‘Terror’ Map Shows U.S. A Good Place To Do Business; Mideast, Not So Much

Living under oppression creep in the United States, it is common — and right — to view today’s America as a severely compromised, quasi-socialist version of the land envisioned by the framers of the Constitution.

But a little present-day perspective can be informative, too. And while there’s a lot of work to do if the Nation is to ever live up to the ideals that gave it birth, the United States is still far ahead of most countries when it comes to providing the basic, raw materials that lay the groundwork for the pursuit of happiness.

Risk management firm Aon, which sells insurance to companies that seek to establish an international footprint, released its global “Terrorism and Political Violence” assessment map for 2013 last week, revealing that countries in North and South America, generally, are among the Earth’s most politically stable, most terror-free and most friendly to new business.


The assessment reviews the relative political stability of each Nation on Earth, looking at factors like internal sabotage, the threat of terror, labor unrest (such as strikes and riots), insurrection and revolt, war and civil war in predicting the risk factor for businesses that require peace and some measure of domestic happiness just to open up shop.

By those measures, the United States and Canada, along with 12 other countries in the Americas, all are regarded as low-risk business zones. Mexico, Guatemala, Jamaica, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina are considered to be “medium”-risk countries. Six more — Haiti, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Paraguay — were rated as “high” risks for upheaval in its various forms. But no country in North or South America was rated as a severe business risk.

Contrast that with nearly all of Central Africa and the Mideast, where severity is the norm, or even Western Europe, where France and Spain find themselves in the same category as Mexico, Kazakhstan, China and Bosnia.

The report names terrorism — which it ominously describes as a “foreseeable risk” — as the lone man-made factor threatening American businesses’ physical capital and human resources, whereas all of the “severe”-risk countries are threatened not only by terrorism but by violent internal strife, as well as the threat (or the existing condition) of outright war.

Of the developed nations, only Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and Iceland are considered to harbor “negligible” man-made risk.

Is White House Visit From Union Leader The Missing Link That Implicates Obama In IRS Conspiracy?

One day before the Internal Revenue Service began its now-infamous hit job on Tea Party nonprofits, the leader of the labor union representing the agency’s employees — a vocally anti-Tea Party group — met with President Barack Obama at the White House.

What Obama discussed with Colleen Kelley, president of the 150,000-member National Treasury Employees’ Union (NTEU), isn’t known. But they met on March 31, 2010. And on April 1, the very next day, the IRS got busy going after the Tea Party.

According to the Inspector General for Tax Administration, whose independent report on the scandal was released last week:

April 1-2, 2010: the new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.

The NTEU has a public history of hating the Tea Party. Its political action committee endorsed Obama in both his Presidential campaigns, and it spent a lot of money to ensure Tea Party opponents got elected in other races. Meanwhile, the union’s members, while on the job as ostensibly dispassionate tax collectors and government enforcers, used their positions to bully the Tea Party while giving their liberal political enemies the “all clear” on their way to tax-exempt status and timely election-season campaigning.

An anonymous staffer in the Cincinnati IRS office from which much of the Tea Party stonewalling emanated told The Washington Post that the agency’s worker bees didn’t act to take down the Tea Party on their own. Rather, said the source, everything they did was directed from on high:

“We’re not political,’’ said one determinations staffer in khakis as he left work late Tuesday afternoon. “We people on the local level are doing what we are supposed to do. . . . That’s why there are so many people here who are flustered. Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.”

For now — and, if Congress doesn’t act, probably forever — Obama’s connection to the scandal is obscured for a lack of evidence. The Inspector General’s report is cursory, and it didn’t proceed from an evidence-based investigation. Attorney General Eric Holder isn’t going to take it upon himself to appoint a special counsel to investigate the scandal; and even if he does, it will be a dog and pony show, a farce perpetrated by an appointee “as loyal to Obama as John Mitchell was to Richard Nixon.”

But Congress can introduce a piece of Independent Counsel legislation to replace the law that expired in 1999, following the investigation by Ken Starr into the activities of the Bill Clinton Administration. If that happens, Obama — and Holder — will be subject to a level of scrutiny that, until now, they’ve only known how to perpetrate against others. And the Nation would learn whether Obama is, at best, an inept leader who remained disconnected from what his allies and appointees were doing — or, at worst, a criminal who hid behind the power of the Presidency to win at all costs.

Youth Demo Rejecting Obamacare As Too Expensive

A new poll by the American Action Forum reveals that, if President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — ends up failing, the President will have simple market forces to thank.

That’s because young people, who typically incur lower healthcare costs as a demographic  far less exposed to health risks than the elderly, are showing signs they won’t opt into any form of mandatory health coverage if the premiums they have to pay climb very far — as many insurance forecasters predict they will.

If premiums rise 30 percent, for example, only 55 percent of young people polled said they would choose to purchase health insurance. That’s a lot fewer than the 83 percent who said they’d still buy insurance if the cost under Obamacare rises “only” 10 percent.

And if premiums do rise, the regressive subsidy that the young demographic’s artificially inflated Obamacare premiums were supposed to inject into the States’ new insurance “exchange” programs will disappear. That, in turn, would drive up premiums for the diminished number of people who do buy insurance — a phenomenon that would hit the elderly especially hard.

As for the younger people who choose not to deflate other people’s premiums at the expense of their own insurance costs? According to the poll, they’ll just drop out and pay the mandatory penalty.

Researchers Baffled By Standstill In Global Warming

Researchers writing in the journal Nature Geoscience are perplexed that the theory of global warming isn’t holding sway over what the Earth has actually been doing for the past 14 years.

Revising one’s views about such an inconvenient truth isn’t easy, so the international group of scientists who published the report is being cautious in how the news is presented.

“It has been argued that this observation might require a downward revision of equilibrium climate sensitivity,” the researchers admit. “The most extreme projections are looking less likely than before.”

The trend of increasing global temperatures as a result of the warming of Earth’s atmosphere halted in 1998 and has remained relatively stable since then.

Now That’s How You Do Wealth Redistribution: France’s Wealthy Taxed Above 100 Percent Of Income

French business publication Les Echos reported last week that the French government sent more than 8,000 wealthy households a tax bill last year that, incredibly, topped 100 percent of their income.

Those who earned more than 1.3 million euros were subject to hand all of their money — and then some — to the government, thanks to a special levy imposed by the Socialist government as a way of undoing a rebate plan the outgoing administration had, mercifully, devised to cap the tax rate at 50 percent of income.

A French administrative court has told President Francois Hollande that any taxation on individuals that exceeds 66.66 of their income is confiscatory. Before that ruling, Hollande had been preparing a proposal that would have allowed individual earnings of more than 1 million euros to be taxed at 75 percent. That would have a fulfilled a key campaign promise that, remarkably, helped get Hollande elected.

Most Want Congress To Unleash The Hounds, North Korea Pops Off, Iran On America’s Tail, Obama Hearts John McRINO, Twitter Is Hell: Monday Morning News Roundup 5-20-2013

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.

  • Fifty-nine percent of respondents in a new poll believe Congress is making the right moves investigating the Administration of President Barack Obama. The poll also finds 54 percent of Americans approve of the attention Congress is giving to the Administration’s Internal Revenue Service scandal.
  • North Korea fired two short-range missiles Monday. That makes six launches in three days. The Hermit Kingdom also condemned South Korea for criticizing what it said were its legitimate military drills.
  • Iran has deployed a new (for Iran) warship to tail Western forces engaged in a joint minesweeping exercise in the Persian Gulf. The Iranians have gotten within a mile of the Westerners.
  • Saudis who don’t want to forfeit their souls should follow the advice of the head of Saudi Arabia’s religious police and stay off Twitter. Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh told the BBC that anyone who uses the service “has lost this world and the afterlife.”

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 report.

City Sues Good Samaritans Who Feed Strangers’ Parking Meters

A group of six self-described “Robin Hooders,” who estimate they’ve saved about 4,000 New Hampshire motorists from parking tickets by feeding their expired meters, now faces a lawsuit in the small city where they’ve been active since December.

The small band of residents, local members of a larger New Hampshire libertarian movement called the Free State Project, play a cat-and-mouse game with meter maids in Keene, N.H., looking for parked cars in front of meters that have expired. Staying about 20 feet ahead of the city’s small squad of ticket-writing meter maids, they re-up expired meters and leave behind calling cards that show an image of Robin Hood on one side and a quote — “We saved you from the king’s tariff! — Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Please consider paying it forward.” — on the other.

In the suit, the city’s three meter maids complain the Robin Hooders have “regularly, repeatedly, and intentionally taunted, interfered with, harassed, and intimidated” them by “following, surrounding, touching or nearly touching, and otherwise taunting and harassing.” The suit asks the court to order the group to keep a 50-foot distance from the meter maids — at least one of whom has complained of getting heart palpitations from the stress — at all times.

The group’s members have told various media outlets the city is having to stretch the truth in order to make claims like that, noting that none of them has been charged with harassment.

“The Robin Hooders have always been courteous in my experience,” defendant Ian Freeman told NBC News. “The city is upset because they are losing revenue and are coming up with anything they can to try to stop it.”

“I don’t follow them home or try to find them off duty,” defendant James Cleaveland, who knows the meter maids by name, told Reuters. “They always use the excuse ‘I’m just doing my job.’ I always say ‘I’m just doing my activity too.’

“It’s my philosophy. I could go talk to the city council at every meeting but to me, actions speak louder than words.”

Those actions are a lot more popular with residents in the “Live Free or Die” State than with the city. The group’s “Free Keene” Facebook page has nearly 5,000 friends, and drivers quoted in local and national reports favor what the Robin Hooders are doing — and the spirit in which they’re going about it.

Bailing people out of $5 parking tickets isn’t the toughest fight the Free State Project’s Keene chapter has waged. The group has also supported relaxing drug laws by publicly smoking marijuana in a downtown protest. In 2009, the group protested attacks on the 2nd Amendment by having a half-naked woman walk through the city armed with a holstered handgun.

Appeals Court Spurns Obama’s UnConstitutional Recess Appointments

Just as the Obama Administration’s public reputation is at its lowest ebb over unConstitutional surveillance and discriminatory targeting of political enemies by government agencies with unfettered power comes a decision in which an appeals court ruled the President himself violated the Constitution when he made appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while the Senate was taking a break.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia handed down the 2-1 decision last Thursday, invalidating not only the President’s appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB in March 2010 — when the Senate was in a two-week intrasession recess — but also some of the NLRB’s subsequent actions in which he participated.

The Senate had blocked Becker’s nomination to the same position only a month earlier. In all, Obama filled 15 vacancies by recess appointment during the March 2010 break.

Last week’s ruling is similar to one made against Obama in January of this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which invalidated the President’s appointments of Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin to the NLRB at a time when the Senate was adjourned for Christmas break. The President has appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The NLRB had argued Obama’s position that the definition of “recess,” as stated in in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution (the “Recess Appointments Clause”), would allow the President to unilaterally make appointments that normally require Senate ratification, so long as the Senate essentially wasn’t assembled — and, therefore, not available to conduct business.

But the court recognized the absurdity of that argument, noting:

And therein lies the implausibility of the [NLRB’s] unavailable-for-business definition. As explained above, the Board argues that a recess occurs any time members of the Senate do not have a duty to attend, the Senate chamber is empty, and the Senate is unavailable to receive communications from the president.

…The problem with this definition is that the Senate fulfills these criteria whenever its members leave for the weekend, go home for the evening, or even take a break for lunch. In each of these instances, the senators have no duty to attend, the Senate chamber is empty, and the body cannot receive messages from the president.

Defining recess in this way would eviscerate the divided-powers framework the two Appointments Clauses establish. If the Senate refused to confirm a president‘s nominees, then the president could circumvent the Senate‘s constitutional role simply by waiting until senators go home for the evening.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who’s been among the President’s most vocal critics over last week’s multiple scandals involving discrimination and abuse of power by the Executive Branch, told FOX News the two rulings illustrate the egregiousness of what he called an “unprecedented power grab” by the President.

Did Treasury Department Target Conservative-Owned GM Dealers In 2009 Auto Bailout?

Two Republican Congressmen are inquiring whether the U.S. Treasury Department went after auto dealerships owned by conservatives after the Federal government, in 2009, became majority owner of General Motors as part of a $50 billion Congressional bailout.

Mike Kelley (R-Pa.) and Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) released a letter they sent to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Thursday, asking that he release information pertaining to the methods used by the Automotive Task Force as it selected which GM dealerships would be shut down in an effort to streamline the bankrupt company’s operations.

Renacci himself was one of the car dealers to get the ax; a Pennsylvania dealership owned by Kelley’s father also didn’t survive.

“As member s of Congress who each went through the dealership closing process in our private capacities, we have concerns regarding the criteria used by both General Motors and Chrysler in the automakers’ dealership wind-down,” the letter to Secretary Lew states. “More importantly, we are interested in determining the role that your department played and the input it provided in drafting this methodology.”

The Congressmen are requesting “all emails, phone records, notes, memoranda, reports and other communications regarding the decision-making process,” as well as the identities of those involved in that process.

H/T: Breitbart 

‘This Is No Ordinary Scandal’ – WSJ Says IRS Debacle ‘Worst Washington Scandal Since Watergate’

Peggy Noonan, who’s written speeches for two Republican Presidents and served as a consultant on NBC’s ‘The West Wing,’ penned a column in the Wall Street Journal Thursday that bypasses the partisan indictments of the Administration of President Barack Obama over the IRS’ political discrimination scandal, focusing instead on the issue’s threat to the fundamental integrity of government, regardless of the party that’s in charge.

While those who’ve long been jaded by the mainstream media’s doe-eyed coverage of Washington politics might argue that government integrity is itself a laughable paradox, Noonan has a point when she says the Administration deserves a thorough investigation by an independent counsel:

The IRS case deserves and calls out for an independent counsel, fully armed with all that position’s powers. Only then will stables that badly need to be cleaned, be cleaned. Everyone involved in this abuse of power should pay a price, because if they don’t, the politicization of the IRS will continue—forever. If it is not stopped now, it will never stop. And if it isn’t stopped, no one will ever respect or have even minimal faith in the revenue-gathering arm of the U.S. government again…

…This is not about the usual partisan slugfest. This is about the integrity of our system of government and our ability to trust, which is to say our ability to function.

Read the full column here.

Mayor Gets Medieval In Plea To Residents To ‘Fight For Stockton’

Seeing the mayor of a California city of nearly 300,000 people don a studded warrior’s helmet and brandish a medieval-looking mace in order to make a point might have been bizarre for residents of beleaguered Stockton.

But at least Mayor Anthony Silva didn’t pull out a gun, or a model of a gun, or – God forbid – a pastry he’d bitten until it looked like a gun.

Perhaps his decision to wield a weapon people aren’t conditioned to be afraid of kept the audience gathered to hear his impassioned “State of the City” address Thursday from panicking. In fact, CBS Sacramento reports the crowd appeared to respond to the mayor’s histrionic stunt rather well.

“After his almost hour-long speech, Silva pulled out armor with a helmet and mace while asking the crowd to go to war for the broke and crime-ridden city… “If ever [there was] a time to stop rooting for your new mayor to fail, the time is now.”

Florida Manipulating Enforcement Revenues By Tricking Motorists Into Red Light Camera Fines

Florida may be known as a tax-friendly State, but a damning report this week reveals leaders are finding innovative and crooked ways to surreptitiously nickel-and-dime citizens in order to enrich public coffers.

Local TV news investigations are often vapid attacks on straw men, publicity stunts that bear no evidence of real investigation or service to the community. But not this investigative report by Tampa TV station WTSP-10. Reporter Noah Pransky took on the State of Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), looking into why FDOT implemented a subtle policy change — without telling anyone — that shortens the length of the yellow portion of the traffic light cycle in traffic signals statewide.

In Florida, citations for running red lights cost $158 a pop, with $70 of each ticket going straight to the State General Fund.

About 70 communities in Florida currently use surveillance cameras at traffic signal-controlled intersections as a way to ticket motorists who, either deliberately or inadvertently, don’t make it out of an intersection before the light turns red. Camera enforcement in Florida last year produced more than $100 million in revenue.

But, following FDOT’s recent removal of language in the State engineering guide that mandates yellow lights be timed to accommodate either the posted speed limit or the actual speed 85 percent of motorists are traveling — “whichever is greater” — the revenues are certain to jump dramatically:

FDOT’s change in language may have been subtle, but the effects were quite significant. The removal of three little words meant the reduction of yellow light intervals of up to a second, meaning drastically more citations for drivers. A 10 News analysis indicates the rule change is likely costing Florida drivers millions of dollars a year.

Currently, 24 States employ some form of camera enforcement to ticket motorists either for speeding, for running red lights or, in 13 States and Washington, D.C., for both.

A year ago, a Florida judge ruled that red light cameras are unConstitutional. But the losing parties (a number of cities in Pasco County) in that case are appealing the decision, and the cameras have continued to proliferate unchecked.

Almost all the traffic cameras in the United States aren’t even owned by the municipalities and States that profit from their use; they’re owned by private companies that, of course, also profit, since the government gives them a cut of each traffic fine. “It’s a private business that has a vested financial interest in making sure you are portrayed as doing something illegal,” notes one Albuquerque-based citizen advocate.

Conservatives in some State legislatures have introduced bills that aim to ban traffic cameras, saying they’re “insidious” infringements on citizens’ freedom and actually create more fender benders as wary, brake-happy drivers attempt to make last-second stops.

“Red light cameras are a for-profit business between cities and camera companies and the state,” James Walker, of the National Motorists Association, told Pransky. “The (FDOT rule-change) was done, I believe, deliberately in order that more tickets would be given with yellows set deliberately too short.”

The National Motorists Association lists reasons why traffic cameras are ineffective and unConstitutional at its website. Car and Driver also has an article here that, although outdated, features many detailed pictures of various types of traffic cameras, just in case you’d like to get an idea of what to watch out for the next time you’re out on the road.

To give yourself some protection from traffic light cameras, special license plate covers and spray-on coatings that defeat the radar cameras are available. These can be found by using an online search engine. Some companies that sell the covers or sprays include: OnTrack Automotive Accessories (www.ontrackcorp.com), PhotoBlocker Spray
(www.phantomplate.com) and Veil (www.laserveil.com).

Benghazi, IRS, The AP And Now… the EPA?! One Scandal Follows Another In Exposing Obama’s Culture Of Discrimination

The scandals involving ideology-based discrimination and politically motivated targeting under the Administration of President Barack Obama are revealing more than a lack of oversight; they’re revealing a pervasive culture of illegal, unethical and immoral discrimination against conservatives and political opposition emanating from the executive branch — an ironic truth that defines the Nation’s first Black President.

After suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for access under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the nonprofit, libertarian-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) finally got its hands on public documents that show how the EPA handled public information requests made in 2012 from individuals, nonprofits and other organizations.

In light of what the Nation has learned about the Obama Administration over the past week, CEI’s findings may anger you — but they won’t surprise anyone.

CEI found that conservative groups that wanted public information from the EPA repeatedly were charged access fees that the agency, historically, had waived. (In fact, Federal-level offices don’t charge watchdog and media groups for information that’s intended to be shared for the public’s benefit.) Over the same period, requests from environmental advocacy groups were expedited with fee waivers more than 90 percent of the time.

According to CEI’s report, which appeared Tuesday:

It’s not just the IRS that treats groups on the right differently from the rest. According to documents obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency is in on it too.

Public records produced by EPA in response to a lawsuit filed by CEI under the Freedom of Information Act illustrate a pattern of making it far more difficult for limited-government groups — in particular those who argue for more freedom and less EPA — to access public records.

Such groups are precisely those Congress and courts made clear FOIA was intended to protect from fees being used as a hurdle to obtaining information, without prejudice as to their perspective. Worse, CEI has now obtained proof of the spectacularly disparate nature of the practice, specifically revealing extraordinarily favorable treatment of the same green groups it’s been shown to be collaborating with on its agenda…

What kind of proof? “Green” groups like the Natural resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and EarthJustice had information fees waived in 72 of 82 cases, while CEI fellow Christopher Horner saw the EPA “effectively or expressly denied” 14 of his 15 attempts to obtain the same information free of charge. Horner appealed each denial and won each appeal, without being asked to explain why he was appealing.

“That these denials are ritually overturned on appeal, not after I presented any new evidence or made any new point, but simply restated what was a detailed and heavily sourced legal document to begin with, reaffirms the illegitimacy of these hurdles EPA places in the way of those who cause it problems. EPA’s practice is to take care of its friends and impose ridiculous obstacles to deny problematic parties’ requests for information,” Horner said in the report.

CEI calls the unmistakable favoritism “mind-boggling.”

… The numbers for a sampling of comparable “national” groups are mind-boggling. Of Sierra Club’s 15 requests, EPA granted 11. And Sierra Club received the harshest of treatments. In fact, EPA granted 19 of NRDC’s 20 requests and 17 of EarthJustice’s 19 requests. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility went a perfect 17-for-17. The Waterkeeper Alliance had all three of its requests granted, Greenpeace and the Southern Environmental Law Center each were 2-for-2, the Center for Biological Diversity 4-for-4.

That is, these green pressure groups encountered a cooperative EPA 92 percent of the time, but [CEI’s] requests…were rejected more than 93 percent of the time.

Unlike the discriminatory treatment the IRS gave election-season conservative groups, the EPA’s stonewalling has an extra, and equally sinister, dimension: Not only is the agency’s favoritism discriminatory in its own right; it also skews the debate over environmental issues by artificially depriving one side — the conservative side dismissed by the Obama Administration — of information necessary to a well-informed conversation. One side’s been getting fast and free information; the other side’s had to pay and wait.

These Presidential scandals are getting hard to track, and the EPA story is just beginning to circulate. Who knows how much attention it will command in an already-crowded news cycle that has Obama and his cabinet game-planning strategic, disingenuous responses to the Benghazi, Libya, scandal; the Internal Revenue Service scandal; the Associated Press scandal?

As scandals keep mounting and the President’s ability to truthfully narrate his role publicly wilts, one wonders how soon the day will come when, somewhere deep within the White House, Michelle Obama will turn to her husband and in a beleaguered, defeated voice, whisper: “Let’s move.”

South Carolina Wants A Piece Of Growing E-Cig Market With Proposed Tax

Legislators in South Carolina, along with lawmakers in several other States, are proposing what would amount to a “sin” tax on electronic cigarettes, which are growing in popularity as traditional smokers turn to alternatives perceived as healthier.

It’s still pioneering days for the E-cig industry, as the Federal Food and Drug Administration hasn’t weighed in on what effects the smokeless products have on human health.

If passed, South Carolina’s bill would tax E-cigs at 5 cents per “cartridge.” Many electronic cigarettes operate by producing heated vapor from cartridges filled with a solution of propylene glycol or other vegetable-based liquid that contains nicotine. E-cigs do not produce smoke and do not combust actual tobacco.

Released Benghazi Emails ‘Directly Contradict’ White House Narrative Of Events

According to Weekly Standard blogger Stephen F. Hayes, who’s perused all 94 pages of post-Benghazi internal email communications the White House finally released on Wednesday, the Barack Obama Administration’s official, public narrative immediately following the Benghazi, Libya, attacks has zilch in common with what Administration and intelligence officials were saying among themselves as they came up with talking points to frame the President’s immediate response.

“The documents… directly contradict claims by White House press secretary Jay Carney and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the revisions of those talking points were driven by the intelligence community and [instead] show heavy input from top Obama administration officials, particularly those at the State Department,” notes Hayes.

And guess what? There is no mention of the inflammatory Youtube video that Obama, in the immediate aftermath, continually blamed for outraging mobs of Muslims and inspiring the Benghazi attack. Well, no mention except one: in a subject line of an email dealing with revisions to the Administration’s talking points.

Later on, Obama shifted that blame to organized terrorists, saying that he’d called the attack an act of terror from the beginning.

Four people, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, died during the Sept. 11 attack.

‘Audit This’ — Philadelphia Eagles’ OL Evan Mathis Literally Pees On The IRS

What a relief! It’s finally OK to publicly ridicule the Internal Revenue Service, now that the scandal-plagued agency has made a parody of itself through its discriminatory, election-season stonewalling of President Barack Obama’s political enemies.

In that spirit, Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Evan Mathis posted an Instagram photo Thursday showing Mathis doing what a lot of Americans would like to do: taking a wizz on the IRS.


Looks like it’s not just the Department of Justice that’s preoccupied with leaks.

Tingles Numbs To Obama, Conservatives Are Tough And Liberals Are Weak, Mandatory $250,000 Insurance For D.C. Gun Owners?, None For The Road, Venezuela Out Of Toilet Paper: Tuesday Morning News Roundup 5-14-2013

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.

  • Say it ain’t so. The Barack Obama-inspired tingle that ran up Chris Matthews’ leg five years ago trickled back down it Wednesday night, after the MSNBC host cracked up and began berating the President’s responses to recent scandals like the Internal Revenue Service and Benghazi, Libya.
  • According to new research, tough guys are more likely to be conservatives. Scientists believe that the link may reflect psychological traits that evolved in response to our early ancestral environments and continue to influence behavior today.
  • The Washington, D.C., City Council may force residents to buy at least $250,000 in liability insurance before allowing them to apply for a license to own a firearm — this, in a city that already has some of the Nation’s most restrictive gun laws (including an outright ban on handguns).
  • The National Transportation Safety Board is lobbying for U.S. States to lower the legal blood alcohol limit for driving to .05. Even Mothers Against Drunk Driving doesn’t think it is a great idea.
  • Citing “excessive demand,” Venezuela’s government is having to import an emergency supply of 50 million rolls of toilet paper. New President Nicolas Maduro blames anti-government forces and the private sector, who evidently are using TP to destabilize the country. Who would have thought that after Hugo Chavez died, the whole nation would instantly go to sh!t?

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

TAZED: Police In California Caught On Video Brutalizing Cooperative Couple In Their Home

When was the last time you heard a story about police who’d gone to the trouble of ganging up at someone’s front door simply walking away when their suspicions turned out to be unfounded?

Don’t add the story of this California couple to your short list.

Far, far better informed about the Constitutional relationship of the citizen to the state than most victims of police violence, these homeowners knew their rights, and they said so.

That makes what ensued all the more outrageous, because it’s obvious from the video that the cops’ knowledgeable quarry, who recited portions of the 4th Amendment, had the goon squad very frustrated.

On May 10, cops in Cotati, Calif., received a domestic violence call — an alleged complaint that evidently didn’t come from either of the people inside the home — and converged on the residence. There were four of them.

There was a child playing happily in the front yard. The homeowners informed police their other child was with them in the home.

The cops knocked on the door and announced they were there because they’d gotten a domestic violence call. The husband and wife both reply, without opening the door, that there hadn’t been any violence at all — simply an argument “with yelling.” That assertion would jibe with the circumstances: There was the happy child out front, who didn’t appear traumatized by whatever had recently transpired.

As the police persisted in their demand to be allowed access, the homeowners became alarmed and began recording everything, at first while speaking to police through the window, then later at much closer range. The homeowner reiterates that there hadn’t been any domestic violence, that there had simply been an argument.



On the video, what appears to be the alpha cop tells the family, still from outside the home, that they’re coming in if someone doesn’t open the door.

Another cop asks the couple why they won’t come out.

“Because we don’t live in a police state, sir — martial law has not been established in this country,” came the reply.

Agitated cops typically don’t walk away from someone’s front door once their blood is hot — whether they have a right to be there or not — without extracting a cathartic pound of flesh. What cop can be expected to abide a citizen who stands his legal ground, to perceive a citizen’s conscientious and well-informed acquittal of his own rights as anything but mockery and sass?

Not these ones.

Despite the fact that the police had no warrant and had no probable cause to enter, the police ordered the couple to go ahead and get down on the ground and put their hands in the “cuff me” position behind them, because “we’re gonna kick in the door.”

And that’s what they did. The couple hadn’t gotten on the ground and they didn’t have their hands behind their backs; nor did they offer any physical resistance — even though their home had just been illegally invaded by armed strangers hiding behind dark sunglasses and a badge. The cops used a Tazer on the wife first, then used a Tazer on the husband.

That’s when the video gets shaky, before ending abruptly.

Cotati Police Chief Michael Parish said a criminal investigation is ongoing, though he didn’t say whether his own thugs were the subjects of the investigation. He also said there would be an “administrative review” of the cops’ adherence to policy and procedure.

Former AG Says Department Of Justice Under George W. Bush Could Have Done What Holder’s Office Did To AP, But Didn’t

On MSNBC Wednesday, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who served from 2005-2007 under President George W. Bush, said the Administration weighed whether it could subpoena information from an undisclosed source without telling that source about it — just as the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice has done in the scandal it created by doing the same thing to The Associated Press.

The only difference, though, is that Gonzalez and those in the Bush Administration close to the investigation decided against it:

There was at least one occasion in which we were engaged in a very serious leak investigation and we had to make some very difficult choices about whether or not to move forward, going after the reporters in order to try to figure out where the source of the leak is.

And sometimes, the department finds itself in a situation where they have exhausted all means and they have to make a very hard determination as to whether or not they want to subpoena the reporter, if they want to subpoena the reporter’s notes. So yes, I’ve had that situation. In the instance that I have in mind, we ultimately decided not to move forward.

He didn’t elaborate further, but Gonzalez did opine that the DOJ could probably get away with issuing a far-reaching subpoena to a press source, so long as the President knew about it and promised not to interfere. “It would surprise me that the White House would not have received some type of heads up,” he said of the current scandal.

The Obama Administration has denied any prior knowledge that the DOJ, under current Attorney General Eric Holder, had issued a subpoena that gave the DOJ access to phones used by more than 100 AP reporters.

The Dems Aren’t Happy: Rangel Calls On Obama To Explain Role In IRS, AP Scandals

Senator Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) got on MSNBC Wednesday and went as far as a disgraced liberal Congressman can to castigate his party’s most influential member, telling Joe Scarborough that President Barack Obama hasn’t told the American people nearly as much as he knows about scandals involving both the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service.

““I don’t think anyone truly believes that the president has given us a sufficient answer for America, much less the press,” said Rangel. “I think this is just the beginning, and the whole idea of comparing this with Nixon — I really think is just, it doesn’t make much sense.

“But the president has to come forward and share why he did not alert the press they were going to do this [secret data mining of The Associated Press]. He has to tell the Americans, including me: What was this ‘national security’ question? You just can’t raise the flag and expect to salute it every time, without any reason — and the same thing applies to the IRS.”

Rangel is among House Ways and Means Committee members set to hear testimony this Friday on the unfolding IRS scandal, in which the agency strategically placed undue hardships on conservative political nonprofits that threatened to mobilize against Obama ahead of the 2012 election.

The Worm Has Turned, Don’t Delay Me, Bro!, IRS Vs. Son Of A Preacher Man, ‘Assume You’re Being Watched’ Says Drudge, March Of The Magical Gay Elves: Wednesday Morning News Roundup 5-15-2013

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.

  • POLITICO isn’t known for Barack Obama bashing. That’s what makes this analysis, released late Tuesday, all the more fascinating. The President’s own party kin are jumping ship on his Administration, as scandals pile up and the Democratic rank and file sickens of his petulant “holier-than-thou rhetoric.”
  • The President’s half-brother got the expeditious treatment when his “charity,” the Barack H. Obama Foundation, applied to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status back in 2011 — as conservative nonprofits sat on the sidelines, waiting for the same approval. Worse, Malik Obama’s group got retroactive tax exemption dating back to late 2008.
  • The son of Billy Graham came forward Tuesday, revealing that the nonprofit bearing his father’s name was among the conservative groups stonewalled by the IRS’ artificially Kafkaesque demands for documentation before granting the group tax-exempt status.
  • Matt Drudge, he of the venerable Drudge Report, has a warning for anybody with anything significant to say — especially about the government — following news that the U.S. Department of Justice had secretly and illegally culled two months’ worth of data from the AP’s phone records: “Assume all your communications are being monitored.”
  • Tired of all the confessional, self-segregating coming-out parties the media throws for gay celebrities who Must Be Good Because They’re Gay? So’s Bret Easton Ellis, the self-confessed, sorta-gay author of Less Than Zero and American Psycho. Writing against the grain in Out magazine, Ellis said the media-maudlin “reign of the Gay Man as Magical Elf” is much ado over “what should be considered just another neutral fact that is nobody’s business.”

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

It Goes Deeper: IRS Shared Conservatives’ Confidential Info With ProPublica Journalism Group

ProPublica, the nonprofit news organization that specializes in investigative journalism, revealed Wednesday that the same Internal Revenue Service office alleged to have intentionally bogged down Tea Party nonprofits and other conservative groups with needless documentation demands during the run-up to the 2012 Presidential election also shared the still-pending, confidential tax-exemption applications of nine of those groups with — you guessed it — ProPublica.

According to a story posted to ProPublica’s website late Monday, the group had, for months, reported on the activities of several political nonprofits — with the financial information redacted — because the general topic was newsworthy during election season.

But in light of the ongoing IRS scandal involving alleged sabotage of the Obama Administration’s potential enemies, the agency also admitted it’s only fair play to disclose, now, that the IRS supplied much of the information ProPublica had used in its earlier reports:

In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved–meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)

… Before the 2012 election, ProPublica devoted months to showing how dozens of social-welfare nonprofits had misled the IRS about their political activity on their applications and tax returns. Social-welfare nonprofits are allowed to spend money to influence elections, as long as their primary purpose is improving social welfare. Unlike super PACs and regular political action committees, they do not have to identify their donors.

Applications for tax-exempt status are not allowed to be made public until after the IRS has approved a nonprofit group’s tax-exempt status. Notably, the agency reports that the IRS never offered up any liberal nonprofits’ applications for tax-exempt status. And the IRS hasn’t gotten back with ProPublica after the group requested to know who at the IRS is responsible for originally sharing the off-limits information.

ProPublica was launched with funding from the Sandler Foundation to “strengthen the progressive infrastructure” in investigative journalism. It received $125,000 from the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundations, an amalgam of other international foundations that, themselves, also are predominantly funded by Soros.

Rand Sums It Up: Obama Is Drunk On Power

Whatever your party ideology is, whatever the ideals — left or right — you profess as critical to the understanding of how America’s ongoing experiment in free Constitutional Republicanism will continually emerge successful, you have to hew to what you believe.

Elected leaders whose explanations of their vision for the Nation resonated with enough voters to put them in office actually have to enact their visions, or at least do things, once in office, that don’t subvert the principles they sold to the people at the time they campaigned for their favor.

President Barack Obama had a lot of political raw material to work with in 2008, positioning himself as a transparent, open and accessible answer to the cultivated perception of the George W. Bush White House as a devilish, secretive, power-mad boys’ club — a pillaging cabal of Statists who appeared on TV news shows as guys who reveled in the expansion of power to achieve honorable aims by sinister, ignoble, illegal means.

Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Ari Fleischer, Condoleezza Rice: The names still conjure, in the memory, the indelible image of the unique power culture that emerged in the W. era.

So what if you have to give up your privacy? Did you see what just happened to those two towers, all those people? So what if you’re inconvenienced by a little roughhousing at the airport? Don’t you want to play even a passive role in securing the homeland? So what if there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction? We ended up taking out a real bad guy, didn’t we? Hey, we don’t make the weather; but don’t you want the Federal Emergency Management Agency to nail things down while the Corps of Engineers hires some guys I know to make sure your polluted, depressed industrial corridor doesn’t have to be relocated to the Atchafalaya basin? And so it goes.

But none of that surprised anyone. The Republican White House of 2000-2008 walked as it talked. If the Feds wanted to snoop on you and if they wanted you to bleed a little for the greater good, Fleischer and Scott McClellan got out in front of a Presidential Seal symbol and told you why their boss thought it was a good idea. In so many ways, they said: “This is the President’s agenda, and this is why he thinks it’s the best thing for the Nation. We know we’ve got the power; now watch us use it.”

Nothing remotely approaching even that degree of openness has emanated from the White House since 2008, when Obama said this to the leaders of Federal agencies:

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

With each snoop scandal; with each cover-up; with each wiretap amendment or backdoor cybersurveillance revelation; with each executive order to keep documents classified; with each internal memo telling department heads to make spending cuts painful on Americans; with every silence on whether Americans are fair game for drone strikes; with each coordinated attack on the 2nd Amendment or quiet assault on the firearms free market; with each inexplicable concession to the Saudi terrorist-birthing regime; with each flush of a Freedom of Information Act request down the toilet; with each unresolved, unaddressed lie about what the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was doing tracking guns in Mexico: With each of these revelations, and more, the Obama White House adds another spectacular dollop of hypocrisy to a crooked Presidential legacy unparalleled, so far as we know, since the administration of Richard Nixon.

Obama does not walk his talk. The message is diametrically opposed to the deed. And there is no way on Earth it’s inadvertent, no way to cobble together an apology of such hypocrisy as simple misplaced idealism or the seeking of noble goals by ignoble means. Hell, no one — but no one — knows what the goals are anymore. Talking points are hollow.

And it’s gotten too egregious to seem rooted in rationality. The inconsistencies between talk and action are just too perplexing. The delusional pathology presents similarly to that of an addict or a drunk.

On Monday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told FOX News:

I think of what Lincoln said. He said … if you really want to test a man, give him power.

I think, in that sense, the president is failing that test of power, because he has extraordinary power and he’s supposed to be able to be wise enough to restrain himself.

But he’s using the power of government to investigate his enemies. He’s tapping the phones of the press. And it turns out last year he signed legislation that allows him to detain an American without a trial and send them to Guantanamo Bay.

This sounds like a president somewhat drunk on power — not cautious about how he uses his power.

Can a bender this wild last four more years?