McCain Tentatively Says Special IRS Counsel May Be Needed

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) is lumbering toward the sobering conclusion that his allies in the Administration of President Barack Obama may not be able to dodge much more scrutiny over the IRS scandal – at least, not without some credible way of exonerating them.

On the Today show Monday, McCain used his typical incomplete-sentence stammer-speak to hint that a special counsel might be appropriate for investigating the IRS.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWdJTxTxEsA&w=560&h=315]

“It certainly – when you look at the people that were targeted, it might have been something different than accidental – but I think we ought to have hearings and I think that there may be an argument for a special counsel here,” he explained. “But, let’s, I think, wait and see…

“I think that’s the reason why we ought to have hearings, and in fact maybe even a select committee may be called for, given the questions surrounding this investigation,” he elaborated. “So I think we ought to wait and see how events unfold.

Bottom line: McCain was pained to say even that much, and will be among the very last of all Congressional Republicans to show real interest in leading the charge for a special counsel.

Minneapolis Police Pay Out Millions To Settle Misconduct Cases; Admit No Wrongdoing

Since 2006, the Minneapolis Police Department has paid out almost $14 million to the “alleged” victims of police misconduct and abuse. But seldom do those payoffs come with an admission of wrongdoing, or a disciplinary action against the offending officers.

In fact, the 12 most costly cases, in terms of payouts, involved no officer discipline. The department paid $2.19 million to the family of a mentally ill man police shot and killed in 2006. But no one was disciplined or fired.

Last month, the department broke that record, settling for $3 million with the family of a mentally ill man who died after being forcibly restrained at the local YMCA. It was the largest payout in the city’s history to the family of a civilian alleged to have been harmed by the Minneapolis police. But there’s been no discipline.

“Attorneys who have sued the Minneapolis police say the department is reluctant to discipline wayward officers,” reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Robert Bennett, the attorney who represented the family of [deceased alleged police victim] David Smith, has extracted more large payouts for alleged police misconduct in Minneapolis than any other attorney. He said he believes the department does not discipline ‘at least on these big cases’ because it will hamper its defense in the courtroom.

“City Attorney Susan Segal denied that assertion, and said decisions on discipline and whether to defend or settle lawsuits are separate.”

Don’t Agree With Your Doctor’s Vaccine Advice? Keep It To Yourself, Or Big Brother Will Know

American and British scientists, with the help of funding through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have developed an Internet-based global monitoring system that’s capable of mining social media sites for opinions that diverge from mainstream medical advice on the safety and urgency of getting vaccinated.

As more people in developed countries eschew the much-evangelized regimen of vaccinations for infants, students and adults hoping to avoid seasonal illness like the flu, makers of vaccines are renewing their push to keep as many people as possible receptive to the challenged belief that vaccines prevent, and don’t actually cause, disease.

What’s the goal of developing the real-time monitoring network — called “HealthMap” by its makers — to track dissenters online? To report errant beliefs, and those who share them, to health authorities, of course. From May 2011 until April 2012, HealthMap collected 3,209 reports originating from 144 countries that expressed fear, skepticism, distrust or other negative opinions about the vaccine industry.

One of the system’s creators, Heidi Larson of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said public health officials will be able to do “systematic monitoring and assessment of media reports for vaccine sentiment, with the aim of detecting concerns as they emerge and evolve in real time.

“Real-time monitoring and analysis of vaccine concerns could help governments and public health officials locally, nationally, and globally understand where they should focus their attention and resources when a concern arises, and where specific vaccines might need more tailored engagement strategies.”

The first step in isolating and relegating a group of like-minded thinkers to marginal status is to identify them, and those who question the efficacy of inoculations believe HealthMap takes a big step down that path.

“If you post articles to your Facebook wall that warn others about the dangers of vaccines, or Tweet links to the latest studies tying vaccines to autism through Twitter, the vaccine pushers of the world could soon know about it in real time,” warns Natural News.

“This brave new exercise in multinational, Big Brother spying is being hailed as a solution to the rapid spread of so-called ‘rumors’ and ‘lies’ about vaccines via the internet, which basically constitute any online free speech that questions the safety or effectiveness of vaccines.”

Colorado Senate President Faces Recall In Voter Backlash Over Gun Grab

Two Colorado legislators who supported the State’s trio of new gun control laws in March are now fighting to keep their seats, as residents warm to the growing nationwide push to recall lawmakers whose in-office actions don’t reflect what voters thought they were getting at election time.

State Senate President John Morse, a Democrat, is the highest-profile target of voter backlash against the gun-control legislation, which passed March 20. Recall supporters have been compiling petitions in Colorado Springs, collecting signatures at gun stores and in high-traffic public places like libraries and grocery stores.

Morse told FOX News he’s already resigned himself to the fact that the petitions are there in adequate number to force a recall vote, but he protests that he’s been targeted not only by irate Colorado residents, but also by the national gun lobby — especially the National Rifle Association.

“That’s what’s going on here. They want to take out the Senate president,” he said. In a separate CNN interview, he elaborated: “It was a grassroots effort for a little while, but when that didn’t take at all, it was clear they were getting money from outside. And I wasn’t the least bit surprised the NRA was behind it.”

Recall organizers originally targeted four State legislators, including Morse, but two of those efforts have already stalled. That, in part, is why the NRA has thrown its support behind a single campaign to hold a recall vote for a high-profile Senator like Morse.

Recall leaders don’t dispute it, saying the effort is intended, in part, to remove out-of-touch Legislators from office — but also to send a message that voters have recourse when their voices aren’t heeded.

“It’s as much about saying Colorado is angry as it is about getting one guy out,” explained Anthony Garcia, who’s organizing the Morse recall effort. “Legislators need to know when citizens are outraged that they can’t ignore the people.”

For his part, Morse is campaigning as though it’s election season, urging voters not to sign the petitions. He’s getting outside support, too, in the form of a $20,000 contribution from America Votes, a nationwide progressive group.

In the meantime, guns and ammo keep flying off Colorado gun stores’ shelves. During the fiscal quarter when the Legislature took up and passed gun control, there were more than 146,000 background checks for gun sales in the State. A year earlier, there had been only 69,000.

What’s ‘Affordable’ About the Affordable Care Act? California Premiums Set To Increase 64 Percent To 146 Percent

Buyers of individual insurance plans in California are bracing for sticker shock as the Jan. 1 start date for President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act approaches.

Covered California, the State’s healthcare exchange that’s being set up to offer a closed-market array of insurance plans that conform to the Obamacare vision, released projections last week that forecast anywhere from a 2 percent increase all the way to a 29 percent decrease in the cost of plans purchased under the exchange for individuals.

But Forbes contributor Avik Roy looked a little closer at the numbers behind that boast, and found it’s an apples-and-oranges comparison.

Last week, Covered California—the name for the state’s Obamacare-compatible insurance exchange—released the rates that Californians will have to pay to enroll in the exchange.

“The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market,” the state said in a press release, “ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.”

That’s the sentence that led to all of the triumphant commentary from the left. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” exulted [Covered California executive director] Peter Lee.

Except that Lee was making a misleading comparison. He was comparing apples–the plans that Californians buy today for themselves in a robust individual market–and oranges–the highly regulated plans that small employers purchase for their workers as a group. The difference is critical.

So what’s the difference?

Well, the absolute cheapest coverage a single young person can get through Covered California, the “catastrophic” plan, averages $184 per month, which itself equals the current median monthly insurance premium throughout California.

But if you want more — as in, comprehensive coverage you may already be accustomed to from any employer-sponsored plans you’ve held in the past — the price starts to jump. Comprehensive coverage through Covered California averages $205 a month.

For a single, healthy 25-year-old, the current average rate for basic coverage in California is $92 a month. A year from now, the $184 figure kicks in. And, once you pass age 30, you’re not eligible under Obamacare for the cheap “catastrophic” policy; you have to upgrade:

[I]f you’re 40, your cheapest option is the bronze [comprehensive] plan. In California, the median price of a bronze plan for a 40-year-old male non-smoker will be $261.

But on eHealthInsurance [in 2013], the average cost of the five cheapest plans was $121. That is, Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by an average of 116 percent.

At the time the Affordable Care Act was passed, insurance company experts who foresaw the price surge Obamacare’s market-restricting regulations and qualifiers would bring about were eviscerated by the Obama Administration when they protested the changes. Insurers were portrayed as greedy monopolists whose stranglehold on artificially high rates was about to come to an end.

But it’s becoming clear that market greed pales in comparison to the hunger for power that fuels Obama’s most ambitious social experiment.

Kokesh Calls Off Armed March, Long, Poor Road To Recovery, Playing The Race Card On Obamacare, Get A Job Spying For The NSA: TGIF Afternoon News Links 5-31-2013

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

Kokesh Calls Off Armed March On Washington, D.C.; Now Wants July 4th March On State Capitals

Adam Kokesh says his legal troubles mean he can no longer guarantee he’ll even be able to attend the 1,000-person armed march on Washington, D.C. he’d been promoting for July 4th. So he’s calling off the event in favor of a new scheme, asking people to march on the capitol buildings in all 50 States this 4th of July. He’s playing a dangerous game. Read more…

 

What Recovery? Despite Fed Boasts, Americans Have Only Regained 45 Percent Of Recession Losses

In March, the Federal Reserve chirped that Americans had, as a whole, recouped 91 percent of the aggregate wealth the Nation lost during the economic crisis of 2007-2009. But Thursday, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis released a report that adjusts for inflation – and it paints a completely different picture. Read more…

Play the Race Card And Run! Louisiana Senator Shamed By Own Comments; Dodges Press

Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter-Peterson lashed out at her Legislative peers who oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Monday, declaring from the floor of the Senate chamber that the only reason they’re against Obamacare is because President Barack Obama himself is black. But when a local TV reporter tried to ask her for an explanation, Peterson ran. Read more… 

Need A Job? The NSA’s Utah Spy Center Is Hiring

If you want to work inside the $1.2 billion Data Center the National Security Agency (NSA) is planning to open later this year, it would have helped if you’d already enrolled in a specially-tailored training program at the University of Utah.

But, if being part of one of the largest digital spying schemes ever undertaken by a government still thrills you, send in your admissions application. Read more…

Need A Job? The NSA’s Utah Spy Center Is Hiring

If you want to work inside the $1.2 billion Data Center the National Security Agency (NSA) is planning to open later this year, it would have helped if you’d already enrolled in a specially-tailored training program at the University of Utah.

But, if being part of one of the largest digital spying schemes ever undertaken by a government (not to mention the Federal employee perks and security clearance) still thrills you, send in your admissions application.

The NSA approached the university two years ago, asking Richard Brown, dean of the College of Engineering, to come up with an academic program that, according to Wired, “could teach computer science students all of the networking, electrical engineering, and server cooling skills that they’d need to run one of the world’s largest data centers.”

So Brown did, concocting the Data Center Engineering program, which is set to offer its first courses this fall on separate tracks toward Bachelor’s and Master’s-level certifications.

The NSA’s director of installations and logistics, Harvey Davis, told the Salt Lake City Tribune Thursday the agency is seeking both graduates and interns to work at the center, which is expected to consume 1,210 gallons of water per minute and will employ 150 people.

A recent, two-year bipartisan investigation by the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations demonstrates concern – even among some members of Congress – that data centers (also known as “fusion centers”) represent a major source of government waste.

That report found the Nation’s more than 70 extant fusion centers actually do very little to provide Americans meaningful protection from terrorism, despite supporters’ arguments that data centers are intended to do just that.

 

Kokesh Calls Off Armed March On Washington, D.C.; Now Wants July 4th March On State Capitals

Adam Kokesh, the libertarian anti-war activist who was bizzarely arrested and subsequently released after attending a Philadelphia rally earlier this month, says his legal troubles mean he can no longer guarantee he’ll even be able to attend the 1,000-person armed march on Washington, D.C., he’d been promoting for July 4.

That event sparked a torrent of polarized response from Personal Liberty Digest™ readers and others around the Internet.

But now, says Kokesh, he’s calling off the event — despite the fact he was well on his way to accruing the 10,000 Facebook RSVP threshold he set for the march to go forward.

In its place, he’s calling on a latent “Revolutionary Army” to march on the capitol buildings of all 50 States:

This revolution has been brewing in the hearts and minds of the people for many years, but this Independence Day, it shall take a new form as the American Revolutionary Army will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property. Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible…

…While there is risk in drastic action, the greater danger lies in allowing this government to continue unchallenged. So if you are content with the status quo, stay home, get fat, watch the fireworks from a safe distance, and allow this Independence Day to pass like any other. But if you see as we see, and feel as we feel, we will see you on the front lines of freedom on July 4th, 2013 for this, The Final American Revolution.

Kokesh announced his new scheme on the radio show of Pete Santilli, the very same liberal tool who publicly fantasized about shooting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the vagina.

Looks like Kokesh’s message and his methods are beginning to conflict. He got the Feds’ attention, but now he’s playing a dangerous game — both with the government, and with the hearts and minds of those who’ve followed him this far.

Play The Race Card And Run! Louisiana Senator Shamed By Own Comments; Dodges Press

Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter-Peterson lashed out at her Legislative peers who oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Monday, declaring from the floor of the Senate chamber that the only reason they’re against Obamacare is because President Barack Obama himself is black.

Local TV station WBRZ tried to catch up with her Wednesday to get her to elaborate, but she did this (the running starts at the :43 mark):

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPuFZo-8ZQE&w=420&h=315]

 

Peterson, who chairs the Louisiana Democratic Party, told her colleagues: “It’s not about how many Federal dollars we can receive — it’s not about that. You ready? It’s about race. No, nobody wants to talk about that. It’s about the race of this African-American President.”

Clearly, Peterson herself didn’t want to talk about that in the aftermath.

Peterson’s not the only minority representing the State in Baton Rouge. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s Republican Governor, is the son of first-generation immigrants into the U.S. from India. Black lawmakers also comprise 20 percent of the Louisiana State Legislature; 32 percent of the State’s population is black.

What Recovery? Despite Fed Boasts, Americans Have Regained Only 45 Percent Of Recession Losses

In March, the Federal Reserve chirped that Americans had, as a whole, recouped 91 percent of the aggregate wealth the Nation lost during the economic crisis of 2007-2009.

But Thursday, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis released a report that strays pretty far from the Fed’s earlier, optimistic message. Unlike the March report, the current version adjusts for inflation, and averages all gains and losses across population demographics.

It’s a completely different picture. Instead of being on the cusp of full recovery, we’re not even halfway there. With the corrections in place, the average U.S. household appears to have recovered only 45 percent of whatever wealth was lost between 2007 and 2010.

For one thing, there are more 3.8 million more American households now than in 2007; for another, almost 70 percent of the post-recession gains have come in the form of stock surges, which benefit upper-income Americans in far greater proportion than those living in a middle-class household. And the value of homes, where most middle-class Americans’ wealth is stored, is still down almost 16 percent from pre-recession levels.

Hillary Loved Less, Christopher Stevens Was ‘John Doe’ In Death, Cap Gun Gets 5-Year-Old Suspended, Brand-Name Weed, Asteroid Preppers: Friday Morning News Roundup 5-31-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • Thanks to her “handling” of the Benghazi, Libya, terror attacks, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s popularity has taken a pretty big dive. A Quinnipiac University poll shows 52 percent (still an amazing number) of respondents “approve” of Clinton, but that’s a 9-point drop since her all-time high of 61 percent in February. Of those surveyed, 48 percent blame her for the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in the Sept. 11 attack.

 

  • Speaking of Stevens: An anonymous U.S. official has told CBS News that Americans in charge of the mess told the Benghazi Medical Center to list Stevens, who died of asphyxiation in the attack, as “John Doe” on his death certificate. “The reason for the pseudonym,” says the official, “was to avoid drawing undue attention to the importance of the victim as Americans rushed to figure out how to recover Stevens’ body and return it to the U.S.” They get a lot of John Does in Libyan hospitals?

 

  • In the gun-panicked suburbs of Washington, D.C., kids are getting thrown out of school for eating stuff into gun shapes, pointing their fingers like guns and firing off Hello Kitty bubble guns that literally shoot pretty, floating bubbles. So an unnamed 5-year-old who brought an orange-tipped cap gun onto the school bus must have seemed, by comparison, like an outright terrorist. So the adults in his life did the sensible thing and suspended him for five days. That’ll teach ’im!

 

  • A former executive for Microsoft is planning to launch America’s first marijuana brand — think Marlboro or Camel, except for weed — by sourcing the product from Mexican suppliers and pledging consistency across the market. It’s still illegal under Federal law, but with States beginning to ignore the Feds, Jamen Shively (he’s the man with the plan) says marijuana in the United States is becoming “a giant market in search of a brand.”

 

  • This afternoon’s 3.6 million-mile flyby of a pretty chunky asteroid — romantically dubbed “1998 QE2” — is turning some scientists’ thoughts toward disaster preparedness. Their best answer for space rock crashes, so far, is… well, to stand by and watch using a bunch of telescopes hooked up to a computer database. Social media could play a role in preparing the public for a direct strike; scientists are using today’s near-miss as an experiment in engaging people in play-by-play discussion of real-time sky events. Giant asteroid; run!

 

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

California Legislature Prepares To Track Ammo Buyers With Forced Background Checks

The California State Senate passed seven gun-control bills Wednesday, tightening the leash on gun owners in a State already entrenched in an ongoing, liberal-led subversion of its residents’ 2nd Amendment powers.

The bills aren’t yet law, since their Senate approval now moves them before the State Assembly. But if they do become law under Governor Jerry Brown, owning firearms in California will almost inevitably become a burden instead of a Constitutionally protected right.

Probably the most outrageous aspect of the new gun grab is SB 53, a bill that will require background checks (and, of course, a registry that tracks who passes and who fails) in order to issue permits to gun owners who plan to buy ammunition. Oh, and they’ll pay $50 to the State.

But the ammo-control bill is just the ugliest of the California gun grab’s many faces:

  • SB 567 will change the definition of certain types of shotgun so that they can be classified as “assault weapons.”
  • SB 374 will ban detachable rifle magazines.
  • SB 396 makes it a crime to own or sell magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
  • BS 755 will ban former alcoholics and drug addicts from owning a gun — for 10 years.

For a rundown of all the bills the California Senate passed Wednesday, visit the Sacramento Bee’s summary page. For context on how the various bills will affect California gun owners, read the breakdown on guns.com.

At first glance, about the only defensible piece of legislation that made it through the Senate is a bill requiring all first-time gun buyers to take a firearm safety class and earn a certificate demonstrating they’ve passed the course. Then again, a strict interpretation of the 2nd Amendment’s provision that the right to bear arms “shall not be infringed” would seem to exclude it.

But nuances like that matter little in the face of such a multifaceted attack on gun owners. As far gone as the California gun grab is, no one’s preoccupied with the least offensive bill among a glut of stinkers.

Survey: Strong Bipartisan Demand From American Voters For Independent IRS Prosecutor

A survey published Thursday by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut shows that 75 percent of Americans want a special prosecutor to investigate the targeting of Tea Party conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama.

The nationwide survey, which polled 1,419 registered voters, also revealed outrage over the IRS scandal is largely bipartisan, with 63 percent of registered Democrats calling for a special prosecutor. Among Republicans, it’s 88 percent.

“There is overwhelming bipartisan support for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Voters apparently don’t like the idea of Attorney General Eric Holder investigating the matter himself, perhaps because they don’t exactly think highly of him. Holder gets a negative 23 – 39 percent job approval rating.”

The IRS scandal also seems to draw the most attention from voters angry over the Administration’s apparent role in multiple scandals. The IRS’s systematic political discrimination was named by 44 percent of respondents as the Administration’s top-priority scandal, followed by Benghazi (24 percent) and the secret subpoena of Associate Press reporters’ phone records (15 percent).

The abuse of public trust emanating from the Obama Administration hasn’t just soured bipartisan perception of today’s White House; it’s also affected voters’ overall belief in the integrity of government as a whole:

Only 3 percent of voters trust the federal government to do the right thing almost all the time, while 12 percent say they trust it most of the time; 47 percent say some of the time and 36 percent hardly ever. That compares to results of a Quinnipiac University poll in July 2010, four months before the Republican sweep that year on the back of anti-government sentiment, when 2 percent said almost always, 16 percent said most of the time; 50 percent said some of the time and 31 percent said hardly ever.

“All of these investigations may be having a negative effect on voters’ willingness to trust the federal government.to do the right thing,” said Brown.

As for Obama himself, things aren’t good. The President was judged “honest and trustworthy” by 49 percent of voters, with 47 percent deeming him the opposite. That’s a big slide from the last time voters were polled on the same question. Back in September of 2011, 58 percent believed the President was honest and trustworthy, with only 37 percent disagreeing at the time.

See the complete survey here.

MSM Outlets Reject Holder’s Attempt To Control Agenda On Reining In DOJ With ‘Off-Record’ Talks

FOX News, The New York Times, The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN and The Huffington Post all have told Attorney General Eric Holder he can forget about trying to control a dialogue between government and the press, citing an obvious principle that the U.S. Department of Justice has continued to ignore: the media’s power to go about its job without first agreeing to silent and hidden ground rules with that very government on which it purports, at least in theory, to shine a light.

Holder’s farcical proposition — which essentially asks mainstream media outlets with bureaus in Washington, D.C., to join him in off-record discussions over how he can go about investigating himself in the wake of illegal media snooping scandals involving FOX News and The AP — has rightly hit a sour note with nearly all takers. The talks, which will still go on with the few news outfits (ABC, POLITICO) who’ve said “yes,” are set to take place Thursday and Friday.

“We will not be attending the session at DOJ,” The New York Times said flatly. “It isn’t appropriate for us to attend an off the record meeting with the attorney general. Our Washington bureau is aggressively covering the department’s handling of leak investigations at this time.”

FOX News began its own story on the absurd closed-door talks Thursday by simply stating, “Michael Clemente, Fox News‘ executive vice president, decided that Fox News will not attend the off-record talks.”

The Huffington Post also offered a terse rejoinder as part of a larger story: “The Huffington Post’s Washington bureau chief, Ryan Grim, also said the news site would decline an off-the-record meeting.”

And so on with CNN, CBS News and all the rest. It was a nice “I’m Spartacus” moment of open revolt for a mostly liberal press whose influence over Americans’ political opinions continues to decline.

There’s a facile irony to the mainstream media’s newfound indignance over the Barack Obama Administration’s ongoing condescension. It’s not the condescension that’s new; indeed, no President has enjoyed such a malleable and feeble press presence at White House briefings as have Obama and his simpering, petulant press secretary, Jay Carney. And on those pre-scandal occasions when the mainstream press had broken out of its Stockholm-syndrome thrall long enough to complain, it focused on ridiculous tabloid slights like Obama’s media-shunning golf outing with Tiger Woods.

Now that they’ve no choice but to be outraged and now that they’ve been directly targeted by a Presidential Administration that grew a little too comfortable with its clockwork ability to shepherd the White House press corps, the MSM has found religion.

Better late than never. Something still smells about the way the Obama Administration is trying to countenance these scandals — by doggedly attempting to set the terms of how they’ll be talked about, reported on and investigated — and at least a few in the press are starting to wise up in ways that regular Americans can begin to appreciate.

“Obama’s team still doesn’t get it,” wrote National Journal’s Ron Fournier Thursday. “One wonders why the media would trust Holder’s motive given how the administration has conducted itself so far. The most recent case in point: When The New York Times and AP announced that they would not meet with Holder ‘off the record,’ Democratic Party spokesman Brad Woodhouse tweeted that the decision ‘kind of forfeits your right to gripe.’ Well, no — it doesn’t. Woodhouse was treating the media like a political opponent: Attack, distort, and deflect. He probably didn’t realize the Orwellian implications of his wisecrack. Even the liberal ACLU took issue with it…

“…Small things matter in the big picture. Obama might want to ask Holder to explain himself at a town-hall meeting. Not with bureau chiefs, but to the public at large. On the damn record.”

Why Cruz Doesn’t Trust Republicans, Obama Has No Business Asking China To RIMPAC, Crime Victim Charged For Using Gun That Saved Him, NRA Honors Kid Who Ate Pop Tart Until It Resembled Gun: Afternoon News Links 5-30-2013

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

Here’s Why Cruz Doesn’t Trust The Republicans

Last week, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told the Congressional establishment he didn’t trust them, whether Democrat or Republican, with the task of crafting a budget that will force government to spend within its means. His “Let me be clear: I don’t trust the Republicans” retort to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has resonated with true fiscal conservatives nationwide since then. Here’s Why: Read more…

Obama Administration Invites China Into Military-To-Military Joint RIMPAC Naval Exercise

The United States is moving forward with plans to include the Chinese navy in next year’s Rim Of The Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, the largest international warfare exercise in the world. The L.A. Times says U.S. allies should boycott RIMPAC until the U.S. rescinds that invitation, and they’re right. Read more…

Oregon Man Fires Warning Shot At Felon Attempting To Break Into Home, Gets Hauled To Jail

The intended victim of a home invasion in Medford, Ore., was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, reckless endangerment and menacing after he allegedly told the would-be perpetrator, who was attempting to break in through the back door, to get off his property and followed it up by firing a warning shot into the ground. Read more…

Kid Who Ate A Pop Tart Until It Looked Rather Like A Gun Receives Free Lifetime NRA Membership

The National Rifle Association presented 8-year-old Marylander Josh Welch a free lifetime membership, valued at $550, in a lighthearted demonstration of the absurdity of Josh’s school suspension over a gun-shaped pastry. But Welch clearly thinks the whole hoopla over getting in trouble at school for eating a pastry until only the silhouette of a gun remains is just stupid. Read more…

Obama Administration Invites China Into Military-To-Military Joint RIMPAC Naval Exercise

The United States is moving forward with plans to include the Chinese navy in next year’s Rim Of The Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, the largest international warfare exercise in the world.

China’s never participated in the U.S.-led RIMPAC; in fact, it’s never been invited before. But the Pentagon issued an invitation this year, falling in line with President Barack Obama’s evident desire to mollify military relations with a country whose military leaders have gone on record as hopeful for the day when their own fighting power will present a practicable challenge to that of the United States’.

“Our allies should signal their intent to withdraw from the exercise if China participates. Failing that, the invitation should be withdrawn. RIMPAC is for allies and friends, not nations planning to eventually wage war on the United States,” wrote the Los Angeles Times Thursday. “While the Chinese plan to dominate their waters and eventually ours, we are helping them increase their effectiveness with invitations to RIMPAC and other exercises and by including them in joint operations like the one directed against Somali piracy…There is something very wrong at the core of the Obama administration’s and the Pentagon’s China policies.”

Including a country — one possessed of the hostile military momentum China has long been building — in a strategic exercise intended as practice for warding off hostile military threats is both strategically foolish and tactically suicidal. As it continues to grow, both in fleet size and in technological capability, China’s navy, in particular, is positioning itself to wield tremendous political influence at home, regardless of China’s diminishing dependence on American economic fortunes. Is the President really ready to take China into American confidence to so great an extent?

Oregon Man Fires Warning Shot At Felon Attempting To Break Into Home, Gets Hauled To Jail

The intended victim of a home invasion in Medford, Ore., was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, reckless endangerment and menacing after he allegedly told the would-be perpetrator, who was attempting to break in through the back door, to get off his property and followed it up by firing a warning shot into the ground.

According to KDRV-TV, 36-year-old Corey Thompson warded off  the in-progress break-in by grabbing his AR-15 and telling 40-year-old Jonathon Kinsella, a wanted felon, that he’d better stop.

Police responding to a disturbance call at the apartment complex allegedly heard a gunshot, followed by the sight of Kinsella running toward the parking lot. They apprehended Kinsella, then arrested Thompson because, they said, that warning shot could have ricocheted off the ground and hurt someone.

Police have confiscated the weapon until Thompson, an Iraq veteran, has proven his innocence.

Kid Who Ate A Pop Tart Until It Looked Rather Like A Gun Receives Free Lifetime NRA Membership

The National Rifle Association presented 8-year-old Marylander Josh Welch a free lifetime membership, valued at $550, in a lighthearted demonstration of the absurdity of Josh’s school suspension over a gun-shaped pastry.

Josh received the membership from Maryland State Representative Nicholaus Kipke at a local Republican fundraising event “during a tongue-in-cheek presentation that involved a Pop-Tart fashioned into a pistol and gun safety tips,” the Baltimore Sun reports.

Josh was suspended from Park Elementary School for two days in March, after he noticed the Pop Tart he’d been munching on had begun to resemble a pistol in profile and, perhaps unwisely for the then-7-year-old, shared that bit of information with classmates.

Although Josh’s family clearly acquiesced in his participation at the Republican event, he said no one in his family is an NRA member (expect himself), and that he really didn’t know what the NRA is all about. But he clearly thinks the whole hoopla over getting in trouble at school for eating a pastry until only the silhouette of a gun remains is just stupid.

“Everyone keeps asking me why I did it,” he said. “I don’t know why I did it. … I wish people would stop asking me about it.”

Here’s Why Cruz Doesn’t Trust The Republicans

Last week, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told the Congressional establishment he didn’t trust them, whether Democrat or Republican, with the task of crafting a budget that will force government to spend within its means. His “Let me be clear: I don’t trust the Republicans” retort to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has resonated with true fiscal conservatives nationwide since then.

In a Breitbart column Thursday, contributor (and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan) Al Regnery has taken Cruz’ now-famous declaration and used it as the jumping-off point for a little history lesson that serves as an instructive refresher on how, for years, establishment Republicans led the charge toward fiscal irresponsibility that President Barack Obama has simply accelerated.

From Medicare Part D to No Child Left Behind and from the Wall Street bailout to the “original” Republican White House economic stimulus program, establishment Republicans are guilty of the same fiscal foolishness as the current Presidential Administration is perpetrating.

It’s a good read, so check it out and pass it along.

Losing Our Religion, RNC Files F.O.I. for B.O.’s Benghazi Email, IRS Weeding Out Legal Marijuana, Driver’s Licenses For Illegals In Connecticut, You Can’t Escape Detroit: Thursday Morning News Roundup 5-30-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • The number of Americans who think religion’s influence is at a low ebb is the highest it’s ever been, according to a new Gallup survey. While 77 percent said the prestige of religion is low, 75 percent also lamented that same perception, saying the country would be stronger if religion played a more prominent role in people’s lives.

 

  • The Republican National Committee (RNC) is filing a Freedom of Information Act request to get at all the Benghazi-related email communication that passed between President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and the U.S. State Department. If it contains the words “Libya” or “Benghazi” and it was sent between Sept. 11, 2012, and Nov. 7, 2012, the RNC wants to read it.

 

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hasn’t targeted just the Tea Party to wield the Obama Administration’s agenda. A report Wednesday reveals the IRS has also been targeting businesses that sell medical marijuana in the 18 States where it’s been made legal, evidently in an effort to demonstrate the power of the Feds against the (lesser) powers of the States.

 

  • The Connecticut State Senate passed a bill today that would allow illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses, vehicle insurance and registration. Governor Dannel Malloy, fresh off his triumphant signing of an aggressive gun-grab bill, is expected to sign off on the drivers’ license legislation as well.

 

  • Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is suggesting more laws to help the shrinking, financially crippled city retain its population. He endorses a proposal that would force new city employees to commit to seven years’ of residence in the Motor City. Detroit had nearly 2 million residents at the height of the 1950s automotive boom; today there are only 700,000.

 

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

Fort Worth Police Shoot And Kill 72-Year-Old Who Checked On His Neighbor

Jerry Wayne Waller, a 72-year-old who lived in east Fort Worth, Texas, heard his neighbor’s security alarm going off early Tuesday morning. He lived in an area where most people knew their neighbors, as well as others who lived down the street. So he went outside his house to see what was going on.

But the Dallas-Fort Worth police had already arrived to take care of things. They didn’t let Waller leave his own property alive.

From yesterday’s CBS-DFW television report:

The 72-year-old man didn’t even make it to the house across the street before he was shot. He died on his own property.

Waller reportedly was armed at the time — presumably a precaution before venturing into a potentially dangerous situation, however unlikely it might have seemed. But the police presence raised the potential for danger considerably.

“We heard five shots,” said Becky Haskin, a former Fort Worth city council member who lives in the area. “They were just rapid-fire; one after the other.”

A spokesman for the police department said the officers “felt threatened by the man with the handgun and he was shot.”

At the scene after the killing, Haskin said the badged offenders were “sobbing uncontrollably and very distraught.”

Viewed from a distance, those among the Dallas-Fort Worth police who’ve perpetrated this and similar crimes must be among the most trigger-happy and skittish cops the whole of America’s municipal police population has to offer.

On Wednesday — i.e., only one day ago — we shared the story of the latest civilian death at the department’s hands, that of 350-pound asthmatic Jarmaine Darden, whom DFW cops shot with a Taser, from couch to floor, three times before he stopped breathing and died. That killing marked the fifth documented time DFW police have killed someone with a Taser since 2001.

Haskin said Waller and his wife were good neighbors who always took pride in their community.

“They are just a nice retired couple that loved working in their yard, having family over, and grandkids.”

No police were hurt in Waller’s killing.