I was utterly baffled at this moment during today’s hearing with the Benghazi whistleblowers. At the end of her line of questioning, Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier, seemingly out of nowhere, asked Gregory Hicks where in the world he would most like to be posted during his next job. ”I think you deserve to have a post in a location that you desire…” she said.
Sometimes I wonder if our federal officials have ever even heard of the Constitution. According to documentsrecently obtained by the ACLU, prosecutors at the Justice Department have argued that they do not need a warrant to search through any personal email or social media, public or private.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI believe they don’t need a search warrant to review Americans’ e-mails, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and other private files, internal documents reveal.
Government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and provided to CNET show a split over electronic privacy rights within the Obama administration, with Justice Department prosecutors and investigators privately insisting they’re not legally required to obtain search warrants for e-mail. The IRS, on the other hand, publicly said last month that it would abandon a controversial policy that claimed it could get warrantless access to e-mail correspondence.
The U.S. attorney for Manhattan circulated internal instructions, for instance, saying a subpoena — a piece of paper signed by a prosecutor, not a judge — is sufficient to obtain nearly “all records from an ISP.” And the U.S. attorney in Houston recently obtained the “contents of stored communications” from an unnamed Internet service provider without securing a warrant signed by a judge first.
“We really can’t have this patchwork system anymore, where agencies get to decide on an ad hoc basis how privacy-protective they’re going to be,” says Nathan Wessler, an ACLU staff attorney specializing in privacy topics who obtained the documents through open government laws. “Courts and Congress need to step in.”
Like the rest of the bill of rights, the 4th amendment is as clear as a bell. Let’s review it:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In other words, the government cannot simply rummage through or obtain your personal property (digital or tangible) in any way without a warrant. It’s really quite simple. Doesn’t it seem like Eric Holder would know this?
Eric Nordstrom testified today that security did not adhere to State Department standards leading up to the Benghazi attack. He told investigators that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the only person who could have authorized this lack of proper security.
So far this is the most explosive part of today’s testimony from Benghazi witnesses. Here Rep. Trey Gowdy is questioning Mr. Hicks, who was the #2 State Department official in Libya after Ambassador Stevens.
Here they blow away the much repeated “This attack was a protest in response to an offensive anti-Muslim video” line that the White House put out in the wake of the attack.
Over the past couple of months, we’ve been hearing two things from the media and liberal politicians, including Barack Obama: 1) We need more gun control and 2) We need amnesty (or, as it has been innocuously named, immigration reform). Yet the American people don’t want either one of these things. In fact, out of the 12 issues Gallup asked about, those two came in number 11 and number 12.
Americans put reforming immigration and reducing gun violence — the focus of much of the attention on Capitol Hill in recent weeks — at the bottom of a list of 12 priorities for Congress and the president to address. Americans instead say leaders in Washington should give highest priority to jobs and the economy, followed by making government work more efficiently and improving the quality of education.
These data are from Gallup Daily tracking conducted May 4-5, in the midst of continuing disagreements on how to reform the nation’s immigration laws, and highly contentious lobbying on the part of gun control groups and the National Rifle Association on the issue of gun laws. But these arguments clearly do not reflect the average American’s views on what should occupy the time of those in Washington. The roughly half of Americans who indicate they would like Congress and the president to make reducing gun violence and reforming immigration top priorities is more than 30 percentage points lower than the 86% who say creating jobs and growing the economy should be a top or a high priority.
As someone who prides themselves on being extremely principled, I can’t help but be bothered by the premise of this entire poll. The priority of Americans is largely irrelevant when the Constitution is followed. What if the priority of Americans was to force certain groups of undesirables to jump off bridges? Obviously this is a silly example but you get my point. The Constitution protects the rights of citizens of all shapes, sizes, colors and genders and should be applied evenly to all, regardless of public opinion. The mere fact that gun control might be a priority for 30%, 50% or 90% of the population is irrelevant. The Constitution protects gun rights.
Furthermore, it’s staggering how seemingly ignorant many people are of the roles of our different governments (local, state and federal). Education, for instance, has always been handled at the local level. Just because the federal government is trying to circumvent that doesn’t mean that it’s truly its responsibility to do so.
All that being said, the federal government hasn’t truly followed the Constitution for (many) decades which means that all the aforementioned principled arguments don’t apply at all (with rare exception) to our current leaders either. This does pose the obvious question: How can our leaders be so tone deaf?
Today’s hearing on the Benghazi terror attack has the potential to be explosive.
Watch the live stream below:
Whistleblowers are expected to directly contradict the White House’s official account of the September 11 terrorist attack on the US consulate and CIA safe house in Benghazi. The ramifications of this are huge, including possible perjury charges for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Mr. President, I rise today in praise of Majority Leader Harry Reid…”
Yesterday, Senator Harry Reid attempted to suspend regular order and send the Senate’s budget to conference by unanimous consent. Senator Ted Cruz objected, seeking a promise from Reid that he would not use the conference as an opportunity to pass tax increases or a debt ceiling increase through reconciliation (which would only require a simple majority). His hand caught in the cookie jar, Senator Reid did the only thing he could do: accuse Ted Cruz of being “a schoolyard bully.”
Today, Senator Cruz rose to speak to the Senate. His address is bone-dry humor and simply hilarious.
Here’s the video:
Man, I love Ted Cruz! There’s a good reason why Democratic strategist James Carville said, “I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years.”
In a race that was hyped as “too close to call” by the media, disgraced former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford seems to have easily beaten far left Democratic opponent Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the race to represent South Carolina’s 1st district.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has redeemed a political career sidelined by scandal by winning his old congressional seat.
Sanford defeated Elizabeth Colbert Busch Tuesday in the state’s 1st Congressional District. Colbert Busch is the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert. With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Sanford has 54 percent of the vote.
I’ve got to be honest, I have mixed emotions about this. Sure, it’s nice to have yet another small government representative in office, especially considering the other realistic alternative, far left progressive democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch. But honestly, what Mark Sanford did was crazy. Seriously. Yes, it was wrong, that goes without saying. But it was also downright nutty. In my view, he’s the Anthony Weiner of the right.
What’s worse, I remember Mark Sanford before he waved bye bye to reality. Before deciding to abandon his governorship and disappear for 5 days to cheat on his wife with an Argentinian woman, he was rapidly rising through the Republican ranks as a conservative hero. He was charismatic, intelligent and was able to communicate conservatism.
But, like I stated earlier, better him than her. Elizabeth Colbert Busch really is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; A big-government, progressive liberal masquerading as a moderate. Yeah, when I think about the good folks of South Carolina being represented by her, I’m glad Sanford won.
The number of Americans receiving disability checks has exploded under President Obama. The program is rife with fraud and corruption, yet the Obama administration has made little effort to crack down on it, only expanding it as a part of the ever growing welfare state. We now have a “disabled” population bigger than the entire nation of Greece.
The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,962,532 million in April, which exceeds the 10,815,197 people who live in the nation of Greece.
According to newly released data from the Social Security Administration, the record 10,962,532 total disability beneficiaries in April, included a record 8,865,586 disabled workers (up from 8,853,614 in March), 1,936,236 children of disabled workers, and 160,710 spouses of disabled workers.
According to its latest census, Greece had only 10,815,197 residents.
April was the 195th straight month that the number of American workers collecting federal disability payments increased. The last time the number of Americans collecting disability decreased was in January 1997. That month the number of workers taking disability dropped by 249 people—from 4,385,623 in December 1996 to 4,385,374 in January 1997.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying every person on disability is a fraudster. However, the program is in terrible need of a complete overhaul, but it is a Democrat’s sacred cow and basically untouchable.
You’ve heard about the Obama’s lavish White House lifestyle: star-studded parties and lux vacations. Well, there are apparently more parties that we even realized. Back in January, the Obama’s hosted a secret, off-the-schedule, party for A-listers only. Guess who paid for it…
from the Hill:
Bill and Hillary Clinton, actress Kerry Washington, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and producer Harvey Weinstein were among those who joined the Obamas at the White House’s secret post-inauguration bash.
President Obama and Michelle Obama held the hush-hush, swanky, ultra-A-list party to celebrate his second term the night he took the oath of office. The party was not announced or listed on his official schedule, but a few of the guests tweeted about the event, which is what publicly revealed its existence.
The guest list that reveals who attended was never released though the White House visitors log from January, which came out at the end of April and was examined by The Hill: a mix of rock stars, actors, top campaign donors, White House aides, Obama friends and leading Democratic politicians.
Some of the names include actor Jamie Foxx; Obama adviser David Axelrod; Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) and his twin brother, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; singer Kelly Clarkson; Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.); actress Eva Longoria; singer James Taylor; former NBA player Alonzo Mourning; Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D); and former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
No, a pencil is not a weapon when you hold it and say, “Bang! bang!” It’s still just a pencil. It becomes a weapon when you stab somebody with it! Did Christopher Marshall stab anybody? Nope. He just offended some anti-gun liberal nutjob who runs his school.
The excrement is about to hit the fan, ladies and gentlemen. The deputy of the late ambassador Chris Stevens, one of the four Americans killed in the Benghazi attacks in September, has told Congressional investigators that a special ops team prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi during the attack as part of a rescue mission but were told that they couldn’t go. Uh oh.
From CBS News:
The deputy of slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens has told congressional investigators that a team of Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi during the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks was forbidden from doing so by U.S. Special Operations Command Africa.
The account from Gregory Hicks is in stark contrast to assertions from the Obama administration, which insisted that nobody was ever told to stand down and that all available resources were utilized. Hicks gave private testimony to congressional investigators last month in advance of his upcoming appearance at a congressional hearing Wednesday.
According to excerpts released Monday, Hicks told investigators that SOCAFRICA commander Lt. Col. Gibson and his team were on their way to board a C-130 from Tripoli for Benghazi prior to an attack on a second U.S. compound “when [Col. Gibson] got a phone call from SOCAFRICA which said, ‘you can’t go now, you don’t have the authority to go now.’ And so they missed the flight … They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it.”
This completely contradicts everything the administration has been saying since the “stand down” allegations were originally made. Who are you going to believe, a whistle-blower who is risked everything and testified under oath, or a known liar who had an election to lose if the story got out?
But what’s so frustrating about this is that many of the details about what happened in Benghazi have been out there months but the only people who knew about it were those who watched Fox News and read conservative political blogs. No, there wasn’t a whistle-blower giving specific details and confirming our worst fears, but we had info. The media has been assisting in the cover-up by not asking tough questions or reporting the details when information was made available. If this info had gotten out it probably would have cost Obama the presidency.
This is the problem with the public school system: if a teacher does something out of line, he is safe from disciplinary action if he has tenure. In this case, a teacher in South Carolina was fired after stomping the American flag during a class. He sued the school, and now the school is paying him $85,000.
from the State:
Lexington-Richland 5 paid former Chapin High teacher Scott Compton $85,000 to avoid a legal challenge, part of a settlement that led to his resignation after he stomped on an American flag during a class lesson.
The payment is on top of Compton’s salary that will be paid through June 7, even though he has been out of the classroom since December. School officials did not provide Compton’s salary Monday, but their plan pays teachers with his 12 years’ experience $43,340 to $59,647 a year.
Lexington-Richland 5 taxpayers also will foot the bill for more than $31,500 in attorney fees, records obtained by The State newspaper under a state Freedom of Information Act request show.
The $85,000 payment was described as “a compromise and resolution of disputed claims,” the records say.
If you’re going to fill the comments section up with how stomping the flag was thist teacher’s 1st Amendment right, I ask you: why then would he not be allowed to lead the class in prayer? After all, prayer is also covered by the 1st Amendment.
The Senate officially passed the internet sales tax bill today, which would allow states to begin charging tax for online purchases.
The Senate sided with traditional retailers and financially strapped state and local governments Monday by passing a bill that would widely subject online shopping — for many a largely tax-free frontier — to state sales taxes.
The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 69 to 27, getting support from Republicans and Democrats alike. But opposition from some conservatives who view it as a tax increase will make it a tougher sell in the House. President Barack Obama has conveyed his support for the measure.
Under current law, states can only require retailers to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state.
It’s here, folks: A working firearm that is almost completely printable. The hand gun was designed by Cody Wilson, a law student at the University of Texas, who has had the dream of designing a fully workable and printable firearm for quite a while. The ‘Liberator’, as it’s called, is already creating a headache for lawmakers who will have virtually no way of tracking or regulating it all.
Eight months ago, Cody Wilson set out to create the world’s first entirely 3D-printable handgun.
Now he has.
Early next week, Wilson, a 25-year-old University of Texas law student and founder of the non-profit group Defense Distributed, plans to release the 3D-printable CAD files for a gun he calls “the Liberator,” pictured in its initial form above. He’s agreed to let me document the process of the gun’s creation, so long as I don’t publish details of its mechanics or its testing until it’s been proven to work reliably and the file has been uploaded to Defense Distributed’s online collection of printable gun blueprints at Defcad.org.
All sixteen pieces of the Liberator prototype were printed in ABS plastic with a Dimension SST printer from 3D printing company Stratasys, with the exception of a single nail that’s used as a firing pin. The gun is designed to fire standard handgun rounds, using interchangeable barrels for different calibers of ammunition.
The average 3D printer should be able to create the parts for the Liberator in about 4 hours.
As if on cue, Chuck Schumer, Steve Israel and other far-left Democrats have already vowed to bring a bill forward that would effectively ban plastic firearms. Here’s a portion of a recent statement by congressman Steve Israel (D):
“When I started talking about the issue of plastic firearms months ago, I was told the idea of a plastic gun is science-fiction. Now that this technology is proven, we need to act now to extend the ban [on] plastic firearms.”.
Apart from the fact that guns are legal and protected by the 2nd amendment, there are two obvious problems that are associated with an attempted ban on home made plastic weaponry:
If the proposed bill would ban the guns themselves, how would it possibly be enforced? The guns don’t have serial numbers, they look like toy guns (and without the firing pin are nothing but toy guns), they can’t be detected by metal detectors and they can easily and cheaply be made at home. Short of violating the fourth amendment, how would the government even discover that someone had one of these weapons?
If the proposed bill would attempt to ban the blueprints for making weapons, then that would be a clear violation of the first amendment. Obtaining and transferring information is a basic human right that is generally only violated by oppressive, tyrannical dictatorships or communist regimes. Preventing web sites from posting information about the building of weapons of any kind is equivalent to government mandated book-burning (but we already knew that liberals like to burn books).
I realize that the Constitution has never stopped our lawmakers from passing obviously unconstitutional laws, but I would be surprised if any ban on home made plastic weapons holds up in court. I’m not sure how it could.
It is important to note that, in some regards, this doesn’t change anything. People have been making homemade weapons since the beginning of time. What this does, is allow the average person (with a 3D printer, of course) to create weapons cheaply and quickly, easily circumventing gun control laws. I imagine that the reason this new ability is perceived to be intolerable by those on the left has less to do with the potential crime one could commit with one of these guns and more to do with the fact that they don’t yet know how or if they can stop citizens from owning them.
If you’d like your very own “Liberator”, you can download the plans here (before the government figures out a way to shut them down, of course).