Court: Government Can Collect Cellphone Locations Without A Warrant

NEW ORLEANS, (UPI) —  U.S. government agencies can collect records showing the exact location of an individual’s cellphone without obtaining a warrant, a federal court ruled.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans sided with the Justice Department that “historical” records from cellphone towers showing the location of a phone are not protected by the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

“The government does not require a member of the public to own or carry a phone,” wrote Judge Edith Brown Clement in an opinion joined by Judge Dennis Reavley.

Clement said cellphone use is strictly voluntary along with the choice of a provider and the decision to make a call.

She said a user knows that a call “conveys cell site information,” which the person voluntarily conveys each time he or she makes the call.

Privacy advocates argued that the proliferation of cell phones and new technologies permit law enforcement to track highly sensitive information about where individuals have been without showing a judge there is probable cause that a person has committed a crime.

The 2-1 ruling by the New Orleans appellate court involved three cases in which unknown federal agencies applied for 60 days of cellphone site-location data in criminal investigations.

McCain’s Border ‘Compromise’; Univision Sweeps Nielsens; DHS Loses A Million Immigrants; Declassified NSA Docs; China’s ‘People’s War’ – Wednesday Morning News Roundup 7-31-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.


  • Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) signaled Tuesday that the dramatic boost in border-security in the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill could be one of the provisions that may be changed in a potential House-Senate compromise. “We don’t need 20,000 additional border patrol agents,” McCain said. Source: POLITICO…


  • Univision ranked No. 1 among all networks in the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 demographics during the July sweep period (June 26-July 24), according to Nielsen, a first for the Spanish-language titan in any sweep period. Source: Variety… 


  • The Homeland Security Department has lost track of more than 1 million people who it knows arrived in the U.S. but who it cannot prove left the country, according to an audit Tuesday that also found the department probably won’t meet its own goals for deploying an entry-exit system. Source: The Washington Times… 


  • The U.S. Director of National Intelligence released three declassified documents on Wednesday that authorized the bulk collection of telephone data, one of the surveillance programs revealed by former security contractor Edward Snowden. Source: Reuters… 


  • China’s military is preparing for war in cyberspace involving space attacks on satellites and the use of both military and civilian personnel for a digital “people’s war,” according to an internal Chinese defense report. Source: The Washington Free Beacon… 


Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Girl Power: 10 Feminist Icons Who Probably Shouldn’t Be

Am I really supposed to believe that Huma Abedin is a feminist icon? According to a number of lapdog media types, her decision to stand by the side of her cyber-creep husband, Anthony Weiner, at the most awkward press conference in New York since Eliot Spitzer admitted to being “Client 9” was “brave.” Pardon me for saying so; but if this is the current state of feminism, then you have not come a long way, baby.

But Abedin is hardly the first traveler on the path to gender equality who bailed on the sisterhood in order to hitch a ride on the proverbial “Weiner Express.” Take a gander at these ladies: 10 women who are feminist icons, but probably shouldn’t be.

Hillary Clinton

Abedin’s big buddy, Hillary Clinton, allowed her husband to treat her like a doormat in return for the privilege of participating in policy decisions and throwing things in the White House residence. The rich girl from Chicago married a pot-smoking fat kid who accepts the word “no” as well as a Kennedy. She then turned an activist liberal law career into the first ladyship of Arkansas, followed by a Senate seat in New York, followed by a failed Presidential campaign that included the original “birther” stories, followed by a turn in the Secretary of State’s office, followed by resignation in disgrace after shockingly callous and dishonest testimony in front of Congress regarding Benghazi, Libya. When Sarah Palin tried to push Senator John McCain into the White House, she endured misogynist attacks from Democrats who were more infuriated by her refusal to accept the liberal idea of “feminism” than a Taliban imam catching a woman reading an actual book. Palin didn’t cling to her husband’s trouser legs while he dropped them on women’s floors from Wasilla to Washington, D.C.; nor did she ever lie to Congress. Liberals decry the very idea of a Palin Presidency.  They’re too busy buying Hillary2016! T-shirts.

Nancy Pelosi

If you’re a young lady thinking about her future, I’ll grant you this: Be Nancy Pelosi. But don’t be like her. Make an impact on your world, but don’t let it be negative. Pursue your dreams, but not at the deliberate expense of others. Wield what authority you can, but not for authority’s sake. At least, try to cut back on the insider trading. Also, maybe don’t use Botox so much.

Oprah Winfrey

Hey, I get it. Oprah Winfrey gave away lots of free stuff on her show. But Winfrey is precisely the wrong person to present as a role model for girls. It’s not that I think Winfrey is all that bad a person. I just recognize that she’s a small-town girl who hit it big in an extremely unlikely fashion. If a little girl starts to work toward a career as an overpaid talk show host who’s essentially famous for being famous, she still won’t get farther than a guest hosting gig on “Good Morning, Tacoma.” Liberals like to whine about radio talk show hosts. At least radio talk show hosts can churn out multiple hours on a daily basis. Take away the commercial breaks, and Oprah couldn’t do more than 44 minutes per episode. Take away Drs. Phil and Oz and Tom Cruise’s couch-jumping performance, and she’s got just enough time left to call Hermes’ Paris store racist for closing on time.

Michelle Obama

I will say this: I have seen no evidence to suggest she’s not an excellent mother. Her children seem pleasant, bright and well-behaved. That is not something we could honestly say about some of the more recent inhabitants of the White House kids’ table. Raising children who don’t make their Secret Service detail cringe every time they pass a liquor store is a real accomplishment. But being first lady is decidedly not. Until Hillary Clinton Tammy Wynette-d her way to a “co-Presidency,” no one had ever turned the unelected position into more than a charity-focused and ceremonial role. Some would retort that Obama built a promising career as an attorney on a foundation of an outstanding education. I can’t argue with that. Nor can I resist pointing out that she gave it up to hitch a ride to stardom with a community organizer who conned his way onto Air Force One.

Margaret Sanger

This woman is the pro-abortion lobby’s Joan of Arc, Boudicca and Wonder Woman all wrapped up in one neat, compact, eugenics-spouting, racist, genocidal little package. Sanger is considered the mother of Planned Parenthood and spiritual godmother of the pro-abortion movement. Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin are generally considered the heavyweight champions of intentional genocide, combining to send more than 1 million people to the final gulag. If we split their total right down the middle (and I suspect each would claim the top spot), they come in around 50 million apiece. If you count only the abortions performed since 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision, then Sanger’s monstrous legacy has caused the deaths of somewhere around 55 million people. In fact, that number relies on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records, which don’t include New York and California totals. Both States legalized abortion years before Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, the CDC readily acknowledges that it hasn’t received a count of abortions from California in years, meaning its total is likely short by a number close to the cost of an Obama family vacation. In addition to the fact that a woman who openly advocated for the extermination of people like her fellow feminist icon Michelle Obama doesn’t seem like a particularly positive role model for anyone, thanks to her parentage of Planned Parenthood, there are a whole lot fewer women around to consider her a role model at all.

Sandra Fluke

Real feminists stand proudly and demand the respect to which they are entitled. Fluke sat pathetically in front of a fake Congressional hearing organized by Pelosi and demanded free birth control — quite a lot of it, in fact. Since her staged appearance at Pelosi’s sideshow, Fluke has gone on to play to adoring crowds which, in some cases, comprised adoring fans numbering in the tens. Here’s something to share with the little faces of the future: Sandra Fluke is famous for demanding the American taxpayers subsidize her rather healthy sexual appetite. That’s right, girls; you, too, can be free from the shackles of the patriarchal phallocracy (or whatever) and have lots and lots of sex. For free! Yay, feminism!

Lady Diana Spencer

Yes, I’m aware that she’s dead. So is Baroness Margaret Thatcher, and “feminists” cheered her passing as if Thatcher had stolen the crown jewels. At least Thatcher actually did something for the British economy other than spend a hefty portion of it on designer threads. The only reason Lady Di came out of her marriage to Prince Charles looking like the victim was that she looked better in those designer threads. I’m not celebrating her death the way liberals did Thatcher’s demise; I am pointing out that Di’s death overshadowed that of Mother Teresa’s, which occurred just six days later. If only the Blessed Mother of Calcutta had tended to the least among us while wearing Armani.

Jane Fonda

She sat for propaganda photos with the enemy during a war. But she’s a really important actress and, therefore, should be granted more leeway. It was a different time in America; and, therefore, we should ignore her petulant outbursts. We were fighting ourselves as much as communism; and, therefore, we should be more understanding of the fact that she committed treason. Hey, sure. I’ll forgive her for openly fondling an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down American pilots. I’ll even forgive her for naming her kid after the guy who tried to murder U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. I will not forgive her for her autobiography, My Life So Far, which rose above the din of the usual ghost-written celebrity memoir only through torturing the language. Here’s Hanoi Jane on her supposed rediscovery of Christianity:

It was more an experiencing of His presence, a psychic lucidity, that was allowing me access to something beyond consciousness. It wasn’t long, however, before I found myself bumping up against certain literal, patriarchal aspects of Christian orthodoxy that I found difficult to embrace.

So she recognizes God is a He, but she doesn’t want to accept Him as a He. I’m beginning to understand how she managed to both apologize for treason and not apologize for treason.


I’ll be completely honest. I don’t know who that spider-limbed, leathery creature on stage these days is; but that’s not Madonna. Remember when she pretended to have a British accent? Remember how it didn’t really matter what she said; because the accent was so distracting, you couldn’t follow her actual words? Remember thinking that was the smartest she ever sounded? This new iteration says things like:

Y’all better vote for f–king Obama, OK? For better or for worse, all right? We have a black Muslim in the White House. Now that’s some amazing s—t…It means there is hope in this country. And Obama is fighting for gay rights, so support the man, goddamnit.

And the “feminists” think Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is crazy?


According to mythology, Lilith was either a female demon or Adam’s first wife. And now, she’s the namesake of a failed traveling music festival founded on the idea that women were underrepresented in music. The first Lilith Fair took place in 1997, at which point women like Madonna had managed to sell a couple of records despite the patriarchy of the evil recording industry. Hell, by 1997, a woman had served as co-President for four years. And I’m struggling to see the value of encouraging girls to emulate someone who is either the worst ex-wife in history or a soul-crushing hellspawn. But then, that’s almost as redundant as “Crappy Lilith Fair lineup.”

I’m willing to acknowledge both my politics and my plumbing preclude me from membership in the sort of intellectual sorority that produces admiration for Abedin and animus for Palin. But that doesn’t preclude me from recognizing that some of these girls are just plain mean, man!

So by the definition of the kind of people who like to decide for everyone else how things should be defined, I guess I’m not a feminist. I actually already knew that. After all, I turned down free tickets to the Lilith Fair a ways back.

–Ben Crystal

Declare Detroit A Free City

We who advocate the free market as the sure path to peace and prosperity often hear that the U.S. economy has to get much, much worse before any real reforms will be allowed. Why must we continue to wait before taking serious action to throttle back parasitic government? A common response is that we need to wait until things are so bad that no one will be able to deny that government is the problem and not the answer. Then, even died-in-the-wool socialists will give the free market a chance.

Well, what if we hit the brink and people want more government and not less? The result would be fascism in the United States. Given a choice, I for one prefer not to wait for such an eventuality. I would rather have an American test case to illustrate that radically less government leads to peace and prosperity.

Detroit As A Test Case For Economic Freedom

The decades’ growing tragedy of a now-bankrupt Detroit provides a unique opportunity to test our fundamental principles. What if Detroit became a free city in which government provided for public safety, honest courts, protection of property rights and little else? Might not unabated free enterprise take hold, as it always has in America?

Detroit is bankrupt, and its problems appear to be unsolvable. Its population peaked in 1950 at 1.85 million only to fall to 706,000 in 2011, surely representative of people voting with their feet. As British politician Daniel Hannan has written, the Detroit disease may be well advanced in the rest of American cities and perhaps in all of America as well. Before the disease can kill the rest of America, we have the opportunity to give free market reforms a chance in a fairly controlled setting: the bankrupt and dysfunctional city of Detroit.

All that Detroit really needs is economic freedom and secure property rights. Give Detroit its freedom from all manner of government, including the Federal government. Declare Detroit a free city. (You can rest assured, Detroit, that America will come to your rescue if those bloodthirsty Canadians attack!) In other words, no one would pay any Federal taxes whatsoever or be subject to any Federal regulations whatsoever. Wouldn’t it be nice not to pay Federal taxes, not even Social Security and Medicare taxes? Do the same with Michigan taxes. No taxes, but also no Federal or State aid either.

A free Detroit would have absolutely no labor and workplace regulations, including minimum wages, mandatory insurance, equal opportunity rules, occupational safety rules, etc. People would be allowed to work together cooperatively for whatever terms their marginal productivity of labor will secure.

End all red tape that thwarts business start-ups and hobbles their expansion, such as licensing, public health regulations and inspections, zoning restrictions, etc. Do not be concerned that people may be employed in low-wage, dangerous jobs against their will. The reality is that business owners must recruit workers and not dragoon them and chain them to their workplaces. Nor are business owners interested in harming either their workers or their customers. If they do, normal civil and commercial law will suffice.

Privatize all government services, such as garbage pickup, water and sewage services; and allow for unbridled competition in these and other areas, even fire protection. Sell off city property (who needs offices that are empty of government bureaucrats anyway?) and deed public housing to its current occupants, making them responsible for their own abodes. You may be surprised how responsible people can be with their own property. End public education and all its costs. Allow the people to get the kind of education that they desire, whatever that may be. Since half the current population of Detroit is functionally illiterate, what’s the risk?

Do you want a safe society? Then let people arm themselves without any licensing requirements. Since it takes Detroit police about an hour to answer a typical 911 call, this is simply a practical solution to the basic human right of self-defense. Above all, end welfare. The destructive cycle of dependency is driving American cities to the financial and cultural wall.

Do not expect overnight success, but who knows? A free market always surprises us with new innovations. At first, one can expect lots of mom and pop start-ups, sidewalk vendors, and unlicensed and untaxed services, such as simple property repair, home schools, private taxis, etc. But if Nike and other American businesses are enticed by lower costs and fewer regulatory burdens to outsource their manufacturing operations overseas, why would they not take a good look at a free Detroit? Expect to be amazed.

Allow Detroit to become a safe, cooperative city that represents the best that America can be. Economic freedom will ensure the rebirth of Detroit. This city can become the beacon of true prosperity to the rest of America and to the world.

Patrick Barron

Irony From Obama’s Part-Time World

Full-time employment in America is going away, thanks to Obamacare. The trend extends all the way to people tasked with signing people up for Obamacare. Oh irony of ironies.

Contra Costa County, Calif., politicians hailed the announcement that the county had won the right to run an Obamacare call center as an economic coup that would bring in more than 200 jobs to the area. Seven thousand workers showed up to apply, some of them leaving full-time jobs for the positions originally promoted as full-time. But now the kicker: Half the jobs are part-time with no benefits.

So half the workers tasked with helping Californians sign up for Obamacare are out of luck on healthcare coverage. Their option: Pay the full cost of healthcare from the State exchange at a cost of $600 to $1,200 per month for individual coverage and $1,400 to $2,900 per month for a family. That’s quite a climb for a worker making between $15.33 and $18.63 an hour.

What are the odds most of them voted for Barack Obama… twice?

Lew Urges Congress To Raise The Debt Ceiling That Treasury Ignores

On May 17, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner saying that Treasury was set to begin implementing a “standard set of extraordinary measures” to allow borrowing and spending even after the Nation reached its legal debt limit.

Now, a recent Daily Treasury Statement makes clear just what Lew meant: Treasury would cook the books and make it appear as though the debt is holding steady. In fact, for the past 70 days the Federal debt hasn’t changed from exactly $16,699,396,000,000.00, according to Treasury records, despite continued sales of bills, notes and bonds for more than they can be redeemed.

The amount Treasury has reported for Federal debt is a mere $25 million below the debt ceiling imposed by Congress, which, if reached, should force a government shutdown.

Over the past 70 days, Treasury has made a number of moves that should have changed the Federal debt number. By July 26, according to Treasury statements, the government had redeemed nearly $6,128,368,000,000.00 in bills, notes and bonds during this fiscal year. At the same time, Treasury sold an additional $6,759,148,000,000.00 bills, note and bonds. That would equate to a net debt increase for the fiscal year.

According to an analysis of Treasury records by CNS, the value of U.S. Treasury debt instruments circulating in the public has increased $53.267 billion since May 17, meaning the debt limit has been surpassed with no consequence to government spending.

On Sunday, Lew made the rounds on news talk shows to urge Congress not to repeat the 2011 standoff over increasing the debt ceiling because the “confrontations and false crises” is bad for the American economy.

“Let’s remember, we hit the debt ceiling in May,” Lew said. “We’ve been using extraordinary measures since May to pay our bills. We’ll do that for as long as we can.”

Republicans lawmakers say a debt ceiling increase should be accompanied by major spending cuts that can reduce the Nation’s debt and are expected to use the Sept. 30 debt ceiling deadline to leverage cuts.

But, maybe Lew is right. Does the political theater even matter if the Republicans inevitably rollover and fail to force meaningful spending cuts and the debt limit isn’t a limit at all?

Congressional Black Caucus Wants Sheila Jackson Lee To Replace Big Sis

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has written to President Barack Obama urging him to consider Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, replacing Janet Napolitano, who left the position to accept an offer to lead the State university system in California.

Lee, who’s been in Congress since 1995 and continues to serve as a whip for the CBC, was evidently the organization’s second choice for a recommendation from among its own members. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) spurned the group’s effort to elevate him for the coveted big-government nomination.

Lee has a history of ignorance, belligerence and racially divisive, sensational public speech. She once asked if the Mars Pathfinder had taken a picture of the flag planted on the Red Planet by Neil Armstrong. She’s advocated for selling F-16 fighter jets and their components to Venezuela. In 2010, she told an NAACP audience that the Tea Party and the Ku Klux Klan were one and the same. Here in the 21st century, she thinks there’s a North Vietnam and a South Vietnam. She thinks “lily white” hurricane names are racist.

The CBC’s letter touts Lee’s deep understanding of immigration enforcement and her long resume of committee membership:

Representative Jackson Lee would serve as an effective DHS Secretary because she understands the importance of increasing border security and maintaining homeland security.

Since entering Congress in 1995, Jackson Lee has served on several committees, including Foreign Affairs, Judiciary and Homeland Security, in which she was the Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection.

…As Chairwoman, Representative Jackson Lee supported increased airplane cargo inspections and increased security for railroads, issues of great importance to the security of this nation and its citizens.

Jackson Lee currently holds the post of Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, a position that the CBC says she “stands as a strong and honest ‘voice of reason

President Barack Obama has insinuated that he’d welcome interest from New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for the DHS Secretary position. The White House had not responded late Tuesday to the CBC’s suggested alternative.

Study: Most On Disability Can Work, Don’t Want To

In 2009, the Social Security Administration (SSA) put together a study intended to gauge the character traits, behaviors and tendencies of people who were receiving Federal disability checks. Although the study was a matter of public record, it wasn’t intended to communicate its findings to the public — only to academics and policymakers.

The Washington Examiner recently analyzed the raw data from that study, going through the individual responses of 2,300 respondents — each of whom was on Federal disability in 2009.

What the newspaper found was at the same time both predictable and, in a disgusting way, shocking:

Recipients of federal disability checks often admit that they are capable of working but cannot or will not find a job, that those closest to them tell them they should be working, and that working to get off the disability rolls is not among their goals.

And even though many of the Nation’s 11 million SSDI (earned disability) enrollees, along with 7 million SSI (unearned disability) recipients, cite medical reasons for getting and remaining on disability, most of them reported that they had never received any kind of medical treatment for their stated illness and that they hadn’t been to a doctor for any reason related to their condition in more than a year.

Among many more details, the survey demonstrated:

  • 71 percent of SSDI recipients — those who’ve paid some money in to Social Security through payroll deductions from previous jobs — said they aren’t looking to return to work; 60 percent of SSI recipients — those who haven’t ever had a payroll deduction (and, in all likelihood, a job) — said they have no interest in finding work.
  • 75 percent of the SSDI recipients said they aren’t likely to go back to work within five years; 65 percent of the SSI recipients said the same thing.
  • 87 percent of SSDI recipients admitted they don’t want to look for employment because they don’t want to lose their disability check — not because of the disability that’s allegedly preventing them from working in the first place; 81 percent of SSI recipients said the same thing.
  • Of those few SSDI beneficiaries who did attempt to find a job while receiving disability benefits, 72 percent said they were paid under the table; 70 percent of SSI recipients said the same thing.

Have you ever known someone who’s milking the system in similar fashion? Most of us have witnessed it firsthand at least once in our working lives.

Are you legitimately disabled and have a story to share about freeloaders you’ve seen who are able to work, but continue to receive the same (or greater) benefits that you receive? Sound off in the comments.

Manning Not A Traitor; Arkansas Teachers Carry Guns; Hillary’s Patriot Award Undermines Benghazi Horror; Ted Cruz Blasts President’s Obamacare Delay Tactic; USDA Pays Dead Farmers— Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 7-30-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Hillary Clinton To Receive Patriot Award; Benghazi Survivor Recounts 20 Hour Wait For Help

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton… American patriot? The National Defense University Foundation thinks so. Read More… 

GAO Report: USDA Subsidizing Dead Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture paid our more than $32 million in crop insurance and soil and conservation payments to farmers who are dead between 2008 and 2012, according to the findings of a recent Government Accountability Office Report. Read More… 

Faculty, Staff At Arkansas School To Carry Firearms

More than 20 teachers and administrators at schools in one small Southern town will be concealed-carrying firearms on campus this fall, after the school district in Clarksville, Arkansas, a family-friendly town of about 9,000 people, agreed to train and license certain employees as armed security guards. Read More… 

Cruz: End Obamacare Before President’s Delaying Tactic Makes Repeal Impossible

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is sounding an alarm over President Barack Obama’s real intentions in delaying the tiered implementation of his signature first-term accomplishment – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Read More… 

Bradley Manning Cleared Of Aiding Enemy Charge, Still Faces Possible 150 Years In Prison

On Tuesday, a military judge acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of the serious charge of aiding the enemy which was levied against the serviceman for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military reports and diplomatic cables to the website Wikileaks. Read More…

Cruz: End Obamacare Before President’s Delaying Tactic Makes Repeal Impossible

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is sounding an alarm over President Barack Obama’s real intentions in delaying the tiered implementation of his signature first-term accomplishment – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In a Breitbart interview, Cruz cautions that Obamacare will soon be inextricably rooted in America’s bureaucratic structure – if the President continues to stagger portions of its implementation while Congressional Republicans sit on the sidelines.

“It is why, hand in hand with delaying the employer mandate for big corporations, the Obama administration announced it wasn’t going to enforce the eligibility requirements for the subsidies,” he said. “It’s essentially encouraging liar loans; encouraging fraud for people who come forward and say, ‘I qualify for a subsidy,’ and the Obama administration saying, ‘we’re not going to check on anything, we’re just going to take your word for it and grant you the subsidy.’ That is all Chicago-style politics designed to buy as many votes as possible. It is why the fight is now or never.”

According to Cruz, defunding Obamacare as Congress begins its evergreen fight over government spending this September represents the best opportunity opponents will have to ensure the law never gets out of the starting gate – because once it does, he argues, it’ll never be reined in.

“Right now is, in my view, our single best opportunity to defeat Obamacare and it may well be out last opportunity,” he told conservative radio host Dana Loesch Monday. “We have our best opportunity to do so on September 30th; the continuing resolution which funds the federal government it expires on September 30th and that’s the best opportunity…

“The Obama Administration’s plan is to get to January 1st. Because on Jan 1st, the exchanges start; the subsidies start. And their plan is to get everyone addicted to the sugar, addicted to the subsidies and look, in the modern age, there has been no major entitlement plan that’s been enacted that’s ever been repealed. So this is our last chance to take on Obamacare. And every one of those Republicans who says ‘let’s not fight on the continuing resolution’ – what they’re really saying is ‘we should surrender to Obamacare being a permanent feature of our economy.’”

Hillary Clinton To Receive Patriot Award; Benghazi Survivor Recounts 20 Hour Wait For Help

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton… American patriot? The National Defense University Foundation thinks so.

On November 14, the organization will present Clinton with its American Patriot award for being a leader who has “strengthened America’s strategic interests and advanced global security.”

“As First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton tirelessly worked to support and defend our nation and our allies around the world,” said Al Zimmerman, chairman of the NDU Foundation Board of Directors, in the press release announcing the award.

“Secretary Clinton will be the first woman to receive this award and in doing so joins an outstanding group of Americans who have been honored with the American Patriot Award, our very highest recognition,” Zimmerman continued in the release. “By honoring Secretary Clinton’s exemplary career in public service the NDU Foundation celebrates not only the American spirit of patriotism, but the leadership qualities necessary to preserve and protect that spirit.”

A look at previous recipients of the award, however, calls into question just how “patriotic” one must be to be considered and what exactly NDU considers patriotism. Among them: President George H.W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and General Colin Powell.

In other news, Diplomatic Security agent David Ubben, who was at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, during the attack that Clinton never really acknowledged except when pressed during Congressional hearings, is speaking out about his experience.

During the attacks on Benghazi, Ubben was on the rooftops with the Navy SEALS when several rounds of mortar attacks found their mark, killing Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and shredding Ubben’s right leg.

Ubben was stuck on the rooftop for 20 hours before help arrived.

Of course, the Benghazi failures and cover-up only equate to phony-scandal material for people like Clinton and the Administration she served.

GAO Report: USDA Subsidizing Dead Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture paid our more than $32 million in crop insurance and soil and conservation payments to farmers who are dead between 2008 and 2012, according to the findings of a recent Government Accountability Office Report.

GAO said the payments were made because the USDA’s Risk Management Agency and Environmental Working Group failed to check master lists compiled by the government to assure payments go only to living recipients.

The GAO said of the findings : “USDA spends about $20 billion annually on federal programs that support farm income, conserve natural resources, and help farmers manage risks from natural disasters, benefiting over 1 million participants. Given their cost and continuing nationwide budget pressures, these programs have come under increasing scrutiny. One concern has been the distribution of benefits to ineligible participants, including potentially improper payments to deceased individuals, which, as GAO and others have reported, may call into question whether these farm safety net programs are benefiting the agricultural sector as intended.”

This isn’t the first time GAO has discovered USDA payments being made to dead farmers. A 2007 GAO report listed $1.1 billion in farm payments over six years to people who were not living.

Faculty, Staff At Arkansas School To Carry Firearms

More than 20 teachers and administrators at schools in one small Southern town will be concealed-carrying firearms on campus this fall, after the school district in Clarksville, Arkansas, a family-friendly town of about 9,000 people, agreed to train and license certain employees as armed security guards.

In addition to completing a 53-hour training course, each licensed employee will be awarded a $1,100 stipend to buy a handgun and holster. The identities of most employees carrying the weapons isn’t being revealed, so that would-be criminals won’t hold an advantage – in the unlikely event a school is ever attacked. The district will, however, post signs at each school alerting students and visitors to the presence of armed guards.

The school district is also paying $50,000 for ammunition and for training at a privately-run academy.

“We’re not tying our money up in a guard 24/7 that we won’t have to have unless something happens,” explained Superintendent David Hopkins. “We’ve got these people who are already hired and using them in other areas. Hopefully we’ll never have to use them as a security guard.

“The plan we’ve been given in the past is `Well, lock your doors, turn off your lights and hope for the best,’” he added. “That’s not a plan.”

Report: NSA Surveillance Programs To Be Declassified

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  The U.S. intelligence community plans to declassify information about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, CNN reported.

A senior official told CNN the information included not only “white papers” on surveillance programs but also previously undisclosed information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The official said the information could be revealed as soon as Tuesday.

The official said the release was part of a “concerted [and] deliberate” effort to declassify additional information in the wake of the leaks by former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden.

The moves come amid growing bipartisan congressional pressure to pass legislation that would change or possibly end some of the NSA’s surveillance programs.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has been trying to declassify at least some detailed case opinions by the surveillance court, the official told CNN.

“I think there is a high likelihood of FISC opinions being declassified soon,” the official said.

A DNI spokesman told CNN Monday the agency was “leaning forward and telling others to be more transparent as much as possible.”

Snowden has been in a Moscow airport’s transit zone since June 23 and has sought temporary asylum in Russia. He has been on the run since leaking information on NSA electronic surveillance programs.

Washington has called on Moscow to reject Snowden’s request for asylum and return him to the United States for trial.

Senate Confirms James B. Comey As Next FBI Director

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  The U.S. Senate Monday voted 93-1 to confirm the nomination of James B. Comey to be the next FBI director.

Comey will replace Robert S. Mueller III, who is required to vacate his post as head of the FBI on Sept. 3.

The bipartisan vote, with two senators voting “present,” came after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., lifted his hold on Comey’s nomination after the FBI briefed Paul on the domestic use of surveillance drones, USA Today reported.

Comey, 52, was deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and later worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC.

“Jim is a natural leader of unquestioned integrity,” President Barack Obama said in a statement issued by the White House. “In the face of ever-changing threats, he has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to defending America’s security and ideals alike. With Jim at the bureau’s helm, I know that the FBI will be in good hands long after I’ve left office.

“As welcome as today’s vote is, however, the Senate still has work to do,” Obama said. “Like the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a critical law enforcement agency, and it has been without a confirmed director for far too long. I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Todd Jones, my nominee to lead the ATF, so that he and his team can do their part to keep American families safe. As senators from both parties recognized today, we cannot allow partisan politics to get in the way of protecting the American people.”

Bradley Manning Cleared Of Aiding Enemy Charge, Still Faces Possible 150 Years In Prison

On Tuesday, a military judge acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of the serious charge of aiding the enemy which was levied against the serviceman for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military reports and diplomatic cables to the website Wikileaks.

The aiding-the-enemy charge could have resulted in a sentence of up to life in prison or even to the death penalty, though the military hadn’t sought capital punishment in the Manning case.

Manning, however, still faces up to 150 years in prison for a slew of lesser charges included in his 21-count indictment including: five counts of espionage, five theft charges, a computer fraud charge and a number of military infractions. Manning had earlier pleaded guilty to some of the indictment charges, risking a potential 20 years behind bars. But government prosecutors pushed forward with the full indictment.

Manning’s defense attorney had argued that the aiding the enemy charge should be dropped because the serviceman did not provide the information directly to the enemy, but he gave the documents to WikiLeaks in an attempt to “spark reform” and provoke debate about what Manning described as the military’s “bloodlust” and disregard for human life. Furthermore, Manning did not attempt to sell the intelligence cables, which a counterintelligence witness valued at about $5.7 million.

Manning’s sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

Obama’s Middle Class ‘Grand Bargain’; California’s Hispanic GOP; More Benghazi Testimony; D.C. Vandal Just A Homeless Lady; A Victory For The Stars And Stripes – Tuesday Morning News Roundup 7-30-2013

  • President Barack Obama will propose a “grand bargain for middle-class jobs” on Tuesday that would cut the U.S. corporate tax rate and use billions in revenues generated by a business tax overhaul to fund projects aimed at creating jobs. Source: Reuters… 


  • Cherry farmer and cattle rancher Andy Vidak said he captured his newly-won California Senate seat in last week’s runoff vote by connecting with Hispanic voters with a “common-sense” approach that focused on job creation, affordable energy and opposition to big government. Now, a new kind of GOP leadership suddenly is thinking about making major inroads in California, and they are not embarrassed to say so aloud. Source: The Washington Times… 


  • Congress will hear eagerly awaited testimony Wednesday on the Benghazi, Libya, terror attack from a special operations task force commander who is set to retire the next day. Source: The Hill 


  • The short national nightmare of vandalism that marred several Washington, D.C. memorials and landmarks has likely come to an end. In a strangely comforting outcome, the culprit appears to be a fairly garden-variety crazy homeless woman with no extremist manifesto or major geopolitical ambitions. More Surveillance! Source: The Daily Caller…


  • An injured veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was told to take down the American flag she has flying from the balcony of her apartment is now being told it can stay. Jen Elliot was shocked when she found a notice from property management on her door last week, asking her to remove the flag from her balcony, along with some other items. Public backlash won the day. Source: CBS Sacramento… 


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Pending Home Sale Contracts Slide Slightly

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Pending Home Sales Index slipped slightly off of a six-year peak in June, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

The NAR said the index that tracks contracts of intention slipped 0.4 percent month-to-month to 110.9.

The index is a comparison to the monthly average for 2001, its first year, which was assigned a value of 100.

The NAR said it had revised its May reading for the index to a slightly lower 111.3 — still leaving it as the highest reading since December 2006, when it stood at 112.8.

In June, the 26th consecutive month of improvements on an annual basis, the index was 10.9 percent higher than June 2012, when the index stood at 100.

The Pending Home Sales Index for the Northeast held steady in May at 87.2, but is 12.2 percent higher than June 2012.

In the Midwest, the index, dropped 1 percent to 114.3, but is 19.5 percent higher than June 2012.

From May, the index fell 2.1 percent in the South to 118.3, although that is a gain of 9.5 percent compared with the past 12 months. In the West, the index came to 114.2, up 3.3 percent from May and 4.4 percent from June 2012.

Consumers Like To Hear Their Favorite Music Over And Over

ST. LOUIS (UPI) — Although consumers say they prefer to listen to unfamiliar music, they actually prefer to hear their favorites over and over again, U.S. researchers say.

Study co-authors Joseph K. Goodman of Washington University’s Olin Business School in St. Louis, Morgan Ward of Southern Methodist University and Julie Irwin of University of Texas at Austin said study showed consumers pick music they are familiar with even when they believe they would prefer less familiar music.

“In three studies, we examined the power of familiarity on music choice and showed that familiarity is a more important driver of music choice than more obvious, and commonly tested, constructs such as liking and satiation, i.e., being ‘sick of’ certain music,” the researchers said in a statement.

“Our results suggest that the emphasis on novelty in the music domain, by consumers and people often protesting the current state of the music business, is probably misplaced. In the marketplace, and in our pilot study, consumers said that they want more novelty when in fact their choices suggest they do not.”

Goodman suggested marketers should continue to promote what is familiar to consumers, even though it might not be the most liked. In addition, managers and artists should not underestimate the power of familiarity when promoting their music.

Consumers have a need for both novel and familiar music, and they especially prefer familiar music when they are busy working or doing cognitively demanding tasks, the researchers said.

Study: Caffeinated Coffee Linked To Lower Suicide Risk

BOSTON (UPI) — Drinking a few cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent, U.S. researchers say.

Lead researcher Michel Lucas, a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues found the risk of suicide for adults who drank two to four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was about half that of those who drank decaffeinated coffee or very little or no coffee.

Caffeine not only stimulates the central nervous system but may act as a mild anti-depressant by boosting production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, Lucas said.

The authors did not recommend depressed adults increase caffeine consumption because most individuals adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal level for them and an increase could result in unpleasant side effects, Lucas said.

“Overall, our results suggest there is little further benefit for consumption above two to three cups/day or 400 milligrams of caffeine/day,” the authors wrote in their study findings, published in the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.

The researchers based their findings a review of data from three large U.S. studies involving the 43,599 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study 1988-2008, 73,820 women in the Nurses’ Health Study 1992-2008 and 91,005 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II 1993-2007.

Caffeine, coffee and decaffeinated coffee intake was assessed every four years by questionnaires.

Breaking A Sweat While Working Out Helps Reduce Stroke Risk

ADELAIDE, Australia (UPI) — Breaking a sweat while working out regularly may reduce the risk of stroke by reducing blood pressure, weight and blood sugar, researchers in Australia say.

Study author Michelle McDonnell, a lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, University of South Australia, said the study involved 27,000 Americans, age 45 and older who were tracked for an average of 5.7 years.

One-third of participants reported being inactive, exercising less than once a week.

The study, published in the journal Stroke, found among men, only those who exercised at moderate or vigorous intensity four or more times a week had a lowered stroke risk. Among women, the relationship between stroke and frequency of activity was less clear.

Inactive people were 20 percent more likely to experience a stroke or mini-stroke than those who exercised at moderate to vigorous intensity — enough to break a sweat — at least four times a week, the study said.

“The stroke-lowering benefits of physical activity are related to its impact on other risk factors,” McDonnell said in a statement. “Exercise reduces blood pressure, weight and diabetes. If exercise was a pill, you’d be taking one pill to treat four or five different conditions.”

Study participants were part of the Reasons for Geographic and Ethnic Differences in Stroke study — divided relatively equally between black and white and male and female, with more people from the “Stroke Belt” states in the southeast.