President Asshat Released Illegal Alien Children To Criminals, Including Child Molesters And Human Traffickers

Obama Administration Released Illegal Immigrant Children To Criminals’ Homes – Washington Times


The Obama administration released thousands of illegal immigrant children to sponsors with criminal records, including arrests on charges of child molestation, human trafficking and homicide, a top senator charged Tuesday.

If true, it would be a stunning black mark on President Obama’s immigration record, according to analysts, who said the first job of the government was to protect the children from dangerous situations – and it apparently failed.

At least 3,400 children were placed in homes where sponsors had criminal records, said Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, citing information from a whistleblower.

“Allegedly, proper screening is not taking place and children are paying the price,” the Iowa Republican said in a letter demanding answers about the procedural breakdown from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

HHS didn’t deny the numbers but said it does try to prohibit those with “serious” criminal records from sponsoring children and does conduct some level of background checks on all sponsors.

The accusations were made just as the Border Patrol confirmed another surge of illegal immigrant children along the southwestern border, with nearly 5,000 unaccompanied minors and 6,000 more women and children traveling together streaming across in October.

Those are huge increases over last October, when 2,500 unaccompanied children and fewer than 2,200 family members traveling together were caught at the border.

Customs and Border Protection officials said they were “closely monitoring this situation” and blamed smugglers for enticing would-be migrants to make the perilous journey by promising they can earn “permisos,” or free passes, once they reach the U.S. The permisos are the court appearance documents that the Border Patrol issues before releasing them into the interior of the U.S., where they can easily disappear.

In the case of unaccompanied children, the Border Patrol turns them over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of HHS. That office then houses the children in dormitories until sponsors can be found for them.

But the pressure to handle tens of thousands of children at a time overwhelmed the office last year. As a result, the office handed over children to sponsors who were not properly vetted, according to Mr. Grassley and other analysts.

“They were so overwhelmed with cases they were more interested in processing them quickly than in making sure it was done safely,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “They seemed to be operating under this delusion these were harmless kids being reclaimed by well-meaning relatives and there was nothing to worry about. And that is truly delusional.”

She said conducting background checks has become routine even for youth sports coaches and library volunteers and it’s stunning that the Obama administration doesn’t require that for someone who is taking full custody of a child.

HHS spokeswoman Andrea Helling said the department does try to vet the people it allows to sponsor children.

“It is not the practice of the Office of Refugee Resettlement to place unaccompanied children with sponsors who have serious criminal convictions. The safety of the children is our primary concern, and any allegation of even potential harm is taken seriously and will be investigated,” she said.

Under the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law, children caught crossing the border illegally without parents are deemed “unaccompanied alien children,” or UACs. They are supposed to be processed quickly by the Border Patrol and then turned over to HHS, which puts them in juvenile homes until they can be reconnected with relatives or placed in foster families.

That often meant placing them with relatives who themselves were in the U.S. illegally.

HHS, faced with nearly 10,000 children a month at the peak last summer, cut corners, including no longer requiring that all sponsors go through fingerprint checks. Fingerprints are required if a sponsor is not a parent or legal guardian, and in cases in which a child is considered particularly vulnerable.

HHS does conduct a background check that includes running a sponsor’s name through criminal databases, and they listen to see whether a sponsor “self-reports” a criminal history during the vetting process.

As of August, HHS also now conducts follow-up visits 30 days after a child is released to a sponsor. In May, HHS began accepting calls to its hotline for children or their sponsors to report on disruptions, including conflicts that could endanger the safety of a child.

Immigrant rights advocates involved in monitoring the children’s cases could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

But last year, at the height of the surge, one nonprofit estimated that as many as 10 percent of the children were sent to live in unacceptable or dangerous conditions.

Mr. Grassley said Tuesday that the whistleblower, whom he did not identify, raised his concerns with the Obama administration in August, yet the children identified as having been put in jeopardy have not been removed from those homes.

The whistleblower saw information on just a subset of 29,000 children, and 12 percent of them were placed in homes where sponsors had records. Extrapolating across the nearly 110,000 unaccompanied children caught at the border over the past two years, that could mean nearly 13,000 children may have been placed in dangerous situations.



Over 80 Percent Of Illegal Aliens Shielded From Deportation By President Asshat

Under Obama More Than 80 Percent Of Illegals Shielded From Deportation – Big Government


While the courts have blocked President Obama’s sweeping executive amnesty programs, other aspects of Obama’s immigration edicts have served to shield more than 80 percent of the illegal immigrant population from deportation, the Washington Times reports.

According to reporting by Stephan Dinan, the implementation of other executive actions on immigration announced exactly a year ago Friday – specifically the administration’s changes to “priorities” for enforcement – has essentially served to order “agents not to bother deporting nearly all illegal immigrants.”

The changes saw the Department of Homeland Security revamp the immigrants it prioritizes for enforcement to include mainly just serious criminal aliens, gang members, national security threats and recent border crossers. As Dinan reports:

The changes are already having a major effect. Deportations, which peaked at nearly 410,000 in fiscal year 2012, dropped to about 230,000 in fiscal year 2015, which ended Sept. 30. But Mr. Johnson said more of those being deported are the serious criminals and safety threats he wants his agents to worry about.

Indeed, if agents adhere strictly to his priorities, some 9.6 million of the estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the country have no real danger of being deported, according to an estimate this year by the Migration Policy Institute.

Dinan notes that the changes to enforcement priorities were not the only actions that have made life easier for immigrants in the U.S. and those seeking admission.

The actions – often mislabeled by the press as executive orders – also included changes to the legal immigration system, such as making it easier for spouses of guest workers to also find jobs; allowing foreigners who study science and technology at U.S. universities to remain and work in the country longer; pushing legal immigrants to apply for citizenship; and waiving the penalty on illegal immigrant spouses or children of legal permanent residents so they no longer have to go to their home countries to await legal status.



Refugee ‘Religious Test’ Is ‘Shameful’ And ‘Not American’… Except That Federal Law Requires It (Andrew C. McCarthy)

Refugee ‘Religious Test’ Is ‘Shameful’ And ‘Not American’… Except That Federal Law Requires It – Andrew C. McCarthy


As I argued in Faithless Execution, the principal constitutional duty of the chief executive is to execute the laws faithfully. President Obama, by contrast, sees his principal task as imposing his post-American “progressive” preferences, regardless of what the laws mandate.

In his latest harangue against Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and other Americans opposed to his insistence on continuing to import thousands of Muslim refugees from Syria and other parts of the jihad-ravaged Middle East, Obama declaimed:

When I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted… that’s shameful… That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.

Really? Under federal law, the executive branch is expressly required to take religion into account in determining who is granted asylum. Under the provision governing asylum (section 1158 of Title 8, U.S. Code), an alien applying for admission

must establish that… religion [among other things]… was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.

Moreover, to qualify for asylum in the United States, the applicant must be a “refugee” as defined by federal law. That definition (set forth in Section 1101(a)(42)(A) of Title , U.S. Code) also requires the executive branch to take account of the alien’s religion:

The term “refugee” means (A) any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality… and who is unable or unwilling to return to… that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of… religion [among other things]… [.]

The law requires a “religious test.” And the reason for that is obvious. Asylum law is not a reflection of the incumbent president’s personal (and rather eccentric) sense of compassion. Asylum is a discretionary national act of compassion that is directed, by law not whim, to address persecution.

There is no right to emigrate to the United States. And the fact that one comes from a country or territory ravaged by war does not, by itself, make one an asylum candidate. War, regrettably, is a staple of the human condition. Civil wars are generally about power. That often makes them violent and, for many, tragic; but it does not necessarily make them wars in which one side is persecuting the other side.

In the case of this war, the Islamic State is undeniably persecuting Christians. It is doing so, moreover, as a matter of doctrine. Even those Christians the Islamic State does not kill, it otherwise persecutes as called for by its construction of sharia (observe, for example, the ongoing rape jihad and sexual slavery).’

To the contrary, the Islamic State seeks to rule Muslims, not kill or persecute them. Obama prefers not to dwell on the distinction between the jihadist treatment of Muslims, on the one hand, and of Christians, Jews and other religions, on the other hand, because he – like much of Washington – inhabits a world in which jihadists are not Islamic and, therefore, have no common ground with other Muslims… notwithstanding that jihadists emerge whenever and wherever a population of sharia-adherent Muslims reaches critical mass. But this is sheer fantasy. While there is no question that ISIS will kill and persecute Muslims whom it regards as apostates for refusing to adhere to its construction of Islam, it is abject idiocy to suggest that Muslims are facing the same ubiquity and intensity of persecution as Christians.

And it is downright dishonest to claim that taking such religious distinctions into account is “not American,” let alone “shameful.” How can something American law requires be “not American”? And how can a national expression of compassion expressly aimed at alleviating persecution be “shameful”?



*VIDEO* Trey Gowdy Verbally Bitchslaps President Asshat Over Muslim Refugees



Number Of Governors Refusing To Allow President Asshat To Flood Their States With Muslim “Refugees” Hits 32

UPDATE: Total Number Of Governors Refusing To Allow Syrian Refugees Into Their States Hits 32 – Weasel Zippers




*VIDEO* Rudy Giuliani: ISIS Is A Product Of Obama’s Vacuous Foreign Policy

H/T Media Research Center



*VIDEO* Dangerously Delusional Democrats And The Threat Of Islam



*VIDEO* A Veterans Day Message From A REAL President Of The United States



President Asshat’s Scheme To Shield 5 Million Illegals From Deportation Thwarted By Federal Appeals Court

Appeals Court Rejects Obama Plan To Shield 5 Million Illegals From Deportation – Washington Times


President Obama’s effort to grant up to 5 million illegal immigrants work permits and amnesty from deportation suffered a major blow late Monday when a federal appeals court ruled it was likely illegal, in yet another move by the courts to set limits on this White House’s efforts to stretch presidential powers.

The 2-1 decision by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in New Orleans, instantly forces the issue to the fore of the presidential campaigns, where all three top Democratic candidates had insisted Mr. Obama’s actions were not only legal, but vowed to go beyond them and try to expand the amnesty to still more illegal immigrants. Republican candidates, meanwhile, had vowed to undo the moves.

The decision is a huge win for Texas and 25 other states who had sued a year ago to stop the president after he declared he was done waiting for Congress and announced he was acting to “change the law” on his own.

Writing for the majority, Judge Jerry E. Smith said that statement by Mr. Obama weighed heavily against him, since only Congress has the power to rewrite the Immigration and Nationality Act.

“The INA flatly does not permit the reclassification of millions of illegal aliens as lawfully present and thereby make them newly eligible for a host of federal and state benefits, including work authorization,” Judge Smith wrote.

The ruling does not mean those illegal immigrants will be deported – indeed, the judges affirmed that the administration has a lot of leeway to decide who does get kicked out on a case-by-case basis. But the decision means that while leaving them alone, the Homeland Security secretary cannot proactively go ahead and grant them work permits, Social Security numbers and a prospective grant of non-deportation for three years into the future.

The ruling also does not alter Mr. Obama’s 2012 policy granting a similar deportation amnesty to so-called Dreamers, or young adult illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Texas did not challenge that policy.

But the decision does halt the 2014 expansion Mr. Obama announced, which would have lifted the age limit on the 2012 policy so it applied to all Dreamers, and would have extended the grant of amnesty to illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent resident children. Estimates have placed the number of people who would have qualified at up to 5 million.

Mr. Obama had repeatedly insisted he was within the law, and pointed to smaller grants of “deferred action” taken by previous presidents.

The majority of the court, however, said this waiver went far beyond that scope, with Mr. Obama attempting to convert major classifications of illegal status.

Mr. Obama had argued his move, known officially as “Deferred Action for Parental Arrivals,” or DAPA, was not a major new policy, but rather a setting of priorities. He argued that Congress doesn’t give him enough money to deport all illegal immigrants, so he is within his rights to use discretion about whom to deport – and then to grant limited benefits to others who might eventually have a claim to legal status under existing laws.

Judge Carolyn Dineen King, who dissented, agreed with the president’s reasoning.

“Denying DHS’s ability to grant deferred action on a ‘class-wide basis’… as the majority does, severely constrains the agency,” she wrote.

She also agreed with Mr. Obama that the courts had no business even getting involved in the case, saying that the president alone has discretion to make deportation decisions and judges are not allowed to second-guess that.

The judges heard oral arguments in the case in July, calling it an expedited appeal because of the seriousness of the matter. That made the three months it took to issue the ruling all the more striking – and Judge King chided her colleagues for taking so long.

“There is no justification for that delay,” she said.

Courts have not been kind to Mr. Obama, a former constitutional law scholar at the University of Chicago. His move to expand recess appointment powers in 2012 was swatted down by a unanimous Supreme Court, while several environmental moves have also been blocked.

And a federal court in Washington, D.C., has ruled the House of Representatives has standing to sue over the president’s moves to try to spend money on Obamacare that Congress specifically withheld.

The immigration ruling joins those rulings as yet another instance where conservatives have turned to the courts to referee a dispute over Mr. Obama’s claims of executive power.

Immigrant-advocacy groups had been anxiously watching the case, and were devastated by the ruling.

“This is a huge setback,” said Voto Latino President Maria Teresa Kumar. “There is a shortage of justice as families live in constant fear of being torn apart from their loved ones and uprooted from their communities.”

She said she was “confident” the Supreme Court will overturn the ruling, if the case gets there.

Mr. Obama announced the amnesty as part of a series of steps last Nov. 20 designed to work around Congress, where House Republicans had balked at passing a legalization bill.

The president said that if they wouldn’t cooperate with him, he was going to take unilateral action to streamline legal immigration and to halt deportations for as many as 9 million of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. Those steps all remain in place.

But he also wanted to go beyond that and grant some tentative legal status and benefits to about half of those illegal immigrants – chiefly by giving them work permits, which allows them to come out of the shadows, hold jobs and pay taxes above board.

Granting work permits also entitled the illegal immigrants to driver’s licenses in every state in the county, and to Social Security numbers – which meant they were even able to start collecting tax credits. In addition, some states granted them in-state tuition for public colleges.

But the money states would have to spend on issuing driver’s licenses proved to be the plan’s downfall. Texas argued that meant it would lose money under the plan, which meant it had standing to sue.

Once the judges decided that, they turned to whether Mr. Obama followed the law in making the changes. The majority concluded that he because he never sought public review and comment, which is standard for major changes of policy made by agencies, he broke the Administrative Procedures Act.

Immigrant-rights advocates demanded the Obama administration fight to the Supreme Court, but also said they’ll force the issue into the political realm as well.

Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, called on Hispanics and other voters to punish Republicans at the ballot box over the lawsuit, saying “anti-immigrant conservative politicians… are to blame.”

“We cannot control the courts, but we will have a say in political outcomes. It is now up to us – Latino voters and groups like ours that are working every day to grow our vote in the 2016 national election – to elect candidates who respect our communities and will commit to working on our issues and treating us fairly,” he said.



11 Of 23 Obamacare Co-Ops Have Collapsed, Leaving Half A Million More Americans Without Health Insurance

Obamacare Doomsday? ‘Collapses’ Drop Half-Million Americans – WorldNetDaily


About half of Obamacare’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or co-ops, have imploded, leaving nearly half-a-million Americans looking for new health coverage.

And instead of addressing the problem, the Obama administration is pretending it doesn’t exist.

That’s the assessment of Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee who recently wrote about the spate of failures in the Wall Street Journal.

“When it passed Congress in 2010, the Affordable Care Act offered substantial financial support to create nonprofit health-insurance plans. Today 11 of the 23 such regional Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans have failed – seven since the beginning of October,” Smith wrote.

“They’ve collapsed despite federal startup loans totaling more than $1.1 billion. These loans will likely never be fully repaid, while insurers and consumers will be on the hook for any unpaid claims left behind by failed insurers,” he added.

The congressman estimates 400,00-500,000 Americans lost their coverage in those 11 failed co-ops.

In an interview with Radio America, Smith says the co-ops were doomed from the start.

“I think they were improperly structured. They were allowed to charge too low a premium, not reflecting the actual costs. They thought the original subsidies – or loans if you will, but let’s face it, they’re subsidies, especially since they’re so unlikely to be repaid. That wasn’t enough,” said Smith, who is fuming more as he learns how these collapses transpired.

“The more I am learning about this entire situation, the more offensive it is, and this is just one part of Obamacare,” Smith said.

The congressman said what galls him most is that the government forced many people out of coverage they liked and then left those same people out in the cold.

“The thing that bothers me the most is when a good, upstanding citizen is doing everything they’re supposed to do to be a responsible individual,” Smith said. “Yet they are faced with canceled coverage, or they’re faced with a penalty for taking care of themselves.”

Adding to Smith’s frustrations is what he believes is utter indifference to the problem from the Obama administration.

“We had a hearing earlier this week, and the chief of staff from [the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services] was our witness,” Smith said. “[Dr. Mandy Cohen] sent the message that everything is just fine in the Obamacare co-op arena.”

He said it’s quite obvious that co-ops are not “just fine.”

“It’s not a win,” Smith said. “Nearly half of the co-ops have collapsed and that’s from New York to Nevada. Ours, with Nebraska and Iowa together, we were the first to collapse a year ago. Now we see them collapsing at a much quicker pace.”

How can the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, say all is well when almost half the co-ops have failed?

“In a very dismissive manner, I have to say, and it’s disappointing,” Smith said. “I started asking questions almost a year ago and HHS is not offering any answers.”

Not only is the government doing little to help, in some circumstances it is actually pushing co-ops to their deaths.

“The administrators of the Nebraska-Iowa plan saw a larger number of people sign up for their plan than they originally anticipated,” Smith said. “So they requested permission from HHS to suspend enrollment, to basically cap that at a number they figured was more manageable. They were prohibited by HHS from capping the number of enrollees.”

The congressman said that hastened the demise of the Nebraska-Iowa co-op. He said HHS did give permission for the Tennessee co-op to cap enrollment, but it collapsed anyway.

In the meantime, Smith is sponsoring legislation that would protect those who lost coverage with the failure of the co-ops from being fined by the IRS for not having coverage as mandated by federal law.

He believes all of Obamacare will eventually crater, but he hopes too many people aren’t hurt in the process.

“Ultimately, I think it collapses under its own weight,” he said. “I just want to do everything I can to minimize the damage in the ensuing time. That’s what weighs heavy on my mind is that the heavy hand of the federal government is actually hurting the very people Barack Obama was saying he was wanting to help.”



9 Reasons Why Obama Just Made Wrong Decision On Keystone Pipeline (Nicolas Loris)

9 Reasons Why Obama Just Made Wrong Decision On Keystone Pipeline – Nicolas Loris


It took President Barack Obama only 2,604 days to reject the permit application for the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a statement today, Obama said the pipeline “would not serve the national interest of the United States.”

“America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change,” Obama added. “And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership.”

Former Obama administration Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu hit the nail on the head: “The decision on whether the construction should happen was a political one and not a scientific one.”

Here are the top nine reasons Obama is wrong on Keystone XL.

1.) Jobs and economic growth. Opponents will minimize the job numbers, saying that the pipeline will create only “a handful” of permanent jobs – and that’s correct. In his speech Obama said, “So if Congress is serious about wanting to create jobs, this was not the way to do it.” But here’s what that argument misses: the tens of thousands of construction jobs that the pipeline project will create. In fact, simply building the southern portion – which didn’t need Obama’s approval – has already created 4,000 construction jobs. And if opponents are dismissive of Keystone XL, they should be dismissive of all construction projects, as they’re all temporary – because they’re construction jobs. Further, Keystone XL would add economic value, transport an important energy resource efficiently, and result in billions of dollars of tax revenue for states it runs through.

2.) Stable supply of oil from an important trading partner that will lower gas prices. The pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, where U.S. refineries are already equipped to handle heavier crudes. The pipeline will efficiently provide supply from a secure source and a friendly and important trading partner. Contra Obama’s claim today that “the pipeline would not lower gas prices for American consumers,” increased oil supplies will lower gas prices, though the impact may be small.

3.) Safest mode of getting oil and gas to Americans. Many in the United States live near a pipeline without even knowing about it. America has more than 500,000 miles of crude oil, petroleum, and natural gas pipelines and another 2 million miles of natural gas distribution pipelines. When it comes to accidents, injuries, and fatalities, pipelines are the safest mode of transporting oil and gas.

4.) Should be a business decision, not a government one. In concluding with Secretary of State John Kerry’s assessment that the project would not be in the national interest, Obama said, “The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy.” It is not the role of the federal government to make that determination. The federal government shouldn’t make that determination with the construction of a new restaurant or boutique shop. And it shouldn’t make that determination with a pipeline. After the State Department concluded that the pipeline was environmentally safe, the decision to build Keystone XL should have been a business decision – not a government one.

5.) We’ve done this before. The Keystone XL Pipeline is just a portion of the larger Keystone Pipeline System. You can view a map of the entire system here. Unbeknownst to many is the fact that the U.S. has already granted one of those presidential permits for the Keystone Pipeline System. For phase I of the Keystone Pipeline System, TransCanada filed an application with the Department of State (DOS) in April 2006, and the department began an environmental review in September 2006. TransCanada received its presidential permit for phase I in March 2008. From beginning to end, the process took 23 months. It has taken 86 months for Obama to say no.

6.) Environmentally safe. It was Albert Einstein who said the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The State Department must be teetering on the edge of insanity, because after multiple environmental reviews concluding that Keystone XL poses minimal environmental risk to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, and wildlife, the Obama administration still rejected the permit application.

7.) Negligible climate impact. In a speech in June 2013, Obama said the climate effects of Keystone XL would have a major impact on the administration’s decision. These effects, however, would be minimal. The State Department’s final environmental impact statement concludes that the Canadian oil is coming out of the ground whether Keystone XL is built or not, so the difference in greenhouse gas emissions is minuscule. No matter your position on climate change, Keystone XL won’t make a difference.

8.) Can be built without the help of the taxpayer. Building and operating Keystone XL will result in real private-sector jobs that will grow the U.S. economy. This is very different from the president’s taxpayer-funded green jobs plan that merely siphons resources out of the market and forces pricier energy on the American public.

9.) The people want it. Lots of people want it. A CNN poll in the beginning of the year found that 57 percent of Americans support the project, while just 28 percent oppose it. Many unions want it. Former Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar called the project a “win-win.” Congress sent a bill to Obama’s desk, demonstrating their will to approve the project. Sadly, the Obama administration is catering to the small group of radical environmental activists who don’t want the pipeline.

Last April, the Washington Post slammed the Obama administration’s continued delay of a Keystone XL decision, calling it “absurd” and “embarrassing.” Rejecting the permit application is even more absurd and more embarrassing.



Quinnipiac Poll: Ben Carson Tops Hillary Clinton By 10 Points – Jeb Bush In The Toilet

Poll: Carson Beats Clinton By 10 Points, Tied Among Women Voters – Big Government


The latest Quinnipiac poll, arriving one year before Election Day, shows all of the top Republican candidates except Donald Trump running ahead of Hillary Clinton.

Dr. Ben Carson, who is effectively tied with Trump as the GOP front-runner in the poll, wallops Clinton by 10 points, 50 percent to 40 percent. Sen. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) beats Clinton 46 percent to 41 percent, as does GOv. Chris Christie. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) beats her 46 percent to 43 percent.

But Clinton has a 3-point edge over Donald Trump in the poll, 46 percent to 43 percent.

Interestingly, the second tier among primary voters is also a virtual tie between Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. No other Republican candidate was able to score over 3 percent, and quite a few of them fell below 1 percent to become asterisks.

Qunnipiac finds the Republican contenders lined up as follows:

Trump at 24 percent and Carson at 23 percent.

Rubio at 14 percent and Cruz at 13 percent

Jeb Bush 4 percent, Chris Christie 3 percent, Carly Fiorina 3 percent, John Kasich 3 percent, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) 2 percent, Mike Huckabee 1 percent and Rick Santorum 1 percent.

No other candidate scored high enough to be counted at 1 percent in the poll.

Tim Mallow, Qunnipiac’s assistant director described Carson’s lead over Clinton as a contest of character. “Clinton gets crushed on character issues, pounded by Carson and closely challenged by Sen. Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio,” he said.

Also noteworthy is that Carson is effectively tied with Clinton among women. Women were split 45 percent to 44 percent for Carson versus Clinton.

As with other recent polls, Quinnipiac found Clinton’s approval rating underwater with registered voters, 42 percent favorable to 52 percent unfavorable. She scores especially badly on the “honesty” metric, 36 percent to 60 percent.

Conversely, Carson has a tremendous favorable rating, 49 percent to 25 percent, with a sizable 25 percent saying they haven’t heard enough about him to form an opinion. His plus-24 approval spread is the best in the field, followed by plus-14 for Rubio and plus-10 for Fiorina.

Carson’s biggest weakness, unsurprisingly, comes from voters who worry that he “does not have the right kind of experience to be President.”

That seems like a much easier problem for his campaign to address than Clinton’s baked-in honesty deficit, especially since honesty and trustworthiness were rated as the most important attributes overall. Carson also scores best among all candidates in the “cares about my needs and problems” category, which is scored as the second most important attribute this time around, and was seen as perhaps the most important in the 2012 election. Clinton is underwater on this metric as well, at 44 percent to 53 percent.

The lowest approval rating among candidates in the Q-poll was held by Jeb Bush, whose 25 percent to 58 percent score gave him a Titanic-like minus-33 rating.



Sheriff David Clarke: Barack Obama Is A “Heartless, Soulless Bastard” Who Sides With “Goons” Over Cops

Obama A Heartless, Soulless Bastard… Sheriff David Clarke On Empathy For Criminals, Silence To Violence Against Cops – Universal Free Press


In this week’s broadcast of his weekly program on TheBlaze radio network, Sheriff David Clarke had a few choice words for the occupier of the White House and his conduct in the orchestration of and response to violence against police officers in America.

Clarke points out that instead of investigating the human rights abuse of black on black crime, the Department of Justice is going after police, making the targeting of them “job one.”

He addresses the murder of officer Randolph Holder in New York, with 96 officers killed last year and another 48,518 assaulted in the line of duty, saying, “That’s the brutality. Many of those suspects were black, in the commission of crimes, threatening a law enforcement officer or failing to abide by their lawful commands, resisting arrest. How about black criminal abuse, black criminal brutality?”

Clarke doesn’t put much value in the apology of Judge Patricia Nunez, the one who released the inmate who would later murder Officer Holder, calling her a criminal coddling, criminal advocating, empathy for the criminal, despicable human being.

He notes, “By the way we still have not heard from ‘president’ Obama, that heartless, soulless bastard, who wastes no time taking to the microphone to stick up for a criminal creep like Mike Brown, like Eric Garner, like Freddie Gray, like Trayvon Martin, in communicating empathy for those goons and yet he has to be prodded, he has to be prodded to say something when a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty.”

Click HERE to listen to audio clip.



Government Accountability Office: Obamacare Is A Big Bowlful Of Fraud

Obamacare Is A Big Bowlful Of Fraud, Say Investigators – Conservative Base


Just as detractors of President Barack Obama’s healthcare power grab predicted in the midst of Democrat lawmakers shoving their unread law down the throats of the American people, the finished product is living up to expectations: it is filled with deceit, waste, misconduct, and “a big bowl of fraud,” according to several attorneys and investigators who spoke with the’s editor.

Although non-profit, conservative watchdog groups have frequently reported corruption, misconduct, malfeasance and deception within the Obama administration’s signature program known as Obamacare, the Democrats and their news media partners found it relatively easy to dismiss the watchdogs’ reports by claiming a right-wing conspiracy.

However, when the Government Accountability Office (GAO) officials – who report to the U.S. Congress and are reputed to be nonpartisan at least when their reports prove the Democrats’ point of view – released their latest “indictment” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on Friday, the majority of denizens in American newsrooms ignored the GAO’s disturbing report describing its undercover operation.

The PPACA requires the health-insurance marketplace to review application information to verify applicants’ eligibility for enrollment and to review eligibility for income-based subsidies or Medicaid for those claiming such entitlements. The verification process includes reviewing and validating information about an applicant’s Social Security number, if one is provided; citizenship, status as a national or lawful presence; and household income and family size.

GAO investigators reported that they tested application and enrollment controls for obtaining subsidized health plans available through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) (for New Jersey and North Dakota) and two selected state marketplaces (California and Kentucky). Although 8 of these 10 fictitious applications failed the initial identity-checking process, all 10 were subsequently approved by the federal Marketplace or the selected state marketplaces.

According to GAO officials: “To perform our undercover testing of the federal and selected state eligibility and enrollment processes for the 2015 coverage year, we created 18 fictitious identities for the purpose of making applications for health-care coverage by telephone and online.18 The undercover results, while illustrative, cannot be generalized to the full population of enrollees. For all 18 applications, we used publicly available information to construct our scenarios.

“We also used publicly available hardware, software, and materials to produce counterfeit or fictitious documents, which we submitted, as appropriate for our testing, when instructed to do so. We then observed the outcomes of the document submissions, such as any approvals received or requests to provide additional supporting documentation.”

Four applications used Social Security numbers that, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), have never been issued, such as numbers starting with “000.” Other applicants had duplicate enrollment or claimed their employer did not provide insurance that meets minimum essential coverage. For 8 additional fictitious applicants, GAO tested enrollment into Medicaid through the same federal Marketplace and the two selected state marketplaces, and was able to obtain either Medicaid or alternative subsidized coverage for 7 of the 8 applicants:

* Three were approved for Medicaid, which was the health-care program for which GAO originally sought approval. In each case, GAO provided identity information that would not have matched SSA records. For two applications, the marketplace directed the fictitious applicants to submit supporting documents, which GAO did (such as a fake immigration card), and the applications were approved. For the third, the marketplace did not seek supporting documentation, and the application was approved by phone.

* For four, GAO did not obtain approval for Medicaid; however, GAO was subsequently able to gain approval of subsidized health plans based on the inability to obtain Medicaid coverage. In 1 case, GAO falsely claimed that it was denied Medicaid in order to obtain the subsidized health plan when in fact no Medicaid determination had been made by the state at that time.

* For one, GAO was unable to enroll into Medicaid, in California, because GAO declined to provide a Social Security number. According to California officials, the state marketplace requires a Social Security number or taxpayer-identification number to process applications.

According to officials from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), California, Kentucky, and North Dakota, the marketplaces and Medicaid offices only inspect for “supporting documentation that has obviously been altered. So if the documentation submitted doesn’t show such signs, it wouldn’t be questioned for authenticity.

The latest survey by Rasmussen Polling shows that only 32% of likely voters believe the government should require every American to buy or obtain health insurance. Most voters (56%) continue to oppose Obamacare’s insurance requirement, and this is the highest level of opposition in nearly two years. Twelve percent (12%) remain undecided.


Related article:

Obamacare Premiums To Soar 3 Times Faster Than Feds Claim – Daily Caller

Obamacare premium costs will soar 20.3 percent on average in 2016 instead of the 7.5 percent increase claimed by federal officials, according to an analysis by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The discrepancy is because the government excluded price data for three of the four Obamacare health insurance plans when the officials issued their recent forecast claiming enrollees would face only a 7.5 percent average rate increase in 2016.

When data for all four plans are included, premium costs will actually rise on average 20.3 percent next year. The 2015 Obamacare price hike was 20.3 percent.

The Obamacare program’s federal exchange operates in 37 states where officials declined to set up state-run exchanges. Officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare Services, which manages Obamacare, only calculated price changes for the health insurance program’s Silver plan, thus ignoring data for the Bronze, Gold and Platinum plans.

The CMS officials said they did so because the IRS uses the Silver plan as a “benchmark” for tax purposes. That approach, however, gave consumers an incomplete picture of what is happening in the health insurance marketplace through the Obamacare program.

The DCNF analysis reviewed price data for all four plans obtained from CMS, insurance companies, state insurance regulators and the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.

The 20.3 percent figure is the average for all plans. Premium increases in some states will be much higher. In Utah, for example, some enrollees in an individual plan will face a 45 percent price jump. In Illinois, the highest price hikes for individuals in the federal exchange will be 42.4 percent. Some insurers in Tennessee will experience a 36.3 percent price rise.

Wayne Winegarden, a senior fellow in business and economics at the Pacific Research Institute, told TheDCNF that CMS 7.5 percent forecast number is “misleading and a meaningless statistic” that “isn’t actually relevant to any individual in any state. If you go across the four different metals, what happened in the Gold plan, what happened in the Platinum plan, what happened to the Bronze plan?”

Charles Gaba, a data analyst who tracks Obamacare trends and is an Obamacare supporter, reported earlier this year that Obamacare consumers in all 50 states will experience an average 14.4 percent increase. His analysis can be found on his web site,

“I was hoping they would include all of the rates,” Gaba told TheDCNF. “I would love it ideally if they had all the medal levels.”

Gaba called the CMS price analysis, “fairly representative, but there’s the Gold, the Platinum, the Bronze, the catastrophic plan even, and there’s also a variety of Silver plans. So there are a bunch of different ones in addition to the benchmarks which they did not include.”

The difference between premium cost projections based only on the Silver plan and those that result from using all four plans can be dramatic. Silver enrollees in Pennsylvania, for example, will experience a 10.6 percent increase. Using all four plans, the average price hike for Obamacare enrollees is 20.3. Time Insurance Co. pulled out of Obamacare after state officials rejected its 61 percent increase request.

South Dakotans using Silver will pay 24.7 percent more this year. But among all exchange users in the state, the average increase will be 39 percent. Dakota Care hiked its Obamacare exchange prices 63 percent for 2016, while Blue Cross Blue Shield raised its rates by 43 percent.

In South Carolina, the Silver increase will be 10.8 percent, compared to 23.4 percent when all four plans are considering.

Some worrisome trends appear when specific Silver plan offerings are measured against other medal levels. The National Conference of State Legislators has begun tracking Obamacare price hikes by levels.

In Colorado, for example, Silver customers will see a 12.94 percent price hike. But Gold users will face a 20.33 rate increase and Platinum enrollees will see a 29.80 percent price rise, according to NCSL data.

Idaho Silver customers will have an 8.69 percent increase. But Bronze customers will face 11.03 percent rise and Gold will face 15.9 percent, according to NCSL. Idaho did not offer Platinum coverage for 2016.

The mainstream media was quick to embrace the 7.5 percent number, claiming it reflected the real- world experience of most Obamacare customers. The Washington Post’s Amy Goldstein reported in a story filed last Saturday that “the [CMS] analysis includes all plans being sold in the 37 states that will continue to rely on the federal exchange next year.”

In fact, Platinum, Gold and Bronze price changes were excluded from the federal analysis.

Thomas Miller a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told TheDCNF that CMS is “always trying to put the best face on things going forward.” But, he said, “you got your initial press release. Only a few people catch up with what might be the final results.”



Obama Discovers Town Rejects Muslims: So He Enacts This Sick Revenge (Wes Walker)

Obama Discovers Town Rejects Muslims: So He Enacts This Sick Revenge – Wes Walker


What is the Obama administration exceptionally good at? Meddling and playing favorites.

Sure, there’s a long list of other things they have become known for, but they seem to actually enjoy those two. They especially enjoy playing favorites when it involves one of their special-interest darlings.

Too often, this administration has been caught using government resources, or agencies to reward their friends, and punish their enemies. Of course, this habit paints a lovely backdrop for the following:

There was an application for a building permit in Pittsfield Township, Michigan (Population, 35,000). In 2011, the elected officials weighed this against their Zoning master plan, and unanimously rejected the request. The land was zoned “Residential” and only small-scale schools were within the scope of the zoning plan. All of these reasons for denial were consistent with the will of the people who elected those officials.

So, they get the pressure groups involved. Michigan Islamic Academy (that was the school) goes to CAIR, who pledged to get the DOJ involved.

But wait… there’s more.

Earlier this month, the DOJ inserted itself into another municipal case. This one involved Des Plaines Illinois (a Chicago suburb). Here it was a request to convert an office building in a manufacturing district into a temple. The request was denied.

In both of those cases, the DOJ inserted itself to overturn the rulings of legally elected officials.

Duly-elected officials in a small town are responsible for – among other things – zoning decisions. They, rather than someone else, are elected to this specific purpose. They live in the area, are affected by decisions made there, and know the issues and people involved at a personal level.

The Federal Government was none of those things.

The DOJ frames this as advocating for religious rights of a group being violated.

(We’ve seen enough evidence of the this administration’s track record on Religious Freedom to call B.S. – the Romeike family; Hobby Lobby; and the Supreme Court unanimously ruling against their infringement of the Establishment Clause come to mind.)

No. CAIR swings a lot of weight in such cases. It portrays itself as a human rights group. But their practice seems to be that of bullies who, whenever rulings go against them, will initiate legal action as an end run to get the courts to do for them what elected officials will not. The strategy has even been given a name. It’s called “Lawfare Jihad”.

CAIR, while it hypes itself as a human-rights type organization, has a dubious history. (Something about its connections, including Hamas, are laid out here.)

Do we really want Federal Officials usurping local officials’ authority, invoking “compelling government interest”, just to appease special interest groups whose motivations are somewhat less than transparent, and probably not in the public interest?



*VIDEO* Ben Carson Discusses The GOP Presidential Primary Race On Bloomberg Television

Click HERE to purchase Dr. Carson’s book ‘A More Perfect Union: What We The People Can Do To Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties’.



Leftist Corruption Update: Obama Regime Hides Secret List Of 11 Crumbling Obamacare Insurers

Feds Hide Secret List Of 11 Staggering Obamacare Insurers – Daily Caller


Federal officials have a secret list of 11 Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned.

Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to nine barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act.

All 24 received 15-year loans in varying amounts to offer health insurance to poor and low income customers and provide publicly funded competition to private, for-profit insurers. Among the co-ops to announce closings were those in Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Vermont, New York and Colorado.

Nearly half a million failing co-op customers will have to find new coverage in 2016. More than $900 million of the original $2 billion in loans has been lost.

The 11 unidentified co-ops appear to be still operating but are now on “enhanced oversight” by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which manages the Obamacare program. The 11 received letters from CMS demanding that they take urgent actions to avoid closing.

Aaron Albright, chief CMS spokesman, said 11 co-ops “are either on a corrective action plan or enhanced oversight. We have not released the letters or names.” He gave no grounds for withholding the information from either the public or Congress.

CMS officials have stonewalled multiple congressional inquiries into the co-op financial problems. The latest congressional inquiry came in a September 30 letter to CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt demanding transparency over the troubled program.

“We have long been concerned about the financial solvency of CO-OPs,” three House Ways and Means committee members wrote to Slavitt. “Which plans have received these warnings or have been placed on corrective plans,” the congressmen asked. To date, they have received no reply.

Insurance commissioners in Vermont were the first to refuse to license the federally approved co-op there in 2013 because they feared those financial plans were unrealistic. But then the dominoes began to fall this year, resulting in at least eight co-op failures. And if CMS officials are to be believed, more failures may be on the way.

Sen. Chuck Grassley , a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee who has been an outspoken critic of the troubled co-op program, said transparency should be a top priority for the faltering program.

“Since the public’s business generally ought to be public, CMS should have a good reason for not disclosing which co-ops are troubled,” he said.

Rep. Adrian Smith , is a member of the House Ways & Means health subcommittee who has been pressing to know which co-ops are in trouble.

“It’s time for CMS to stop shielding these failures from the public and start identifying faltering co-ops. Taxpayers deserve more accountability and consumers deserve to know whether the insurance they are forced to buy will still exist at the end of next year,” he said.

In creating the co-ops under Obamacare, Congressional Democrats exempted the co-ops from public disclosure rules that apply to publicly traded insurance companies and other publicly traded corporations on such exchanges as the New York Stock Exchange. Those rules require immediate disclosure of materially important financial details.

Any materially “significant event” by publicly traded corporations have to be disclosed in “real time,” according to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

The Securities and Exchange Commission identifies 18 “mandatory disclosure items,” for private corporations including “any material impairment of a company’s asset.”

The double standard rankles critics of the co-op experiment undertaken by the Obama administration. “The nonprofit co-ops advertise themselves as having a ‘market approach,’” said Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute. “But if it’s a market approach, they are responsible to their shareholders and to the taxpayers to reveal the status of their business.”

Grassley agreed, saying “disclosure requirements on publicly traded companies would be a good guidepost for CMS on co-ops.”

Pipes said taxpayers are stockholders in the non-profit health insurance co-ops. “We are paying for it. We have a right to know. They don’t like to release things unless they’re forced to, particularly if it shows them in a bad light or their program to be in a bad light.”

Taxpayer groups also expressed anger over the government secrecy.

“There is no excuse why taxpayers should not know the names of the people and groups who misspent and wasted tax dollars on publicly financed health insurance co-ops,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

“When anybody receives tax dollars, they have a responsibility to spend those dollars wisely and be held accountable for the expenditures. Transparency is the first step. CMS has a responsibility to all Americans to publish this information,” Williams said.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said “as Obamacare continues to fail, those failures point right back to CMS. They don’t want people to see that failure and think if they hide it somehow we won’t hear about it.”



Clock-Boy Ahmed Is Honored Guest Of Sudanese War Criminal – Will Soon Be Honored Guest Of Obama Regime

Clock Faker Is Honored Guest Of Sudan War Criminal – Powerline


Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old fake clock-maker who caused such a stir at his Texas high school, is expected to meet President Obama at the White House this weekend. Obama holds the lad out as a victim of anti-Muslim prejudice even though, as John has argued, his “invention,” which resembled the timing device of a bomb and was placed in a suitcase dummied up to look like a bomb, reasonably triggered concern.

In advance of his meeting with Obama, Mohamed met with another president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan. Bashir is quite a guy. In the 1990s, he harbored Osama bin Laden for five years. He has an outstanding arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for orchestrating genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur. His country is under a variety of U.S. sanctions, and there is evidence that he may have secretly stolen $9 billion in oil money.

Mohamed has a connection Sudan; his father is from there. But when his father tried to run against Bashir in 2010, he was not allowed on the ballot. The elder Mohamed complained that Bashir personally blocked him from running.

These days, though, the Mohameds are decidedly from the “any publicity is good publicity” school. After the meeting, the boy told reporters that he was “extremely delighted” to meet Bashir and hoped to return to visit the Sudanese president again “with a new invention and success.”

What new invention, I wonder. The pet rock?

You might think that Obama would be embarrassed to honor a boy who claimed to have invented or built a clock, when in fact he had merely dismantled and disguised one. You might think he would be even more embarrassed now that the kid has spent quality time with a war criminal whose actions have caused the U.S. to place his country under sanctions.

You would be wrong. Any person of color who promotes the narrative of American racism is Obama’s friend, regardless of whether the facts of the case reasonably support this narrative. Obama seems bent on slandering America. Any prop will do.



Federal Appeals Court Bitchslaps Obama Regime Over Water Regulations

Sixth Circuit Blocks EPA Water Rule Nationwide – Hot Air


Several weeks ago, a federal court issued an injunction against EPA enforcement of a new rule based on the Clean Water Act, arguing that the Obama administration had exceeded its Congressional authority. The ruling only applied in the thirteen states party to the lawsuit, however, but the administration still argued that the North Dakota court did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the issue, and that only an appellate court could hear the case. Regardless, the EPA announced shortly afterward that it would continue to enforce the new rule in all other states.

Be careful what you wish for. The Sixth Circuit handed down its own injunction against the rule today, and broadened its effect to all 50 states:

A federal court ruled Friday that President Obama’s regulation to protect small waterways from pollution cannot be enforced nationwide.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Cincinnati-based Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit delivered a stinging defeat to Obama’s most ambitious effort to keep streams and wetlands clean, saying it looks likely that the rule, dubbed “waters of the United States,” is illegal.

“We conclude that petitioners have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims,” the judges wrote in their decision, explaining that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new guidelines for determining whether water is subject to federal control – based mostly on the water’s distance and connection to larger water bodies – is “at odds” with a key Supreme Court ruling.

The court called into question both the rule itself and the process by which the EPA promulgated it. The opinion notes that the EPA apparently ignored Rapanos in its zeal to seize more federal authority:

Petitioners first claim that the Rule’s treatment of tributaries, “adjacent waters,” and waters having a “significant nexus” to navigable waters is at odds with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Rapanos, where the Court vacated the Sixth Circuit’s upholding of wetlands regulation by the Army Corps of Engineers. Even assuming, for present purposes, as the parties do, that Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Rapanos represents the best instruction on the permissible parameters of “waters of the United States” as used in the Clean Water Act, it is far from clear that the new Rule’s distance limitations are harmonious with the instruction.

Furthermore, the court expresses concern over what appeared to be a bait-and-switch in the comments process, and that the EPA simply cannot substantiate the rule with any solid science – a point made by the North Dakota court in August, too:

Moreover, the rulemaking process by which the distance limitations were adopted is facially suspect. Petitioners contend the proposed rule that was published, on which interested persons were invited to comment, did not include any proposed distance limitations in its use of terms like “adjacent waters” and significant nexus.” Consequently, petitioners contend, the Final Rule cannot be considered a “logical outgrowth” of the rule proposed, as required to satisfy the notice-and-comment requirements of the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 553. See Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke, 551 U.S. 158, 174 (2007). As a further consequence of this defect, petitioners contend, the record compiled by respondents is devoid of specific scientific support for the distance limitations that were included in the Final Rule. They contend the Rule is therefore not the product of reasoned decision-making and is vulnerable to attack as impermissibly “arbitrary or capricious” under the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2).

Remember, though, that this is a temporary injunction. The issues raised by the judges in this 2-1 decision are not fully established in an evidentiary process. Even the initial ruling in August was a pretrial injunction, not a final decision on the merits. However, in both cases the courts decided that the states have a substantial likelihood of establishing these facts in the eventual trial, and that the enforcement of the rule would create at least some unnecessary harm. The Sixth Circuit’s decision doesn’t agree that it would be irreparable harm, but also doesn’t see the need to rush into enforcement of a flawed rule either:

There is no compelling showing that any of the petitioners will suffer immediate irreparable harm – in the form of interference with state sovereignty, or in unrecoverable expenditure of resources as they endeavor to comply with the new regime – if a stay is not issued pending determination of this court’s jurisdiction. But neither is there any indication that the integrity of the nation’s waters will suffer imminent injury if the new scheme is not immediately implemented and enforced.

What is of greater concern to us, in balancing the harms, is the burden – potentially visited nationwide on governmental bodies, state and federal, as well as private parties – and the impact on the public in general, implicated by the Rule’s effective redrawing of jurisdictional lines over certain of the nation’s waters…

A stay allows for a more deliberate determination whether this exercise of Executive power, enabled by Congress and explicated by the Supreme Court, is proper under the dictates of federal law. A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new Rule and whether they will survive legal testing. A stay honors the policy of cooperative federalism that informs the Clean Water Act and must attend the shared responsibility for safeguarding the nation’s waters.

Still, the plaintiffs are clearly delighted with the injunction:

The National Federation of Independent Business, one of the groups that sued to stop the rule, cheered Friday’s decision.

“Small businesses everywhere this morning are breathing a sigh of relief,” Karen Harned, executive director of the group’s legal foundation, said in a statement.

“The court very properly acknowledged that the WOTUS rule has created a ‘whirlwind of confusion’ and that blocking its implementation in every state is the practicable way to resolve the deep legal question of whether it can withstand constitutional muster.”

The Hill calls this “a stinging defeat,” but it may be more of a “stinging delay” at this point. At the very least, the EPA’s power grab has been put on hold, and that’s a welcome breather at this stage of the Obama administration.



Senior U.S. Officials Conclude That Obama’s Nuclear Deal With Iran Violates Federal Law

U.S. Officials Conclude Iran Deal Violates Federal Law – Fox News


Some senior U.S. officials involved in the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal have privately concluded that a key sanctions relief provision – a concession to Iran that will open the doors to tens of billions of dollars in U.S.-backed commerce with the Islamic regime – conflicts with existing federal statutes and cannot be implemented without violating those laws, Fox News has learned.

At issue is a passage tucked away in ancillary paperwork attached to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran nuclear deal is formally known. Specifically, Section 5.1.2 of Annex II provides that in exchange for Iranian compliance with the terms of the deal, the U.S. “shall… license non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with this JCPOA.”

In short, this means that foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies will, under certain conditions, be allowed to do business with Iran. The problem is that the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRA), signed into law by President Obama in August 2012, was explicit in closing the so-called “foreign sub” loophole.

Indeed, ITRA also stipulated, in Section 218, that when it comes to doing business with Iran, foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent firms shall in all cases be treated exactly the same as U.S. firms: namely, what is prohibited for U.S. parent firms has to be prohibited for foreign subsidiaries, and what is allowed for foreign subsidiaries has to be allowed for U.S. parent firms.

What’s more, ITRA contains language, in Section 605, requiring that the terms spelled out in Section 218 shall remain in effect until the president of the United States certifies two things to Congress: first, that Iran has been removed from the State Department’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, and second, that Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of weapons of mass destruction.

Additional executive orders and statutes signed by President Obama, such as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, have reaffirmed that all prior federal statutes relating to sanctions on Iran shall remain in full effect.

For example, the review act – sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Foreign Relations Committee, and signed into law by President Obama in May – stated that “any measure of statutory sanctions relief” afforded to Iran under the terms of the nuclear deal may only be “taken consistent with existing statutory requirements for such action.” The continued presence of Iran on the State Department’s terror list means that “existing statutory requirements” that were set forth in ITRA, in 2012, have not been met for Iran to receive the sanctions relief spelled out in the JCPOA.

As the Iran deal is an “executive agreement” and not a treaty – and has moreover received no vote of ratification from the Congress, explicit or symbolic – legal analysts inside and outside of the Obama administration have concluded that the JCPOA is vulnerable to challenge in the courts, where federal case law had held that U.S. statutes trump executive agreements in force of law.

Administration sources told Fox News it is the intention of Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran’s foreign minister and five other world powers, that the re-opening of the “foreign sub” loophole by the JCPOA is to be construed as broadly as possible by lawyers for the State Department, the Treasury Department and other agencies involved in the deal’s implementation.

But the apparent conflict between the re-opening of the loophole and existing U.S. law leaves the Obama administration with only two options going forward. The first option is to violate ITRA, and allow foreign subsidiaries to be treated differently than U.S. parent firms. The second option is to treat both categories the same, as ITRA mandated – but still violate the section of ITRA that required Iran’s removal from the State Department terror list as a pre-condition of any such licensing.

It would also renege on the many promises of senior U.S. officials to keep the broad array of American sanctions on Iran in place. Chris Backemeyer, who served as Iran director for the National Security Council from 2012 to 2014 and is now the State Department’s deputy coordinator for sanctions policy, told POLITICO last month “there will be no real sanctions relief of our primary embargo… We are still going to have sanctions on Iran that prevent most Americans from… engaging in most commercial activities.”

Likewise, in a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy last month, Adam Szubin, the acting under secretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial crimes, described Iran as “the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism” and said existing U.S. sanctions on the regime “will continue to be enforced… U.S. investment in Iran will be prohibited across the board.”

Nominated to succeed his predecessor at Treasury, Szubin appeared before the Senate Banking Committee for a confirmation hearing the day after his speech to the Washington Institute. At the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) asked the nominee where the Obama administration finds the “legal underpinnings” for using the JCPOA to re-open the “foreign sub” loophole.

Szubin said the foreign subsidiaries licensed to do business with Iran will have to meet “some very difficult conditions,” and he specifically cited ITRA, saying the 2012 law “contains the licensing authority that Treasury would anticipate using… to allow for certain categories of activity for those foreign subsidiaries.”

Elsewhere, in documents obtained by Fox News, Szubin has maintained that a different passage of ITRA, Section 601, contains explicit reference to an earlier law – the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or IEEPA, on the books since 1977 – and states that the president “may exercise all authorities” embedded in IEEPA, which includes licensing authority for the president.

However, Section 601 is also explicit on the point that the president must use his authorities from IEEPA to “carry out” the terms and provisions of ITRA itself, including Section 218 – which mandated that, before this form of sanctions relief can be granted, Iran must be removed from the State Department’s terror list. Nothing in the Congressional Record indicates that, during debate and passage of ITRA, members of Congress intended for the chief executive to use Section 601 to overturn, rather than “carry out,” the key provisions of his own law.

One administration lawyer contacted by Fox News said the re-opening of the loophole reflects circular logic with no valid legal foundation. “It would be Alice-in-Wonderland bootstrapping to say that [Section] 601 gives the president the authority to restore the foreign subsidiary loophole – the exact opposite of what the statute ordered,” said the attorney, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations over implementation of the Iran deal.

At the State Department on Thursday, spokesman John Kirby told reporters Secretary Kerry is “confident” that the administration “has the authority to follow through on” the commitment to re-open the foreign subsidiary loophole.

“Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the president has broad authorities, which have been delegated to the secretary of the Treasury, to license activities under our various sanctions regimes, and the Iran sanctions program is no different,” Kirby said.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the G.O.P. presidential candidate who is a Harvard-trained lawyer and ardent critic of the Iran deal, said the re-opening of the loophole fits a pattern of the Obama administration enforcing federal laws selectively.

“It’s a problem that the president doesn’t have the ability wave a magic wand and make go away,” Cruz told Fox News in an interview. “Any U.S. company that follows through on this, that allows their foreign-owned subsidiaries to do business with Iran, will very likely face substantial civil liability, litigation and potentially even criminal prosecution. The obligation to follow federal law doesn’t go away simply because we have a lawless president who refuses to acknowledge or follow federal law.”

A spokesman for the Senate Banking Committee could not offer any time frame as to when the committee will vote on Szubin’s nomination.