Eric Holder’s Worn Out Race Card

Attorney General Eric Holder— never one to allow the record of the Administration to which he belongs to speak for itself— doesn’t think that Americans are frustrated with him and President Obama because of failures and scandals. Rather, Holder argues, Americans ticked off at the Obama Administration and his Department of Justice are simply racists.

“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the President,” Holder said on ABC News. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some, there’s a racial animus.”

Despite the Nation being “a fundamentally better place than we were 50 years ago” Holder believes that Americans are still apt to become more frustrated at he and Obama because they are both the first black men to hold their respective positions.

“[T]hat has to show that we have made a great deal of progress,” he said. “But there’s still more we have to travel along this road so we get to the place that is consistent with our founding ideals.”

The Attorney General also said that he would never walk back on remarks that the U.S. is a “Nation of cowards” with regard to racial relations. The inflammatory remarks were made during the first year of the Obama Administration.

“I wouldn’t walk away from that speech,” he said. “I think we are still a nation that is too afraid to confront racial issues.”

Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova slammed Holder during a Monday radio interview, saying that the AG’s remarks are beneath his office.

“Eric Holder has become unhinged. These comments are stupid, they’re silly, they’re churlish, they’re childish, they’re sophomoric. This is faculty lounge crap,” he said. “The President of the United States and the attorney general are both black. Is it not surprising to them that this happened in the United States of America? That the President, a black President, has been elected twice by the American people? That the attorney general has been around for two terms?

“This is not a racist country.”

diGenova also artfully pointed out the real reasons many Americans are fed up with the Obama Administration.

“What is going on here is because of the incompetence of this administration and particularly this President (and may I say, regrettably, the attorney general himself) they have politicized every aspect of government to the core,” he said.

MSM Common Core Reporting Funded By Common Core’s Biggest Supporter

If you’re one of the millions of Americans keeping tabs on how the national Common Core education standards are affecting students in America’s schools, you’d better be careful where you get your news. That’s because some of the Nation’s leading education reporting is funded by major supporters of Common Core.

NBC recently produced a report titled “Meet America’s Most Hardcore Anti-Common Core Moms” which portrays opposition to Common Core as a sentiment based largely on far-right ideological positions.

From the report which can be read in full here:

For the mostly female, mostly older, all-white crowd, Common Core is more than an attack on states’ rights; it’s an affront to Christian, conservative values. These mothers and grandmothers see a campaign against Common Core as an extension of protecting the nuclear family. Eagle Forum, anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly’s national organization, is a sponsor of the conference. In the foyer outside, booths proffer fliers about What You Need to Know About Marriage and How to Speak Up for Life.

Describing some of the objections voiced at a recent anti-Common Core rally, the story continues:

[O]bjections to Common Core go beyond the idea of a top-down intrusion. A chart folded into the conference packets contrasted “traditional classical learning” with CSCOPE and Common Core’s “radical social justice agenda”: teachers are “facilitators” rather “authority figures,” the lessons focus on “subjectivity, feelings, emotions, beliefs” rather than the “Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution…phonics…Drill and Skill.” (Unlike Common Core, CSCOPE sets standards for social studies and science, too.)

While the NBC report isn’t clearly for or against Common Core, it certainly does well to portray Americans who oppose the standards as being on the fringes of American society. A notion that many political candidates running in local, State and national races—hearing voters’ concerns about the education standards often— would certainly be forced to deny.

But there is a clear reason why NBC’s education reporters would have a clear interest in protecting Common Core as the norm. In fact, it’s printed right at the end of the aforementioned article:

Education coverage for is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. NBC News retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.

Perhaps NBC retains “sole editorial control” over the coverage which Bill Gates helps to fund, but those interested in learning more about the education standards would be remiss to ignore where Gates falls on the issue if they are to rely on NBC’s reporting. 

Via a Washington Post report last month:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation didn’t just bankroll the development of what became known as the Common Core State Standards. With more than $200 million, the foundation also built political support across the country, persuading state governments to make systemic and costly changes.

Bill Gates was de facto organizer, providing the money and structure for states to work together on common standards in a way that avoided the usual collision between states’ rights and national interests that had undercut every previous effort, dating from the Eisenhower administration.

Romney 2016 Looking Increasingly Possible

As wild speculation about who will run for President in 2016 continues, a handful of recent events indicate that the GOP could be considering giving failed Republican candidate Mitt Romney yet another shot at the White House in the next election.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee recently launched a fundraising effort centered on “Romney Was Right” bumper stickers that supporters can get for a donation of $5.

“Let the world know that you made the right choice. Get your ‘Romney Was Right’ sticker today,” the NRSC says on its website. “Remember, every contribution supports our fight for a Senate Republican Majority.”

Meanwhile over at POLITICO, former assistant secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush and current investment firm CEO Emil Henry recently penned titled “The Case for Mitt Romney in 2016: I’m absolutely serious.”

Henry, the epitome of a political insider in Romney circles, argues that the failed 2012 GOP nominee could share the same latent electoral success of a stalled Presidential hopeful from decades past: Richard Nixon.

Nixon lost the 1960 general election and in 1962 was beat out for a lesser role as California’s Governor—but in 1968 fulfilled his Presidential ambitions to the surprise of many American political junkies.

Henry writes that— unlike failed Presidetial contenders such as George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain— Romney could be poised for a more Nixonian track:

Could he defy the odds and make a comeback presidential bid capturing the GOP nomination after all the doubt, second-guessing and blame that accompany such a loss? According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, many Americans seem to think so—45 percent of voters said the United States would be better off today with Romney as president.

That was also the question on not just the minds but the lips of many at a recent private gathering in Utah known as the E2 Summit, Romney’s now-annual retreat for high-profile politicians, policymakers, innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, top bundlers and, of course, a core group of long-time Romney loyalists. (Disclosure: I served in multiple roles in the 2012 campaign, including adviser to the economic team, television surrogate and fundraiser.) Although the subject was not on any agenda or the topic of any speech or breakout session, virtually every meal, cocktail hour and coffee break included quiet ruminations over whether Romney could successfully run again.

The event was off the record, so I need to honor those ground rules, but suffice to say that many of speakers, some of the brightest lights of the Republican Party, and with no particular allegiance to Romney, saw great merit in a Mitt resurgence.

Henry provides three main reasons for the belief that Romney should emerge as the GOP standard-bearer once again in 2016:

1. Romney is re-emerging as the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

2. There is no natural 2016 GOP nominee and the field is highly fractured.

3. All failed nominees other than Romney were career politicians.

Read the full column here.

Henry isn’t alone in thinking that Romney could be a big name once again in 2016. During a recet appearance on Hardball with Chris Mathews, Representative Jason Chaffets (R-Utah) said that he believes Romney will run, adding that the former Massachusetts Governor would have his support.

“I think he actually is going to run for president, he probably doesn’t want me to say that, a hundred times he says he’s not,” the lawmaker said. “But Mitt Romney has always accomplished what he set out to do, I think he is proven right on a lot of stuff. I happen to be in the camp that thinks he is going to run and I think he will be the next President of the United States.”

Uniformed Cop Told He Can’t Carry In Gun-Free Zone

Anti-gun fanaticism reached the height of absurdity on July 4 when a uniformed Tacoma Park, Md., police officer was informed that he couldn’t carry his service weapon as he shopped for furniture in a local IKEA store because of the establishment’s “weapons free environment” policy.

Takoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg, a 35-year police veteran, told a local NBC affiliate that he stopped in the store with his daughter between shifts of working the city’s morning Independence Day parade and a fireworks show scheduled for later that evening.

As Goldberg helped his daughter pick out furniture for her new apartment, the uniformed officer was approached by an IKEA loss-prevention employee.

“He says we have a no firearms policy, and you’re either going to have to leave or you can lock your gun in the car,” Goldberg said.

The police chief, who said that he’d never before been confronted about his firearm while in uniform, decided against locking his gun up outside.

“It isn’t the most prudent thing to do to walk around the store in uniform with an empty holster,” Goldberg said. “And I am not going to lock my gun in a commercial parking lot, with people watching me put it in there. That’s just ludicrous.”

Goldberg was unable to get a copy of the store’s official firearms policy at the time of the incident, so he spoke out against IKEA’s policy on Facebook.

That prompted the following response from the retailer’s corporate office:

We regret that there was a misunderstanding of our weapon policy in our College Park Store. Our weapon policy does not apply to law enforcement officers. We are taking steps to ensure that this is clear for all our co-workers.

The ridiculous incident got some interesting comments from readers on NBC Washington’s original report.

“Well Chief, that’s a taste of the baloney that law-abiding gun owners have to put up with regularly when we carry,” one commenter said. “Not pleasant getting kicked out of a gun-free zone, is it? Gun-free zones don’t make any sense do they?”

Another posited this imaginary scenario:

“911 what is your emergency?”

“This is the Ikea store we have a man with a gun who has taken hostages in the store.”

“Officers are on the way.”

“Tell them we are a weapon free area they have to leave their guns in their cars before entering the store!”

“Dispatch to all units responding to the man with a gun at the Ikea, Disregard.”

Obama’s Underhanded Immigration Overhaul In Full Swing As American Frustration Grows

Based on newly publicized deportation numbers and White House plans, President Barack Obama is extending a big Vete a la chingada” to the majority of Americans who want thousands of unaccompanied young illegal immigrants sent back to their native countries.

A recent Rasmussen poll discovered that 52 percent of Americans want the children shipped back to their home countries. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said that illegal immigrants who are allowed to stay should be thoroughly processed and vetted.

Among Americans polled, 53 percent said that countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where the most illegal immigrants are coming from, should reimburse U.S. taxpayers for “the cost of handling this situation.”

The July 6 poll also found that a strong majority of Americans throughout the country, 76 percent, are closely following reports of the immigration crises. Forty-six percent of those staying informed about the situation believe that the Obama Administration is to blame for the border crisis for having “encouraged this wave of illegal immigration.” The same percentage classifies Obama’s handling of the situation as “poor.” A paltry 28 percent said that the Obama Administration is doing a good job handling the immigration crisis.

The White House has worked in recent weeks to dispel rumors that the President is to blame for the border crisis.

But even if Obama is keen on attempting to quell the flood of illegal immigration now that the situation is poised to spiral out of control, his Democratic colleagues aren’t likely to help. Obama has denied that his policies have anything to do with the influx of illegal immigrants, blaming a 2008 law that has made it more difficult for the Department of Homeland Security to send some of the children back to their home countries.

Last week, the President asked Congress to reverse the legislation.

But Democrats are not likely to budge on even narrow changes to the Nation’s immigration policy. In particular, many on the left object to reversing the 2008 law, which was intended to inhibit human trafficking south of the border and which guarantees asylum to children who claim to be the victims of crime or abuse.

Obama’s tactic of blaming a George W. Bush-era law and his halfhearted attempt to reverse it, however, should be overshadowed by overall deportation statistics.

As the Los Angeles Times points out:

The number of immigrants under 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, to 1,669 last year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Similarly, about 600 minors were ordered deported each year from nonborder states a decade ago. Ninety-five were deported last year, records show, even as a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America — five times more than two years earlier — began pouring across the Southwest border.

In 2008, more young illegal immigrants were deported than any other year between 2003 and 2013. Some of the most drastic drops in minor illegal immigrant deportations have occurred since the 2012 implementation of the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals program.

In the decade before Obama’s DACA program went into effect, between 7,000 and 8,000 unaccompanied minors landed in the care of border authorities each year. In fiscal year 2011, only 6,560 unaccompanied minors were apprehended. The year after DACA was enacted, 13,625 unaccompanied young illegal immigrants reportedly landed in Border Patrol custody.

Since October, more than 52,000 children and teens crossing the border illegally have been apprehended.

On Monday, the White House attempted to dispel criticism for Obama’s handling of the immigration crisis by claiming, without reference to any clear plan, that “most” of the young illegals being released throughout the country will eventually be sent home.

“Based on what we know about these cases, it is unlikely that most of these kids will qualify for humanitarian relief,” spokesman Josh Earnest said. “And what that means is, it means that they will not have a legal basis for remaining in this country and will be returned.”

But comparing the Administration’s words to the President’s actions, it seems the White House contradicts itself daily.

Obama has vowed to take a unilateral approach to immigration reform, the trappings of which are foreshadowed in a recent National Journal report on a meeting the President had with immigration advocates at the White House June 30.

Via National Journal’s Major Garrett:

Obama made it clear he would press his executive powers to the limit. He gave quiet credence to recommendations from La Raza and other immigration groups that between 5 million to 6 million adult illegal immigrants could be spared deportation under a similar form of deferred adjudication he ordered for the so-called Dreamers in June 2012.

That executive action essentially lifted the threat of prosecution and deportation for about 670,000 undocumented residents–those older than 15 and younger than 31 who had been brought to America before their 16th birthday.

Obama has now ordered the Homeland Security and Justice departments to find executive authorities that could enlarge that non-prosecutorial umbrella by a factor of 10. Senior officials also tell me Obama wants to see what he can do with executive power to provide temporary legal status to undocumented adults. And he will shift Immigration Control and Enforcement resources from the interior to the border to reduce deportations of those already here and to beef up defenses along the border.

It seems Americans have only seen the first wave of the immigration “crisis.” But based on the White House’s actions it’s no crisis at all for the left. It’s a plan to change immigration policy in three parts: overwhelm the system, distract the public and unilaterally change the law to “fix” the situation.

Democratic Senators Whine That Pro-Hunting/Fishing Bill Isn’t Full Of Gun Control Language

A handful of Senate Democrats on Monday voted against a sportsmen’s bill that is intended to preserve Federal lands for hunting and fishing because the legislation didn’t include gun control language. Despite the objections, the bill moved forward on a vote of 82-12.

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both of Connecticut, vocally opposed the bill and voted against cloture on the motion because the sportsmen legislation didn’t include language calling for tighter gun control in the U.S.

“I won’t be voting for cloture today because we are long overdue to make a statement in the United States Senate about the tens of thousands of deaths happening due to guns all across the country,” Murphy said. “Everyone has a role to play in trying to stem this epidemic of violence.”

Blumenthal, who told reporters he plans to amend the legislation to include gun control measures, also weighed in, saying, “I can’t vote for a measure that makes owning or possessing or using guns more readily or easily usable when we have failed to act and we have failed to act on commonsense, sensible measures that will stop gun violence.”

The two were joined by fellow Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Ben Cardin (Md.) in opposition.

The bill is a bipartisan piece of legislation sponsored by North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The pro-sportsman language in the legislation was seen as many red-State Democrats facing tough reelections as a way to curry favor with conservatives voters.

Sunday News Show Roundup

Guests on Sunday’s political talk shows focused squarely on the continuing crisis at the border, where thousands of unaccompanied young illegal immigrants are over-crowding holding facilities and being met by protestors fed up with Washington’s inaction.

Republicans have been quick to place the blame for the immigration crisis on President Barack Obama– but on Sunday a Texas Democrat criticized Obama for the influx of immigrants which is taking a heavy toll on his home State.

“Keep in mind, this is not a Mexican problem. It’s a Central American problem,” said Representative Henry Cuellar on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It’s not the first time we’ve seen a surge and we should have been ready for this surge. The Administration should have been ready … with all due respect to the Administration they’re one step behind. They should have seen this coming a long time ago, they should have seen this a long time ago because we saw those numbers increasing.”

Cueller said that Obama’s pro-immigration rhetoric, combined with a 2008 human trafficking law that increased incentive to send unaccompanied children to the border, are to blame for the current crisis. The Texas Democrat said that funds proposed by the Administration would be helpful in alleviating the problem but that the trafficking law must also be changed because it helps Mexican cartels make up to $5,000 per person shuffled across the border.

Meanwhile on ABC’s “This Week”, Texas’s Republican Governor Rick Perry had harsh words for President Obama.

“In May of 2012 we sent a letter, laid out what was happening with the unaccompanied minors that were showing up at the border, and we told [the Administration], we said, ‘if you do not address this, here is what’s going to happen,’ and we’re seeing that become reality today. This is a failure of diplomacy. It is a failure of leadership,” Perry said.

“When I have written a letter that is dated May of 2012, and I have yet to have a response from this Administration, I will tell you they either are inept or don’t care, and that is my position.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, defended the Administration, claiming that Obama’s rhetoric wasn’t to blame for the immigration influx. Rather, Johnson argued, “push factors” like violence and poverty in the nations where most of the illegal immigrants are coming from are at the heart of the crisis.

Representative Paul Labrador (R-Idaho) insisted that Johnson was simply spouting Obama Administration talking points.

“If you look at what he said, he said the number one reason these kids are coming to the United States is violence in these Central American countries. The reality is the violence in these Central American countries has existed for a long time,” Labrador said on “Meet the Press”. “The level of poverty has existed in these Central American countries over a long period of time, but it’s over the last few years you’ve seen an increase in the number of children coming to the United States.”

The lawmaker echoed Cuellar’s assertion that the 2008 trafficking law should be changed.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (Ill.) criticized Republicans for placing blame for the immigration issues on the President during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“I am really getting fed up with some of the critics of this administration, particularly from House Republicans. They had the opportunity for one solid year to call the immigration reform bill and yet they refuse to, and now they’re arguing we need more enforcement at the borders, a lot of other things. When are they going to accept their responsibility to govern, to call this bipartisan bill for consideration?”

This week, President Obama is scheduled to travel to Texas to attend a Democratic fundraiser—but, despite repeated requests from Governor Perry, Obama isn’t scheduled to visit the border.

Are The Feds Hiding A Massive Immigration-Related Public Health Epidemic?

A lawmaker was denied entry to a Federal immigration facility in Oklahoma where more than 1,000 illegal immigrant children are being housed. Doctors and nurses working in Texas were threatened with arrest if they talk about possible public health threats related to the immigration crisis. Now, many Americans are beginning to wonder what the Federal government is trying to hide.

Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) attempted to visit the immigration detention center at Fort Sill in his home State Tuesday only to be given the runaround by Department of Health and Human Services officials. Fort Sill is one of three facilities in the U.S. currently housing the unaccompanied alien children.

“There is no excuse for denying a Federal Representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held,” Bridenstine said in a statement about the incident. “Any Member of Congress should have the legal authority to visit a federal youth detention facility without waiting three weeks.”

According to the lawmaker, an HHS official in charge of the facility informed him that if he wanted to visit the facility he’d have to make an appointment for July 21.

“After my visit today with the base commander, I approached the barracks where the children are housed,” Bridenstine said. “A new fence has been erected by HHS, completely surrounding the barracks and covered with material to totally obscure the view. Every gate is chained closed.

“I approached a security guard and asked to speak with the manager of the facility. The guard called his supervisor who said no visitors were allowed. I asked if they were aware that I am a Member of Congress. Eventually the manager came out and said that I would have to go through HHS legislative affairs…”

The HHS officials directed Bridenstine to get in touch with Deputy Director of the Office of Public Affairs Ken Wolfe, who the lawmaker was told would only communicate with him via email.

“What are they trying to hide? Do they not want the children to speak with Members of Congress? As a Navy pilot, I have been involved in operations countering illicit human trafficking,” the lawmaker said. “I would like to know to whom these children are being released.”

Meanwhile, Fox reported Wednesday that doctors and nurses working with the illegal immigrant children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, were threatened with arrest if they discussed with the public or media the contagious diseases risks the children pose to American citizens.

The threats were likely made in an effort to conceal a massive public health disaster flowing across the United States’ southern border.

Fox’s Todd Starnes reported:

[A former worker at the Texas facility] said children in the camp had measles, scabies, chicken pox and strep throat as well as mental and emotional issues.

“It was not a good atmosphere in terms of health,” she said. “I would be talking to children and lice would just be climbing down their hair.”

A former nurse at the camp told me she was horrified by what she saw.

“We have so many kids coming in that there was no way to control all of the sickness — all this stuff coming into the country,” she said. “We were very concerned at one point about strep going around the base.”

Both the counselor and the nurse said their superiors tried to cover up the extent of the illnesses.

“When they found out the kids had scabies, the charge nurse was adamant — ‘Don’t mention that. Don’t say scabies,’” the nurse recounted. “But everybody knew they had scabies. Some of the workers were very concerned about touching things and picking things up. They asked if they should be concerned, but they were told don’t worry about it.”

The nurse said the lice issue was epidemic — but everything was kept “hush-hush.”

“You could see the bugs crawling through their hair,” she said. “After we would rinse out their hair, the sink would be loaded with black bugs.”

Last week, Border Patrol officials announced that at least two illegal alien children with known cases of Swine Flu had been apprehended.

Via Texas-based Action 4 News:

Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council #3307 Chris Cabrera confirmed the cases late Saturday morning.

Cabera told Action 4 News that one case was confirmed at the Brownsville Border Patrol Station and another at the Fort Brown Border Patrol station, also located in Brownsville.

Cabera said both cases involve juveniles and both were confirmed on Friday by medical personnel located at both facilities.

He added that an estimated 120 people are being isolated at the two stations because they were exposed to the juveniles.

As the Federal government continues with a policy of providing immigrant “detainees” vouchers for travel into the Nation’s interior with instructions to appear before an immigration judge at a later date, the health crisis likely won’t remain relegated to areas close to the border.

Democrats Urge Obama To Forget Balance Of Power On Immigration

Immigration advocates are urging President Barack Obama to go all out in using the power of the executive to change the Nation’s immigration policy.

The President vowed Monday from the Rose Garden to act unilaterally to change the how the U.S. handles illegal immigrants, but the actions Obama hinted at fall short of what some liberal reform advocates would like to see.

“The administration has unquestionable legal authority to provide all those who would qualify for citizenship under the bipartisan Senate Bill affirmative status with work authorization while making immigration enforcement more just,” Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO said Tuesday in a statement. “The administration should act boldly and without further delay.”

Democratic members of the House of Representatives are also calling on Obama to go big. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority whip, is urging the President to use “every administrative tool at his disposal to address our immigration challenge.”

The left’s executive-order immigration reform plan includes a number of policy proposals submitted to the Homeland Security Department in April by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, things like: a broad expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, allowing DACA illegals to enlist in the military and their family members to remain in the country, and disallowing local governments to enforce immigration laws.

The GOP, meanwhile, is imploring the President to slow the flood of young illegal immigrants by ending the DACA policy altogether and publically announcing that new arrivals will not receive legal status.

Representative Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), along with 33 other GOP Congressmen, sent a letter to the President Wednesday.

“As our country faces an unprecedented surge in the arrival of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) at our southwestern border, we call on you to immediately end the failed policies that encourage young individuals to put themselves in peril, leave their home countries, and make a long and dangerous journey to enter our country illegally,” they wrote.

But earlier in the week, White House spokesman Josh Earnest hinted that the President may instead be ready to act on Democrats suggestions.

“The President was pretty clear that he wants the secretary of Homeland Security and the attorney general to cast a pretty wide net, and consider a wide range of options for doing as much as possible to address the problems,” Earnest told reporters at the White House Tuesday.

Feds Stalling On 3,500 Federal Oil And Gas Drilling Permits

A report from the Interior Department’s inspector general reveals that the Bureau of Land Management is holding back U.S. domestic energy production by stalling on a backlog of at least 3,500 applications to drill oil and gas wells on Federal lands.

“Oil and gas production is a major activity on Federal and Indian lands, with annual royalty revenues averaging $3 billion since fiscal year 2011,” the report explains. “About 92,000 oil and gas wells currently exist on Federal lands, and industry drills over 3,000 new wells annually.”

BLM officials usually shuffle about 5,000 new drilling permits through a multiple-agency bureaucratic approval process each year. Each of the permits, according to the report, takes an average of 7.5 months to go through the process.

Because BLM lacks an efficient system for tracking the progress of the applications, some of the backlogged oil and gas permits are in danger of being delayed indefinitely.

“We found that neither BLM nor the operator can predict when the permit will be approved. Target dates for completion of individual [applications for a permit to drill] are rarely set and enforced, and consequently, the review may continue indefinitely,” the IG report states.

“This adversely affects developing the Nation’s domestic energy resources,” the IG continues. “Specifically, the Federal Government and Indian mineral owners risk losing royalties from delayed oil and gas production. Industry officials informed us that delays cause some wells not to be drilled, resulting in additional lost production and royalties.”

The report offers that permit approval times have improved slightly in recent years but production of coal, oil and natural gas has been falling since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. A report issued last month found that production on Federal lands is down 15 percent under Obama’s watch and a total of 21 percent since 2003.

“The Obama Administration is restricting American energy production wherever and whenever possible and these new numbers from EIA are further proof of that,” Representative Doc Hastings said in a statement about the report. “President Obama has imposed a defacto [sic] drilling moratorium on new offshore drilling, canceled both onshore and offshore lease sales, and imposed layer upon layer of red-tape to make it harder to develop our energy resources.”

A lack of Federal motivation to streamline the drilling permit process is likely a facet of that “defacto [sic] drilling moratorium.” While the BLM permit process takes an average of 228 days, GOP lawmakers have noted that most States issue drilling permits in less than 80 days. In Texas, for instance, it takes only five days for most permits to be approved; and a permit in North Dakota can be completed in 25 days. Those States account for roughly half of the United States’ total domestic oil production.

The IG reports that there is definitely room for improvement at the Federal level.

“Based on many factors such as available staff, natural resource issues unique to each region, and the complexities of the drilling and surface use plans, the length will likely vary among field offices and individual wells within the same office,” the new report says. “Nevertheless, we concluded that BLM has opportunities to improve the efficiency and speed of the Federal and Indian [drilling application approvals].”

Bill Would Halt Aid To Countries Where Most Illegal Immigrants Are Coming From

As President Barack Obama vows to take unilateral action on immigration reform, Congressional Republicans are working on a plan to encourage the governments of countries from which the surge of illegal immigrants are coming to deter people from heading to the southern U.S. border.

The Illegal Entry Accountability Act proposed by Representative Randy Weber (R-Texas) would cut off foreign aid to Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, countries where most of the illegal immigrants flowing into the country are coming from.

“The recent influx of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) has become a humanitarian crisis, and has proven that certain laws are working against the United States of America. Texas, a border state, has repeatedly asked for help from the White House to mobilize our National Guard, and there has been no answer from the President or his Administration,” the lawmaker said in a statement. “Frankly, the Border States have been left hanging to fend for themselves, increasing the health and security risks to our citizens. Thankfully however, under Governor Perry’s leadership, state resources are being used to slow the flow across our borders. Unfortunately, it is still not enough to solve this crisis.”

Weber says his legislation would “hold our southern neighbors accountable” for the conditions forcing the illegal immigrants to leave their home countries.

Meanwhile, the White House said last month that it plans to provide $9.6 million in additional aid to the three countries targeted in Weber’s legislation. The U.S. was already providing foreign aid to the nations, including $40 million for programs in Guatemala, $18.5 million in Honduras and $25 million in El Salvador.

New Lows: Americans Fed Up With All Three Federal Branches

Americans are losing confidence in all three branches of the Federal government. Fewer than one in 10 citizens have faith in Congress, just 29 percent express confidence in the President and only 30 percent feel the Supreme Court is doing a good job.

The numbers, according to the Gallup polling agency, indicate historical lows in American confidence for both Congress and the Supreme Court, along with the lowest Presidential approval since Barack Obama took office.

“While Gallup recently reported a historically low rating of Congress, Americans have always had less confidence in Congress than in the other two branches of government,” the polling agency noted. “The Supreme Court and the presidency have alternated being the most trusted branch of government since 1991, the first year Gallup began asking regularly about all three branches.”

The dismal confidence numbers, despite what Obama supporters believe, in no way carry over from damage done during the George W. Bush Administration. By the end of Bush’s second term, confidence in the Federal government had fallen sharply. But the initial year of the Obama Presidency served as a rebound period.

Gallup reported in June 2009:

Public confidence in the presidency has risen by 25 points over the past year, exceeding the 11-point increase in confidence in the military. The percentage of Americans saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the presidency has in fact doubled since June 2008, from 26% to 51%. This is directly correlated with President George W. Bush’s 30% approval rating at this time a year ago, and Barack Obama’s 58% rating in the mid-June survey. Historically, Gallup has found that confidence ratings for the presidency are closely linked with the job approval ratings of the sitting president.

In the years since, Americans have obviously been less approving of government under Obama’s control.

The Supreme Court’s historically low approval rating is likely tied to Americans lacking faith in Obama, as Gallup pointed out that “since 1991, the [Supreme Court and the Presidency] have been within six or seven points of each other in confidence ratings.”

Interestingly, the two highest instances of Americans approval of the Supreme Court since Gallup began tracking confidence in the judicial branch in 1973 occurred in 1985 and 1988 — both during the Administration of President Ronald Reagan. By 1988, Reagan had made four appointments to the court.

As for Congress, Gallup pointed out that “lawmakers are likely resigned to the fact that they are the most distrusted institution of government, but there should be concern that now fewer than one in 10 Americans have confidence in their legislative body.”

Senators Decry Obama Administration’s Phony Surveillance Transparency Report

A surveillance report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) last week came under heavy fire Monday from two Senators who said the disclosures lack the transparency promised by President Barack Obama last year after Americans learned of the government’s questionable surveillance tactics.

The report revealed that tens of thousands of people were targeted last year by U.S. surveillance orders. The government acknowledged spying on the communications of up to 90,000 foreign targets, including individuals and organizations.

The report also detailed the FBI issuance of an additional 19,000 national security letters containing about 39,000 warrantless requests for communications information in 2013.

Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) say, however, that what the ODNI left out of the report is more important than what was included.

“The administration’s report is a far cry from the kind of transparency that the American people demand and deserve,” Franken declared in a statement Monday.

The legislative duo has noted that the National Security Agency used 423 “selectors” to sift through telecommunications databases; 248 of those selectors pertained to targets in the U.S.

The National Security Agency scours the telecommunications databases under the authority of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but the ODNI report failed to include any information about how the Nation’s intelligence agencies interpret that authority with regard to U.S. citizens.

“I recognize that this report is being offered in good faith. But it still leaves Americans in the dark,” Franken said.

“It doesn’t tell the American people enough about what information is being gathered about them and how it’s being used.”

The report also provided little information about the relationship between American intelligence agencies and private telecommunications firms, many of which are legally bound to remain mum about the information they provide the government.

“The American people deserve greater transparency and American companies should be able to disclose more information when it comes to privacy rights and the federal government’s surveillance activities,” Heller said.

The two lawmakers have introduced the “Surveillance Transparency Act” last year in an effort to force disclosure of the very sort of information left out of the ODNI report ordered by Obama. Some provisions of that bill were also incorporated in and later dropped from the USA Freedom Act, which has been largely watered-down throughout the legislative process.

Iraq, U.S. Domestic Energy And Rising Gas Prices

As many Americans hit the road en route to the perfect spot to celebrate the Fourth of July, their patriotic feelings may give way to grumblings about the foreign policy and energy independence failures of the Nation’s leaders in recent decades.

According to AAA, gas prices throughout the U.S. for Fourth of July travel are at an average of about $3.68 per gallon, about 20 cents higher than this time last year.

Gas prices usually fall slightly preceding what has become the Nation’s busiest summer travel holiday. But this year the prices are on the rise as the result of the United States’ failures to create a stable Iraq in the oil-rich Mideast.

The U.S. imports only about 300,000 barrels of oil per day from Iraq. But as radical extremists make their way across the war-torn country and move into regions dominated by oil production, an already thin global oil supply is being stretched to its limits. High demand for petroleum from China and other rapidly developing nations combined with a standstill in production in oil-producing regions such as Libya, Sudan and Nigeria are also factors that make Iraq’s ability to produce petroleum paramount.

Moreover, American petroleum consumers are further forced to pay higher prices at the pump because of U.S. sanctions barring the purchase of petroleum from Iran and Syria.

Currently, extremist Sunni factions in Iraq working under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) haven’t made major inroads into the country’s Shiite-dominated southern regions, where the glut of Iraq’s oil industry is situated. But ISIS advances in the northern part of the country have shut oil fields and forced companies to evacuate workers from areas that were once considered primed for growth on the heels of the United States’ long-standing occupation.

While gas prices in the U.S. are nearing highs that Americans haven’t seen since about 2008, some watchers have noted that the situation could be much worse if not for the shale boom that has led to increased U.S. oil production.

“The net amount of crude the U.S. has added to global markets has resulted in one of the longest periods of oil price stability in years, and has helped push the broader trend down,” Business Insider’s Rob Wile noted last month.

Republican lawmakers have made moves in recent weeks to seize on the energy stability produced by increased domestic oil and natural gas production by passing legislation to expand drilling offshore and on publicly owned lands.

Representative Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), who sponsored the bill, said the legislation was an effort to force the Barack Obama Administration to remove “roadblocks” to U.S. energy production.

“In order for America to prosper, we need access to reliable and affordable energy,” Hastings, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement. “The best way to create jobs and help address rising prices is to develop the American energy resources we have right here at home.”

Other lawmakers are focused on combating energy price spikes, especially those stemming from the current Iraq crisis, by compelling the oil market regulators at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to tamp down on Wall Street speculation of commodity prices.

“I am getting tired of big oil companies and Wall Street speculators using Iraq as an excuse to pump up oil and gas prices,” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said last week.

Obama Vows To Handle Immigration Reform On His Own

President Barack Obama, reportedly giving up on the prospect of Congressional immigration reform, announced Monday that he plans to use executive actions to deal with the tide of illegal immigrants flowing over the U.S.’s southern border.

“If Congress will not do its job, at least we can do ours,” Obama said from the White House Rose Garden.

The President said that unilateral action was necessary, claiming that Republican lawmakers were afraid to stand up to the Tea Party faction of the GOP and address the immigration issue.

“While I will continue to push Republicans to drop excuses and act,” Obama said, “Americans cannot wait forever for them to act.”

“I don’t prefer taking administrative action,” the President also said. “I’ve made that clear multiple times … I only take executive action when we have a serious problem, a serious issue and Congress chooses to do nothing.”

Obama’s remarks came after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced last week that he would not lead Republicans in his legislative chamber into the immigration reform debate. Following the President’s Monday statement, Boehner called into question Obama’s leadership ability.

“In our conversation last week, I told the president what I have been telling him for months: the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him to enforce the law as written,” Boehner said in a statement. “Until that changes it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue.”

Boehner went on to question the reasoning behind Obama’s decision to act unilaterally on immigration reform, charging that the current border crisis was the direct result of Obama’s policies.

“The president’s own executive orders have led directly to the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, giving false hope to children and their families that if they enter the country illegally they will be allowed to stay,” Boehner said.

“The White House claims it will move to return these children to their families in their home countries yet additional executive action from this president isn’t going to stem the tide of illegal crossings, it’s only going to make them worse.”

Last week, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois hinted that the President was planning to address immigration unilaterally, saying Thursday that Obama “will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration.”

“I don’t know how much more time he thinks he needs, but I hope that Speaker Boehner will speak up today,” Durbin said. “And if he does not, the president will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration and he shouldn’t be sued as a result of it.”

Americans Want Jobs, Not Immigrants

A new poll finds that Americans are in favor decreasing immigration levels. Meanwhile, separate research from the Center for Immigration Studies shows that net employment growth in the U.S. since the year 2000 has gone entirely to immigrants, both legal and illegal.

“Americans’ views on immigration have varied a bit in the past 15 years, with the dominant view shifting between decreasing immigration and maintaining it at the current level,” Gallup reported. “Some of these changes may reflect the ebb and flow of Americans’ reactions to the 9/11 attacks in 2001 as well as rocketing unemployment in 2009, with both events triggering a temporary surge in anti-immigration sentiment.”

According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans report that they would like to see government make moves to reduce the number of immigrants coming to the U.S. Among those who prefer a reduction in immiffgration, 50 percent are Republicans, 43 percent independents and 32 percent identify as Democrats.

Thirty-three percent of respondents said that immigration is fine at its present levels, and just 22 percent of those polled wanted to see an increase.

One of the most important factors in determining whether Americans are accepting of increased immigration is the economy.

“Deciding how many new immigrants to welcome each year can be controversial, particularly when unemployment is high, and seeming competition for good jobs already fierce,” Gallup said.

According to the Center For Immigration Studies, for the past 14 years immigrants to the U.S., both legal and illegal, have had an easier time finding employment in the Nation than people who were born in the Nation.

“All of the net increase in employment went to immigrants in the last 14 years partly because, even before the Great Recession, immigrants were gaining a disproportionate share of jobs relative to their share of population growth,” the report found. “In addition, natives’ losses were somewhat greater during the recession and immigrants have recovered more quickly from it.”

The study found that 58 million working-age Americans who are native to the country are out of work, including: 8.7 million native college graduates, 17 million Americans with some college education and 25.3 million natives with no more than a high school education.

The study’s authors contend that their findings shoot holes in many of the arguments that are made for increasing immigration.

“The long-term decline in the employment for natives across age and education levels is a clear in­dication that there is no general labor shortage, which is a primary justification for the large increases in immigration (skilled and unskilled) in the Schumer-Rubio bill and similar House proposals,” the study said.

*Updated* Anti-Amnesty Group: Mail Your Soiled Used Underwear To Obama, Boehner

Editor’s Note: ALIPAC’s William Gheen emailed Personal Liberty to request that the word “dirty” be changed to “used” in the following article. “We specifically asked people to not send soiled garments but leftist groups like talking points memo are making the false dirty underwear claim,” Gheen explained.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), an anti-amnesty group, is urging Americans to mail their dirty used underwear to the White House and House Speaker John Boehner after the Federal government put in a request for new briefs to provide the illegal immigrants flowing over the U.S.’s southern border.

The Department of Homeland Security recently made a solicitation for thousands of “White 100% Cotton Men’s Briefs” from medium sizes to 6X large pairs.

The solicitation, posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, says that the underwear are bound for El Paso, Texas.

“This [request for quote] is a normal solicitation for routinely procured items needed at ICE-owned detention facilities around the country,” an immigration official told Breitbart earlier this month. “At ICE-owned detention facilities, the agency is required to provide basic necessities in order to feed and clothe detained aliens.”

But ALIPAC has a better idea for anyone who wants to send whitie-tighties to the Feds.

“Obama and Boehner have proven once and for all that their talk of passing immigration reform amnesty, instead of enforcing America’s existing border and immigration laws, only brings more unwanted and destructive illegal immigration!” said William Gheen, president of ALIPAC, on the group’s website.

“Instead of using our tax money to buy illegals 42,000 pairs of new underwear, we would like to send the illegals and DC politicians a message by mailing them our used underwear, and some of our pairs are in really bad shape due to the bad economy and all of the jobs illegal immigrants are taking from Americans.”

ALIPAC concludes that Americans upset over the government’s failure to fix the Nation’s immigration problems are “encouraged to mail their used underwear to Barack Obama at The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500, and John Boehner at Office of the Speaker, H-232 The Capitol, Washington, DC 20515.”

Sunday News Show Roundup

Guests on Sunday’s political talk shows this week discussed the worsening immigration crises at the U.S.’s southern border, Republican efforts to challenge President Barack Obama’s executive authority and potential 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s money problem.

Border Crises

A White House official told CNN this weekend that President Obama will likely ask Congress for more than $2 billion to set up detention spaces for the thousands of young illegal immigrants flowing across the border and work out a plan to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

The President appeared in a recorded interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday, urging foreigners not to send minors to the U.S.

“Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it,” the President said.

Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told CBS’s Bob Schieffer that he applauded the President’s statement but said there is more to be done to address the border crisis.

“Well, first, it’s a crisis like nothing I’ve ever seen before at the border. We have refugee camps now in my and your home state of Texas. It’s a very serious concern,” the lawmaker said. “I don’t think the flow will stop until a message of deterrence is sent back to Central America.

“The drug traffickers are making $5,000 a child on these children, advertising that if you get into the United States, you can stay. And to some extent, that is accurate. So I think a message of deterrence, I know the President came out with a strong statement today. I applaud that,” McCaul continued. “But I think, you know, we have to be humanitarian at the same time, let them know that if they do come, they cannot stay here; otherwise, we’ll never stop the flow.”

Obama Lawsuit

Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) decision to file a lawsuit against the President for what he and other members of the GOP view as his Administration’s “trampling of the Constitution.”

“This is all about the United States Constitution,” Goodlatte said, rejecting Democratic criticisms that the lawsuit is an election year political stunt.

The lawmaker argued that Obama’s pattern of failing to enforce laws and changing laws that are already in place runs afoul of Article 1 of the Constitution.

“We … have the power to bring causes of action when we believe that the President of the United States is exceeding his authority and is trampling upon Article 1 of the Constitution,” Goodlatte said. “To me, it makes a whole lot of sense to do this.”

Speaking on behalf of the left, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) disagreed with the Republican lawmaker’s assertions.

“The President simply said I’m going to do what I can within the confines of the law to make this work,” Becerra said. “Absolutely, he’s implementing the law … he’s not rewriting it.”

Out of Touch Hillary

Obama was also asked about Clinton’s comments about being “dead broke” when she and former President Bill Clinton left the White House during his appearance Sunday.

“As soon as you jump back into the spotlight in a more explicitly political way, you’re going to be fly-spec like this,” Obama said. “She’s accustomed to it. Anybody who gets involved in public life is accustomed to it. Over time I don’t think it’s going to make a big difference.”

Obama, who in 2008 tried to portray Clinton as out of touch, also took up for the presumable 2016 Democratic candidate.

“I think that Hillary has been to this rodeo a bunch of times,” he said. “She is in public service [be]cause she cares about the same folks that I talked to here today. Her track record on that speaks for itself.”

The President also hinted that a Clinton Presidency would be an extension of his own.

“This whole notion of you got the centrist Democrats and the liberal Democrats, if you look at Democrats generally, their agenda is grounded in the things that middle-class families are concerned about generally,” Obama said. “Wages, incomes, fairness, opportunity, college costs, and so you don’t have some of the same old ideological divisions. In fact, the big challenge we have right now is frankly finding a Republican Party that is even close to the center so that we can actually do some work with them.”

After SCOTUS Strikes Down 12 Obama Power Grabs, Boehner’s Lawsuit Could Finish The Lawless Administration

Democrats have widely dismissed House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) announcement that he plans to file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama for misuse of executive orders. But many Americans believe that Boehner may have a real case against the President, especially after the Supreme Court delivered a ruling Thursday against Obama Administration efforts to expand executive power.

The Supreme Court’s nine Justices ruled that the three so-called recess appointments the President made to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012, as Congress conducted pro forma sessions every three days to avoid going into recess, were unConstitutional.

The ruling serves as a point of vindication for members of the GOP who have claimed that Obama’s unilateral actions in defiance of Congress in making the appointment and with regard to various other matters illustrate the Administration’s utter disregard for the Constitution.

“Today, the Supreme Court invalidated President Obama’s unlawful abuse of the President’s recess appointments power. President Obama ignored the plain text of the Constitution and attempted to make unilateral recess appointments — circumventing the checks and balances of confirmation — when the Senate was not, in fact, in recess,” Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said after the ruling was handed down. “Today, a unanimous Court rightly rejected that presidential abuse of power.”

Cruz added, “This marks the twelfth time since January 2012 that the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the Obama Administration’s calls for greater federal executive power.”

In April 2013, when the tally of unanimous Supreme Court rulings against the Administration sat at nine, Cruz issued a report detailing what the Nation would look like had Obama gotten his way in court.

“If the Department of Justice had won these cases, the federal government would be able to electronically track all of our movements, fine us without a fair hearing, dictate who churches choose as ministers, displace state laws based on the president’s whims, bring debilitating lawsuits against individuals based on events that occurred years ago, and destroy a person’s private property without just compensation,” he wrote at the time.

For the time being, the Senate has rendered moot the recess appointment issue at the center of the Thursday ruling because of a rule change that allows for nominee confirmations with a majority vote. However, the decision serves as a censure of Obama’s view of Presidential power; and that is paramount.

The ruling also gives Boehner’s forthcoming lawsuit traction that his Congressional critics on the left hadn’t anticipated.

“The Constitution makes it clear that a president’s job is to faithfully execute the laws. In my view, the president has not faithfully executed the laws,” the House Speaker said, announcing his intentions on Wednesday. “When there are conflicts like this between the legislative branch and the administrative branch, it’s… our responsibility to stand up for this institution.”

In a memo sent to fellow Republicans, Boehner said that he will challenge the “king-like authority” Obama has exerted by issuing executive orders to enact policies affecting healthcare, energy, education, foreign policy and other matters of national importance. Boehner didn’t provide a list of specific executive orders that he plans to challenge, but told lawmakers that he plans to bring legislation on the matter to the floor in July once the Rules Committee has reviewed the plan.

The House Speaker said that the main point of the lawsuit is protecting the balance of government powers, as set forth in the Constitution.

“What we’ve seen clearly over the last five years is an effort to erode the power of the legislative branch,” Boehner said. “On behalf of the institution and the Constitution, standing up and fighting for this is the best long-term interest of the Congress.”

The House General Counsel and the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, a group of lawmakers that includes whips from both parties and majority and minority leaders, would ultimately bring the suit against the Obama Administration if Boehner’s plan moves forward.

Democrats have responded to Boehner’s plan with familiar groans, accusing the GOP of baseless criticism of the Administration and insinuating that the lawsuit is the precursor to a fruitless impeachment endeavor.

“In this case it seems that Republicans have shifted their opposition into a higher gear. Frankly, I didn’t know it was a gear that even existed,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “They are considering a taxpayer funded lawsuit against the president of the United States for doing his job… [It’s] the kind of step that I think most Americans wouldn’t support.”

But George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley, a noted Obama supporter on many issues, isn’t so sure that the Obama Administration is immune to damning outcomes that could result from the suit.

“I think there is a case against the President for exceeding his authority,” Turley told a baffled MSNBC pundit Wednesday. “I happen to agree with the President on many of his priorities and policies, but as I testified in Congress I think he has crossed the Constitutional line.”

While the professor said that it is difficult to sue a sitting U.S. President, it isn’t impossible. And Obama certainly hasn’t done himself any favors in avoiding the potential legal challenge.

“[W]hen the President went to Congress and said that he was going to go it alone, it obviously raises a concern,” Turley noted. “Because there’s no license for going it alone in our system.”

Polls: The More American Parents Learn About Common Core, The More They Disapprove

New polling data illustrate that the more American parents of school-aged children are exposed to the new Common Core education standards, the more they oppose the education overhaul.

A Rasmussen telephone survey conducted over the weekend found that just 34 percent of American parents with children in elementary or secondary school favor policies requiring all of the Nation’s schools to meet the Federal Common Core standards. The approval rate is down 18 points from 52 percent of members of the same group supporting Common Core implementation in November.

Forty-seven percent of the parents who participated in the Rasmussen poll oppose Common Core and 19 percent remain undecided.

In an interview with Breitbart, Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research director Jim Stergios said that the falling poll numbers are the result of Americans learning things about the educational standards that were intentionally hushed by Common Core proponents.

“Common Core proponents always banked on stealth — on keeping parents from knowing about the Core until it was too late,” Stergios told Breitbart education reporter Susan Berry. “When that didn’t work, they paid for push polls to fabricate a sense of popular support.”

“What’s important about the Rasmussen poll is it’s the first high-quality poll done on the question of support for Common Core,” he added. “And what it tells us is unsurprising: The more people learn about the mediocre quality, the unfunded mandates and the questionable legality of the Core, the less they like it.”

A separate survey conducted by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice also found that a majority of those asked disapprove of the standards by a margin of 49 percent to 44 percent who support the standards.

While the Friedman “Schooling in America” survey showed a smaller gap between support and disapproval, it provides the added knowledge that more Americans strongly oppose the standards (33 percent) than strongly support them (12 percent).

Cruz: Impeach Holder If He Doesn’t Appoint Special Prosecutor For IRS Investigation

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz on Thursday called for Attorney General Eric Holder’s impeachment in the Department of Justice fails to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservatives and former IRS employee Lois Lerner’s mysteriously missing emails.

Cruz said that the IRS’s “computer crash” excuse for not providing Congressional investigators with two years’ worth of Lerner’s emails screams of a criminal conspiracy.

“We’re told that the hard drive crashed, and that the documents are irretrievable under any circumstance,” Cruz said. “We also know that hate IRS didn’t follow the law when it failed to report the hard drive crash that we’re told occurred.”

Cruz likened the IRS tactics to those used to cover up wrongdoing during the Nixon Administration.

“Make no mistakes. These emails haven’t just been lost. These emails have been deleted, taped over, and the hard drive physically destroyed according to public news reports. Madame President, this is Rosemary Woods,” Cruz charged. “Madame President, when you have Federal government officials destroying evidence, in the ordinary parlance that’s called obstruction of justice. The hard drive magically collapses, magically crashes and is physically destroyed right after the investigation begins.”

If a Republican Administration were in power as the IRS scandal unfolded, according to Cruz, every Democrat and mainstream media outlet would be trying to get to the bottom of the abuse of power.

“If Attorney General Eric Holder continues to refuse to appoint a special prosecutor, he should be impeached,” Cruz concluded. “Madame President, when an Attorney General refuses to enforce the law, when an Attorney General mocks the rule of law, when an Attorney General corrupts the Department of Justice by conducting a nakedly partisan investigation to cover up political wrongdoing, that conduct by any reasonable measure constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Cruz called for unanimous consent on his resolution to require Holder to appoint a special prosecutor— Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) objected on Democrats’ behalf, blocking passage of the measure.

Democrats Threaten Obama Unilateral Action On Immigration If GOP Doesn’t Act

Top Democrats threatened Thursday that President Barack Obama will unilaterally decide what changes should be made to the Nation’s immigration policy if Congressional Republicans don’t act soon.

Obama has so far held off on changes to the Administration’s deportation policy, urging Republicans to bring immigration reform legislation to the floor before July.

“We’re at the end of the line,” Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Thursday. “We’re not bluffing by setting a legislative deadline for them to act.

“Their first job is to govern,” Menendez added. “…[I]n the absence of governing, then you see executive actions.”

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin (Ill.) also chimed in on the issue of immigration reform Thursday, urging House Speaker John Boehner to move on the issue which hasn’t seen Congressional action since the Senate passed a broad bipartisan reform measure last year.

“I hope that Speaker Boehner will speak up today,” Durbin said. “And if he does not, the president will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration.”

A day earlier, however, Boehner issued a memo to fellow Republicans informing lawmakers that he plans to sue the President for the very sort of executive actions the Democrats claim Obama will use to force the immigration issue.

The GOP isn’t likely to bring immigration reform legislation in the House, especially with a crisis currently unfolding at the border due to Administration policies which have provoked a flood of illegal unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S.

And any unilateral actions the President takes are likely to be cited in Boehner’s lawsuit if it gains traction.

ICE And Border Patrol Representatives Tell Congress Illegal Children Are Clearing The Way For Cartels

The chief of the Nation’s Border Patrol union told Congress Wednesday that the flood of unaccompanied minors coming across the Nation’s southern border is crippling the Border Patrol’s ability to do its job. And the gaps in security are giving dangerous Mexican cartels an advantage in bringing drugs and criminals into the United States.

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told members of Congress that laws requiring special treatment for young people coming into the United States illegally have tied up roughly 40 percent of Border Patrol manpower. The union president told lawmakers that the Barack Obama Administration’s “catch and release” immigration policies are largely to blame.

“This program is bad policy and encourages people from countries other than Mexico to enter the United States illegally,” he told the House Judiciary Committee. “Under this policy, and in most cases, individuals entering the U.S. illegally know they will be released if apprehended.”

“The result is no one is afraid of breaking the law,” Judd continued.

Mexican cartels, which already employ a strategy of bringing illicit materials and dangerous people into the Nation by crossing the border at multiple locations, are also finding it easier to break the law and increasing criminal activity along the border while the agents are tied up, according to Judd.

“The cartels purposely cross between ports of entry to tie up Border Patrol manpower, creating holes in our enforcement and facilitating their other lines of business, such as drug smuggling and the smuggling of known criminals into the U.S. Make no mistake, this is big business for the cartels,” he said.

To make matters worse, agents who are usually tasked with tracking dangerous fugitives from other countries who have illegally made their way into the U.S. interior have been reassigned to help with the influx of young illegal immigrants.

“ICE ERO Fugitive Operations Teams in some areas have been completely shut down with ICE officers reassigned to process and transport UACs and Family units. Officers in other vital ERO criminal enforcement programs such as the Criminal Alien Program and Secure Communities Program likewise are being pulled daily from their critical public safety missions,” Chris Crane, who heads the union representing Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents, told lawmakers in a prepared testimony. “There is no doubt that ICE ERO’s many critical missions, to include its criminal enforcement and public safety missions are impacted. Ironically, as ICE ERO and the Border Patrol spend millions of dollars and shift resources from vital programs to process family units and UACs, it is unlikely that a significant number of these illegal entrants will be removed from the United States unless changes are made to current immigration.”

The liberal media scoffed earlier this month when outspoken Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio lamented that the southern border is vulnerable because Nation’s Border Patrol officers are too busy changing diapers due to the massive numbers of unaccompanied minors flowing across the border.

“The Border Patrol is too busy changing diapers and not going after dope peddlers and illegal immigrants,” Arpaio told FOX News.