the Department of Homeland Security's threat-level system after antiwar protestors claimed their First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated when authorities conducted magnetometer searches.

Why did the federal court rely on Wikipedia instead of government documents?

Richards does not offer a reason for the trend. However, he wrote, "Surely issues concerning national security, free speech, and unreasonable searches and seizures should command more deference and attention."



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 05, 2008, 12:00:12 PM
Cops strip-search 'loitering' pro-lifers
Protesters heckled, arrested, jailed for opposing abortion


The allegations in the case sound like a 3rd World dictatorship: Police officers talk over before the arrests what charges they'll use, there are no explanations when the arrests are made, the suspects are denied access to legal counsel while in custody, and cops subject suspects to semi-public strip-searches.

Only this was in Bel Air, Md., and the pro-life protesters subjected to the treatment now have brought a legal action against the officers and town for violating their Constitutional rights.

"The truth of the matter is that our clients were heckled, arrested, imprisoned, shackled, and strip-searched twice for exercising their First Amendment rights," said attorney Daniel Cox, who is allied with the Alliance Defense Fund is serving as local counsel. "No excuse exists for how our young clients were treated."

The lawsuit accuses Bel Air, seven police officials and Harford County of violating the rights of 18 pro-life advocates who were arrested when they held signs and shared their message along a public street. Those arrested included three young women who faced repeated strip-searches while being cited for loitering, disorderly conduct and failure to obey.

Prosecutors later simply stopped prosecution of the case. City officials did not respond to WND attempts to reach them for a comment today.

The lawsuit now alleges a multitude of violations of the U.S. Constitution in actions by police who first ordered the pro-lifers off of county property, and later when they were complied and moved to city property, swooped down on them in seven marked police cars, shackled and jailed them, and performed the strip searches.

"This incident paints an ugly picture of the state of religious freedom and free speech in American today," Kevin Theriot, ADF senior counsel, said. "The state shouldn't prosecute Christians for expressing their beliefs on important social issues, nor deny them their constitutional rights."

As least a dozen police officers broke up the peaceful protest set up by members of Defend Life. They were standing apart from each other on city property holding their anti-abortion signs touching the ground so they would not obstruct any sight lines, the ADF said.

The officers had ordered them off of county property because they did not have a permit to engage in free speech, the report said. And after the arrests, "Three young female participants – including teenagers – were subjected to two rounds of strip-searches," the lawsuit said.

"The first search took place in the police station parking lot in front of other males. A female officer pulled out the young ladies' shirt collars to inspect their breasts before reaching down their pants to feel around their waistlines. The Harford County Detention Center administered the second strip-search after the pro-life participants were transferred there. A female officer took the women one by one into a bathroom with a partially open door and ordered them to lift up their shirts and brassieres," the lawsuit said.

The case also alleges although attorneys Steve Peroutka and Scott Whiteman arrived to consult with the defendants late in the evening, they were not allowed to contact those who had been jailed, some of whom were not released until mid-morning of the next day.

The pro-life protesters, some of whom also were being represented by the Thomas More Society of Chicago and the American Catholic Lawyers Association, named as defendants the town and the county, as well as officers Terrence Sheridan, Donald Ravadge, Mark Zulauf and Armand Dupre and three state patrol troopers.

"Defendants' requirement to obtain a permit prior to peaceful assembly and protest on public property violates time-honored free speech practice under the First and Fourteenth Amendments," the lawsuit said. The plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment, injunctions and damages.

Among those arrested as Angela Swagler, 18, Elizabeth Walsh, 20, and Joan Walsh, 18.

They moved into Bel Air after being told to get off of county property. The officers then approached them inside Bel Air.

"Plaintiffs were put in handcuffs and held alongside the heavily trafficked public road for over a half hour, making them appear to be criminals to the public, putting both them and their message into disrepute, and exposing them to shouted ridicule," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said the sexually invasive searches then were performed, once in a public parking lot, and the second time in a jail restroom with a door partly open. The lawsuit said another inmate held on a separate case related that she had not been subjected to that type of search.

"As a result of the defendants' past and present refusal to allow plaintiffs to exercise their political and social speech rights in traditional public forums, plaintiffs are suffering irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law," the lawsuit said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: nChrist on September 05, 2008, 12:53:30 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

If there is any blockage of public streets or sidewalks, permits are required. The same is true for use of sound equipment or any act that could result in elevated danger for members of the public. Activities requiring permits usually boil down to plain common sense, but it's still best for Christians to consult city authorities about actions requiring permits. There is NO example of anything in this article that seems should require a permit. If an action does require a permit, normal procedures are to inform the people that a permit is required, why, and how to obtain one. It rarely involves arrests unless there are other significant violations of the law. As easy examples, there are no rights to assault other people or commit actions that put innocent members of the public in danger.

This case sounds like NOTHING but abuse and malicious prosecution of Christians simply because they are Christians! If there isn't any aggravating circumstances we haven't been told about in the article, the arrests WERE FALSE and the CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS of the arrested people were violated! In fact, the RIGHTS VIOLATIONS would involve the most basic RIGHTS that make America American!

If one wants to contrast lawful actions with unlawful actions, one can look at the huge variety of criminal acts committed by demonstrators at the Republican Convention. People were assaulted, fires were started, property was destroyed, and innocent members of the public were put in great danger by a variety of extremely STUPID ACTS! I find it ironic that the police gave many a pass who obviously committed CRIMINAL ACTS! Only the worst ones were arrested. In contrast, there is no mention of criminal acts committed by the Christians who were arrested. If there was any kind of violation by the Christians, it might have been a technical violation of something requiring a permit. BUT, there is insufficient information given to indicate even a technical violation on something as small as a permit.

I'm very sad to say that it appears we are watching a quick and horrible change in our society. It's dramatic and sickening. NUDE PERVERTS have been allowed to perform obscene sexual acts on public streets, but Christians can't give away BIBLES on those same public streets. I realize this example is extreme, but extreme examples are becoming more common by the day. As Christians, do we really need to guess what we see coming? It's UGLY and EVIL!


Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 08, 2008, 01:30:39 PM
Want to know what law says? You'll have to pay
California copyrights regulations, forbids storage, distribution without consent

California's building codes, plumbing standards and criminal laws can be found online.

But if you want to download and save those laws to your computer, forget it.

The state claims copyright to those laws. It dictates how you can access and distribute them -- and therefore how much you'll have to pay for print or digital copies.

It forbids people from storing or distributing its laws without consent.

That doesn't sit well with Carl Malamud, a Sebastopol resident with an impressive track record of pushing for digital access to public information. He wants California -- and every other federal, state and local agency -- to drop their copyright claims on law, contending it will pave the way for innovators to create new ways of searching and presenting laws.

"When it comes to the law, the courts have always said there can be no copyright because people are obligated to know what it says," Malamud said. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse in court."

Malamud is spoiling for a major legal fight.

He has begun publishing copies of federal, state and county codes online -- in direct violation of claimed copyright.

On Labor Day, he posted the entire 38-volume California Code of Regulations, which includes all of the state's regulations from health care and insurance to motor vehicles and investment.

To purchase a digital copy of the California code costs $1,556, or $2,315 for a printed version. The state generates about $880,000 annually by selling its laws, according to the California Office of Administrative Law.

Malamud isn't just targeting California. He posted safety and building codes for nearly all 50 states, and some counties and cities such as Sonoma County and Los Angeles.

This is not uncharted territory for Malamud. In 1994, he pushed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to post corporate filings online, opening the door for companies such as Google and Yahoo to create elaborate financial Web sites. In June, Malamud helped convince the state of Oregon to stop claiming copyright over its laws.

Now Malamud wants to do the same for California -- and everywhere else. And he's willing to go to court to make his point. He thinks the court system will rule in his favor, establishing a precedent that all government agencies must follow.

"If that happens, it opens the doors to innovation," Malamud said.

To get the California Code online, he digitally scanned a stack of documents that weighed 150 pounds. Now anyone can download the 33,000 pages, and print whatever they want from his Web site, public.resource.org.

Traditionally, governments provided publishing companies such as LexisNexis copies of laws to print and bind for people. It was practically the only way to get the laws distributed to people. LexisNexis claims to have the "world's largest collection of public records."

But the Internet has changed how people can share information. Increasingly, government agencies -- including Sonoma County -- contract with LexisNexis and other publishers to post their laws online.

"Most of the county staff now just look up the codes on the Internet," said Jennifer Barrett, Sonoma County's deputy planning director. "You can quickly search for keywords or a section. It's quite easy to find what you are looking for."

But LexisNexis does not format the online laws for easy printing or downloading, Malamud said. And that hampers how people can access the laws.

LexisNexis is the exclusive distributor of Sonoma County statutes, selling print versions for $220. It offers free access to the county's codes on the Internet, but its Web site is relatively archaic and doesn't include the features common in newer sites.

If the county provided those laws in a free, standardized digital format, others could design Web sites with more modern search and presentation features, Malamud said. Social Web sites could pop up where, for instance, plumbers could provide useful annotations to building codes -- perhaps blending Wikipedia with Facebook for a more useful law site.

LexisNexis declined to comment for this story. Its primary competitor, Thomson West, which publishes California laws under a contract with the state, does not claim copyright over government statutes, a spokesman said.

California asserts copyright protections for its laws, contending it ensures the public gets accurate, timely information while generating revenue for the state.

"We exercise our copyright to benefit the people of California," said Linda Brown, deputy director of the Office of Administrative Law, which manages the state's laws. "We are obtaining compensation for the people of California."

Malamud must get permission from the state to post codes online, Brown said. She was not familiar with Malamud's actions, and could not comment on what steps would be taken to protect the state's copyright.

Malamud might be seriously outgunned in regards to the financial and legal resources of the governments he is facing. But Malamud has a track record of defeating much larger foes, said Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School and founder of its Center for Internet and Society.

"I think his work is extraordinarily important," Lessig said.

While there is a lot of commercial interest in stopping Malamud, his strategy of showing how easy it is for governments to post laws themselves makes a strong argument to the public, Lessig said.

Malamud thinks it will take him another three years to establish that no one can assert copyright over any U.S. law.

Like in his previous battles, he's not going it alone. His nonprofit has received about $2 million so far, with money coming from Internet pioneers such as the foundation of Pierre Omidyar, who founded eBay. Malamud expects it will take several million more to finish his campaign.

He also has some heavy-hitting legal academics on his side.

Professor Pamela Samuelson, co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, has also questioned the legality of copyrighting standards and laws.

"If it's the law, the public should have access to it," she said.

Samuelson points out that the idea of copyright was established to provide people incentive to create. People are given exclusive legal rights to their paintings, writings and other works because by selling those rights they can attempt to make a living.

There is no similar need for financial incentives to establish standards such as building codes, Samuelson said. For the most part, volunteers spend long hours drafting proposed standards for things like plumbing and building. Governments often take those standards and adopt them into law.

Once the standards become law, she doesn't think people can claim copyright protections. But like Malamud, she sees the courts making the final ruling.

"I don't think it's an airtight case for either side. But I think the law favors that if something is a law, it's in the public domain," she said.



Title: Re: YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 11, 2008, 09:59:00 AM
Judges endorse coed restrooms
Court says challenge to 'discrimination' ban failed because dead voters not represented

Maryland's highest court has endorsed Montgomery County's plans for coed restrooms and showers, concluding that a challenge to the new law had to fail because there were not enough signatures on the referendum petitions to represent dead voters.

Opponents of the law say they are reviewing their options for continuing their challenge to the extraordinary law that essentially leaves private homes and private clubs as the only locations where a person would not have the "right" to use the restroom or shower room designated for whatever gender that person feels on that given day.

"The court's ruling today is a loss for democracy, a loss for Montgomery County and a loss for common sense," said Dr. Ruth Jacobs, president of Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government.

The organization has been fighting the law since it was adopted by the county board last year in its campaign for "nondiscrimination" against individuals with "gender identity" issues. In that effort, the county failed to provide an exemption from the "nondiscrimination" law for locations of shared nudity, such as restaurant restrooms, community swimming pool shower rooms. Nor are there exemptions for religious organizations.

The opinion from the state Court of Appeals overturned a decision by a judge who found that voters should be allowed to determine the future of the "discrimination" ban." The reasoning by the high court was available only through comments made during the hearing, since the actual court order is a terse two-paragraph demand that the circuit court order be overturned, and the "reasons" would "be stated in an opinion later to be filed."

Circuit Judge Robert A. Greenberg previously concluded Bill 23-07, approved by the county board and signed into law by county executive Isiah Leggett, should be on the November ballot for voters, despite the wishes of Equality Maryland, an activist group for homosexuals, which did not want voters to have their say.

But the higher court's ruling left its opponents stunned.

"The court ruled … that the [Board of Elections] should have included 'inactive voters' when calculating the number of signatures that were required to place the issue on the ballot. Months after the deadline for turning in signatures, the court increased the number of valid signatures required from 25,001 signatures to over 27,000," the organization said, including the emphasis in its prepared statement.

Inactive voters are those who have failed to vote in two elections and have not responded to two letters from the government. Most are either dead or have moved out of state.

"We're very disappointed with this court's ruling, which suggests that, in America, every citizen does not have a voice," said Amy Smith, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, which was working with MCRG. "[The] court decision sends a clear message that groups with narrow, extreme political agendas can disenfranchise the voters of an entire county."

Jacobs said the citizens' group collected more than the number of signatures set by the county for the referendum.

"Amazingly, Equality Maryland demanded that inactive voters who have likely died or moved out of state be considered in the calculation to determine the number of valid signatures needed. This simply demonstrates that they will go to any lengths to prevent living, breathing county residents from determining public policy," Jacobs said.

The MRCG said Bill 23-07 specifically orders no discrimination based on "gender perception" in all "public accommodations."

"The existing non-discrimination code, which Bill 23-07 amends, was written over 20 years ago. The existing non-discrimination code desegregated bathrooms, buses, restaurants and all kinds of public accommodations. Montgomery County points at the 'distinctly private and personal' existing part of the code (which precedes Bill 23-07 by 20 years) and implies that it somehow was written with bathrooms in mind," an analysis by the organization said.

MCRG documented the law defines gender identity as "an individual's actual or perceived gender, including a person's gender-related appearance, expression, image, identity, or behavior, whether or not those gender related characteristics differ from the characteristics customarily associated with the person's assigned sex at birth."

"This means that a male appearing as or perceiving he is a female, regardless of his DNA, anatomy, and chromosomal makeup, could gain the legal right to call himself a woman, and use the woman's facility in any pu