Federal Court Rules D.C. Ban On Handguns Outside The Home Unconstitutional

Federal Judge Rules DC Ban On Gun Carry Rights Unconstitutional – Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gray did not respond to request for comment.

City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said Sunday that he just learned of the ruling and had yet to read the opinion.

However, he said because of the District’s unique national security concerns, the right to carry a firearm in public “must be more heavily restricted than any place else in the nation.”

“Four U.S. presidents have been assassinated by gunfire, and at least five others have been shot at, including Ronald Regan who was seriously wounded in 1981,” he said. “Neither the Secret Service nor the Capitol Police will disclose all incidents where they have recovered firearms, but we do know that just two years ago someone hit the White House with gunfire, and there are frequent threats on the foreign diplomatic corps.”

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*VIDEO* Rep. Don Young Verbally Bitchslaps Obama’s EPA And Congressional Democrats Over Federal Overreach


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Rep. Issa: Voicemail Left By Former Top Obama Regime Official A Clear Violation Of Federal Law (Audio)

Listen To The Voicemail Left By Former Top Obama Administration Official That Darrell Issa Says Is A Clear Violation Of Federal Law – The Blaze

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is sounding the alarm regarding new alleged audio of former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis leaving a voicemail for someone “off the record” to ask the individual to contribute and help organize a fundraising event for President Barack Obama’s campaign. Issa says Solis violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits political activity on official time.

In his opening statement during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Wednesday, Issa played the voicemail Solis reportedly left to pressure a Labor Department employee to donate to Obama’s re-election campaign.

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Read a transcript of the controversial Solis voicemail:

“Hi – this is Hilda Solis calling, um, just calling you off-the-record here – Wanted to ask you if you could, um, help us get folks organized to come to a fundraiser that we’re doing for Organizing for America for Obama campaign on Friday at La Fonda at 6 p.m. Steven Smith, an attorney, and his staff are helping us [inaudible]. There are a lot of folks that we know that are coming but wanted to ask you if you might help contribute or get other folks to help out. I would encourage you to call this number, [inaudible] – that’s his assistant – at [phone number] and you can call [the attorney] yourself who’s a good friend, an attorney, good friend of mine, at [phone number]. And it’s for a Friday event at La Fonda [inaudible] we’re just trying to raise money to show that we have support here in [inaudible].”

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Issa went on to slam the Obama administration for showing what he called an “indefensible” attempt to avoid oversight.

“It is deeply ironic that an administration claiming to be the most transparent ever, has resisted oversight of its political office and offered less corroboration than its predecessors,” he said.

Watch Issa’s full opening statement below:

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Federal Government To Open $50M Resort For Illegal Alien Children

Feds To Open $50 Million Resort For Illegal Children, Complete With Tennis Courts, Sauna & Pools – Gateway Pundit

Welcome to America!

The Obama administration has awarded a $50 million contract to a charitable group to buy a Texas resort hotel and transform it in to a 600 bed facility for juvenile illegal aliens.

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The beautiful Palm Aire resort and hotel has an indoor Olympic sized pool and an outdoor pool. Free Wi-Fi and cable TV are included in the simply decorated guest rooms.

The Palm Aire Hotel and Suites is set to be sold to Baptist Child & Family Services (BCFS) operating under a federal contract, pending local government approval, according to reports from Weslaco, Texas where the hotel is located. Weslaco is a few miles north of the Rio Grande in Hidalgo County.

The resort hotel for illegal alien children is reportedly the ‘first in the nation’.

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The Palm Aire includes tennis courts, a laundromat and a snack bar.

The plan is to have the hotel ready for illegal alien children ages 12 to 17 by October 1st of this year, a mere two-and-half months from now. It is expected the average stay will be about fifteen days.

The Palm Aire Hotel and Suites currently advertises amenities such as two outdoor swimming pools – one Olympic sized – Jacuzzis, sauna, steam room, two racquetball courts, outdoor tennis courts, picnic area with grills and a fitness center with twenty machines and free weights.

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A luxurious fitness center is on site at the Weslaco Palm Aire Hotel and Suites. Guests can also wind down in the sauna after a long trip.

Attracted to the space for outdoor recreation at the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites, BCFS spoke of building a soccer field at the hotel and adding a perimeter fence.

BCFS plans to employ 650 people at the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites, which would mean slightly over one worker per illegal alien child. According to the BCSF Website, the charity’s jobs pay from $10 to $45 per hour.

KRGV-TV quoted a BCFS spokeswoman about the purpose of buying the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites:

“It’s going to be an intake facility, which serves as a lot like a hospital emergency room,” Krista Piferrer, BCFS VP External Affairs said.

“”We’ve all seen the photos and the videos of children in crowded Border Patrol facilities. What this site is going to allow to happen is quickly move those children out of Border Patrol cells and triage them,” Piferrer said.”

BCFS plans for the facility to be “completely self-contained” with Piferrer telling KRGV-TV, ‘medical staff will be on hand so children with diseases or injuries will not be transferred to local hospitals.’

Piferrer told the Valley Morning Star the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites facility would ‘(provide) medical and mental health care, on-site educational programs, recreational programs and case management.’

According to a Hidalgo County commissioner, the BCFS contract for the Palm Aire Hotel and Suites is an annual one worth $50 million per year. It is not part of the $3.7 billion emergency funding for the illegal alien invasion requested by the Obama administration as the bill hasn’t yet passed but it is a good indication of where the money will go.

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Federal Government Made $100B In Improper Payments To Unentitled Recipients

Government Made $100B In Improper Payments – Associated Press

By its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them – tax credits to families that didn’t qualify, unemployment benefits to people who had jobs and medical payments for treatments that might not have been necessary.

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Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher.

The Obama administration has reduced the amount of improper payments since they peaked in 2010. Still, estimates from federal agencies show that some are wasting big money at a time when Congress is squeezing agency budgets and looking to save more.

“Nobody knows exactly how much taxpayer money is wasted through improper payments, but the federal government’s own astounding estimate is more than half a trillion dollars over the past five years,” said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. “The fact is, improper payments are staggeringly high in programs designed to help those most in need – children, seniors and low-income families.”

Mica chairs the House Oversight subcommittee on government operations. The subcommittee is holding a hearing on improper payments Wednesday afternoon.

Each year, federal agencies are required to estimate the amount of improper payments they issue. They include overpayments, underpayments, payments to the wrong recipient and payments that were made without proper documentation.

Some improper payments are the result of fraud, while others are unintentional, caused by clerical errors or mistakes in awarding benefits without proper verification.

In 2013, federal agencies made $97 billion in overpayments, according to agency estimates. Underpayments totaled $9 billion.

The amount of improper payments has steadily dropped since 2010, when it peaked at $121 billion.

The Obama administration has stepped up efforts to measure improper payments, identify the cause and develop plans to reduce them, said Beth Cobert, deputy director of the White House budget office. Agencies recovered more than $22 billion in overpayments last year.

“We have strengthened accountability and transparency, saving the American people money while improving the fiscal responsibility of federal programs,” Cobert said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s hearing. “We are pleased with this progress, but know that we have more work to do in this area.”

However, a new report by the Government Accountability Office questions the accuracy of agency estimates, suggesting that the real tally could be higher. The GAO is the investigative arm of Congress.

“The federal government is unable to determine the full extent to which improper payments occur and reasonably assure that appropriate actions are taken to reduce them,” Beryl H. Davis, director of financial management at the GAO, said in prepared testimony for Wednesday’s hearing.

Davis said some agencies don’t develop estimates for programs that could be susceptible to improper payments. For example, the Health and Human Services Department says it cannot force states to help it develop estimates for the cash welfare program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The program is administered by the states.

The largest sources of improper payments are government health care programs, according to agency estimates. Medicare’s various health insurance programs for older Americans accounted for $50 billion in improper payments in the 2013 budget year, far exceeding any other program.

Most of the payments were deemed improper because they were issued without proper documentation, said Shantanu Agrawal, a deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In some cases, the paperwork didn’t verify that services were medically necessary.

“Payments deemed `improper’ under these circumstances tend to be the result of documentation and coding errors made by the provider as opposed to payments made for inappropriate claims,” Agrawal said in prepared testimony for Wednesday’s hearing.

Among other programs with large amounts of improper payments:

- The earned income tax credit, which provides payments to the working poor in the form of tax refunds. Last year, improper payments totaled $14.5 billion. That’s 24 percent of all payments under the program.

The EITC is one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the U.S., providing $60.3 billion in payments last year. Eligibility depends on income and family size, making it complicated to apply for the credit – and difficult to enforce, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

“EITC eligibility depends on items that the IRS cannot readily verify through third-party information reporting, including marital status and the relationship and residency of children,” Koskinen told a House committee in May. “In addition, the eligible population for the EITC shifts by approximately one-third each year, making it difficult for the IRS to use prior-year data to assist in validating compliance.”

- Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor. Last year, improper payments totaled $14.4 billion.

Medicaid, which is run jointly by the federal government and the states, has seen a steady decline in improper payments since 2010, when they peaked at $23 billion.

The program is expanding under President Barack Obama’s health law.

- Unemployment insurance, a joint federal-state program that provides temporary benefits to laid-off workers. Amount of improper payments last year: $6.2 billion, or 9 percent of all payments.

The Labor Department said most overpayments went to people who continued to get benefits after returning to work, or who didn’t meet state requirements to look for work while they were unemployed. Others were ineligible for benefits because they voluntarily quit their jobs or were fired.

- Supplemental Security Income, a disability program for the poor run by the Social Security Administration. Amount of improper payments: $4.3 billion, or 8 percent of all payments.

Social Security’s much larger retirement and disability programs issued $2.4 billion in improper payments, according to agency estimates. Those programs provided more than $770 billion in benefits, so improper payments accounted for less than 1 percent.

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Federal Government Funding Study On Ways To Limit Sheep Farts

Feds Fund Study On Ways To Limit Sheep Farts – Weasel Zippers

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Because climate change, or something.

Via Daily Caller:

The U.S. government funded research into methane emissions from sheep digestive systems – flatulence and burps – to see why some sheep produce more of the greenhouse gas than others.

Researchers with the Energy Department’s Joint Genome Institute wanted to find out exactly why animals of the same species produce different levels of methane. The ultimate hope of the the research is to find ways to breed livestock that produce less methane when they pass gas.

“The deep sequencing study contributes to this breeding program by defining the microbial contribution to the methane trait, which can be used in addition to methane measurements to assist in animal selection,” said senior scientist Graeme Attwood with AgResearch Limited, a senior author on the paper.

JGI researchers looked at the methane emissions of 22 sheep that are part of a breeding program in New Zealand that aims to breed sheep that emit less methane. They found that sheep with low methane-emitting flatulence had elevated levels of Methanosphaera – a species of methanogen. Sheep with high methane-emitting flatulence had elevated levels of the methanogen Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii.

Keep reading

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U.S. News Media Restricted At Southern Border; Federal Agent Cites Safety Concerns

US Media Restricted At Border, Federal Agent Cites Safety Concerns – Breitbart

A remote section of the U.S.-Mexico border near the Anzalduas International Bridge is one of the few places where media can witness and record the mass crossings of minors coming from Central America. The U.S. Border Patrol is now restricting journalists’ access to the area citing safety concerns.

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“You can’t be here,” a Border Patrol agent said. After learning that he was speaking with Breitbart Texas, the agent repeated his assertion and stated, “It isn’t safe for you here.” The agent refused to give his name and then grabbed his phone, acting as though he had a phone call. He then raised his arm over his name badge. When a camera was put on him, he quickly sped off. (The unidentified Border Patrol agent is pictured above)

The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the union representing approximately 17,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents, also had a representative in the area accompanied by a journalist from another outlet. The union representative spoke with the Border Patrol agent who demanded that this reporter leave the area. Within minutes, the union representative received a call from a Border Patrol supervisor about his presence in the area. The NBPC Local 3307 union representative, Albert Spratte, told Breitbart Texas, “This area has always been the public road to Rincon Village, it is the only access to the houses there. All of the sudden, we are being told it is restricted and not open to the public or media. A lot of media have been there recently and this hasn’t been told to us before. It is something new.”

Spratte continued, “The agent who removed you spoke with me immediately after the incident. The phone call from Border Patrol management brought to my attention that they only wanted agents in that area now, which is strange because we’ve never been told that before from up top.”

The area of the Rio Grande River south of McAllen, Texas to Anzalduas Park has effectively become ground zero for the Texas border crisis. While some of the activity is occurring near the park and can be witnessed and documented by media, much of the crossing of minors occurs in areas with signs warning U.S. citizens not to enter. Some of the areas are under the care of U.S. Fish and Wildlife, while other areas are private property. Much of the area is controlled by the International Water Boundary Commission (IWBC), and the area around the Anzalduas International Bridge has traditionally been open for media and for anyone going to Rincon Village.

Spratte said that the area is the only access to Rincon Village and that this is why the area is one of the few without posted restrictions to the public. “It is one of the few places that doesn’t have signs restricting access, and therefore one of the few places in this hotspot where media has the ability to see what is really occurring and relate that to the American public,” Spratte said. “For the past several months in that area, media has constantly come down and we have never had a problem with them being kicked out.”

He continued, “That agent said it wasn’t safe for you to be there, and it isn’t the safest place in the world, but it has historically not been restricted to journalists and it is one of the few places where media can actually see what we are dealing with in this crisis. It seems the agent was either intimidated by the threats from management to be fired or criminally charged for telling media what is actually going on, more than he actually thought your life was at risk to be there.”

Breitbart Texas recently reported on the efforts of Border Patrol management to restrict information leaking to the public by threatening possible criminal charges against agents who spoke to media.

Spratte told Breitbart Texas that the Border Patrol agents are being placed under immense pressure in the crisis and that they have to follow their orders from above. He said, “A supervisor in the Border Patrol can’t just put out a policy, it has to come from above them in the chain, maybe even as high up as Washington.”

“I think the folks in Washington are embarrassed that we have so little control over what is crossing into our nation right now and they don’t want the American public to have pictures or video of this failure, and this ultimately hurts the public and limits the knowledge they have. The public has a right to know what is really going on here,” said Spratte.

Another Border Patrol agent working in the area spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity. The agent said the public information officers are the only ones allowed to speak with media. “They get their talking points from Washington, D.C., from high level political appointees, and they have to strictly adhere to what they are told to say. This is why it is vital that journalists have access to these areas without the oversight of the federal government,” said the agent.

Breitbart Texas spoke on the matter with the NBPC Local 3307 vice president, Chris Cabrera. He said, “It seems the service at the station or sector level is trying to hide something. Management is sending out emails to agents and intimidating them and trying to restrict the information journalists can obtain. This is a testament to how unsecured the border actually is.”

“Leadership in Washington has consistently told the public that the border is secure or secured enough. This crisis exposes the lack of the truth in those statements and journalists have played a vital role in informing the public,” Cabrera continued. “Had those photos not been leaked and published, we’d still be at square one and there would be no attention down here. Journalists being prohibited from accessing areas to take photos and video of the river border is detrimental. This leaves the public to make decisions based solely upon the official line from Washington.” He added, “Not only do Americans as a whole deserve better, but Border Patrol agents themselves are dependent upon the public understanding what they are dealing with.”

Shawn Moran, the NBPC vice president from the national office, spoke to Breitbart Texas on the matter as well. He largely agreed with Cabrera and said, “The more that CBP [Customs and Border Protection] tries to restrict the media and public attention from this issue, the more it appears they have something to hide.”

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Federal Government Advertised In January For “Escorts” For 65,000 Illegal Alien Children To Be “Resettled”

Government Advertised In January For “Escorts” For 65,000 Illegal Alien Children To Be “Resettled” – Weasel Zippers

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This particular ad ran in FedBizOpps in January with RFI for “Escorts” for 65,000 unaccompanied alien children.

This is the relevant description:

Procurement Type: Request for Information (RFI)/Sources Sought

Title: Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children

Classification Code: V- Transportation/Travel/Relocation

NAICS code: 561612

Primary POC: Rachel Ali, Contract Specialist/ Rachel.Ali@ice.dhs.gov

Secondary POC: Tony Ross, Contracting Officer/ Tony.Ross@ice.dhs.gov

A. Introduction

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has a continuing and mission critical responsibility for accepting custody of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from U.S. Border Patrol and other Federal agencies and transporting these juveniles to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States. ICE is seeking the services of a responsible vendor that shares the philosophy of treating all UAC with dignity and respect, while adhering to standard operating procedures and policies that allow for an effective, efficient, and incident free transport. The Contractor shall provide unarmed escort staff, including management, supervision, manpower, training, certifications, licenses, drug testing, equipment, and supplies necessary to provide on-demand escort services for non-criminal/non-delinquent unaccompanied alien children ages infant to 17 years of age, seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year. Transport will be required for either category of UAC or individual juveniles, to include both male and female juveniles. There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total: 25% local ground transport, 25% via ICE charter and 50% via commercial air. Escort services include, but are not limited to, assisting with: transferring physical custody of UAC from DHS to Health and Human Services (HHS) care via ground or air methods of transportation (charter or commercial carrier), property inventory, providing juveniles with meals, drafting reports, generating transport documents, maintaining/stocking daily supplies, providing and issuing clothing as needed, coordinating with DHS and HHS staff, travel coordination, limited stationary guard services to accommodate for trip disruptions due to inclement weather, faulty equipment, or other exigent circumstances. In emergency situations, the Contractor shall be called on to provide temporary shelter locations (such as trailers) with shower facilities for juveniles who are pending placement with HHS when bed space is unavailable nationwide for extended periods of time. The Contractor shall provide temporary guard services and other support as necessary during these emergencies.

You can view more of the document here.

This advertisement raises a lot of questions. There is a lot of specificity reflected in this document that seeks to deal with an influx that hadn’t as yet happened. How could they know 65,000, even breaking down the percentages that would be covered by ground, charter and air transportation?

Having received a lot of flack for the influx of illegals, there are some in the Obama regime who are now trying to suggest, oh, of course, the children will be deported after the initial emergency crush is addressed. But if that is so, why the reference to “Office of Refugee Resettlement”

What is the mission of the Office of Refugee Resettlement?

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides new populations with opportunities to maximize their potential in the United States, linking people in need to critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society.

The purpose is not to take care of them and then ship them out, the purpose of the ORR is, in their own words, to resettle them and integrate them into the United States. The language is already defining them as “refugees” making it clear the administration’s desire to have them stay, before they even arrive, before any individual case for asylum is even considered.

The very language confirms the Obama regime 1) knew with specificity a huge influx was on the way and 2) they intended them to stay.

Troubling to say the least…

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Pro-Israel Group Wins Ruling In Harassment Lawsuit Against Obama’s Corrupt IRS (Video)

Z-Street Wins Ruling Against IRS; Was Targeted By Obama Officials Because Of It’s Pro-Israel Views – Gateway Pundit

Z Street representative Lori Lowenthal Marcus spoke out in March 2013 about the harassment the pro-Israel group received from the Obama IRS:

“They told us terrorism happens in Israel. Therefore, they had to look into our organization because they thought we might be funding terrorism. We’re a purely educational entity. We didn’t fund anybody. We barely funded ourselves.”

Remember: This is the same administration that wouldn’t call the Benghazi massacre a terrorist attack but accused a pro-Israel group of supporting terror.

Via On the Record:

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Z-Street was told by the IRS that their application would be delayed because their pro-Israel views contradicted the views of the Obama administration.

This week a federal judge ruled in favor of Z-Street. The ruling will force the IRS to disclose procedures it used to target the pro-Israel group.

Jonathan Tobin at Commentary reported:

Interest in the Internal Revenue Service’s outrageous practice of subjecting politically conservative groups to discriminatory treatment has died down a bit since the revelations about this scandal first hit the news a year ago. But a court decision that was handed down earlier this week about a similar instance of potential government misconduct may shed more light on the way the Tea Party and other right-wing organizations were given the business by Lois Lerner and the rest of what appears to be a highly politicized bureaucracy at the heart of our tax collection system.

On Tuesday, Federal Judge Ketanje Brown Jackson issued the first substantive ruling in any suit that challenged the IRS’s pose of political neutrality under the Obama administration. The case concerns Z Street, a Philadelphia area-based pro-Israel organization that filed for tax-exempt status in December 2009 because of its role in educating the public about Israel and the Middle East conflict. The group’s founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus wrote in the Jewish Press this week about what followed:

On July 19, 2010, when counsel for Z STREET spoke with the IRS agent to whom the organization’s application had been assigned, that agent said that a determination on Z STREET’s application may be further delayed because the IRS gave “special scrutiny” to organizations connected to Israel and especially to those whose views “contradict those of the administration’s.”

Z Street subsequently sued the government and rightly argued that its constitutional rights had been violated because of the “viewpoint discrimination” that the IRS agent had openly displayed. Now after years of delays, Judge Jackson has ruled that by asserting that Z Street had no right to sue, the government had tried to “transform a lawsuit that clearly challenges the constitutionality of the process… into a dispute over tax liability.” She similarly dismissed the government’s claims of sovereign immunity.

What has this got to do with the Tea Party and its complaints? Plenty.

As the Wall Street Journal editorial page noted yesterday:

This ruling will force the IRS to open its books on the procedures it used and decisions it made reviewing Z Street’s tax-exempt application, procedures it has tried to keep shrouded. As the case proceeds, Z Street’s attorneys can seek depositions from many who have been part of the larger attempt to sit on similar applications by other conservative groups.

In other words, this case may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back of the IRS’s politically prejudicial policies. If an IRS agent can reject or stall a pro-Israel group’s application on the grounds that “these cases are being sent to a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies,” then no group, no matter what its political orientation or cause is safe from being subjected to a political litmus test designed by any administration of either political party.

Read the rest here.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Your Daley Gator The-Federal-Government-Is-Run-By-Incompetent-Douchebags VA Scandal Update (Video)

7 Warnings Obama Ignored On The VA… Including His Own – Big Government

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On Tuesday, the Washington Post revealed a memorandum dated April 26, 2010, sent from the Deputy Undersecretary for Health for Operations and Management (10N) to Network Director (10N1-23). That memo spelled out 17 methods being used by VA hospitals to cover up long wait times. Those tactics included:

* Telling veterans to call back after 30 days so that they would not appear in the records as having waited longer than 30 days;
* Use of a manual logging system;
* Creation and cancellation of new patient visits, marking those cancellations as “cancelled by patient” rather than “cancelled by clinic.”

The list goes on and on.

The White House claimed that it was utterly unaware of the memo, although Dr. Robert Petzel, the top health official at the Veterans Administration, admitted, “It’s absolutely inexcusable.”

So, what did the Obama administration know and when did it know it?

It knew, according to a 2008 briefing memo from the Department of Veterans Affairs, that the waiting times reported from the VA were not reliable: “This is not only a data integrity issue in which [Veterans Health Administration] reports unreliable performance data; it affects quality of care by delaying – and potentially denying – deserving veterans timely care.” Such problems, the document stated, “are systemic throughout the VHA.”

In 2007, then-Senator Obama, running for president, acknowledged massive problems within the VA. “No veteran should have to fill out a 23-page claim to get care, or wait months – even years – to get an appointment at the VA,” he told the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He continued:

When we fail to keep faith with our veterans, the bond between our nation and our nation’s heroes becomes frayed. When a veteran is denied care, we are all dishonored. It’s not enough to lay a wreath on Memorial Day, or to pay tribute to our veterans in speeches. A proud and grateful nation owes more than ceremonial gestures and kind words.

Caring for those who serve – and for their families – is a fundamental responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief.

He concluded, “The VA will also be at the cutting edge of my plan for universal health care.”

But Obama now claims that he was only informed of bureaucratic snafus from the newspapers. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated that the Phoenix falsifications of wait lists were news to Obama:

We learned about them through the reports. I will double check if that is not the case. But that is when we learned about them and that is when I understand Secretary Shinseki learned about them, and he immediately took the action that he has taken.

Apparently he was reading the wrong newspapers. Problems with veteran wait times have been heavily covered by the media for years. In 2010, the Los Angeles Times wrote:

Some veterans wait up to six months to get their initial VA medical appointment. The typical veteran of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars waits 110 days for a disability claim to be processed, with a few waiting up to a year. For all veterans, the average wait is 161 days. The VA says a ruling on an appeal of a disability rating takes more than 600 days on average. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or IAVA, an advocacy group, says the average delay is 776 days. Up to 17% of veterans’ disability ratings are incorrect, the VA says. Thousands of dollars in disability payments hinge on the ratings, which are determined by the VA. The agency says it hopes to eventually cut the error rate to 2%.

In February 2013, lawmakers accused the VA of covering up five veteran deaths from Legionnaires’ disease, with Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) stating, “This has got the federal government’s footprints all over it. I am stunned at the coordination that took place and that is occurring at the highest levels of government to try and counter the blame.” The VA originally claimed that a minor Legionnaires’ outbreak had killed no one.

In March 2013, a whistleblower told the Daily Beast that the VA “routinely disseminated false information about the health of America’s veterans, withheld research showing a link between nerve gas and Gulf War syndrome, rushed studies out the door without taking recommended fixes by an independent board, and failed to offer crucial care to veterans who came forward as suicidal.” The whistleblower said that his bosses responded by attempting to intimidate and silence him, and that he was even admonished. He said that almost 2,000 suicidal veterans did not receive proper follow-up.

In November 2013, CNN reported:

Military veterans are dying needlessly because of long waits and delayed care at U.S. veterans hospitals… Military veterans are dying needlessly because of long waits and delayed care at U.S. veterans hospitals, a CNN investigation has found. What’s worse, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is aware of the problems and has done almost nothing to effectively prevent veterans dying from delays in care.”

CNN reported at least six patient deaths at just one facility. Money was even given to the VA to fix the problem. It wasn’t fixed. Debra Draper at the Government Accountability Office explained, “Long wait times and a weak scheduling policy and process have been persistent problems for the VA, and both the GAO and the VA’s (inspector general) have been reporting on these issues for more than a decade.”

So, what did President Obama know, and when did he know it? He knew plenty. And he had plenty of time to do something about it. He just didn’t. And crocodile tears now come too little too late.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Related article:

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Senate Democrats Just Blocked A Bill To Increase Accountability At The Scandal-Plagued Veterans Affairs Department – Washington Free Beacon

This actually happened on the Senate floor this afternoon. Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) asked for consent to take up and pass the Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act, a bill that would make it easier/possible for the scandal-plagued department to fire employees based on poor performance. The House overwhelmingly passed the legislation on Wednesday, with a bipartisan vote of 390 to 33. (Only Democrats objected.)

Surely the Senate would follow suit, right? Not exactly. Senator Bernie Sanders, a union-backed socialist from Vermont, objected on behalf of Senate Democrats to Rubio’s request. Instead of taking any action now, Sanders said he is going to hold a hearing – several weeks from now.

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Sanders, who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, has been one of the most outspoken defenders of the VA against allegations of misconduct. When asked about reports of multiple deaths related to long wait times at the VA healthcare system, Sanders told CNN: “People die every day.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) on Thursday offered a lukewarm assessment of the House-passed legislation, describing it as “not unreasonable.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) was not happy. “As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, I am disappointed, and – frankly – shocked that Senate Democratic leaders chose to block legislation that would hold VA managers accountable,” Boehner said in a statement. “As we head home to honor the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, it’s fair to ask why Senate Democrats won’t stand up for more accountability?”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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*VIDEOS* America’s Sheriffs: The Thin, Blue Line Between Your 2nd Amendment Right And The Federal Dictatorship


RICHARD MACK

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DAVID CLARKE

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DENNY PEYMAN

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PAUL BABEU

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TIM HOWARD

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CHARLES JENKINS

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JUSTIN SMITH

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TIM MUELLER

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TERRY MAKETA

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BRAD ROGERS

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JON LOPEY

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MIKE WINTERS

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CHRIS NOCCO

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KEN CAMPBELL

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TIM CAMERON AND MIKE LEWIS

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FRANK TOMLANOVICH, JEFF RICKABY, KENNY MARKS AND SCOTT CELELLO

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Your Daley Gator Land-Grabbing Federal Neo-Nazi News Update (Videos)

Labeling Its Own Citizens As Domestic Terrorists The Ultimate Betrayal By The Federal Government – David Risselada

When a young man or woman joins the United States military, one of the first things they do before even being shipped off to boot camp is take the loyalty oath. “I (state your name) do solemnly swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” The oath of enlistment goes on to say that the service member will follow orders of the president and the officers appointed over them per the regulations of the uniformed code of military justice. Most service members, at least I hope anyway, understand that there are illegal orders, and any order that goes against the Constitution is, in fact, an illegal order.

This oath means something to military personnel because most of us joined to defend the rights and liberties of all Americans, even those that don’t share our views. Sadly, many people have been inundated with the belief that the Constitution is an oppressive document that stands in the way of government creating the perfect paradise. In fact, in a report called Rightwing extremism: Current economic and political climate fueling resurgence in radicalization and recruitment the government calls anyone who refers to the Constitution and the limits of government power a domestic terrorist. Anyone who owns a gun is a terrorist, anyone who didn’t vote for Obama is a racist terrorist and anyone who is buying more than seven days of food at a time is now even referred to as a potential terrorist. Veterans are potential terrorists, probably because the government fears them finding out how they have been used, abused and lied to. Also, those who hold anti-abortion views are domestic terrorists.

Many of you may be wondering what the significance of all of this is. Harry Reid just referred to the Bundy ranch protesters as domestic terrorists and claimed that he was told a special task force is being set up to “deal with them.” A task force, mind you that is not loyal to the U.S. Constitution, but has likely been beaten down with the same lies and propaganda that is published in that fallacious report.

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I don’t about the rest of you, but I have seen the way the U.S. government deals with terrorists. The fact that they are referring to their own people as possible terrorists should concern all of us.

How did we get to the point where a sleazy politician like Harry Reid, who for days now, reports have been surfacing exposing his involvement in this federal land grab, can get away with it and call average citizens domestic terrorists? I will tell you how, but you are not going to like it America. You became fat, lazy, and uninterested in defending the very liberties that were passed on to you from previous generations. You let the politics of envy, employed by selfish radicals and their lies; beat you into submission out of fear of appearing “uncompassionate” or uncaring. You let the politics of fear overwhelm your senses as little by little mental associations were created between what you fear the most and the unknown, until the point came when you let the government convince you that your neighbor shouldn’t be trusted if he questions the motives of big government. In other words America, you went to sleep and passed on your responsibility to someone else who didn’t share your same values.

The hour is later and much darker than most care to know. Many in America see no problem with the federal government that has the intestinal fortitude to surround one man and his family with three hundred armed troops, and then lie by claiming it’s about taxes and turtles. There are so many other ways this situation could have been dealt with folks, especially if Cliven Bundy was truly in the wrong. They intentionally set out to spark a confrontation so they could identify the resistors as domestic terrorists. Everything they need to eliminate the opposition is written into law or policy. The Patriot Act, The National Defense Authorization Act, both give the government broad powers when dealing with domestic terrorism. Some of us realized many years ago that someday those powers would be turned on us; others went to sleep, allowing the government to classify us as domestic terrorists for being concerned about such a thing.

This is the ultimate betrayal to all those who served in this nation’s uniform. They swore to defend the liberties of American citizens, and some gave their lives doing so while others showed up at the Bundy ranch to do it again. There is nothing in the Constitution that grants the government the right to do anything outside of its delegated authority folks. I know one thing for certain, sicking 300 armed federal agents on one man, from an unaccountable bureaucracy, is not in the job description of the federal government. If you are a liberal and can’t see this, then there is no hope for you. If you can’t understand that this power will turn on you the minute you disagree with them, then you get what you deserve. In my honest opinion, anything that happens from this point on is squarely in the hands of all of those on the right or the left that sat on the sidelines and did nothing.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Western Lawmakers Gather In Utah To Talk Federal Land Takeover – Salt Lake Tribune

It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

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More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

“It’s simply time,” said Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands along with Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. “The urgency is now.”

Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, was flanked by a dozen participants, including her counterparts from Idaho and Montana, during a press conference after the daylong closed-door summit. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee addressed the group over lunch, Ivory said. New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington also were represented.

The summit was in the works before this month’s tense standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management over cattle grazing, Lockhart said.

“What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem,” Lockhart said.

Fielder, who described herself as “just a person who lives in the woods,” said federal land management is hamstrung by bad policies, politicized science and severe federal budget cuts.

“Those of us who live in the rural areas know how to take care of lands,” Fielder said, who lives in the northwestern Montana town of Thompson Falls.

“We have to start managing these lands. It’s the right thing to do for our people, for our environment, for our economy and for our freedoms,” Fielder said.

Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said Idaho forests and rangeland managed by the state have suffered less damage and watershed degradation from wildfire than have lands managed by federal agencies.

“It’s time the states in the West come of age,” Bedke said. “We’re every bit as capable of managing the lands in our boundaries as the states east of Colorado.”

Ivory said the issue is of interest to urban as well as rural lawmakers, in part because they see oilfields and other resources that could be developed to create jobs and fund education.

Moreover, the federal government’s debt threatens both its management of vast tracts of the West as well as its ability to come through with payments in lieu of taxes to the states, he said. Utah gets 32 percent of its revenue from the federal government, much of it unrelated to public lands.

“If we don’t stand up and act, seeing that trajectory of what’s coming… those problems are going to get bigger,” Ivory said.

He was the sponsor two years of ago of legislation, signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, that demands the federal government relinquish title to federal lands in Utah. The lawmakers and governor said they were only asking the federal government to make good on promises made in the 1894 Enabling Act for Utah to become a state.

The intent was never to take over national parks and wilderness created by an act of Congress Lockhart said. “We are not interested in having control of every acre,” she said. “There are lands that are off the table that rightly have been designated by the federal government.”

A study is underway at the University of Utah to analyze how Utah could manage the land now in federal control. That was called for in HB142, passed by the 2013 Utah Legislature.

None of the other Western states has gone as far as Utah, demanding Congress turn over federal lands. But five have task forces or other analyses underway to get a handle on the costs and benefits, Fielder said.

“Utah has been way ahead on this,” Fielder said.

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Rand Paul: Harry Reid’s “Domestic Terrorist” Rhetoric Will Lead To Violence – Gateway Pundit

Senator Rand Paul scolded Democrat Harry Reid last night for rhetoric Paul claims will lead to violence. Harry Reid called the Bundy Ranch supporters “domestic terrorists” several times this week after the standoff last weekend.

Via Hannity:

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The Daily Caller reported:

Republican Senator Rand Paul called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to “calm the rhetoric” on Cliven Bundy, arguing the Nevada senator’s “domestic terrorist” comment was “liable to stir up” the situation and lead to violence.

The Kentucky senator spoke Thursday night with Fox News’ Eric Bolling, who was filling in for Sean Hannity. “Is there any need to call Americans domestic terrorists?” Bolling asked.

“No, I think what we should all be calling for is for calmer heads to prevail,” Paul said. “I don’t want to see violence on either side.”

“There is a legitimate constitutional question here about whether the state should be in charge of endangered species or whether the federal government should be,” Paul admitted. “But I don’t think calling people names is going to calm this down.”

“I think it’s liable to stir it up,” he continued. “So I think all parties – including Senator Reid – should calm the rhetoric a little bit. Let’s try to have a peaceful resolution to this.”

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New EPA Land Grab, Complete Control Over All Private Land In America – Rick Wells

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The EPA is in the process, right this very minute, of seizing control over all private land in the United States. They are following the United Nations blueprint, their minion Gina McCarthy is implementing it, and B. Hussein Obama is facilitating it.

Anywhere in America where it rains or where water collects or through which water moves will now, according to this new rule change they are implementing, be under their control. Not because Congress or the people give them that authority or jurisdiction, but simply because they are seizing the power. It is just another component of the illegitimate tyranny which is oppressing the American people.

On Tuesday the agency which operates as the misnamed Environmental Protection Agency unveiled their proposed change to the Clean Water Act, which would extend their regulatory control to temporary wetlands and waterways.

This definition consists of any water, including seasonal ponds, streams, runoff and collection areas and irrigation water. It could include runoff from watering your lawn, or puddles on your own property. They will control the presence of and can prohibit through regulation, your right to the water and your actions regarding water upon your own land. The opportunities for their abuse would be limitless.

Louisiana Senator David Vitter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, offered an understated precautionary objection stating, “The… rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history.”

The EPA proposal would extend their authority to include “pollution regulations” to “intermittent and ephemeral streams and wetlands” – which are created temporarily during wet seasons or following rainfall.

Recognize this for what it is America; The EPA is giving themselves legal jurisdiction to replace our rights with their permissions anywhere it rains or water exists.

They are expanding the same kind of California fish-based drought or Nevada tortoise land restrictions or Oregon spotted owl tyranny to every square inch of the United States.

The EPA is asserting that all ground water, whether temporary or not and regardless of size is part of the “waters of the United States.”

Their position is in contradiction to the Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006, restricting the EPA to flowing and sizeable, “relatively” permanent bodies of water such as “oceans, rivers, streams and lakes.” Of course, progressives just keep trying until they get what they want, and they never have enough.

The proposed rule change is now in a 90 day comment period during which they will assess just how much they can get away with, based upon public outcry and pushback.

Senator Vitter accused the EPA of “picking and choosing” their science and of attempting to “take another step toward outright permitting authority over virtually any wet area in the country.” He also warned that if approved, more private owners could expect to be sued by “environmental groups.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) shares Vitter’s concerns, warning of potential economic damage and questioning the EPA’s motivations.

She said, “[I]t appears that the EPA is seeking to dramatically expand its jurisdictional reach under the Clean Water Act. If EPA is not careful, this rule could effectively give the federal government control of nearly all of our state.

Of course, that is exactly what they are after, as well as 49 other states and territories.

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Live From Bundy’s Nevada Ranch: The Funny Way Supporters Are Responding To Harry Reid Calling Them ‘Domestic Terrorists’ – The Blaze

Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza traveled to Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., on Friday to embark on a “fact-finding” mission. Prior to attending a “big rally” made up of hundreds of the cattle rancher’s supporters, D’Souza planned to talk to some of the people who Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has labeled “domestic terrorists.”

Broadcasting live from Bundy’s Nevada ranch on “The Kelly File,” he revealed that supporters – made up of men, women and children – were wearing “domestic terrorist” name tags on Friday. D’Souza said seeing children wearing the tags shows just how absurd Reid’s allegations are.

He also told Megyn Kelly that he is now “sensitive” to situations where an individual is targeted by the federal government because of his current case involving a violation of campaign finance law. Some have speculated he was targeted following his anti-Obama documentary.

“My case is going to trial in May and I am preparing for it. It’s created to in me a feeling of vulnerability and, of course, a sensitivity to these kinds of issues of justice,” he said. “But, of course, I didn’t have SWAT teams on me, I wasn’t in the sights of snipers – so I feel that these guys have been facing some real domestic terror from their own government and that’s a very scary idea here in America.”

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The filmmaker behind “2016: Obama’s America” and the soon-to-be released film, “America,” told TheBlaze in a phone interview that he is “less concerned about the specifics of the case and whether [Bundy] paid his grazing fees” and more concerned about federal overreach and questions surrounding whether the government is treating all people and groups equally under the law.

“There is a big clash going on between people who see themselves as patriots standing up for the principles of 1776, equal rights under the Constitution, and the federal government,” D’Souza said. “We want to live in a country where Lady Justice is blind and you don’t have her looking out through just one eye.”

D’Souza also characterized Reid’s inflammatory remarks as a “vastly unjust portrayal of domestic terrorism.” He argued the senator is intentionally “stirring the pot” and called on President Barack Obama to condemn Reid’s statements and urge him to apologize.

However, that seemed unlikely to happen as Reid doubled down on his “terrorist” comments on Friday.

The conservative filmmaker urged Bundy and all of his supporters to refuse to let that kind of rhetoric cause them lose their cool. It’s the kind of case that can “make your emotions run away with you,” so both sides need to show restraint and prevent the situation from escalating into a Ruby Ridge-type of incident, he added.

One of the themes in his new documentary, “America,” which is scheduled to be released in June, revolves around “equal justice,” D’Souza said. That’s part of the reason he decided to make the trip to Nevada and try to figure out who Bundy and his supporters really are.

“The issue of equal justice transcends politics completely,” D’Souza told TheBlaze. “Unfortunately, there’s a sense that this core issue is being manipulated.”

He cited the Obama administration’s habit of selectively choosing which laws it enforces, bringing up same-sex marriage and federal immigration law as examples. The IRS targeting scandal also raises concerns about “equal justice” under the law.

As TheBlaze has previously reported, “Bundy reportedly owes the federal government roughly $1 million in grazing fees, an amount he accumulated after he “fired” the Bureau of Land Management in 1993 over its decision to turn public land into a protective habitat for the state’s desert tortoise.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Reid Doubles Down: Bundy Supporters ‘Domestic, Violent Terrorist Wannabes’ – Daily Caller

Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid refused to back down from his inflammatory branding of Cliven Bundy supporters as “domestic terrorists,” calling people who turned out to support the rancher “domestic, violent terrorist wannabes” on Friday and sparring with his Republican counterpart who labelled them “patriots.”

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Reid took hits from many sides yesterday for his controversial comments – including from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who called on Reid to “calm the rhetoric” or risk inciting real violence.

But instead of cooling it, Reid doubled down during an appearance with Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller on “What’s Your Point,” a local Las Vegas news program.

“Bundy doesn’t believe that the American government is valid, he believes the United States is a foreign government,” Reid claimed. “He doesn’t pay his taxes, he doesn’t follow the law. He doesn’t pay his fees.”

“And if anyone thinks by any figment of their imagination that what happened up there last week was, people rallying to somebody that was oppressed,” he continued, “600 people came in, armed. They had practiced, they had maneuvered. They knew what they were doing.”

He noted that some of the protesters had set up firing positions opposite Bureau of Land Management agents, who had been menacing unarmed Americans with high-grade military weaponry for days.

“If there were ever an example of people who were domestic, violent terrorist wannabes, these are the guys,” he declared.

“But no one called Bundy a domestic terrorist,” Reid also hastened to add. “I said the people that came there were.”

Heller had a very different interpretation. “What Sen. Reid may call domestic terrorists, I call patriots,” he asserted.

Reid hit back: “If these people think they’re patriots, they’re not,” he said. “I use that word typically. But if they’re patriots, we’re in big trouble.”

“Well it’s a pretty broad brush,” Heller countered. “Pretty broad brush when you have Boy Scouts there. You have veterans at the event. You have grandparents at the event.”

“I take more issue at the BLM coming in with a paramilitary army than individuals with snipers,” the Republican lawmaker. “And I’m talking to people and groups that were there at the event. And having your own government with sniper lenses on you, it made a lot of people very uncomfortable.”

“There was no army!” Reid replied. “And that land – 300,000 acres, federal land – has been basically decimated by this guy.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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*AUDIO* Mark Levin: Cliven Bundy Versus The Federal Leviathan


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Federal Judges Slap Down Eric Holder For Illegally Instructing Prosecutors To Ignore Drug Laws

Judges: ‘Law Provides Executive No Authority’ to Cut Drug Sentences As Holder Did – CNS

Two federal judges on the U.S. Sentencing Commission said Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder stepped “outside the legal system” and exceeded the authority of the executive branch by sending “improper instruction” to federal prosecutors to reduce drug sentences before they were officially approved by either the commission or Congress.

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“I have been surprised at the attorney general’s steps taken to proceed with this reduction outside of the legal system set up and established by the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984,” Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, the commission’s vice chair, said during a public hearing in the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building in Washington.

“As you all know, the commission in the act is given the authority to promulgate and amend guidelines on a yearly basis. And in the act itself, Congress has preserved its right to reject any potential promulgation of, or amendment to, any guidelines made by the commission itself after the commission has acted.

“Meaning that if Congress does not reject a guideline amendment, it will not go into effect until November 1st of this year if we vote in favor of this amendment.,” said Hinojosa, who is also the chief judge of the Southern District of Texas.

“When the attorney general testified before us, he failed to mention that the night before, at around 11 pm, the department had ordered all of the assistant U.S. attorneys across the country to (and it’s not clear to me whether it was supposed to be not oppose or to argue for, in fact the U.S. attorneys in front of my court have said they’ve been asked to argue for) the two-level reduction in all drug trafficking cases before the commission has acted and before Congress has had the opportunity to vote its disapproval of the commission’s actions, if Congress is so inclined, which is certainly the right that they have preserved for themselves in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984,” Hinojosa said.

“It would have been nice for us to have known and been told beforehand that this action had been taken, so any of us who would have liked to have asked the attorney general under what basis under Title 18… the courts were being asked by the Justice Department to follow this request.

“If it was because the attorney general had spoken in favor of this proposal ,that is a dangerous precedent because attorney generals in the past have consistently expressed opinions to the commission on guideline promulgation and amendments, many times for an increase, and sometimes for a lowering of the penalties.

“But none have ever then asked the courts to proceed with increases or decreases simply because the attorney general has spoken in support of them before the commission has acted and before the Congress has exercised its statutory right not to act,” the vice-chairman said.

Judge William Pryor, who sits on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, also rebuked Holder for preempting the commission.

“Like Judge Hinojosa, I regret that, before we voted on the amendment, the attorney general instructed assistant United States attorneys across the nation not to object to defense requests to apply the proposed amendment in sentencing proceedings going forward,” Pryor said.

“That unprecedented instruction disrespected our statutory role ‘as an independent commission in the judicial branch’ to establish sentencing policies and practices under the Sentencing Reform Act and the role of Congress, as the legislative branch, to decide whether to revise, modify, or disapprove our proposed amendment.

“We do not discharge our statutory duty until we vote on a proposed amendment, and Congress, by law, has until November 1st to decide whether our proposed amendment should become effective. The law provides the executive no authority to establish national sentencing policies based on speculation about how we and Congress might vote on a proposed amendment.

“I appreciate the attorney general’s personal appearance before the commission last month, and his helpful comments in support of this amendment,” Pryor added. “But I hope that we can avoid int the future the kind of improper instruction that he sent federal prosecutors before we voted on the amendment.”

Pryor also pointed out that a previous amendment to the Fair Sentencing Act included a “safety valve” that allows low-level offenders to plead guilty and receive reduced sentences. The Justice Department estimates that lowering sentences will reduce the federal prison population by 6,500 inmates over the next five years.

The commission had been deliberating since last summer on recommendations to amend federal sentencing guidelines in an effort “to reduce the costs of incarceration, and reduce prison populations without endangering public safety.”

Commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend the reduced sentences the Justice Department supported, which would shave an average of 11 months off the prison terms of some drug offenders. Both Hinojosa and Pryor voted for the amendment, which Pryor pointed out “maintains all statutorily mandated minimum sentences” and “respects the primary role of Congress in establishing the boundaries for sentencing drug offenders.”

Several other amendments, which were published in the Federal Register on Jan. 17, 2014, were also passed, but the one reducing sentences for drug offenders, who make up nearly half of the federal prison population, elicited more than 20,000 responses from the public, commissioners said.

Holder testified at the commission’s previous hearing on March 13th, telling commissioners that low-level, non-violent offenders should “face sentences appropriate to their individual conduct, rather than strict mandatory minimums.” (See sentencing cmsn.pdf)

“The system was not perfect as it existed before, and it is not perfect as it exists now and under the reforms that I have implemented,” Holder testified. “But what we want to do is to work with the commission,” he said a day after sending his sentencing memo to federal prosecutors.

“For those committed to the rule of law, the question now goes beyond whether reducing sentences for dealers in dangerous drugs is wise. It’s whether the Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer in the United States, is committed to following the law as it exists, or, instead, as he wants and speculates it might become,” said William Otis, adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Under federal law, Congress, has six months to vote the amendments down. In the absence of congressional action, they will become law on November 1st.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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And The Federal Neo-Nazism Continues

Last Man Standing – Washington Free Beacon

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A two-decades-old battle between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has resulted in officials armed with machine guns surrounding the ranch and forcibly removing the owner’s cattle, according to the rancher’s family.

Cliven Bundy, the last rancher in Clark County, Nev., has been fighting a “one-man range war” since 1993, when he decided to take a stand against the agency, refusing to pay fees for the right to graze on a ranch run by his family for centuries.

After years of court battles, the BLM secured a federal court order to have Bundy’s “trespass cattle” forcibly removed with heavy artillery, the family said.

“The battle’s been going on for 20 years,” Bundy told the Washington Free Beacon. “What’s happened the last two weeks, the United States government, the bureaus are getting this army together and they’re going to get their job done and they’re going to prove two things. They’re going to prove they can do it, and they’re gonna prove that they have unlimited power, and that they control the policing power over this public land. That’s what they’re trying to prove.”

Bundy said the government has brought everything but tanks and rocket launchers.

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“They’re carrying the same things a soldier would,” he said. “Automatic weapons, sniper rifles, top communication, top surveillance equipment, lots of vehicles. It’s heavy soldier type equipment.”

His wife, Carol Bundy, said that roughly 200 armed agents from the BLM and FBI are stationed around their land, located about 75 miles outside of Las Vegas. Helicopters circle the premises, and the airspace and nearby roads remain blocked.

“We’re surrounded,” Carol Bundy said. “We’re estimating that there are over 200 armed BLM, FBI. We’ve got surveillance cameras at our house, they’re probably listening to me talk to you right now.”

A National Park Service spokesman denied there were armed guards rounding up the cattle in a conference call on Tuesday. However, she confirmed that there was “security” in place, citing threats to the contractors who are removing the cattle.

“Contractors are here and they are in place to round-up the cattle and to bring them to the impound area,” Christie Vanover said. “As for security, there [is] security in place, but that is merely to protect the contractors.”

“As you know, we have received threats and the contractors have received threats,” Vanover said. “Our personnel here and throughout the park service and throughout the BLM have received threats, as well. So security is in place to merely protect the contractors so that we can complete this operation.”

As of Monday, officials have seized 234 of Bundy’s 908 cattle. Impounding the cattle alone could cost the government as much as $3 million.

“They just brought a load down today,” she said. “They kind of harass us as well. When we leave they follow us.”

This afternoon eight helicopters surrounded the family after they began taking pictures, according to Bundy’s daughter, Bailey. Their son, Dave Bundy, was arrested for taking pictures on state road 170, which has been closed, and is being held by BLM.

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The BLM said they took Dave Bundy into custody following his “failure to comply with multiple requests by BLM law enforcement to leave the temporary closure area on public lands.”

Carol Bundy said five officials took Dave and “threw him on the ground.”

“One put his knee on his head, the other put his boot on his head and pushed him into the gravel,” she said. “He’s got quite a bruised head. Just bruised him up pretty good.”

Environmentalists are praising the government’s forceful actions, which are being taken to protect the “desert tortoise.”

“We’re heartened and thankful that the agencies are finally living up to their stewardship duty,” said Rob Mrowka, a Nevada-based senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Gold Butte area has been officially designated as critical habitat for threatened tortoises – meaning the area is essential to their long-term survival as a species.”

“[Cliven] Bundy has long falsely believed that Gold Butte is his ranch,” added Terri Robertson, president of Friends of Sloan Canyon.

The BLM designated 186,909 acres of the Gold Butte off-limits for the “critical desert tortoise” population in 1998. Bundy had already lost his grazing permit five years earlier for refusing to pay fees for the land, which his family has ranched since the 1870s.

The “federal grazing fee” is $1.35 per “Animal Unit Month,” or the amount of forage needed per animal, each month. Bundy said he owes roughly $300,000 in back fees, while the BLM asserts he owes over $1 million. The BLM defended the removal because Bundy did not “voluntarily” give up his cattle.

“We’ve tried to do this through the legal and we’ve tried to do it through the political, and what we’re at right now, I guess we’re going to have to try to stand,” Cliven Bundy said. “We the people have to stand on the ground and get our state sovereignty back, and also take some liberty and freedoms back to where we have at least access to this land.”

“The story is a lot about the cattle, but the bigger story is about our loss of freedom,” Carol Bundy added. “They have come and taken over this whole corner of the county. They’ve taken over policing power, they’ve taken over our freedom, and they’re stealing cattle.”

“And our sheriff says he just doesn’t have authority, our governor says he doesn’t have authority, and we’re saying, why are we a state?”

“I’m a producer,” Cliven Bundy said. “I produce edible commodity from the desert forage, and all of these things are governed under state law. So, in other words, this type of government has eliminated all of our state law, eliminated our state sovereignty, and has took control over our public lands and even took control over our Clark County sheriff. They’ve taken the whole county over. The whole state, almost.”

“This is just about power of the government,” Carol Bundy said.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R.) voiced his concern about so-called “First Amendment Areas,” designated locations set up by the BLM where citizens can protest the removal.

“Most disturbing to me is the BLM’s establishment of a ‘First Amendment Area’ that tramples upon Nevadans’ fundamental rights under the U.S. Constitution,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

“To that end, I have advised the BLM that such conduct is offensive to me and countless others and that the ‘First Amendment Area’ should be dismantled immediately,” he said. “No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans. The BLM needs to reconsider its approach to this matter and act accordingly.”

Sandoval also said his office has received numerous complaints about the BLM’s conduct, including road closures and “other disturbances.”

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Idaho Officially Nullifies All Future Federal Gun Control Laws

Victory: Idaho Just Officially Nullified All Future Federal Gun Control – Conservative Tribune

Last week, we reported that the state of Idaho passed emergency legislation that would take effect immediately that nullifies all future federal gun control in the state. That bill was just signed into law by Governor Butch Otter. This is a huge victory for the Second Amendment.

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Idaho joins states like Arizona, Missouri, Kentucky, and others who have passed or are considering substantive legislation that would nullify federal gun control by outlawing it in the state outright or preventing the state from cooperating with the feds in the enforcement of gun control measures.

The strategy the Idaho law and similar laws use is one that uses the anti-commandeering doctrine, which was set down by the Supreme Court to protect the Tenth Amendment by preventing Congress from commandeering state officers in the enforcement of a federal regulatory scheme.

From Ben Swann:

On Thursday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) signed a bill, which would effectively nullify future federal gun laws, by prohibiting state enforcement of any future federal act relating to personal firearms, a firearm accessories or ammunition.

S1332 passed the house by a vote of 68-0 and the senate by a vote of 34-0. Alaska and Kansas have also passed similar laws.

Erich Pratt, Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America, cheered the governor’s action. “By signing this nullification bill into law, Idaho has joined an elite class of states that are telling the feds to ‘get lost’ – especially when it comes to unconstitutional gun control infringements”

The key text of the legislation provides that:

any official, agent or employee of the state of Idaho or a political subdivision thereof who knowingly and willfully orders an official, agent or employee of the state of Idaho or a political subdivision of the state to enforce any executive order, agency order, law, rule or regulation of the United States government as provided in subsection (2) of this section upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition shall, on a first violation, be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) which shall be paid into the general fund of the state…

This is fantastic news. States are openly rebelling against federal gun control, and their refusal to cooperate in enforcing it will render it ineffective in many areas. The feds need states to participate in the enforcement of these kinds of laws, because there simply aren’t enough federal resources to do so. If we get enough states on board with this type of legislation, we can beat back federal gun control just by default.

Please share this article on Facebook and Twitter if you agree with Idaho’s attempt to nullify federal gun control. Let’s fight back.

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Federal Government’s Fiscal Deterioration Nearly Five Times Official Deficit

Shocker: Federal Government’s Fiscal Deterioration Almost 5 Times Official Deficit – Hot Air

In Fiscal Year 2013, the official federal deficit was $680 billion. Liberals have cheered this drop while subsequently ignoring how this deficit is both larger than all of Bush’s pre-recession deficits and is expected to grow dramatically over the next several decades.

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However, the Treasury Department’s annual report on the finances of the U.S. federal government shows that not only is $680 billion an incomplete measure of the federal government’s finances, it’s off by nearly a factor of five.

From Just Facts Daily:

The U.S. Treasury has just released its annual “Financial Report of the United States Government,” which provides an account of the federal government’s finances using accounting standards like those that the government requires of large corporations. Because the federal budget is not bound by these standards, it does not have to account for all of its fiscal obligations.

For example, the Treasury report reveals that the federal government owes $6.5 trillion in retirement and health benefits to federal employees and veterans. This legal responsibility amounts to $53,000 for every household in the United States, but none of these liabilities are reflected in the 2013 budget deficit or national debt.

During the federal government’s 2013 fiscal year, the official federal deficit was $680 billion, but this comprehensive accounting reveals that the federal government’s fiscal position deteriorated by $3.3 trillion or an average of $27,000 for every household in the U.S.

There are two basic ways the federal government calculates its obligations. The first does not account for the obligations of Social Security, Medicare, and other programs in the same way the federal government requires of private corporations.

The method the Treasury report uses is far more complete. It includes long-term obligations and liabilites unaccounted for in the deficit and debt measurements.

In this year’s report, Treasury says the government should initiate deficit reduction measures (cuts and/or tax increases) equivalent to 1.7 percent of GDP every year for 75 years. This means, just in 2014, Treasury is recommending a cut in deficits of approximately $274 billion just to prevent a fiscal crisis – and these cuts will grow in size every year for the time period Treasury examined. Waiting 10 or 20 years makes things even worse.

And even these cuts are grossly undersized. First, this would still leave America’s publicly held debt-to-GDP ratio the same as it was in 2013, which the Congressional Budget Office has said is problematic.

Additionally, Treasury assumes in its report that the Affordable Care Act will reduce long-term health care costs. And, finally, these cuts are recommended to reduce “primary” deficits, those that do not include the enormous interest payments the federal government is expected to incur.

In short, not only is the federal government in financial trouble, it’s in worse shape than we ever realized. After compiling all of the data in the Treasury Report, Just Facts found that the full obligations of the U.S. federal government total $71 trillion, or $580,000 per household.

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Leftist Nightmare Update: MA Obamacare Exchange Granted Federal Extension As Director Weeps

Massachusetts Obamacare Exchange Granted Federal Extension As Director Gently Weeps – Daily Caller

The Massachusetts Obamacare exchange has been awarded a three-month extension from the Obama administration to fix its broken website and get customers enrolled, exchange officials announced Thursday.

Jean Yang, head of the flailing Massachusetts Health Connector, wept at a Thursday board meeting over her staff’s demoralizing struggle to prevent residents from losing coverage in the face of a broken website and mountain of paper applications to be processed, the Boston Globe reports.

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The state had requested a six-month extension from the Affordable Care Act’s requirements. Massachusetts already had an exchange-based health care system similar to Obamacare.

Staff is working on a backlog of 50,000 paper applications, exchange officials announced at the board meeting, which Yang said would take two hours each to process.

The stress left Yang in tears at the board meeting as she described her staff’s malaise.

“These people came here to lead and innovate, and instead they’re doing manual workarounds, and they are embarrassed to tell friends and family that they work for the Health Connector,” Yang cried.

“We have to work harder,” Yang concluded. “That means I need to tell the staff members they’re not doing a good enough job and I’m telling them that, even though they have been doing this tirelessly for months, and they’re exhausted.”

Getting through the 50,000 application pile-up will be vital for Massachusetts official to bring their exchange up to snuff. Through the end of January, just 8,000 individuals signed up for health coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) latest report Wednesday.

Massachusetts’ original target was 155,000, putting the state at only 5 percent of their goal.

Thanks to the federal extension, Massachusetts’ enrollment for Obamacare coverage will remain open for another three months, while the exchange attempts to create a functioning online exchange.

The waiver also extends deadlines for programs that would be canceled after Mar. 31, such as the state-funded insurance program Commonwealth Care. The 124,000 program participants will keep their plans through June 30, along with another 31,000 new applicants will receive temporary coverage as well, according to the Associated Press.

The Obama administration extension didn’t, however, apply to individual private plans that will expire before Mar. 31. Those customers must purchase a new, Obamacare-compliant plan before that date in order to avoid the individual mandate penalty. Exchange officials hope to offer a “fast path” to coverage for those individuals.

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Rand Paul Leads 350,000 Plaintiffs In Federal Lawsuit Against Obama Regime Over NSA Surveillance

‘Rand Paul v. Barack Obama’ Lawsuit Hits Federal Court With 350,000 Plaintiffs, As U.S. Senator Sues White House And Intelligence Chiefs Over NSA Surveillance – Daily Mail

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is making good on his promise to sue the Obama administration over what he calls ‘precisely the kind of overreach we fought a revolution over.’ His targets are the National Security Agency, the FBI and other federal government offices that snoop on private communications at home and abroad.

With former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as his lead attorney, Paul is filing suit Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C. federal court along with the conservative FreedomWorks organization.

The legal action, officially titled ‘Rand Paul v. Barack Obama,’ will hit the court running with at least 350,000 plaintiffs, according to a source close to the process. Paul is aiming for 10 million, judging from a message on two websites run by his political staff.

‘When we learned that the NSA was collecting the phone data of every American last year,’ the senator said in a video message Tuesday night to supporters, ‘it posed a serious Constitutional question: Do we no longer have a Fourth Amendment?’

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The lawsuit will argue that the president ‘has publicly refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the Fourth Amendment,’ Paul said in a statement from his political action committee. ‘I expect this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court and I predict the American people will win.’

President Obama is named as a defendant, along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Director of the National Security Agency Gen. Keith Alexander, and FBI Director James Comey.

A White House National Security Council Staff spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Obama said during a lengthy January 17 speech about U.S. signals intelligence gathering – an oration that might be a preview of the government’s courtroom defense – that ‘the men and women of the intelligence community, including the NSA, consistently follow protocols designed to protect the privacy of ordinary people.’

‘They’re not abusing authorities in order to listen to your private phone calls or read your emails,’ the president insisted.

His press secretary, Jay Carney, followed up ten days later with assurance during a daily briefing that ‘to the extent that the NSA collects information, it is focused on valid foreign intelligence targets and not the information of ordinary Americans.’

‘Look,’ he told reporters, ‘I mean, terrorists, proliferators, other bad actors use the same communication tools that others use.’

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Sen. Paul’s objection focuses on the so-called bulk phone-record ‘metadata’ that the NSA gathers routinely. The data includes phone numbers, dates, times, and the durations of calls.

National security analysts say the massive tranches of data can be helpful when terrorism suspects are identified, because they allow investigators to establish who they have been talking to – and when.

Paul’s legal advisers thought about filing suit in a Kentucky federal court, MailOnline’s source said, but decided on Washington, D.C. because its judges are accustomed to sifting through the thorny issues surrounding whether a class-action group deserves to be ‘certified’–if, that is, its members have standing to sue.

He plans a press conference in front of the federal courthouse on Wednesday morning to boast that he’s protecting the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment from the White House’s national security apparatus.

‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,’ that Amendment reads in part.

The senator first forecast his legal action in late December, and told the Fox News Channel that since the Obama administration ‘has used the IRS to go after people… we wonder if they would use the NSA that way.’

‘Everybody who has a cellphone would be eligible’ to become a plaintiff, he said.

That interview came on the same day the NSA convinced a top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act judge to green-light its metadata collection for a new 90-day period.

That program, the subject of worldwide leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has won reauthorization at least 36 times during the past seven years.

Paul’s odd mix of libertarian crusade and conservative button-pushing isn’t new, and it might become the norm on the right as more Republicans try to find common ground between what amount to warring cousins.

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‘Libertarian, or liberty, doesn’t mean libertine,’ the GOP presidential hopeful told a red-meat right-wing crowd at a D.C. gala last week.

‘To many of us,’ he said, playing deftly to a room full of social conservatives, ‘Libertarian means freedom and liberty. But we also see freedom needs tradition.’

The speech came an hour after a lobbyist was heard introducing him to friends during a pre-dinner reception as a ‘Libertarian rock star.’

But Paul cautioned that ‘I don’t see libertarianism as, “you can do whatever you want”.’

Now the federal legislator is applying that message to the executive branch of government, and hoping the judicial branch will see things his way.

But while his lawsuit percolates, Freedomworks president Matt Kibbe will manage the plaintiff-lists and turn them into a political mobilizing tool.

‘If you use a phone, you should care about this case,’ Kibbe said Tuesday, adding that his group’s 6 million members stand behind the legal effort.

Names are initially collected on websites run by PaulPAC, the Kentucky senator’s Political Action Committee, and by his political campaign – presumably one now engaged in planning for the 2016 presidential race.

Both websites ask Web surfers to ‘sign below and join my class-action lawsuit and help stop the government’s outrageous spying program on the American people.’

They also ask for donations.

‘After you sign up, please make a generous donation to help rally up to ten million Americans to support my lawsuit to stop Big Brother,’ a message reads.

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Republican Lawmaker Proposes Bill Nullifying Federal Gun Laws In Tennessee

Tennessee Considers Nullifying Federal Gun Laws – Downtrend

Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers (R – Mt. Juliet) is on a roll this week. Along with 10 co-sponsors, she introduced “The Health Care Freedom and Affordable Care Act Noncompliance Act” to effectively nullify ObamaCare in her state. Now, she’s taking aim at federal gun-control laws.

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Beavers has introduced Senate Bill 1607 to effectively nullify federal gun laws in The Volunteer State. Under the proposed law:

* Any federal enactment or enforcement actions relating to firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition would be void in the state

* Any federal enactment or enforcement action impacting or infringing upon the rights of an individual or entity relative to firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition would be void

* Agents, employees and public officials in the state and its political subdivisions would be prohibited from carrying out federal gun laws

* Any attempt to enforce federal gun laws would be considered a misdemeanor and subsequent attempts would qualify as a felony

The law, if passed, is set to take effect on July 1. Thus, residents of The Volunteer State could see their Second Amendment rights significantly strengthened in less than six months.

Other states, including Missouri, Virginia and Wyoming, have recently considered similar legislation. And Alaska and Kansas have already signed their own Second Amendment protections into law. However, Tennessee’s proposed law appears to be among the strongest out there with the potential for violators to be charged with a felony.

It seems an increasing number of states are fed up with the Obama administration’s gun-grabbing policies. Will Tennessee be the next one to successfully tell the federal government to back off?

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