Liberal Blogger Cited For Allegedly Faking Facebook Rape Threat And Blaming It On Conservative

A liberal University of Wyoming student who routinely berates conservatives on her blog and college radio show has been charged for allegedly staging an anonymous rape threat against herself and attributing it to a fictitious conservative Facebook poster.

Meg Lanker-Simons, whose cognitive dissonance blog last year even garnered her an honor from liberal spigots Mother Jones and Think Progress, was cited by University of Wyoming police for interference with an investigation and making false statements to the police department, following this rape threat she allegedly made against herself on the “UW Crushes” Facebook page, posing as a close-minded conservative creep:

I want to hate f**k Meg Lanker-Simons so hard. That chick that runs her liberal mouth all the time and doesn’t care who knows it. I think its hot and it makes me angry. One night with me and shes gonna be a good Republican bit*h.

The threat gave Lanker-Simons, pictured, the opportunity to scold the allegedly phony, would-be “hate f**ker” on her award-winning blog, where she called the threat “disgusting, misogynistic, and apparently something the admins of this page think is a perfectly acceptable sentiment.”

In 2011, Lanker-Simons reported she’d received an emailed death threat, which was allegedly timed to coincide with a campus visit from conservative columnist Ann Coulter.

“The message, which listed Lanker-Simon’s address and included a description of her car, was emailed to the Star-Tribune,” reported the Casper Star Tribune of the 2011 incident.

H/T: campusreform.org

Amendment To Include Gay Green Cards Could Derail Immigration Bill

It almost smells like sabotage. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has announced he plans to introduce an amendment to a sweeping immigration reform bill that would allow gay U.S. citizens to sponsor their foreign-born partners in order to obtain green cards.

That’s something heterosexual couples already are able to do, and Leahy and other Democrats are feeling pressure from gay rights groups to make sure the new language makes it into the final draft of the bill.

But RINOs can swerve course on only one social issue at a time without alienating their base, and combining gay rights with immigration reform is too much: Gang of Eight Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told POLITICO Tuesday that adding the gay green card amendment “will virtually guarantee that [immigration reform] won’t pass.”

Democracy’s Been Hacked, Gay HOF, Cruz-ing Toward The White House, Dis-invitation, Obamacare’s Bumpy Road: Thursday Morning News Roundup 4-25-2013

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.

  • Drawing on his wealth of understanding of all things digital, former Vice President Al Gore has decided that American democracy has been “hacked” by 2nd Amendment activists and other special interests.
  • A hall of fame for gay athletes has launched in Chicago on the heels of veteran NBA player Jason Collins’ surprise announcement that he is gay.
  • Freshman Senator Ted Cruz is considering a Presidential run, according to his friends and confidants.
  • The Rev. Kevin Johnson, a prominent alumnus of historically black Morehouse College, got himself “disinvited” from a baccalaureate speaking engagement at his alma mater — allegedly because he dared to criticize the Administration of President Barack Obama in a newspaper opinion piece.

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

*Staff writer Sam Rolley contributed to this article.

GAO Investigates Big Sis’ Big Ammo Buy As Congress Demands Answers

The Governmental Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ financial investigative and auditing agency, has gotten involved in the controversy over the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) massive buy-up of firearms ammunition.

In an interview with U.S. News,GAO spokesman Chuck Young said the investigation is “just getting underway.” Presumably at the behest of one or more Congressmen, the GAO will investigate the reasoning behind the alleged purchase of anywhere between 750 million and 1.6 billion (depends on whom you ask) rounds of ammunition.

The high figure is enough bullets to have prolonged the George W. Bush-era Iraq war for 20 additional years; the low figure — which DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano swears by — is still enough to keep the fighting going for about a decade.

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Representative Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) separately introduced a new piece of legislation last week in each house of Congress that, if passed, would force DHS and other Federal agencies (except for the Department of Defense) to submit to GAO accounting of its ammunition purchases, particularly as they may affect the supply and cost of ammunition to the general public.

Named the AMMO Act, the bill would also restrict any agency (except for the Department of Defense) from ordering additional ammunition for six months whenever its existing stockpile of ammo exceeds the average monthly amount it was maintaining before President Barack Obama began his first term in office.

Citing his Oklahoma constituents’ complaints that ammunition for civilians is in very short supply, Inhofe said the AMMO Act would curb DHS and other civilian agencies from hording ammo and would require them to make routine Congressional reports that justify their need for the bullets they do purchase:

President Obama has been adamant about curbing law-abiding Americans’ access and opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment rights. One way the Obama Administration is able to do this is by limiting what’s available in the market with federal agencies purchasing unnecessary stockpiles of ammunition. As the public learned in a House committee hearing this week, the Department of Homeland Security has two years worth of ammo on hand and allots nearly 1,000 more rounds of ammunition for DHS officers than is used on average by our Army officers. The AMMO Act of 2013 will enforce transparency and accountability of federal agencies’ ammunition supply while also protecting law-abiding citizens access to these resources.

Want To Hijack A Plane? Get A Job With The TSA

In a lengthy investigation into security breaches at the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, Dallas-Ft. Worth police made a pretty interesting discovery: The easiest way to subvert security measures designed to prevent hijackings or terrorist acts inside airports is to join the ranks of those hired to do the enforcement.

A supervisor with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is among more than 100 workers on a long list of security officers, industry executives, flight attendants and service contractors alleged to have abused their security clearance privileges over the past two years at the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, helping friends and family members bypass the dragnet of safety checks designed to stop criminals and contraband from making it onto planes.

That dragnet is only as effective as the people managing it, and the motives for the alleged abuses can seem like anything from the simply corrupt — “perks” for families of pilots and airline CEOs who don’t want to wait in long lines, for example — to the inscrutable, such as the unnamed TSA supervisor who allegedly escorted another unnamed worker through an employee door for reasons that aren’t known.

NBC 5 in Dallas reported the numbers:

[R]ecords show most of the recent security violations at DFW were caused by workers with security badges.

Out of more than 140 confirmed security violations in two years — at least 106 were linked to badge holding employees and vendors.

[Airport spokesman David] Magana said the airport is confident its security system catches the vast majority of violators and if any are sneaking through, “that number is very small.”

Aviation Security Consultant Chaim Koppel suspects for every one worker who gets caught as many as two or three abusing their badges manage to get through.

The airport has more than 50,000 employees. That’s a big sea of anonymity to shelter a few rogue TSA agents who sought out the job as the easiest path to hatching a terrorist plan. And if security abuses are going on at DFW, you can bet the same thing’s happening in major airports across the United States.

Think that’s far-fetched? Look at the model citizens who’ve gotten TSA jobs (which start out at $15 per hour for screeners): there are the thieves, the functionally illiterate, the pizza demographic, the perverse, the armed robbers, the rapists, the pedophiles, the junkies, the smugglers, the murderers and the meth cookers.

As one former screener explains, it’s easy to get an entry-level TSA job, and no one’s really watching you once you’ve donned your uniform and affixed your badge.

If you and your buddies wanted to commandeer a plane (whether for jihad or for a joyride), wouldn’t you rather sidestep the laborious terrorist 101 rigmarole in favor of being wined and dined by the Department of Homeland Security’s recruitment process — and rewarded with the sterling security clearance that awaits?

Nearly Half Of Americans Don’t Realize Obamacare Is Law

With five months left until health coverage exchanges are due to release their insurer lists for those who’ll be “opting in” to Obamacare in 2014, a poll has come out revealing that a staggering 42 percent of Americans don’t even know that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is — as it has been since 2010 — the law of the land.

Of those surveyed, 12 percent also believed Congress had already repealed the law, and another 7 percent thought the Supreme Court had overturned it.

Ironically, those for whom the law ostensibly was passed, the poor and the uninsured, turned out to be the least informed about what Obamacare is and how it affects them.

At least the number of people who reported having a negative impression of how the law will be implemented outnumbered those who had a positive one — by roughly 3-to-1 — across all income brackets.

Pick Your Sport, Locker Room And Public Restroom Under Proposed California Law

The California Legislature is considering a bill that would give kids in the State’s public schools the option of choosing which public bathroom they use, based on the “gender” with which a student most readily identifies.

The bill also would force schools to allow boys and girls to choose whether to participate on boys’ or girls’ teams in all sex-segregated sports activities — again, with their gender identity forming the basis for their choice.

Opponents haven’t had trouble envisioning scenarios, ranging from grave to ridiculous to comical, that would inevitably arise in California schools if the bill is approved. The Pacific Justice Institute has set up a “Gender Insanity” website arguing, in common-sense language, against the bill:

Under this legislation, there are absolutely no safeguards against abuse. Any teenage boy who “identifies” with teenage girls must be given full access to girls’ teams and facilities—including showers, bathrooms and locker rooms. Coaches and parents would have no say in the matter. This is not equality; it is insanity. We cannot stand by and allow politicians controlled by radical special interest groups to sacrifice the privacy of the 99% of our students who are not confused about their biological gender for the 1% (or less) who are. It is incredibly naïve for the Legislature to believe that such a law would never be abused or exploited by a predator.

No mention of how many times adventurous, locker-room-hopping students would get to “re-identify” their gender affinity under the proposal.

Gun Sales Soar, War On Privacy, Obama’s Liked (In Mexico), Amnesty And ‘Instant’ Welfare, Put That Sex In Writing: Tuesday Morning News Roundup 4-30-2013

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.

  • Gun sales are as high as they’ve ever been, with demand orders for Sturm, Ruger & Co. backlogged beyond 2 million — even though the company recently upped its production past 1 million units per quarter for the first time in its history.
  • Internet media companies like Google and Facebook are fighting a proposed bill that would force them to comply with law enforcement demands to reveal customers’ real-time online doings — or else face heavy fines.
  • A new Pew survey shows that President Barack Obama’s popularity is rebounding — in Mexico. He’s got a 49 percent approval rating, up from a low of 38 percent in 2011. About one-third of Mexicans surveyed said life in the United States is appealing enough to lure them away from their homes, if they had the means. And 20 percent said they’d run for the border whether it’s legal or not.
  • As parts of a proposed Senate immigration bill come under closer scrutiny, opponents are finding a lot not to like. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) discovered earlier this week that the bill would open public benefits immediately to any illegal alien who’s been granted “registered Provisional Immigrant” status — instead of having them wait 13 years until they could become citizens, as backers of the bill have promised.
  • Some couples, both married and unmarried, are turning to lawyers and contracts to hold each partner accountable for carrying out the obligations and regular activities implied in a typical relationship. That includes scheduling things like vacations, together time, “more fun” and, of course, more sex.

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

Polls Show More Americans Value Freedom Over Safety

The spirit of Benjamin Franklin’s oft-quoted assertion that “[t]hose who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” may be enjoying more currency among Americans in 2013 than it has since the days of Sept. 11 and the Patriot Act.

Two polls conducted in the wake of the recent Boston Marathon bombings reveal American attitudes may be shifting away from surrendering their personal freedoms in exchange for government’s assurance to keep everyone safe.

A FOX News poll conducted the day after the Boston bombings asked 619 people some of the same questions about the balance between liberty and security that a similar poll had asked immediately following the World Trade Center bombings; the results were very different this time around.

Back in 2001, in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, 71 percent of Americans polled by FOX News responded that they’d be willing to trade some freedom if it would help the U.S. government “reduce the threat of terrorism.” The poll was also repeated following terrorist incidents, both domestic and foreign, in 2002, 2005 and 2006, with the number only slightly declining as respondents’ vivid memories of the most spectacular incident, Sept. 11, slowly receded.

But after Boston, the same poll showed only 43 percent of respondents held that view. That’s the lowest number since before the 2001 attacks, when a May 2001 iteration of the poll turned up only 33 percent of respondents who thought it appropriate to hand over their liberties for the sake of protection.

Among those surveyed, people who identified themselves as political “independents” resisted the idea of giving up their freedoms at a lower rate (29 percent) than either Democrats (36 percent) or Republicans (47 percent).

In a similar poll, The Washington Post asked 588 people: “Which worries you more — that the government will not go far enough to investigate terrorism because of concerns about constitutional rights, or that it will go too far in compromising constitutional rights in order to investigate terrorism?”

Conducted April 17 and 18, the poll showed 48 percent of respondents felt the government would go too far in compromising their Constitutional rights, while 41 percent favored the alternate view. The same poll also showed that 66 percent believe terrorists will always find a way around the government’s most diligent efforts at preventing attacks on U.S. targets.

Watch Out, Gun Owners: Congress Isn’t Done

Just because Federal gun control failed in the Senate earlier this month doesn’t mean it won’t come up again in the 113th Congress.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), one half of the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey duo responsible for a piece of “compromise” gun control legislation that went down in flames April 17, is already making the media rounds with a second gun grab attempt on his mind.

Manchin said on “Fox News Sunday” that he intends to offer another, simpler version of the bill to the Senate — one that he plans to float before opponents with the aim of building the consensus he wasn’t able to find earlier this month.

Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who co-sponsored the dead bill with Manchin, publicly washed his hands of any further efforts at gun control last week, telling reporters: “The Senate had its vote. We’ve seen the outcome of that vote. I am not aware of any reason to believe that, if we had the vote again, that we’d have a different outcome.”

But Sunday, Manchin said Toomey is willing to give the gun grab another go — after the bill has undergone a cleanup that evidently is supposed to make it easier to understand for those Senate opponents who voted against it the first time.

If the bill runs clean, and people can vote on this bill, up or down, based on the merits of this bill — how it protects a gun, a 2nd-Amendment gun person; a law abiding gun, gun owner — it’s perfect for that person. If you’re going to a gun show you’re gonna expect to have a background check. If you’re buying online, whether it’s an out-of-state gun, or in-state — a background check. No intervening at all with family transfers or individual rights whatsoever.

From that bit of clarity, plus other comments Manchin made, it appears Gun Grab II will involve universal background checks, cross-referencing with medical records to ensure no one with a mental illness (the bill would presumably delineate which types) buys a gun, and another attempt to close the fallacious “gun show loophole.”

Manchin didn’t provide a clear timeline for when another gun bill might come to the floor, but this Congress has until the end of 2014 to play with the 2nd Amendment.

Get Your Tickets For The Taliban Season Opener

It’s springtime, and that means it’s Taliban season.

The Islamist terrorist organization jubilantly announced Sunday it’s in the process of prepping a full schedule of murder, surprise attacks and suicide bombs in a “monumental” spring offensive against western infidels:

Although the surrogate Afghan fighters of Americas (i.e. national army, police and Arbaki force) might not be apostate and the chastisement of apostasy are not applied to them but practically they are standing in the ranks of infidels and are fighting against the true Islamic system of life.

In the light of these facts and figures, we are optimistic to Allah Almighty that the noble operations after the name of Khalid-bin-Waleed will annihilate their malicious intensions and will confront them with interminable trounce. Similarly, a historical lesson will be taught to present western enemies of Islam.

Looking forward for the fulfillment of this great longing!

The threat especially focuses on a promised increase in the number of “insider” attacks on western security forces In Afghanistan – by Afghan security forces that have been infiltrated by Taliban operatives.

The terror group’s immediate goal in Afghanistan is the eradication of the western-backed Afghan government, and, presumably, the installation of a theocracy that would merge the law of the land with Islamic religious law.

Through its “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” Twitter feed, the group celebrates its ambushes and bombings on U.S. and allied forces, as well as civilians.

Pro-Gun Grab Groups Have Gotten Millions In Donations From Liberal Billionaire Soros

George Soros, the billionaire chairman of the American fund management firm that bears his name, has donated nearly $7 million to nonprofits that push a pro-gun control agenda between 2000 and 2011.

According to Newsbusters, Soros donated a combined $6,727,966 to five organizations during that period. It’s not yet known how much he’s spent on backing gun-grabbing advocates since the beginning of last year’s string of mass shootings, which raised liberals’ public zeal to legislate gun ownership.

Of the five organizations, only one — the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence — claims gun control as its single cause. But the others — the American Bar Association, The Children’s Defense Fund, The League of Women Voters and Physicians for Social Responsibility — all push gun control aggressively as part of their overall missions of societal reform.

Soros has been criticized by 2nd Amendment watchers as a known gun grabber since at least 2004, when he published a book arguing the Administration of President George W. Bush “infringed the rights of states to legislate and enforce provisions on issues such as gun control and medical marijuana.”

More significantly, Soros holds immense influence over at least 30 major liberal news outlets, including CNN, The New York Times and The Associated Press. He’s spent more than $50 million since 2000 to help fund such outlets, as well as to insinuate liberal points of view through the influence donor money buys at journalism schools both in and outside the United States.

A lot of good it’s doing: Gun and ammunition sales have spiked so greatly since December that manufacturers can’t keep up. As a result, firearms dealers are either turning customers away, rationing ammunition or putting customers on waiting lists.

California Lawmakers Pushing For Statewide Tax On Sugary Drinks

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t the only liberal with statist visions of better living through legislation.

Over on the left coast, California legislators are concocting a variation on Bloomberg’s famous — and failed — attempt to ban large soft drinks, only with an eye toward redistributing a little more of the wealth of the State’s 12.4 million households.

Democratic State Senator Bill Monning is sponsoring a bill that would impose a regressive penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary sodas and energy drinks, converting the funds raised through the tax into public spending thorough a new entity called the Children’s Health Promotion Fund. That fund would back community obesity prevention programs and further support public health programs in schools.

Remarkably, Californians actually seem to favor the State’s social engineering/money grab measure. A February Field poll found 68 percent of voters in favor of the bill, with the percentage among ethnic voters even higher. The tax would apply not only to canned and bottled beverages, but to fountain sodas sold at restaurants statewide as well.

Predictably, the bill also enjoys positive spin from the very State agencies in line to expand their bureaucratic offerings if the tax is approved. Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy called the tax “fair-minded” in a statement of support for the measure:

Californians are becoming increasingly concerned about the obesity epidemic and its heavy burden on the well-being of Californians, especially our children. More than ever, California voters want solutions that not only hold the biggest contributor to the problem (sugary beverages) accountable, but that also raise funds to address the impact on our children. SB 622 does both of those and is a smart, fair-minded policy to protect our children, our state’s health and, ultimately our state budget.

“Protect… our state budget,” really? Check out some other ways California’s leaders are currently attempting to protect the State budget:

  • Imposing a 9.9 percent “oil severance tax” on oil extraction — an anti-business move against a “captive” industry in a State that has already seen other businesses flee to escape high taxes, regulations and penalties.
  • Raising the registration fee for every privately owned vehicle by $6.
  • Adding a State tax to every point-of-sale purchase of prepaid mobile phones, as well as to every separate purchase of additional phone minutes.
  • Issuing $9 billion in municipal bonds on a $69 billion high-speed rail system that has no set start date for construction, that Governor Jerry Brown wants China to help fund and that the White House is eager to subsidize by an additional $3 billion.

Last month, the State auditor concluded California had a net worth of minus $127.2 billion. Viewed from that awful perspective, there’s no doubt the State’s political power brokers “need” the public’s money.

That California voters have voluntarily continued their support of government tax-and-spend efforts — the rail system, the drink tax and hikes to both income and sales taxes (via the passage of voter referendum Proposition 30) — also reveals, beyond any doubt, that nothing’s going to change in the Golden State anytime soon.

Gun Grabbing Chicago Policies Not Helping As Homicides Rise

According to a crime-tracking blog, stripping residents’ 2nd Amendment rights isn’t doing much to get guns out of criminals’ hands in the Windy City.

Crime In Chicago tallies 510 shootings and 105 homicides through the first four months of 2013.

The blog provides daily updates on violent crime, and maintains data on crime in the city from previous years.

For 2012, the site reports 2,670 shootings in Chicago, an increase of 20 percent from the 2,217 shootings in 2011. Homicides in 2012 totaled 535, compared with 441 in 2011.

Mormon Bishop Ends Attack On Woman, Using His Samurai Sword

A weapon in a good guy’s hands — be it a gun or, maybe, something else — is far from dangerous.

For a woman who was being attacked Tuesday in front of a Salt Lake City home, a 29-inch samurai sword proved to be her salvation.

That’s because homeowner Kent Hendrix awoke to a commotion, went outside and saw the woman being mugged. His son had told him something bad was happening outside, so Hendrix grabbed his sword on the way out and approached the scene.

One look at the blade and its wielder, who also happens to be a Mormon bishop and a fourth-degree black belt, was enough to convince the alleged perpetrator to scram. Hendrix noticed the man appeared to have dropped a tube of Chapstick as he fled, so Hendrix snapped it up and yelled, “I’ve got your DNA and I’ve got your license plate [memorized] — you are so done!”

An hour later, suspect Grant Eggerston turned himself in. He was booked for robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violation of a stalking injunction.

Hat Tip: The Blaze

 

Bone Up On Your Rights Before Encountering A Bad Cop

A helpful video produced by Flex Your Rights, an educational nonprofit that seeks to inform Americans about their Constitutional protections against state infringement, offers some invaluable advice on how to handle an encounter with a police officer who has more on his mind than protecting and serving.

The video enacts 10 different dramatic scenarios portraying encounters with aggressive, mean and just plain crooked cops that illustrate — frighteningly, at times — how innocent people have very little wiggle room when a bad cop with a sense of entitlement throws them off their guard. Aside from the immediate danger a cop with evil intent presents, victims face an equal danger in defending their actions, in the aftermath, when they have to explain their side of the story in court.

Explains narrator Billy Murphy, criminal defense lawyer and former judge:

There are lots of good police out there doing what needs to be done – and I don’t need to tell you that there are also a few too many cops who don’t respect the basic rights of innocent people…and even the nicest cop will use your mistakes against you. That’s precisely why every citizen – every one of you – must possess the tools to confidently assert your rights if you have to.

The video, which has been in circulation since 2010, can be bought directly from the organization’s website.

Or you can check it out on YouTube. Just be sure to share.

 

Credit Company Ends Financing For Small Gun Shops, Cites Mass Shootings

One of the Nation’s largest consumer finance companies will no longer provide consumer credit service to gun shops, citing “tragic events” and a changing financial services industry.

GE Capital, which contracts with American retailers to extend point-of-sale credit to customers, announced Wednesday it would tighten up on a policy it had originally approved in 2008 to “cease providing consumer financing programs to merchants whose primary business is to sell firearms.”

The company is headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., and employs many people who live in nearby Newtown, the site of last December’s school murders. Peter Lanza, the father of alleged shooter Adam Lanza, holds a vice president’s position within the company.

“As a responsible lender, we regularly review our lending policies and products to meet changing conditions and requirements,” said the company’s statement. “In 2008, we adopted a policy to cease providing consumer financing programs to merchants whose primary business is to sell firearms. Recently, we implemented a more rigorous audit process in our sporting goods segment in light of industry changes, new legislation and tragic events that have caused widespread reexamination of policies on firearms. This process has affected less [sic] than 75 retailers…”

Of course, the pullout doesn’t apply to general retailers or sporting goods stores that offer guns as part of their larger consumer inventory. Stores like Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, which sell guns, won’t be affected, but local mom-and-pop stores will be.

The company sent letters earlier this month to stores who had agreements, telling owners “GE Capital Retail Bank has made the difficult decision to discontinue offering the GE Capital Sport Finance program to your store(s).” GE also pulled the plug on merchant services accounts for Visa and Mastercard point-of-sale terminals in gun stores that had agreed to go with the company for its credit and debit card-swiping service.

GE Capital isn’t the first finance company to shun those who make their living from gun-related sales and services. In fact, the company’s exit marks the removal of gun stores’ only remaining option for offering consumer financing for their products, according to Bloomberg.

Lawmakers Trying To Exempt Themselves From Obamacare

That’s right: Congressional kleptocrats are meeting in secret to sort out a legal way they can exempt themselves from having to join the very same insurance exchange groups they created when they voted for President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010.

POLITICO broke the story late Wednesday, revealing that leaders from both parties, as well as the Obama Administration, have, for months, been holding confidential meetings to discuss exempting members of Congress and Capitol Hill aides from participating in one of the central pillars of Obamacare.

Never mind that regular Americans don’t have a voice in Washington to assure them the same kind of exemptions.

The story quotes an anonymous source who reveals just how aware of their crimes Congressional leaders like House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) really are: “Everyone has to hold hands on this and jump, or nothing is going to get done.”

There’s no way to know how pervasive all these discussions have been, or if libertarian-leaning conservative darlings like Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have, in private, taken any kind of principled stand against such hypocrisy — or if they were ever even included in the scheme’s  loop of information.

It’s strange, at the least, that no Obamacare opponent in Congress has blown the whistle on these meetings, if they’ve been going on for months. A lot of political capital could have accrued to the right conservative tattler over a story like this one. Maybe silence is an honor-among-thieves thing in Congress.

With that said, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ripped the talks after the story hit, telling Breitbart through a spokesman that McConnell:

[D]oes not support, and is not involved in drafting, legislation that would do special favors for Congress when his constituents are still facing the increased premiums and taxes, the mountains of red tape, the loss of health care plans they like and want to keep and fewer jobs under Obamacare…It’s no surprise that Democrats would want to exempt themselves from the train wreck they created in Obamacare, but Sen. McConnell believes the entire country should be exempt from this historic mistake. The law is a disaster and needs to be repealed.

One source told POLITICO the talks are, in part, intended to prevent “brain drain” on Capitol Hill, since Obamacare mandates could motivate Federal employees to enter the private sector to get out from under the plan’s coverage setup for government workers.

That’s a telling statement, if for no other reason than that it reveals just how destructive Obamacare is to capitalism and the profit motive and how it inversely rewards merit and individual accomplishment.

Too, it reveals how Washington leaders see the circumstances as exemption-worthy when they encounter a specific problem that conflicts with the wisdom belied by their own voting patterns.

Hey, we’ve all got problems.

As they prepare to implement Obamacare, States like Maryland are having millions of them.

U.S. Underground Economy Getting Bigger As Traditional Economy Contracts

Analysts cited in a CNBC story Wednesday believe the mainstream economy in the U.S. would look a lot worse, if not for a burgeoning off-the-grid network of transactions that has kept many Americans afloat as traditional employment has suffered.

Experts believe the underground economy may account for as much as $2 trillion per year in the United States, with all of those untaxed transactions falling beneath the radar of the Internal Revenue Service.

Tellingly, one professor compares the circumstances surrounding the surge in the American underground economy to those of developing countries, with participants motivated by a combination of desperation over generating income by traditional means and resignation that things aren’t going to fix themselves.

“You normally see underground economies in places like Brazil or in southern Europe,” said Fordham University professor Laura Gonzalez. “But with the job situation and the uncertainty in the economy, it’s not all that surprising to have it growing here in the United States.”

DARPA Developing Satellite-Free GPS-Replacement Technology

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing an alternative for global positioning systems the military hopes to use as a means of weaning soldiers from any need for dependence on a systemic array of satellites and signaling networks.

Citing concerns that enemy technology can scramble GPS signals, confuse American equipment and strand men in the field, DARPA and researchers at the University of Michigan are working on autonomous locating devices that could be carried individually — residing on tiny chips that use accelerometers and gyroscopes to pinpoint a person’s position and direction of travel.

“DARPA envisages using this technology to replace GPS in some contexts, especially in small-caliber ammunition or for monitoring people,” observes France24.

Store Pulls Pressure Cookers, Weiner Comes Clean, ‘We’ve Had Enough Bushes,’ Celebs Consume Poverty Lifestyle, Taxing The Flu: Thursday Morning News Roundup 4-25-2013

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 Williams-Sonoma chain of upscale kitchen stores has decided to temporarily remove pressure cookers from its Massachusetts stores. Insensitive Crate & Barrel, meanwhile, is still selling them. And, at last check, evil gas stations were still selling explosive gasoline.

 

  • Disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner, who’s trying to make a political comeback in a bid for the New York City mayor’s office, admitted Wednesday there may be more embarrassing photos of himself floating around besides the 2011 ones he tweeted that led him to resign from office.

 

  • Amid talk that son Jeb may be considering a run at the Presidency in 2016, former first lady Barbara Bush doesn’t sound enthused about the next generation of Bushes entering national politics. “He’s by far the most qualified man, but no,” Babs told the “Today” show. “We’ve had enough Bushes.”

 

  • Ben Affleck and other celebrities are attempting to raise awareness for worldwide hunger by pledging to live for $1.50 per day as part of the Global Poverty Project’s “Live Below The Line” campaign. For people who feel guilty about being wealthy, choosing a week of austerity stems from the same consumerist impulse as buying a new Jaguar.

 

  • Congress is set to impose a 75 cent per-shot tax on flu vaccines administered in the United States, in anticipation of raising more than $100 million to fund a “no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims.” The fund itself has been around since 1988, and has paid out $2.5 billion. Its current balance without the tax? $3.5 billion.

 

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U.S. Gives Preferential Treatment to Saudi Travelers As Number Of Post-9/11 Immigrants Surges

Amid an ongoing debate over the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill and its hasty omission of national security measures and only three weeks after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted “trusted traveler” status to Saudi Arabia, CNS News has published a report revealing the number of Saudi students living in the United States has increased fivefold since Sept. 11, 2001.

Whether you’re a 9/11 truther or a believer in the official line that 15 of the 19 men who plotted and carried out the attacks were from Saudi Arabia (and may have had help from some pretty high places) doesn’t matter: The comparatively light scrutiny Saudi nationals receive when attempting to enter the U.S. is cause for concern.

According to the report, there were 5,579 Saudi nationals enrolled in U.S. colleges at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks. Last year, there were 34,139.

The Presidential infatuation with Saudi Arabia transcends political parties; George W. Bush was slammed post-9/11 for targeting Iraq while holding out on any sort of condemnation of Saudi extremism. Bush was President for most of the period between 2001 and 2012, and much of the influx happened under his watch. But the Saudi number has taken off under Barack Obama; it jumped from 22,704 to 34,139 — a 50.4 percent increase — last year alone.

Glenn Beck has been making a lot of noise since last week’s Boston Marathon attacks about a Saudi national who initially received some scrutiny from the FBI and DHS as a possible suspect. The student, Ali Al-Harbi, came to the United States via Boston, ostensibly to enroll at an Ohio university that has no record of his attendance.

Beck maintains that Al-Harbi went from primary suspect marked on DHS’ ‘No-fly” list to witness to free man to victim in a matter of hours because of an Obama Administration cover-up, one that presumably hides inscrutable arrangements between the White House and the Saudi government.

States Get Crafty In Effort To Ease Cost Of Obamacare

Lawmakers in Washington State have devised a way to bail State government out of massive new costs related to funding Obamacare mandates, by rearranging part-time public worker classifications so that more employees become eligible for coverage under a Federal exchange program — where they’ll be covered by Federal, instead of State, dollars.

In order to do that, a lot of part-time workers will have to give up their present coverage, choosing instead from among private plans set up under an exchange program run by the State. How will that save the State money? Because health exchanges, a key feature of President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, are eligible for Federal subsidy.

For States like Washington that have signed on to Obamacare, it’s a futile attempt at exerting some measure of sovereignty in implementing an unfunded — or grossly underfunded — Federal mandate.

The more States realize how big a chunk Obamacare will take from their annual budgets, the more they’ll seek ways to displace that burden by “qualifying” more covered individuals for insurance coverage that the Federal government, under the new law, must pay for.

But doing so debases insurance coverage and drives up premiums, as more people who previously went without coverage join the ranks of the insured. And in order for Obamacare States to keep up with the jump in enrollees and the accompanying jump in State costs, they will have to agree to more subsidizing by the Feds — subsidizing that comes across only if the States agree to all the terms.

It’s a vicious cycle. The Federal government can continue to justify an expansion of sovereign powers over the States as long as it regulates them into an untenable position of either accepting Federal subsidies, per the terms of the Act, or opting out altogether and watching their annual public revenues disappear under the crushing weight of Medicaid.

Washington State’s proposal isn’t the only example of a State government innovating ways  to put the costs of Obamacare back on Washington, D.C. Because the Obamacare plan stipulates that anyone who works more than 30 hours a week is a “full time” employee for coverage purposes, States like Virginia already have slashed wage-grade public employees’ hours in order to put them in the group eligible for Federal subsidy.