Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 9-8-2014

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Treasury Secy: Obama To Take Unilateral Action To Prevent Corporations Leaving U.S.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Monday that President Barack Obama will soon take executive action to stop tax maneuvers known as inversions, when U.S. corporations relocate their headquarters in low-tax countries outside the U.S. Read More…

Cruz On ISIS Response: Secure The Borders, Strip Citizenship From Americans Who Join Jihadists

Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Monday told fellow lawmakers that the nation’s borders must be secured to protect Americans from the possibility of the Islamic State terror group launching an attack on the homeland. Read More… 

America’s Labor Force Is Becoming Less Flexible As Government Becomes More Intrusive

It’s getting harder and harder to get hired into a legitimate job, as municipal, state and federal regulations continue to chip away at the incentive for ambitious individuals to seek a profit – or for job seekers (particularly low-skilled ones) to pursue employment. Read More…

As Congress Returns To Work, Politics Is High On The Agenda

Rather than go out in a blaze of legislative accomplishment before the Nov. 4 elections, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate appear satisfied with doing the bare minimum required before returning to their districts to campaign. Read More…

Chick-Fil-A Founder Truett Cathy Dies At 93

S. Truett Cathy, who turned a humble hometown restaurant featuring a boneless fried chicken sandwich into the Chick-fil-A juggernaut, died Monday at 1:35 a.m. He was 93. Read More…

Ron Paul: Nixonian Abuse Of Power Is Now The Presidential Norm

Forty years ago many Americans celebrated the demise of the imperial presidency with the resignation of Richard Nixon. Today it is clear they celebrated too soon. Nixon’s view of presidential powers, summed up in his infamous statement that, “when the president does it that means it is not illegal,” is embraced by the majority of the political class. Straight Talk…

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 9-5-2014

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Lost Emails Here; Lost Emails There…IRS ‘Lost’ Emails Of Five More Employees Tied To Lerner Scandal

The number of IRS employees whose emails were allegedly “lost” by the tax enforcement agency officially rose by five today, according to an early report from the Associated Press.More… 

Ban On Homemade Guns One Signature Away From Becoming Law In California

California Governor Jerry Brown has but to sign a bill passed by the legislature for homemade guns both past and future to become illegal in California, except under strict conditions that document the weapons with government-issued serial numbers. More… 

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

Welcome to the general election: Labor Day has passed, nearly every primary has finished, and Roll Call has revised its monthly list of the 10 most vulnerable House members. More…

August Hiring Disappoints

Hiring in August disappointed with employers adding just 142,000 jobs last month even as the unemployment rate ticked down slightly, the government said Friday in a report that underwhelmed. More…

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

With Americans so bedazzled by the news of our beloved celebrities that we couldn’t get our noses out of social media, is it any wonder ISIS decided to get our attention by posting a video on YouTube? Funnies…

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Let’s recap recent events. Brangelina finally tied the knot. The six Jolie-Pitt children wrote their parents’ vows, and Angelina Jolie’s dress was adorned with their drawings. How do we know? The wealthy couple made $5 million selling the story of their betrothal and the related photos. Reportedly, the money is going to charity. Meanwhile, Nick Cannon confirmed that he and Mariah Carey were ending their marriage, although he went on to proclaim his love for the diva via Twitter. And the grande dame of comedy, Joan Rivers, had yet another elective procedure, during which she went into cardiac arrest. A week later, Melissa Rivers informed the world that her mother had passed away. It’s no secret that Jennifer Lawrence was no fan of Joan Rivers, and the feeling was mutual. It’s a shame the late comedienne isn’t around to rife about JLaw and all the other celebrities whose naked photos were exposed in an iCloud hack. With Americans so bedazzled by the news of our beloved celebrities that we couldn’t get our noses out of social media, is it any wonder ISIS decided to get our attention by posting a video on YouTube?

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David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
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Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com
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Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
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Manny Francisco, Manila, The Phillippines
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Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico
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John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
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Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
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Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons
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Gary McCoy, Cagle Cartoons
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Paul Zanetti, Australia
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Luojie, China Daily, China
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Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
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Gary McCoy, Cagle Cartoons

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 9-4-2014

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Rand Paul Says It’s Time To Go After ISIS, But With Constitutional Restraint

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in a Thursday opinion column for Time, set out to dispel questions about whether his “predisposition to less intervention” applies to the Islamic State terrorists sweeping across the Middle East. It Doesn’t…

Obama, Cameron Seek To Build Coalition To Take On Islamic State

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron warned Thursday against isolationism in the face of the “barbaric killers” of the Islamic State, then tried to use a NATO summit to build an international coalition to confront the terrorist group. More…

Obamacare Site Hacked

Reports surfaced Thursday that a hacker was able to breach the federal healthcare website many Americans have trusted with personal information to upload malicious software in an effort to use the website to launch cyberattacks. Officials reportedly only learned about the July 8 hacking of the Healthcare.gov website last week. More… 

Connecticut Governor Applauds Anti-Gun Sculpture Made From Shredded Firearms

An anti-gun organization has placed 2,000 pounds of shredded firearm parts in the form of a massive sculpture depicting a handshake in the middle of a Connecticut park in an effort to draw awareness to gun violence in America. Why? 

Grassroots Groups Fighting Law Enforcement Exercise Designed To Put Cops In Touch With Military Tech Companies

While all eyes are on the disturbing evidence of police militarization in Ferguson, are you paying attention to what’s happening with law enforcement in your own back yard? You Should… 

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 9-3-2014

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Lawmaker Introduces War Anywhere, Anytime Bill Because… TERRORISTS

Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) wants to “end any ambiguity about the president’s authority – or the Congress’ support – for a U.S.-led international coalition to disrupt and eliminate ISIS” with a piece of legislation that appears to eliminate constraints on the White House’s ability to strike just about anyone, anywhere it pleases. More… 

Is It Time For A Constitutional Convention? Tom Coburn Thinks So

Outgoing Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a tenacious budget hawk, says that he wants to lead an effort to organize a national convention to change the U.S. Constitution. More… 

Biden Vows That U.S. Will Follow ISIS ‘To The Gates Of Hell’

Vice President Joe Biden offered some harsh words for the Islamic State terror group during a speech in Portsmouth, N.H., Wednesday as he vowed retaliation for the beheading of American journalists. Video… 

Obama In Reaction To Second Journalist Beheading: U.S. Will Not be Intimidated

President Barack Obama on Wednesday confirmed the authenticity of a video showing the beheading of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist executed in two weeks by Islamic militants in response to U.S. airstrikes against its fighters in northern Iraq. More… 

Is This The Libertarian Moment?

Earlier this month, The New York Times wondered aloud if the “libertarian moment” had arrived. A good question, to be sure. More… 

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 9-2-2014

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Majority Of Voters Wish Obama Had A Plan To Neutralize ISIS

A majority of voters believe that the Islamic State terror group poses a significant threat to the U.S. and, though reluctant to commit troops to the Middle East, are concerned that President Barack Obama has yet to formulate a comprehensive response to the jihadists recent gains in the region. More… 

Slain SEAL Team Six Member’s Parents To Obama: Please Vacate The White House And Allow Someone Of Courage And Substance To Take Control

Enraged by the beheading of freelance war correspondent James Foley and the Obama Administration’s subsequent failure to formulate a firm response to the Islamic State terrorists responsible for the ghastly act, the parents of slain of slain SEAL Team Six member Aaron Carson Vaughn have written an open letter to the president.More…

Christie’s Making A Run For The Border: Mexico Trip Designed To Boost His Appeal As 2016 Presidential Candidate

The governor, who is bringing along business, energy and pharmaceutical executives, noted Friday that New Jersey annually exports more than $2 billion of goods to Mexico and imports almost $3.5 billion. More… 

Roll Call’s 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

With the elections just two months away, Democratic incumbents overall have run strong-enough campaigns to ensure the fight for the Senate majority remains a tossup — despite a playing field tilted heavily in the GOP’s direction. More… 

Ron Paul: Obama Has No Middle East Strategy? Good!

Why does the U.S. government insist on aligning with theocracies in the Middle East? If there is anything that contradicts the U.S. Constitution and American values, it is a theocratic government. I do not believe that a majority in the Middle East wants to live under such a system, so why do we keep pushing it on them? Is that what they call promoting democracy? Straight Talk… 

Slain SEAL Team Six Member’s Parents To Obama: Please Vacate The White House And Allow Someone Of Courage And Substance To Take Control

Enraged by the beheading of freelance war correspondent James Foley and the Obama Administration’s subsequent failure to formulate a firm response to the Islamic State terrorists responsible for the ghastly act, the parents of slain of slain SEAL Team Six member Aaron Carson Vaughn have written an open letter to the president.

Billy and Karen Vaughn lost their son when a helicopter carrying 30 Americans and eight Afghans was shot down in August 2011 in Afghanistan’s Tangi River Valley. In their letter to Obama, first published by The World Tribune, the two write that the president’s lack of leadership has cost American lives and continues to endanger the nation.

An excerpt from the letter:

As Commander-in-Chief, your actions — or lack thereof — Mr. President, cost lives. As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe. Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.

Please vacate the people’s house and allow a man or woman of courage and substance to seize the reigns of this out-of-control thug-fest and regain the balance we, America, have provided throughout our great history.

Thanks to your “leadership” from whatever multi-million dollar vacation you happen to be on at any given moment, the world is in chaos. What’s been gained, you’ve lost. What’s been lost, you’ve decimated. You’ve demolished our ability to hold the trust of allies. You’ve made a mockery of the title “President.” And you’ve betrayed the nation for which my son and over 1.3 million others have sacrificed their very lives.

But this should come as no surprise, since your wife uttered a vile statement on Feb. 18, 2008, during the primary campaign — one that speaks volumes of your true convictions. “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” she said.

I am sure my deceased son thanks you for that, Mrs. Obama. Oh, and you’re welcome.

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such despair and such growing fear that the world’s last best hope, America, has finally been dismantled. Perhaps the better word is transformed — fundamentally transformed. Come to think of it, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to believe things haven’t gone exactly as you planned, Mr. President.

Amazingly, in five short years, your administration has lurched from one disaster to another. You spearheaded the ambitious rush to end the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan — with no plan on how to do so effectively. Also, the release of “the Taliban five” in exchange for one American — without consulting Congress — is also on your shoulders.

You have been at the helm during unprecedented national security leaks — including, but not limited to the outing of SEAL Team VI on the Bin laden raid, the outing of the Pakistani doctor who provided the intelligence for that raid, the outing of Afghanistan’s CIA station chief, and the outing of your personal “kill list” to make you look tough. In addition, 75 percent of American deaths in Afghanistan and 83 percent of Americans-wounded-in-action have occurred on your watch, according to icasualties.org.

And now, we have this recent, heinous event: the beheading of an American citizen by a barbaric organization you foolishly referred to as “the JV team” in your statements to the New Yorker magazine in January.

You, sir, are the JV team. It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters.

America has always been exceptional. And she will be again. You, Mr. President, are a bump in our road.

Read the full letter here.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-29-2014

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A Tale Of Two Leaders: ‘Don’t Have A Strategy’ And ‘Poisonous Ideology Of Islamist Extremism’ Threatens All… Guess Which One Isn’t An Obama Quote

Following President Barack Obama’s brazen announcement that his administration has yet to come up with a strategy to respond to the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists gaining ground in the Middle East, British Prime Minister David Cameron called the ISIS gains a “greater and deeper threat to security than we have known” in an address to his countrymen. More… 

Reports: Terror Attack From Southern Border ‘Imminent’

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch issued a statement Friday, claiming that government sources have confirmed that Islamic State terrorists are operating in Mexico and planning terror attacks on the U.S. More… 

No MSM Coverage For Tea Party ‘Buycott’ To Help Looted Ferguson Businesses

The St. Louis Tea Party has organized a series of shopping sprees at businesses in Ferguson, Missouri ravaged by more than a week of looting and rioting. Unless you live in the St. Louis TV market, it’s a human-interest story likely to be left out of mainstream media reports from Ferguson. More… 

After Uzi Death, Gun Ranges Debate Safest Way To Teach Kids To Shoot

The accidental death of an instructor at an Arizona shooting range, killed while teaching a 9-year-old girl to fire a fully automatic Uzi, has touched off a national debate on whether children should be given access to such weapons. More… 

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Typically during this time of the year, Americans are focused on other things besides world events. Yet it’s impossible to ignore the goings-on across the globe right now. ISIS beheaded one of our own last week. Israel and Hamas agreed this week to stop attacking one another — at least for the moment. And Russia invaded Ukraine just yesterday. Maybe President Obama wore that tan suit to send the world a message: Couldn’t all this wait until after Labor Day? Friday Funnies… 

No P.M. Edition For Labor Day: Monday, September 1

The offices of Personal Liberty will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1 (Labor Day). That means we won’t be publishing our P.M. Edition on Monday. Those of you who are off work on Monday, enjoy your day off! We’ll be back with our regular P.M. Edition on Tuesday, Sept. 2. More… 

No P.M. Edition For Labor Day: Monday, September 1

The offices of Personal Liberty will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1 (Labor Day). That means we won’t be publishing our P.M. Edition on Monday. Those of you who are off work on Monday, enjoy your day off! We’ll be back with our regular P.M. Edition on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

If you plan to take a road trip, be on the lookout for speed traps, full-stop checkpoints, and even the prospect of no-refusal, mandatory blood draws if the police so much as suspect you of drunken driving. Texas and states in the Southeastern U.S. seem particularly jazzed about pushing the limits of the Fourth Amendment over the long weekend.

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Summer’s winding down. Pretty soon, it’ll be too cold to do the ice bucket challenge. In many communities, school has begun. College football kicked off this week. And it’s the Friday before Labor Day, the three-day weekend that Americans tend to equate with the end of summer. Typically during this time of the year, Americans are focused on other things besides world events. Yet it’s impossible to ignore the goings-on across the globe right now. ISIS beheaded one of our own last week. Israel and Hamas agreed this week to stop attacking one another — at least for the moment. And Russia invaded Ukraine just yesterday. Maybe President Obama wore that tan suit to send the world a message: Couldn’t all this wait until after Labor Day?

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Huffaker, Politicalcartoons.com
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John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune
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David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
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Luojie, China Daily, China
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Olle Johansson, Sweden
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Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE
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Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland, Germany
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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE
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Marian Kemensky, Slovakia
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Marian Kemensky, Slovakia

Have You Heard About The Pentagon’s ‘Everything Must Go’ Sale?

Reason’s Will Neff and Paul Detrick have teamed up to produce a satirical television commercial that reveals the absurdity of the military-to-police equipment pipeline created by the Defense Department’s 1033 program.

Among members of the liberty movement, the militarization of local police forces has been a subject of concern for years. With the police response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, the matter is receiving some long overdue mainstream attention.

For more information on the 1033 program visit the links below.

News and Analysis:

Free Military Gear To Cops Has Resulted In 184 Local Police Departments ‘Losing’ Guns, Humvees

The Best Reporting On Federal Push To Militarize Local Police

USA Today, WSJ Realize What We’ve Been Saying For Years: America’s Cops Are Out Of Control

Local Law Enforcement More Dangerous, Thanks To Trickle Down Of Military Equipment, Militarized Mindset

Why Do Police In New Mexico Need 42 MRAPs?

DHS Says Law Enforcement Should Prepare For More Citizen Enemies

Analysis: With Ferguson Essay, Rand Paul Proves A Very Different Republican

Orange County, Florida Sheriff Blithely Proclaims: ‘We Are A Paramilitary Organization’

DHS Grants Not Making Anyone Safer

Commentary:

Ferguson: The War Comes Home

Stop The Militarization Of Our Police

America Is Under Military Occupation, But Americans Are Pushing Back

Police Shoot First And Cover Up The Questions Later

The Vigilante’s View On Ferguson And The U.S. Police State

The Violent Militarization Of Local Police

Political Satirist On Ferguson: Take The ‘F*cking Toys’ From Police

Mises President: Whatever Happened To Peace Officers?

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-27-2014

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Officials Say Hundreds Of Americans Have Joined Islamic State Terror Group As It Gains A Disturbing Amount Of Western Support

After confirmation that an American man was killed Tuesday fighting alongside Islamic State fighters in Syria, there is widespread speculation among law enforcement and intelligence officials that the terror group has radicalized at least hundreds of other Americans. Read More…

Texas School District: Our Teachers Are Armed And Prepared To Protect Students

Signs announcing that a particular property is considered a “gun-free zone” frequently plastered outside schools, government buildings and some private businesses are, quite unsurprisingly, ineffective at keeping firearm brandishing psychopaths at bay. That’s why one Texas school district is taking a different approach. Read More…

Vice President Biden Won’t Rest Until His Granddaughters Have Equal Rights

On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden took a stand on Twitter, where the Obama administration goes any time it really needs to take a stand. On this outing, which coincided with Women’s Equality Day, Biden’s thoughts were heavy. Take A Nap…

Billionaire’s Political Ads Criticized By Fact-Checking Groups

Bay Area billionaire Tom Steyer’s blitz against candidates who are soft on climate change is underway in seven states, but some prominent fact-checking groups say he’s emitting enough hot air to melt a few glaciers. Read More…

Supreme Court Tackles Online Threats

The unique nature of the Internet, as a platform for the exercise of Americans’ First Amendment freedoms, requires the government prove a person actually meant to make a threat before he can be prosecuted. Just such a case is before the Supreme Court now. Electronic Frontier Foundation…

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-26-2014

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IRS Admits It Destroyed Lois Lerner’s Blackberry After Congress Began Investigating Scandal

When the IRS met Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s deadline last Friday to produce sworn documents explaining a variety of things about how and why Lois Lerner’s emails went missing, it dropped a couple of bombs for anyone who’s been following the ever-simmering IRS scandal. Read More…

Free Military Gear To Cops Has Resulted In 184 Local Police Departments ‘Losing’ Guns, Humvees

When the federal government places leftover military weapons, MRAPs, Humvees, fire trucks and even ready-to-eat meals and sleeping bags in the hands of local fire and police forces, it’s at least trusting that those agencies will hang onto them – even if they’re used to restrain and repress civilians. But even that is too much to ask for dozens upon dozens of local departments. Missing…

California Law Mandates That Students Be Taught ‘Significance’ Of Obama Presidency

A new California law signed this week by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown will require schoolchildren to be taught that President Barack Obama’s election was “a historic step in the effort towards equality in the United States.” Read More…

Could A Wording ‘Glitch’ Doom Obamacare?

When a federal appeals court ruled last month that a seemingly arcane wording flaw in the Affordable Care Act should invalidate a central part of the law, many of those who drafted the statute five years ago reacted with shock and anger. The ruling seems likely to propel Obamacare once more before the Supreme Court, where opponents came within a single vote of overturning the law in 2012. Read More…

Alliance Defending Freedom: ‘Controversial Speech’ Restricted At University Of South Alabama

Alliance Defending Freedom filed an amended complaint Friday in a pro-life student organization’s lawsuit against the University of South Alabama. The university relegated the group’s pro-life display to a small speech zone on campus because it deemed the nature of the event “controversial.” Under the university’s policies, students must also obtain a permit 72 hours in advance in order to use the speech zone. Read More…

California Law Mandates That Students Be Taught ‘Significance’ Of Obama Presidency

A new California law signed this week by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown will require schoolchildren to be taught that President Barack Obama’s election was “a historic step in the effort towards equality in the United States.”

The bill, AB 1912, will require the state’s Instructional Quality Commission to update history and social science materials to acknowledge Obama’s legacy as the nation’s first black president.

Via the bill:

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

 

SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the

following:

 

(a) The election of Barack Hussein Obama to the office of

President of the United States was a historic step in the effort

towards equality in the United States.

 

(b) Before the Civil Rights Movement, intimidation and physical

violence prevented millions of African Americans from voting and

alienated them from the electoral process.

 

(c) The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a civil rights victory that

inspired more ethnic minorities to register to vote and pursue

elected office.

 

(d) Barack Obama attended Harvard Law School where he became the

first African American president of the Harvard Law Review.

 

(e) After law school, Barack Obama worked to fulfill the spirit of

the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by encouraging people to register to

 

(f) Barack Obama was first elected to the Illinois State Senate in

1996 and to the United States Senate in 2004.

 

(g) Senator Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the

United States and first African American President on November 4,

2008, and was sworn in on January 20, 2009.

 

(h) In honor of his extraordinary efforts to strengthen

international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples, President

Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

(i) President Obama was reelected on November 6, 2012, and was

sworn in for his second term on January 20, 2013.

 

While the election of the nation’s first black president was undoubtedly a landmark moment in American history, CBS Los Angeles reports that political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson questioned why California lawmakers would take the unusual step of mandating that Obama be mentioned in classrooms.

“There really shouldn’t be a need for this, a special bill,” said Hutchinson. “Obviously, President Obama did make history, becoming the first African-American [President], but on the other hand, he is the President of the United States. It is a signature accomplishment in the sense that, as other presidents, they’re routinely taught.”

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-25-2014

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Lt. General Warns That Something Big Will Happen On 9-11-2014

Ret. Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a military analyst for Fox, suggested on Saturday that the U.S. is in danger of suffering a devastating terror attack and should “go to DEFCON 1, our highest state of readiness and be prepared as we lead up to 9/11.” More… 

White House Sets U.S. Up For Another Foreign Policy Nightmare

An influential Senate Democrat called Monday for President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval before launching airstrikes against Islamic State militants in the Middle East. The call came after the White House refused to say whether it would await a congressional greenlight for further military action. More… 

Cornel West: Obama A ‘Counterfeit’ And A ‘Brown-Faced Clinton’

Union Theological Seminary professor and noted liberal public intellectual Cornel West had some harsh words for President Barack Obama in an interview with the left-leaning Salon. More… 

The Lower Congress Sinks, The Higher Voter Turnout Might Be

A new Gallup study suggests that in recent elections, disapproval of Congress’ job performance meant higher turnout. Currently, Gallup’s congressional job approval is 13 percent, with 19 percent of registered voters saying members of Congress deserve re-election. More… 

Ferguson: The War Comes Home

The increasing use of military equipment by local police is a symptom of growing authoritarianism, not the cause. The cause is policies that encourage police to see Americans as enemies to subjugate, rather than as citizens to “protect and serve.” Ron Paul’s Straight Talk… 

Cornel West: Obama A ‘Counterfeit’ And A ‘Brown-Faced Clinton’

Union Theological Seminary professor and noted liberal public intellectual Cornel West had some harsh words for President Barack Obama in an interview with the left-leaning Salon.

The conversation started out on a sour note when Salon’s Thomas Frank asked West, “how do you feel things have worked out since then [2008], both with the economy and with this president?”

West’s reply:

[T]he thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair. And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are—we’re an empire in decline. Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life. You would think that we needed somebody—a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility.

[W]e ended up with a brown-faced Clinton. Another opportunist. Another neoliberal opportunist. It’s like, “Oh, no, don’t tell me that!” I tell you this, because I got hit hard years ago, but everywhere I go now, it’s “Brother West, I see what you were saying. Brother West, you were right. Your language was harsh and it was difficult to take, but you turned out to be absolutely right.” And, of course with Ferguson, you get it reconfirmed even among the people within his own circle now, you see. It’s a sad thing. It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G in brown skin.

Aside from criticisms for what he views as Obama’s overall failures, he criticized the President’s response to the police militarization on display in Ferguson, Missouri, and throughout the nation.

The Obama administration has been silent. Completely silent. All of a sudden now, you get this uprising and what is the response? Well, as we know, you send out a statement on the death of brother Robin Williams before you sent out a statement on brother Michael Brown. The family asked for an autopsy at the Federal level, they hold back, so they [the family] have to go and get their own autopsy, and then the federal government finally responds. [Obama] sends Eric, Eric’s on the way out. Eric Holder’s going to be gone by December.

Obama wasn’t the only person on the left West ripped.

He also took Al Sharpton to task:

[W]hen you say the name Al Sharpton, the word integrity does not come to mind. So you got low-quality black leadership. Al Sharpton is who? He’s a cheerleader for Obama…

MSNBC, state press, it’s all Obama propaganda, and Sharpton is the worst. Sharpton said explicitly, I will never say a critical word about the president under any condition. That’s why he can’t stand what I’m saying. He can’t stand what I do because, for him, it’s an act of racial traitorship to be critical of the president. There’s no prophetic integrity in his leadership…

And as for the possibility of a Hillary Clinton Presidency in 2016 that has liberals so giddy (or jiddy), West offers this:

Hillary Clinton is an extension of Obama’s Wall Street presidency, drone presidency, national surveillance, national security presidency. She’d be more hawkish than he is, and yet she’s got that strange smile that somehow titillates liberals and neo-liberals and scares Republicans. But at that point it’s even too hard to contemplate.

Read the full interview at Salon.com.

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-22-2014: Fed Up With MSM In Ferguson; Harry Reid Steps In It Yet Again; Trey Gowdy All Business As Benghazi Panel Nears; Cops And Cameras In Vice City; Friday Funnies

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Fed Up With Media Circus, One Reporter Explains Why He Walked Away From Ferguson

Freelance journalist Ryan L. Schlosser went to Ferguson, Missouri to report on the rioting that followed the controversial police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, on August 9. He came away disgusted with the way the story was being reported, and the callous, self-serving manner in which national and international news outlets insinuated themselves, and their apparent agendas, into the much smaller local narrative – all while demonstrating a fundamental disregard for Ferguson residents while they were guests in their city. Read More…

Harry Reid Apologizes For Jokes At Asian-American Function

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has a history of insensitive and off-color remarks, apologized Friday for a pair of jokes he made before the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are,” the Nevada Democrat said to laughter from the audience. Later in the program, milling onstage as he was introduced to participants, Reid leaned into the microphone and quipped, “One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.” Read More…

Gowdy Says He’ll Bring Prosecutor’s Focus, Fairness To Benghazi Probe

South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy’s new select panel, created by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), will begin more public hearings on Benghazi next month when Congress returns from its lengthy summer recess. Asked to talk about the committee, though, Gowdy declined. “I didn’t talk about my investigations when I was a DA,” he said curtly. “There’ll be a time and a place.” Read More…

In Wake Of Ferguson, Miami-Dade Mayor Wants ‘A Camera On Every Police Officer’

In the wake of national outrage over alleged police misconduct in Ferguson, Mo., Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Thursday vowed to make “body cameras” mandatory for all county patrol officers. Novel Idea…

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Many people looked at the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and saw it as solely a racial issue. But it’s so much more than that. Want to focus on race? Fine – take the easy way out. Be distracted. Look at the shiny ball instead of the ugliness that is plain to see. Believing that Ferguson is about race is easier to handle, less scary than the truth: that our government intends to control us all — regardless of the color of our skin. But if you ignore the truth, you do so at your own risk. Friday ‘Funnies’…

A Roundup Of This Week’s Political Cartoons

Many people looked at the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, and saw it as solely a racial issue. But it’s so much more than that. What happened in Ferguson should frighten every single citizen of this nation. This is America. The U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans certain rights, including “life” and “liberty.” Yet it is not uncommon for police officers to kill Americans of any race whenever they choose. What’s more, it is not uncommon for even local law enforcement agencies to possess military-grade equipment, which they are eager to use. Our lives and our liberty are threatened by the very people who claim they want to “protect and serve” us. Meanwhile, a concerted effort to limit Americans’ ability to protect themselves is underway. Want to focus on race? Fine! Take the easy way out. Be distracted. Look at the shiny ball instead of the ugliness that is plain to see. Believing that Ferguson is about race is easier to handle, less scary than the truth: that our government intends to control us all — regardless of the color of our skin. But if you ignore the truth, you do so at your own risk.

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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 16, 2014
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
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Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons
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Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
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Eric Allie, Caglecartoons.com
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Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons
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Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com
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Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico
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Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons
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Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Marian Kemensky, Slovakia
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Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
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John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-21-2014: DoD Broke Law In Bergdahl Swap; Judge Orders Holder To Name Fast & Furious Papers; Police Shooting On A Sunny St. Louis Day; Calling B.S. On NSA’s Flimsy Spy Claim; LAPD Shells Out $5 Million For Gunning Down Suspect; Dems Foment Hobby Lobby Boycott – At Hobby Lobby

Brush Up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition.

GAO Report: Department Of Defense Violated The Law In Bergdahl-Guantanamo Prisoner Swap

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that the Department of Defense violated the law when it carried out the Obama Administration’s arranged swap of five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay for the freedom of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Read More…

Not So Fast And Furious: Judge Orders DOJ To Hand Over List Of Withheld Gunrunning Documents

Attorney General Eric Holder may have gone about his business with a Congressional contempt charge hanging over his head for the past two years, but the gunrunning scandal that got him that way hasn’t disappeared. A federal judge made that abundantly clear on Wednesday.  Read More…

This Happened On August 19 In St. Louis. Does It Look Like Murder To You?

St. Louis police shot and killed 25 year-old Kajieme Powell around 1 p.m. on August 19, about 3.5 miles from the location of the now-infamous Michael Brown shooting. And if people need a clear case of police brutality to riot over, the knee-jerk evidence to support their outrage is much more accessible to an angry public in this case than in Brown’s. For starters, there’s this video. Watch…

EFF, ACLU Demolish ‘It’s Just Metadata’ Claim In NSA Spying Appeal

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Wednesday filed an amicus brief in Klayman v. Obama, a high-profile lawsuit that challenges mass surveillance, arguing that Americans’ telephone metadata deserves the highest protection of the 4th Amendment. Right now, the 4th Amendment needs all the help it can get. Read More…

LA Settles Police Shooting Case For $5 Million

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a $5 million settlement with the family of an unarmed National Guard veteran killed on live television in a barrage of gunfire at the end of a wild pursuit last year in downtown L.A. The proposed payout is the largest settlement the city has made in a fatal police shooting case in at least a decade and comes after Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck raised concerns about the officers’ tactics. Read More…

Wasserman Schultz Visits Hobby Lobby Store — To Urge A Boycott

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, stopped at a Hobby Lobby store in her district on Wednesday — not to pick up some craft supplies for one of her kids’ school projects, but to alert people to the store’s existence and urge people not to shop there. Really…

This Happened On August 19 In St. Louis. Does It Look Like Murder To You?

St. Louis police shot and killed 25 year-old Kajieme Powell around 1 p.m. on August 19, about 3.5 miles from the location of the now-infamous Michael Brown shooting.

This shooting isn’t that shooting, though: there’s video of this encounter, whereas evidence in the Brown case is early in the discovery phase. The court of public opinion has run amok on both sides of the Brown case; evidence seems almost an afterthought.

One thing seems obvious, though: if people need a clear case of police brutality to riot over, the knee-jerk evidence to support their outrage is much more accessible to an angry public in this case than in Brown’s.

You can dicker over Powell’s behavior before the police filled him with bullets, or his evident thuggish demeanor, or the overall thuggish demeanor of the guy doing the filming. If Powell were still alive, perhaps he could dicker over those things, too, when he faced his accuser.

Thuggish demeanor, petty theft and alleged slow-motion threats to police don’t permit the wholesale abrogation of due process in favor of on-the-spot extreme justice – courtesy of the state.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson went on to tell the media Powell had a knife and was approaching the officers with it. Here’s his account, followed by a replay of the moment of the shooting:

Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-20-2014: The Islamic State’s Appeal To Western Jihadists; The NYPD’s Chronic Camera Problem; Connecting The Dots Between The Police State And The Slum Economy; Perry Gets Mileage From Mugshot Moment; Chicago Doesn’t Swoon For Proposed Obama Library

Brush Up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition.

Islamic State Has More British Muslim Fighters Than Britain Does; U.S. Claims Only A ‘Handful’ Of Americans Have Joined

Whether true or not, U.S. intelligence officials will only divulge to media that they believe a “small handful” of Americans are currently fighting as soldiers within the Islamic State. But one British parliamentarian believes that the terrorist “caliphate” now boasts more British Muslim recruits than are currently enlisted to fight in Britain’s own armed forces. Read More…

NYPD Settles With Man Arrested For Photographing Police; Reminds Officers They Cannot Object To Being Filmed

The New York Police Department has awarded a $125,000 settlement to a man who filed a civil rights lawsuit against the department, following a 2012 incident in which he was allegedly arrested and strip searched for filming police officers on duty. Read More…

Police States And Inner-City Economics

The recent civil disobedience, rioting and police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri, reminds us of what happens when police states and bad economics are mixed together. Devastated by decades of ruinous economic policies, the economies of many inner cities continue to languish as the self-ownership of local residents is treated with contempt by the police and any attempt at building a small-business-based or wage-based economy is hobbled by government regulation. Mises…

Rick Perry Defiant As He’s Booked, Has Mug Shot Taken At Courthouse

Texas Gov. Rick Perry struck a tight smile for his mug shot Tuesday and issued a spirited defense against charges of abusing his power, vowing “to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being.” Perry said he faces the charges with his “head held high” and vowed, “We will prevail.” Supporters and members of his staff chanted, “Perry! Perry! Perry!” Detractors in the crowd waved placards, one of which said, “Nice mug shot, criminal.” Lawfare…

Chicago Voters Split On Luring Obama Presidential Library

Voters in the city that launched President Barack Obama’s political career are split over whether to put tax dollars into luring his presidential library to Chicago. Less than half of those surveyed in a Chicago Tribune poll — 47 percent — said they favored the idea of using tax money to attract or build the library, while 45 percent said they opposed it and 8 percent were undecided. Read More…