On the last day of the fiscal year, Congress approved a short-term spending measure that keeps the federal government operating through Dec. 11.
The bill passed easily in the Senate, 78-20:
The bill faced strong dissension in the House, where 151 Republicans voted against it because the bill does not cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood (vote roll call here).
President Barack Obama signed the spending bill late Wednesday.
The vote was notable in the House in that it provided a chance for candidates for upcoming leadership races to weigh in on a controversial issue in the caucus.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is the leading candidate to replace Speaker John Boehner, voted for the measure.
His only opponent for speaker, Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., voted against the bill, as did Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who is one of two lawmakers running for majority leader.
The other majority leader contender, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., voted for the spending bill.
Some House members believed that the vote on the continuing resolution, as the funding measure is known, would be telling in how potential new leadership may handle future issues.
Conservatives argued that leadership candidates would be judged on if they stood up to Planned Parenthood in the face of a potential shutdown.
“It’s unfortunate that this thing passed,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “But I think the most unfortunate thing is we should have back on July 14, when the first [Planned Parenthood] video came out, went full commitment to making this a national debate and really elevating it and going all in. We could have been in a position to win, but we didn’t, and this is the part that frustrates me.”
“Our new leadership has to commit, whoever that happens to be, to the same effort on things that we’ve told the voters we were gonna do – like we all told them we were pro-life, right? – we have to have the same intensity in getting those things done that we did on, for example, trade promotion. We have to demonstrate we are actually fighting on the things we said and have that full debate. And that’s what we are not doing.”
Taking a different view, Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, told the The Daily Signal that conservatives were wrong to try to hold up the spending measure to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.
“Leadership will look feckless and ineffective if they try to appease the rejectionist members of this conference,” Dent said.
“Going forward,” Dent remarked, “leadership will have to find a way to move forward on five or six measures that must be resolved, including a budget agreement, tax extenders, the debt ceiling, and a long-term transportation measure. All will require a level of compromise required to move beyond the warfare and get to a better place.”
The continuing resolution funds the government at a rate of $1.017 trillion annually for the next two and a half months. Senate leaders argued the deal gives Congress time to negotiate a budget deal with the president, though Obama has been pushing Congress to break the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
The continuing resolution also provides $74.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations and reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration, E-verify program, and Internet Tax Freedom Act.
Senate Republican leaders introduced a government spending bill last week that included a one-year moratorium on funding for Planned Parenthood. The legislation also directed the $235 million in savings derived from the government funding allocated for Planned Parenthood to be directed to community health centers.
That bill, however, was blocked in the upper chamber, after it failed to reach the 60 votes needed to advance.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 248 to 177 on Friday afternoon to approve a bill that would give a born baby who survives an abortion the same protection under the law as “any person who comes to a hospital, clinic, or other facility for screening and treatment or otherwise becomes a patient within its care.”
Under the bill, the Congressional Research Service explained in its official summary of the legislation, “An individual who commits an overt act that kills a child born alive is subject to criminal prosecution for murder.”
The bill would also “require any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to: (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and (2) ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital.”
Five Democrats voted for the bill, and all 177 votes against it were cast by Democratic members. One member, Rep. John Garamendi (D.-Calif.), voted present, and eight members, including three Republicans and five Democrats did not vote.
Among the members who voted against this bill that would clarify that it is an act of murder to kill a baby who survives an abortion were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.), Rep. Jackie Speier (D.-Calif.), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D.-N.Y.)
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R.-Ariz.), who was joined by 98 co-sponsors. These included Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-Tenn.), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R.-Mo.), and Rep. Kristi Noem (R.-S.D.).
“The Born Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act protects little children who have been born alive,” Rep. Franks said in a speech on the House floor before the vote. “No one in this body can obscure the humanity and the personhood of these little born alive babies.”
“The abortion industry labored all these decades to convince the world that unborn children and born children should be completely separated in our minds, that while born children are persons worthy of protection, unborn children are not persons and are not worthy of protection,” he said.
“But those who oppose this bill to protect born alive babies now have the impossible task of trying to join born children and unborn children back together again and then trying to convince all of us to condemn them both as inhuman and not worthy of protection after all,” he said.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney spoke against the bill on the House floor.
“I stand in strong opposition to this punitive and intrusive bill,” she said.
“This is politics at its most manipulative and politics that should never be permitted to come between a patient and her doctor,” she said.
“This bill attempts to criminalize legal medical care and punish millions of women by rolling back reproductive choices. It wages a kind of guerilla warfare against Roe v. Wade by threatening doctors with jail time for providing care to their patients.”
Half of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable giving last year went to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, according to a review of the latest financial disclosures from their private foundation.
The Clintons earned more than $28 million in 2014 and claimed around $3 million in income as charitable tax deductions, according to tax returns released by Hillary Clinton’s campaign last Friday. The campaign emphasized Clinton’s charitable giving in a press statement, saying that it “represented 10.8 percent” of her income in 2014. But roughly half of that money – $1.8 million – appears to have been channeled to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
According to the tax returns, the Clintons gave $3 million in 2014 to the Clinton Family Foundation, a small private foundation that the family uses as a pass-through to other charities. Records show the CFF disbursed $3.7 million in 2014, including $1.8 million to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
That contribution was the family’s largest by a significant margin that year. They made numerous smaller donations to other groups, including the University of Arkansas, the American Ireland Fund, and the American Friends of the Peres Center.
The $1.8 million contribution is also by far the largest annual donation the Clintons have made to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation in recent years. In the past five years combined, they gave a total of $1.1 million to the organization. Their last large donation was in 2008, when they gave $1 million.
While the Clintons do not receive direct compensation from the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, they do benefit from travel, and many of their longtime aides have served on its payroll.
The foundation has come under fire for its unusual structure. Charity Navigator put the Clinton Foundation on its “Watch List” earlier this year because it said the organization did not meet its criteria due to its “atypical business model.”
The group is also under review from the Better Business Bureau, after failing to meet its transparency standards in the past.
Clinton’s newly released tax returns, which show that she and her husband have earned $140 million since 2007 could bolster Republican efforts to frame the former secretary of state as a wealthy elitist who is out of touch with average Americans. Vox reported Monday that Clinton has paid more in taxes since 2007 – $57.5 million – than GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush has earned in his entire career spanning back to 1981.
The returns have also opened her up to charges of hypocrisy from critics.
Americans for Tax Reform slammed Clinton on Tuesday for forming an “Article 4 trust,” which the group said appears to be a method to avoid paying estate taxes—a tax Clinton has supported.
“Clinton has consistently voted for the Death Tax throughout her time in public office and forcefully condemned attempts to lower it,” ATF said in a statement. “But when it comes to her own finances, it is a different story. The newly released tax returns buttress earlier reports outlining the ways Clinton uses financial planning strategies that shield her Death Tax liability.”
On Tuesday, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law the nation’s fifth education savings account (ESA) program, and the first to offer ESAs to all students who previously attended a public school. Earlier this year, Sandoval signed the state’s first educational choice law, a very limited scholarship tax credit. Despite their limitations, both programs greatly expand educational freedom, and will serve as much-needed pressure-release valves for the state’s overcrowding challenge.
When Nevada parents remove their child from her assigned district school, the state takes 90 percent of the statewide average basic support per pupil (about $5,100) and instead deposits it into a private, restricted-use bank account. The family can then use those funds to purchase a wide variety of educational products and services, such as textbooks, tutoring, educational therapy, online courses, and homeschool curricula, as well as private school tuition. Low-income students and students with special needs receive 100 percent of the statewide average basic support per pupil (about $5,700). Unspent funds roll over from year to year.
The eligibility requirements for ESA programs in other states are more restrictive. In Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee, ESAs are limited to students with special needs. Arizona initially restricted ESA eligibility to students with special needs, though lawmakers have since expanded eligibility to include foster children, children of active-duty military personnel, students assigned to district schools rated D or F, gifted students, and children living in Native American reservations.
Research shows that parents in Arizona are overwhelmingly satisfied with the state’s ESA program and, as Lindsey Burke and I recently explained, ESAs are a significant improvement over school vouchers:
ESAs offer several key advantages over traditional school-choice programs. Because families can spend ESA funds at multiple providers and can save unspent funds for later, ESAs incentivize families to economize and maximize the value of each dollar spent, in a manner similar to the way they would spend their own money. ESAs also create incentives for education providers to unbundle services and products to better meet students’ individual learning needs.
One disappointing limitation of Nevada’s ESA is that it is restricted to students who previously attended their assigned district school for at least 100 days. This eligibility requirement unnecessarily excludes students whose assigned school is low-performing, unsafe, or simply not a good fit for that student. It also excludes families and communities who object to what is being taught at the district schools. Hopefully the legislature will expand the ESA eligibility to include all Nevada students in the near future.
A federal judge in Florida has scheduled a trial for January for a case charging Bill and Hillary Clinton with RICO violations.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations case was filed by Larry Klayman, of Freedom Watch, who alleges over the last decade, the Clintons have participated in “acts” that constitute a “criminal enterprise” that was designed to enrich them.
WND reported earlier this year when the case was filed that it alleged actions by Hillary and Bill Clinton, in coordination with their family foundation, constituted RICO crimes.
Klayman for years has been a Washington watchdog, having engaged Bill Clinton in court battles during his presidency. He’s also taken on terror interests and foreign influences in the United States, and just over the last year or so has won a federal court judgment against the National Security Agency’s spy-on-Americans program as well as bringing a case against Barack Obama over his amnesty-by-executive-memo strategy.
According to Klayman, the Clintons, through mail and wire fraud and false statements, misappropriated documents which he was entitled to receive and possess under the Freedom of Information Act regarding Hillary Clinton’s involvement in releasing Israeli war and cyber-warfare plans and practices.
Hillary Clinton orchestrated this release to harm and thwart Israeli plans to preemptively attack Iranian nuclear sites to stop the Islamic nation’s march to producing atomic weapons, according to Klayman.
The claim also explains Klayman used the nation’s FOIA to try to get details from the State Department regarding waivers to do business with Iran – “acts [that are] alleged to be the result of the defendants selling government influence in exchange for bribes from interests which have donated to The Clinton Foundation, paid huge speaking fees to the Clintons and other means.”
The order comes from Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, U.S. district judge for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach.
Klayman told WND that it’s time for the Clintons “finally [to] be held legally accountable.”
He alleges their “criminal enterprise” dates back at least 10 years.
It was when the Clintons left the White House in 2000 that, Hillary Clinton has claimed, they were broke.
Estimates are that since that time period, they have been paid well over $100 million, oftentimes in $250,000 and $500,000 increments for speaking.
The Clintons’ foundation also has been embroiled in scandal recently, with details being revealed about how foreign interests made donations to the Clinton-controlled organization during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as a senior government official.
“Defendants have systematically and continuously, over the last ten (10) years and more, conducted a corrupt enterprise in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act,” the filing claims, “all of which acts are continuing in nature.”
“Plaintiff sues the defendants, as individuals operating a criminal enterprise, for violating plaintiff’s statutory rights to obtain documents under the Freedom of Information Act… for violating plaintiff’s due process rights, vested property rights, constitutional rights, and for misappropriating property,” the filing says.
The complaint explains, “Plaintiff has filed many Freedom of Information Act requests for public records created or held by the U.S. Department of State… which records are of the public interest and importance to the citizens of the United States… As it has now been revealed, a primary reason that the plaintiff did not receive the records to which the plaintiff is entitled by law is that Defendant Hillary Clinton – upon information and belief together with Cheryl Mills and Defendant Bill Clinton and other Clinton ‘loyalists’ – set up a private computer file server operating a private, stand-alone electronic mail system.”
It alleges Clinton’s “off the books” plan “concealed from the plaintiff public records to which the plaintiff was entitled to under the FOIA Act.”
It continues, “Using those concealed communications held on the private email server, upon information and belief, the defendants negotiated, arranged and implemented the sale of influence and access to U.S. government officials and decision-makers and official acts by State and other instrumentalities of the U.S. government in return for gratuitous and illegal payments – bribes – disguised as donations to defendant The Clinton Foundation and extraordinarily high speaking fees paid to Defendant Bill Clinton and Defendant Hillary Clinton.”
The case filing estimates the Clintons have “amassed a personal fortune (outside of The Clinton Foundation) of over $105 million.”
Klayman had only just filed court papers requesting the judge take control of Hillary Clinton’s email server, because there could be “material evidence that is in imminent danger of being lost.”
“The plaintiff files this motion respectfully requesting that the court order the preservation of that information contained on a private computer file server (‘server’) that then Secretary of State Defendant Hillary Clinton (‘Secretary Clinton) used to conceal the U.S. government records off-site, rather than at a U.S. Department of State facility,” he wrote.
On April 30, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) signed Senate Bill 1110 – a bill which bars state cooperation with federal gun control laws.
Sponsored by Senator Richard Briggs (R-Dist. 7), SB 1110 “prohibits the use of any public funds, personnel, or property to enforce any federal law or regulation that regulates the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, ammunition, or firearms accessories.”
SB 1110 passed the house by a margin of 74 to 20 and the senate by a margin of 24 to 1.
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, the measure was “originally introduced in the House as HB1341 by Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver.” At that time, Weaver said, “I’m from the cut that there is no need for Washington D.C. to be the end all and be all with regards to the regulatory world. We should respect our 10th Amendment and shift the power back to the states and that’s what House Bill 1341 does.”
What was true for HB 1341 is also true for SB 1110.
This law comes on the heels of another blow to federal gun control signed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) last week. On April 29, Pence signed Senate Bill 433 – a bill that “repeals the prohibition against manufacturing, importing, selling, or possessing a sawed-off shotgun.”
SB 433 addresses the ban on short barreled, modified shotguns and will also present a challenge to the federal government’s “title II firearm” policy requiring registration fees and transfer records each time the firearm changes hands.
Hillary Rodham Clinton used her clout as secretary of state to do favors for foreign donors who gave millions to her family foundation – and who paid millions more to her husband, Bill, in speaking fees, a new book charges.
Records show that of the $105 million the former president raked in from speeches over 12 years, about half came during his wife’s four-year tenure at the State Department.
The claims in “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” come just a week after she launched her presidential campaign.
They raise questions about shady foreign money flowing into the Clinton Foundation – and what actions Hillary took in her official capacity in exchange for the cash.
“During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions,” writes author Peter Schweizer, according to The New York Times, which first reported the story.
“Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”
Schweizer – a former speech-writing consultant for President George W. Bush – said he found a clear “pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable US policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds.”
One example of an alleged quid pro quo cited by the Times and other sources involved the State Department’s backing of a free-trade agreement with Colombia that benefited a company founded by a big donor to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary opposed the trade deal when running for president in 2008 because of the South American country’s poor record on workers’ rights.
But then the company, Canadian-based Pacific Rubiales, and its founder, Clinton Foundation board member Frank Giustra, donated “millions” to the foundation, The International Business Times reported.
In 2010, the State Department under Hillary lauded Colombia’s human rights record, allowing Giustra’s company to reap huge profits.
The book also examines lucrative development contracts awarded to foundation donors following the devastating Haitian earthquake in 2010. And it reports that Hillary’s brother, Tony Rodham, sat on the board of a small North Carolina mining company that in 2012 got one of only two coveted “gold exploitation permits” from the government of Haiti – the first issued in more than 50 years, according to the website Breitbart.
Bill Clinton himself was paid $1 million by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline as the State Department was considering the project, Schweizer charges.
Records show that Bill’s earnings from appearance fees – both foreign and domestic – spiked at $17 million in 2012, Hillary’s last year at State.
During Hillary’s four-year stint as secretary of state, the ex-president earned about $48 million of a $105 million speaking haul amassed between 2001 and 2013.
More than half of the $48 million was paid by companies in China, Japan, Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands, among others.
The author writes that “of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state.”
Bill Clinton is believed to be the richest living ex-president and one of the 10 wealthiest ever.
Most estimates put the power couple’s combined net worth at $100 million to $200 million.
Some of the fees were paid at the Clintons’ request to their foundation – netting domestic donors a fat tax break. But most went directly to Bill, and the fees make up the family’s main source of income, The Washington Post reported.
Following Hillary’s decision to run for president, the foundation itself announced last week it would accept donations only from Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany and Norway.
The 186-page book will go on sale May 5, but Hillary wasted no time dismissing it.
“We’re back into the political season and, therefore, we will be subjected to all kinds of distraction and attacks and I’m ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory,” she said Monday in Keene, NH.
“It is, I think, worth noting that the Republicans seem to only be talking about me. I don’t know what they’d talk about if I wasn’t in the race, but I am in the race and hopefully we’ll get on to the issues,” she added.
Allison Moore, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, responded by bringing up Hillary’s use of a private email account for official business and her deletion of thousands of emails.
Last month, the New Mexico legislature unanimously passed a bipartisan bill essentially abolishing civil forfeiture in the Land of Enchantment (yes, that’s what they call themselves). But weeks went by and it looked like Gov. Susana Martinez was going to “pocket veto” the bill. If she hadn’t signed the bill by noon Tuesday, it would have expired and forfeiture reform would have been dead until next year.
But she signed it Tuesday at the eleventh hour (literally), making New Mexico the latest state to reform its asset forfeiture laws. Kudos to Gov.Martinez!
Civil asset forfeiture is a law enforcement tool enabling authorities to seize property permanently if the property is allegedly related to a crime. However, at the state and federal level numerous examples of abuse have come to light in recent years, and various states (and the District of Columbia) have ramped up due process protections for property owners.
The new law in New Mexico is comprehensive, but here are some highlights:
* A criminal conviction is required before property could be forfeited
* Provides additional due process protections to property owners, such as codifying an “innocent owner” presumption
* Places forfeiture proceeds in the general fund
* Requires additional reporting and transparency to allow better oversight of forfeiture process
As forfeiture reform continues to sweep the states and the federal government, New Mexico today stands as yet another example of bipartisan work getting things done. The next example might be Florida (join us for an event in Tallahassee next Monday!) or it might be your state.
On Tuesday, Arkansas legislators, ignoring the deafening cry from LGBT supporters against Indiana’s religious freedom law, finished approving their own version of a similar bill. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has already indicated that he would sign the bill once it was sent to him, and with the 67-21 vote approving the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the Arkansas House, Hutchinson will get his chance. The Arkansas Senate already has approved the bill.
Hutchinson told KARK that the bill represents an effort to balance religious freedom and equal protection of the law, saying bluntly, “This bill tries to do that, and it’s not that complicated.”
The hue and cry over the religious freedom bill in Indiana prompted the governors of New York, Connecticut and Washington to curtail some government travel to Indiana. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy blustered, “They knew what they were doing. They were going to make it legal to refuse to serve gay men and women. Somebody has to call them on it.” Resorting to typical Democrat name calling, he said of Indiana Governor Mike Pence on MSNBC, “When you see a bigot, you have to call him on it.”
The Arkansas bill states: “The Arkansas Constitution recognizes the free exercise of religion; Laws neutral toward religion have the same potential to burden religious exercise as laws purposely intended to interfere with religious exercise; Governments should not substantially burden the free exercise of religion without compelling justification.”
The bill justified its necessity, asserting:
In City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), the United States Supreme Court held that the protections of religious exercise afforded by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, only applied to religious exercise burdened by federal law or agencies and provided no protection from burdens on religious exercise from state or local law or governments; to provide the same level of protection from burdens on religious exercise from state or local governments, a state must enact an equivalent to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, that was passed by Congress.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate blocked the Keystone XL pipeline bill from moving forward on Monday, but supporters of the project vowed to push ahead and eventually get a vote on the measure.
The Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to limit debate, voting 53 to 39 on the measure.
The Keystone bill allows Congress to approve TransCanada Corp’s project to link Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Democrats, who lost control of the Senate as a result of November’s elections, flexed their muscles to deliver a message to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will have to deal with them even on bills that enjoy some bipartisan support.
McConnell has pledged that amendments to bills will be debated in an open process. But Democrats said McConnell cut off debate last Thursday on several amendments.
“He’s got to work with us and not try to jam us,” Senator Chuck Schumer said of McConnell. Democrats are not trying to delay the bill, but they don’t want McConnell to shut down the open process at his whim, said Schumer, the Senate’s third ranking Democrat.
Republicans have made passing the Keystone bill the first priority of the new Senate.
But the White House has said President Barack Obama would reject the bill, and Keystone supporters are four votes short of the 67 needed to overcome any veto.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, the chairman of the energy committee, vowed to work with Democrats on her panel to consider additional amendments.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said Friday that he sent a letter to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, charging him for all the illegals in his jail.
What happened next? The Ohio sheriff told Dana Loesch: “The federal government sends me a letter and said I violated a treaty of like, 1790.”
When Loesch asked for more information, Jones continued: “I sent him a bill for the prisoners that are in my jail. They came here illegally. I’ve not gotten any money from them, but I billed them so much. And I’ll tell you what I got in return: my life was threatened.”
Jones said he got a call from the FBI saying there were three sheriffs in the country that were going to be killed by the drug cartels, and he was one of the three.
Jones has also written a letter to President Barack Obama, “asking and pleading with him not to bring these people here to the state of Ohio, and to secure our borders.”
“We’ve had horrendous crimes here in this community,” Jones said. “We had a senior citizen, an elderly lady, molested by a teenager that came over from Mexico. We had another one molested – an eight year old girl. We’ve had drugs pouring in, more so than before the government said the borders were sealed. And we’re being run over by the drug dealers coming to this community. The violence has increased, and we’re a long way from the borders.”
Jones said his county spends eight to ten million dollars each month on welfare programs, which he called “free stuff,” and said that’s “some of the reason that they come here.”
“It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Jones said. “People’s lives are being threatened. It’s in the state of Ohio, for crying out loud. We’re not in Arizona; we’re not in California.”
Jones said the administration is making it “too easy” for those wishing to harm America to cross into the United States.
“They’re going to walk in with backpacks. They’re going to put some dirty bombs together, [and] they’re going to do something really terrible. It’s too easy,” Jones said. “We don’t know who they are. They don’t have vaccinations. Our jails are full. They hit and run. It’s totally out of control, and it’s gotten worse just in the past twelve months.”
H/T Right Scoop
In the wake of the tragic 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, the safety of our children while at school has been a contentious point.
Some have called for increased gun control, echoing other cries to limit the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms.” However, those knowledgable about the issue have a different view.
Instead of restricting the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves (and thereby giving criminals the advantage), there have been multiple attempts to increase gun rights, including the right to carry in schools. The Missouri legislature just passed such a bill.
This bill, if signed into law, would allow vetted, trained, and qualified school faculty members to carry a weapon with the permission of the individual school district.
The bill, SB656, will allow school districts to cross-train faculty to become “School Protection Officers.” These volunteer teachers and administrators would have to have a valid Missouri concealed-carry permit and complete a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission certification course. Following these steps, they would be allowed to carry on school grounds if the district opted to allow armed personnel on campus.
While this is a good step forward, it is unknown whether Gov. Nixon (D) will sign the bill into law.
[Nixon] had vetoed a nullification bill last year that included similar armed teacher language. Further, in a statement Friday, Nixon expressed reservations on the current legislation, but has stated he would review the bill.
This bill, if signed into law, would protect our children against another Sandy Hook tragedy. Teachers are responsible for the safety of their students, and this bill would enable them to more adequately protect those under their care. Therefore, we call on Gov. Nixon to make this bill a law.
What do you think? If you support Missouri’s attempts to protect its school children, like or share this on Facebook or Twitter!
On April 23rd, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill “nullifying city and county gun restrictions” to ensure that it is legal to “openly carry firearms” throughout the state.
The law takes effect on July 1.
According to cjonline.com, the law will “sweep away restrictions on open carry.” It will also “prevent cities and counties from enacting restrictions on firearm sales or how guns are stored or transported.”
Supporters of the law say it will correct “a patchwork of local regulations [that have] infringed on gun-ownership rights.”
But Melissa Wangemann, legal counsel for the Kansas Association of Counties, believes the law “shows a lack of trust in local elected officials.” She said it takes away the ability of “pro-2nd Amendment counties” to expand concealed carry on their own.
Wangemann also said this law means her counties “can’t enact any regulation,” nor can they tell gun owners, “Keep your safety on, keep the gun on your side, don’t lay it on your desk.”
On March 25th, Breitbart News reported that West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signed a bill eliminating local ordinances against carrying guns in his state as well.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Wednesday a bill that expands gun rights in the state to allow weapons in government buildings, bars, places of worship, and school zones under certain circumstances.
Under House Bill 60, also known as the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014, school districts will get to decide whether to allow authorized personnel to carry weapons within school safety zones under certain circumstances.
In addition, church leaders will be able to decide whether to allow licensed gun owners to bring weapons into their place of worship. The law also removes fingerprinting requirements for renewal licenses.
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action called the bill the “most comprehensive pro-gun bill in state history.”
Deal, who characterized himself as a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, said the measure “will protect the constitutional rights of Georgians who have gone through a background check to legally obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License.”
“Roughly 500,000 Georgia citizens have a permit of this kind, which is approximately 5 percent of our population,” Deal said in a press release. “License holders have passed background checks and are in good standing with the law. This law gives added protections to those who have played by the rules – and who can protect themselves and others from those who don’t play by the rules.”
“Our nation’s founders put the right to bear arms on par with freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Georgians cherish their Second Amendment rights, and this law embodies those values,” he added.
Executive Director Pia Carusone of Americans for Responsible Solutions, which lobbied against the bill, called it “extremism in action.”
“It moves Georgia out of the mainstream,” Carusone said. “Since the Georgia House first passed this expansive legislation, thousands of Georgians and tens of thousands of Americans have said loud and clear that they are tired of the gun lobby advancing its extreme agenda at the expense of their families’ safety.”
In 1979, there was a student takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran. For 444 days, 52 Americans were held hostage. Then President Jimmy Carter was lambasted for his weak foreign policy which lead the Iranians to view him as an inconsequential leader. Therefore, they did not fear America. When Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, with the spinelessness of Jimmy Carter purged from the White House, the hostages were released on the very day of his inauguration.
But, the pain of those nearly 15 months in captivity would linger not just for those held hostage, but for America as the people remembered that horrible time in our history. The country would have to recover and again position itself as a world leader to be feared and respected.
We have seen our position of power in the world erode over the last 5 years, with the most recent indicator being the invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative who is unafraid of Obama’s weak warnings.
As the world has watched this invasion, events that some believe are a signal to the beginning of another Cold War, the pain caused by the Iran hostage crisis some 35 years ago is being renewed.
Hamid Abutalebi has been selected by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as their United States Ambassador. Abutalebi was one of the hostage takers of those 52 Americans. While he claims he only served as a translator and negotiator, the United States Congress voted unanimously to deny his entry into the United States, since the U.N. meetings are held in New York.
The bill passed by Congress was authored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and Congressman Doug Lamborn from Colorado. After the bill passed unanimously with bi-partisan support, Cruz and Lamborn released the following statements in calling for Obama to sign the bill to prevent terrorists from obtaining visas to enter the U.S. as U.N. ambassadors.
Congress has voted unanimously in support of a bill to reject Iran’s deliberately insulting nomination of a known terrorist – one of the 1979 hostage-takers – to be their ambassador to the United Nations,” said Sen. Cruz. “I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting it, and urge the President to act quickly. We, as a country, can send an unequivocal message to rogue nations like Iran that the United States will not tolerate this kind of provocative and hostile behavior.”
“I have been working hard with House Leadership to move this bill even before it passed the Senate,” said Congressman Lamborn. “I appreciate House Leadership’s rapid response to my request to quickly bring the Cruz/Lamborn bill to the House Floor for a vote. It will give the President the power to prevent an Iranian terrorist from entering our country with diplomatic immunity. This is a great example of leadership in action by both Houses of Congress. After Senator Cruz worked to ensure Senate passage earlier in the week, I felt that it was extremely important that the House respond in-kind by considering the Cruz/Lamborn bill in an expedited manner. It is great to see Congress send a strong, bipartisan message that Iranian evildoers will be treated like terrorists, not tourists. Terrorists, from Iran or elsewhere, should not be allowed to walk the streets of Manhattan with diplomatic immunity.”
Individuals with diplomatic immunity cannot be prosecuted or even charged with so much as a traffic ticket, let alone an act of terrorism.
Eight days later, President Obama has signed the bill into law, but, according to the Washington Examiner, he immediately released a statement saying that he would not enforce the law. While Obama recognized the concerns of Congress regarding allowing a terrorist to gain access to our country, he stated the following to explain his decision to ignore the law of the land.
“Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress’s concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our Nation.”
When Bush was president, then Senator Obama was extremely critical of him for signing such statements stating that, “Congress’s job is to pass legislation. The president can veto it or he can sign it.” The statements that Bush signed did not grant a terrorist unfettered access to our country.
Now that Obama is president, he has demonstrated time and again his complete disregard for any laws that he does not like. Certain laws, like his signature legislation Obamacare, are deemed the law of the land that must be followed. However, he very often changes parts of that law unconstitutionally via executive order to fit his political needs. With others, such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he would, in his lawlessness, decide that he would not enforce the law.
His decision to sign the bill into law, but immediately state that he will not enforce it flies in the face of the rule of law upon which this country was built and endangers America.
Obama’s disregard for the law as passed by Congress and signed by him, thereby allowing a known terrorist who committed an act of terrorism against the American people unto American soil, comes days after the one year anniversary of the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon. Iran was insistent that the terrorist Abutalebi was their choice for ambassador. When the U.S. threatened denial, they requested an investigation by the U.N.
Thanks to Obama, no investigation is needed. The President of the United States is going to allow a known terrorist to violate the law with no repercussions and give him complete access to America and its citizens with diplomatic immunity.
A Republican congressman from Texas has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would stop the government from paying Attorney General Eric Holder’s salary.
Rep. Blake Farenthold’s “Contempt Act” would prohibit any federal employee who has been found in contempt of Congress from getting a taxpayer-funded paycheck.
In 2012, the House voted to hold Holder in contempt over his refusal to hand over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.
Farenthold specifically referenced Holder in his statement about the legislation.
“In 2012, the House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting operation – despite this fact, he is still receiving his paycheck courtesy of American taxpayers,” the lawmaker said.
During a contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing last week with Holder, Farenthold alluded to the legislation: “If he continues to refuse to resign, my bill would at least prevent hardworking American taxpayers from paying his salary.”
Farenthold also noted how the House is expected to to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about her role in the agency’s targeting of conservative and tea party groups. But he noted that because Lerner has already resigned, this bill will not affect her.
“The American people should not be footing the bill for federal employees who stonewall Congress or rewarding government officials’ bad behavior,” he said. “If the average American failed to do his or her job, he or she would hardly be rewarded. High-ranking government officials should be treated no differently than everyone else.”
As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama won $48 million in federal funding to help Ukraine destroy thousands of tons of guns and ammunition – weapons which are now unavailable to the Ukrainian army as it faces down Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Crimea.
In August 2005, just seven months after his swearing-in, Obama traveled to Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine with then-Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar, touring a conventional weapons site.
The two met in Kiev with President Victor Yushchenko, making the case that an existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program covering the destruction of nuclear weapons should be expanded to include artillery, small arms, anti-aircraft weapons, and conventional ammunition of all kinds.
After a stopover in London, the senators returned to Washington and declared that the U.S. should devote funds to speed up the destruction of more than 400,000 small arms, 1,000 anti-aircraft missiles, and more than 15,000 tons of ammunition.
Photographs from the trip show Obama inspecting a plant where Soviet-era artillery shells and shoulder-fired missiles were collecting dust, leftovers dumped in Ukraine after the USSR withdrew from Eastern bloc nations after the once-mighty communist nation fell apart.
The United Nations had already identified some 7 million small arms and light weapons, and 2 million tons of conventional ammunition, warehoused in more than 80 weapons depots spread across the country.
Many of the artillery shells shown in photographs from Donetsk, multiple weapons experts told MailOnline, would be the same types of ammunition required to repel advancing Russian divisions as they advanced to the west, had they not been destroyed.
Two experts said the ammunition, particularly small-arms rounds, would have been useful to train Ukraine’s armed forces and million-strong reserves.
‘Vast stocks of conventional munitions and military supplies have accumulated in Ukraine,’ Obama said in am August 30, 2005 statement from Donetsk. ‘Some of this stockpile dates from World War I and II, yet most dates from Cold War buildup and the stocks left behind by Soviet withdrawals from East Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungry and Poland.’
‘We need to eliminate these stockpiles for the safety of the Ukrainian people and people around world, by keeping them out of conflicts around the world.’
More than a year later, President George W. Bush signed into law a proposal authored by Obama and Lugar.
Obama said then that the existing Cooperative Threat Reduction Program ‘has effectively disposed of thousands of weapons of mass destruction, but we must do far more to keep deadly conventional weapons like anti-aircraft missiles out of the hands of terrorists.’
Much of the Ukrainian small-arms supply was ultimately exported, not scrapped, by a Yushchenko regime that chose revenue from arms dealing over the cost of melting down metal.
In 2008 the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported that between 2004 and 2007, the Ukrainian Export Control Service told the UN that it sent 721,777 small arms and light weapons to 27 different countries.
The United States was the top recipient, with more than 260,000 of those weapons, followed by the UK and Libya, which each imported more than 101,000.
That flood of weapons exports has continued, with annual export records showing hundreds of thousands of new exports each year, covering everything from pistols and carbine rifles to heavy machine guns and anti-tank weapons.
But while today’s 130,000-strong standing Ukrainian military isn’t short on AK-47s, Russian troops have met little to no large-scale resistance from armored divisions or heavy artillery as they steamrolled their way into Crimea.
Some of that was Ukraine’s own doing – it sold 320 tanks to Pakistan in the 1990s, for instance – but Obama and Lugar accelerated the pace of the country’s arms liquidation.
While the Ukrainian army seems to have been careful to avoid provoking an even larger conflict, it’s impossible to know whether Putin would have behaved differently in the face of columns of heavy weapons that once belonged to the Soviet Union in whose KGB he held a high-ranking position.
Sky News video broadcast on Tuesday showed Russian troops firing automatic weapons over the heads of apparently unarmed Ukrainian Air Force personnel near a contested airfield in Crimea.
A bill to punish law enforcement officers who obey a hypothetical federal mandate to seize the firearms of Idaho citizens found no opposition on the Senate floor.
Lawmakers voted 34-0 in favor of the bill Wednesday, clearing its path to the House.
Sen. Steve Vick, a Dalton Gardens Republican who co-sponsors the bill with Meridian Republican Marv Hagedorn, touts it as a way to ensure Idahoans’ Second Amendment rights are protected.
The proposal is a response to fears that President Barack Obama will ban some guns.
Hagedorn has previously said he knows of no such federal measure in the works.
The bill is similar to one sponsored by then-Rep. Mark Patterson who has since resigned from the legislature. That bill passed the House, but died in the Senate.
Lawmakers and law enforcement credit new wording with taking much of the controversy out of the measure.
The measure won’t affect agreements between state and federal agencies that collaborate on gang and drug investigations.
Likewise, officers who confiscate felons’ firearms won’t get in any trouble.