Rand Paul: Hillary Clinton Is A Warmonger Who Would Get Clobbered In 2016

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) this week blasted former Secretary of State— and potential 2016 presidential contender— Hillary Clinton and other “U.S. interventionists” he says are responsible for empowering the Islamic State terror group’s advances in the Middle East.

“As the murderous, terrorist Islamic State continues to threaten Iraq, the region and potentially the United States, it is vitally important that we examine how this problem arose,” Paul begins a Wall Street Journal op-ed published late Wednesday. “Any actions we take today must be informed by what we’ve already done in the past, and how effective our actions have been.

“Shooting first and asking questions later has never been a good foreign policy. The past year has been a perfect example,” the senator continues.

Shooting first, Paul contends, is precisely what Clinton and the Obama Administration did last year by advocating for regime change in Syria without “a reasonable degree of foresight.”

“The administration’s goal has been to degrade Assad’s power, forcing him to negotiate with the rebels,” Paul writes. “But degrading Assad’s military capacity also degrades his ability to fend off the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Assad’s government recently bombed the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

“To interventionists like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, we would caution that arming the Islamic rebels in Syria created a haven for the Islamic State. We are lucky Mrs. Clinton didn’t get her way and the Obama administration did not bring about regime change in Syria. That new regime might well be ISIS,” the lawmaker contends.

Clinton is of the opposite opinion, as we noted earlier this month:

Clinton blamed Obama for the ISIS advances in a recent interview with The Atlantic.

According to the former top diplomat, the Administration could have made it more difficult for ISIS to gain support throughout the Middle East by doing more to support rebels in Syria when that country was initially besieged by civil war.

“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.

This isn’t the first time that Paul, steadfast in his non-interventionist views despite pressure from his own party, has criticized the current Democratic administration’s foreign policy practices. And the lawmaker believes that the country is on his side.

Here’s what the senator had to say about Clinton on MSNBC over the weekend: “I think the American public is coming more and more to where I am… Hillary Clinton, who… fought her own war, Hillary’s War, you know… I think that’s what scares the Democrats the most, is that in a general election, were I to run, there’s gonna be a lot of independents and even some Democrats who say, ‘You know what, we are tired of war. We’re worried that Hillary Clinton will get us involved in another Middle Eastern war, because she’s so gung-ho.’

“If you wanna see a transformational election in our country, let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton, and you’ll see a transformation like you’ve never seen,” Paul opined.

Congressional Budget Office Says Deficit Will Top $500 Billion This Year

Officials at the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that the federal deficit for fiscal 2014 is expected to top out at more than $500 billion, higher than projected due to a drop in corporate tax revenues.

The deficit estimate of $506 billion by September’s end is actually low compared to years at the height of the nation’s economic recession, though it is higher than the $492 billion deficit predicted back in April.

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told reporters gathered at a briefing that the fluctuation was likely de to companies using legal means to put off paying taxes.

While the deficit numbers look better than other years under the Obama Administration– $680 billion last year and an outstanding $1.1 trillion in 2009— the decline isn’t likely to maintain, according to Elmendorf.

“The federal budget deficit has fallen sharply during the past few years and is on a path to decline further this year and next,” Elmendorf said at a press conference Wednesday. “But later in the coming decade, under current law, the gap between spending and revenues would grow again relative to the size of economy, and federal debt would climb.”

Meanwhile the nation’s overall national debt, at more than 74 percent of the economy, is higher than it has been at any point since 1950.

Worse yet, as deficits begin to increase again in 2018, according to the CBO’s projections, the nation’s debts is expected to increase even more, reaching at least 77 percent of the economy within a decade.

“The persistent and growing deficits that CBO projects would result in increasing amounts of federal debt held by the public,” the CBO said.

Vehicle To Vehicle Communication Requirements Could Give Government Control Over Personal Travel

In the not-so-distant-future, American motorists could find the location, direction and speed of their automobiles constantly monitored by government officials as they travel, according to recent filings revealing that the Department of Transportation is making the first steps toward requiring “vehicle to vehicle communications.”

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration published rule proposals in the Federal Register this month that “would propose to create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS), FMVSS No. 150, to require vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication capability for light vehicles (passenger cars and light truck vehicles, or LTVs) and to create minimum performance requirements for V2V devices and messages.”

The systems would monitor things like speed, direction and roadway location of individual vehicles and broadcast the information to nearby drivers. The information could also be used alongside emerging technologies such as crash avoidance systems already being built into newer automobiles to increase roadway safety, according to the NHTSA.

The agency reports that it intends to examine the effectiveness of V2V communications in everything from vehicles with no active control systems to future cars that could include full automation and self-driving.

Currently, NHTSA officials are focusing their attention on systems designed to assist with left turns and intersection navigation that the agency believes could prevent up to 529,000 crashes and save 1,083 lives per year.

The government safety agencies have emphasized that the technology they’re looking in to isn’t designed to provide law enforcement monitoring tools and will never be used in such a manner.

“There is no data in the safety messages exchanged by vehicles or collected by the V2V system that could be used by law enforcement or private entities to personally identify a speeding or erratic driver,” the NHTSA proposal said.

“Our research to date suggests that drivers may be concerned about the possibility that the government or a private entity could use V2V communications to track their daily activities and whereabouts,” said the report. “However, as designed, NHTSA is confident that the V2V system both achieves the agency’s safety goals and protects consumer privacy appropriately.”

If it weren’t for what Americans already know about how the government has abused other technological advances designed to make people safer and better informed— the Internet, cell phones, etc.— NHTSA’s claims might be believable. Unfortunately, the precedent is set and it’s only a matter of time before law enforcement takes advantage of the systems.

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.

In January officials at the Argyle Independent School District voted in favor of allowing school marshals on campus under the Protection of Texas Children Act, meaning students are starting this school year with the knowledge that some teachers on campus are armed and prepared to defend themselves and their students against armed intruders.

And for those who are unaware of the policy, Argyle IDF schools send a clear message with signs at campus entrances informing visitors, “Please be aware that the staff at Argyle ISD are armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.”

The number of armed teachers and their identities are not made public by school officials—but the policy mandates that educators who wish to concealed carry at the school pass a psychological evaluation, have emergency response and firearm training and maintain a handgun license.

According to local media, some of the teachers even took time out of their summer breaks to fulfill training requirements.

Reports indicate that local parents largely support the policy.

“I trust that the administrators of this school district will put my kid’s best interest at heart,” parent Lacey Fenoglio told CW33.

She added, “I think if a tragedy does occur, lives can be saved by guns being in the right hands, and I think the teachers here might be able to stop something like that and life can be saved.”

Argyle is one of only a handful of Texas school districts which have chosen to take advantage of the added safety provided by arming teachers since the law passed.

Laws allowing armed teachers also exist in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Tennessee.

Liberal groups continue to miss the point that telling criminals and wackos not to do something is an ineffective way to stop them.

Commenting on a recent poll which illustrated that gun violence in schools is a major area of concern for American parents, Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts had this to say: “This poll confirms what we’ve been saying since moms across the country mobilized after the brutal attack in Newtown, Connecticut where twenty kids and six educators were killed in the sanctity of their elementary school: Moms will no longer tolerate America’s culture of gun violence. We demand to be safe in the places we go with our children – schools, restaurants, stores, parks and in our own homes.

“By opposing legislation to close the deadly loopholes in our background check system that allow minors and dangerous people like felons and domestic abusers easy access to guns, as well as reasonable limits on where, when and how loaded gun are carried and used in public, it’s crystal clear the gun lobby is out of touch with the concerns of American parents, including those who are gun owners.”

So what exactly is so bad about educators (who, remember, have passed a psychological evaluation, have emergency response and firearm training and maintain a handgun license) being prepared to keep children on campus safe from the unexpected? To borrow from Shannon, it is crystal clear the anti-gun lobby is out of touch with reality.

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.

While Douglas McAuthur McCain, the dead American jihadist identified this week, isn’t the first person with a U.S. passport to be killed fighting with Islamist militants, he is believed to be the first American proven to have been radicalized specifically by Islamic State propaganda.

Reports indicate that McCain had come under government scrutiny in recent months for being a possible Islamic State sympathizer.

Via CNN:

U.S. counterterrorism investigators had been looking into McCain’s activities for some time before his death, one U.S. official said.

He was on a list of Americans who are believed to have joined militant groups and who would be stopped and subjected to additional scrutiny if he traveled, according to the official.

Retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, who had top roles in the State and Defense Departments in President George W. Bush’s administration, said he expects more stories like McCain’s.

Indeed, government officials have said that they are working to gather intelligence on at least 300 Americans believed to be fighting with Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

“We know that there are several hundred American passport holders running around with ISIS in Syria or Iraq,” said an unidentified senior U.S. official quoted by the Washington Times. “It’s hard to tell whether or not they’re in Syria or moved to Iraq.”

Islamic State terrorists have ambitiously attempted to recruit western sympathizers through social media messaging and the distribution of violent, yet well-produced, online videos which portray their depraved human rights abuses as an action-packed adventure on the road to martyrdom.

It was recently reported that the terror group had even attempted to capitalize on the civil unrest in Ferguson, MO., in an effort to gain U.S. supporters.

The group has also claimed that it has a heavy presence in the U.S., recently posting a picture of the Islamic State flag in front of the White House to Twitter. Another post on the social networking site featured the flag in front of a Chicago high-rise along with the message, “We are in your state. We are in your cities. We are in your streets. You are our goals anywhere.”

According to the results of a recent poll, support for the terror group is likely on the rise throughout the Western world. The poll, conducted on behalf of the Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya by ICM, found that among people in Great Britain, France and Germany 2 percent say they have a favorable view of Islamic State and 7 percent say they have a somewhat favorable view of the group. In France, which has a large Muslim population, 16 percent of those surveyed say they support ISIS; among people age 18-24 in the country the number jumps to 27 percent.

A French correspondent for Newsweek said the results were unsurprising.

“This is the ideology of young French Muslims from immigrant backgrounds,” Anne-Elizabeth Moutet said, “unemployed to the tune of 40 percent, who’ve been deluged by satellite TV and internet propaganda.”

ICREACH: The Government’s Searchable Database Of Private Communications

In an effort to help dozens of government agencies access the troves of private telecommunications data it scoops up from foreigners and American citizens, the National Security Agency has its own “Google-like” search engine.

New information out from The Intercept — a site dedicated to reporting on NSA activities — reveals that the spy agency’s databases have likely been routinely used by domestic law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Via The Intercept:

ICREACH has been accessible to more than 1,000 analysts at 23 U.S. government agencies that perform intelligence work, according to a 2010 memo. A planning document from 2007 lists the DEA, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency as core members. Information shared through ICREACH can be used to track people’s movements, map out their networks of associates, help predict future actions, and potentially reveal religious affiliations or political beliefs.

The creation of ICREACH represented a landmark moment in the history of classified U.S. government surveillance, according to the NSA documents.

“The ICREACH team delivered the first-ever wholesale sharing of communications metadata within the U.S. Intelligence Community,” noted a top-secret memo dated December 2007. “This team began over two years ago with a basic concept compelled by the IC’s increasing need for communications metadata and NSA’s ability to collect, process and store vast amounts of communications metadata related to worldwide intelligence targets.”

Until the most recent disclosures, it was unclear how and to what extent the NSA shares the massive amount of data it collects with other agencies. The search tool, described by the NSA as a “one-stop shopping tool,” pulls information stored in several databases authorized by President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12333, which expanded the government’s data-collection authority.

While 12333 surveillance is supposed to target only foreign communication networks, domestic communication information can easily be swept up by the government snooping programs.

Again from The Intercept:

To allow government agents to sift through the masses of records on ICREACH, engineers designed a simple “Google-like” search interface. This enabled analysts to run searches against particular “selectors” associated with a person of interest—such as an email address or phone number—and receive a page of results displaying, for instance, a list of phone calls made and received by a suspect over a month-long period. The documents suggest these results can be used reveal the “social network” of the person of interest—in other words, those that they communicate with, such as friends, family, and other associates.

The sharing of information between the NSA and domestic law enforcement agencies all takes place without court oversight.

Read more at The Intercept.

 

Note from the Editor: Under the Obama Administration, the NSA, the IRS, and the State and Justice departments are blatantly stepping on Americans’ privacy—and these are just the breaches we’re aware of. I’ve arranged for readers to get a free copy of The Ultimate Privacy Guide so you can be protected from any form of surveillance by anyone—government, corporate or criminal. Click here for your free copy.

House Republicans Move Forward On Obama Lawsuit, Hire Lawyer

House Administration Committee Chairwoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.) on Monday signed a contract with the Washington, D.C.-based law firm BakerHostetler for legal representation in a civil action lawsuit against the president of the United States.

Ahead of their five-week summer recess, GOP lawmakers in the House lawmakers voted to move forward with a suit against the President for abusing his executive power by delaying an Obamacare mandate requiring employers with 50 or more workers to carry insurance.

“No President is above nor should operate beyond the limits of the Constitution,” Miller said in a statement. “The House of Representatives, using regular order and the powers that the Constitution has provided, calls upon our government’s system of checks and balances and asks the judicial branch to examine the President’s failure to faithfully execute the law.”

The lawmakers have agreed to pay BakerHostetler $500 per hour for “reasonable attorney time expended in connection with the litigation” to a cap of $350,000 which, according to the contract, “will not be raised.”

As the GOP works out the details of where the suit will be filed and attempt to gain standing before the court, Democrats are criticizing the legal action as a waste of time and taxpayer money.

“This outrageous waste of taxpayer dollars is yet another reminder of House Republicans’ misguided priorities,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Representative Steve Israel (N.Y.) said in a statement.

“Only in John Boehner’s world does it make sense to pay lawyers $500 per hour to work on a partisan lawsuit while refusing to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for hardworking Americans trying to feed their families,” he added.

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.

Last year, Obama asked Congress for permission to launch strikes against the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria. Now, with the Assad regime struggling against the IS militants who pose a threat to the U.S., bombing IS means de facto support of Assad.

In addition, military action in Syria, in addition to the U.S. strikes that have already taken place in northern Iraq, would represent a dramatic escalation of force in the region.

“I am calling for the mission and objectives for this current significant military action against [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] to be made clear to Congress, the American people, and our men and women in uniform,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said in a statement. “And Congress should vote up or down on it.”

Kaine said that the administration should provide a clear plan to react to the IS threat and consult lawmakers.

But the White House has been hesitant to commit to congressional authorization. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that Obama is “committed to coordinating and consulting with Congress” but will act on his own if he feels the need.

 

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.”

After discussing a broad range of topics with Fox New’s Uma Pemmaraju,  McInerney mentioned  Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 which went missing earlier in the year and suggested that it could be intact and being readied by terrorists for use as a weapon against the U.S.

“On the seventh of September, a major news network and publishing network are going to put out a book. It is going to be earth shattering of what’s happening and what happened. The fact is we may even see a 9/11/14 MH-370 surface again,” he said. “We should go to DEFCON 1, our highest state of readiness and be prepared as we lead up to 9/11.”

It’s worth noting that the U.S. has never gone to  DEFCON 1.

Pemmaraju pressed for more information, “When you say a major news organization is coming forward with a publication, what are you referring to specifically? Can you allude to that, give us more details?”

But aside from reiterating that the U.S. should raise its terror threat level, McInerney provided little more information.

“I can’t give you any more than what I’ve just said. But it is going to be extremely important  and America should take notice. We are less safe today than we were six years ago,” he said.

A 2008 New York Times piece involving McInerney and other military analysts featured on network news makes his cryptic remarks a little more interesting.

The Times reported at the time that the Pentagon routinely works closely with the analysts to generate favorable public opinions of U.S. military actions.

From that Bush-era report:

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

According to the report, as of 2008 McInerney sat “on the boards of several military contractors, including Nortel Government Solutions, a supplier of communication networks.”

A government watchdog cleared the Pentagon of any wrongdoing in its efforts to woo analysts into acting as propaganda puppets.

 

 

Racial Division On Display As Ferguson Unrest Continues

A new poll examining how Americans feel about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, where police recently shot an unarmed black teen, finds that opinions about protests in the community and the police’s response are strongly divided along racial lines.

The data, out from Pew Research, shows that black Americans are overwhelmingly more likely to say that there’s a strong racial component to the police shooting of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old. Eighty percent of black Americans polled said that the situation in Ferguson should foment a national discussion about race relations, while 47 percent of white Americans reported that they feel the issue of race is overblown.

Feelings about the police response to protests in the community are similarly divided along racial lines. Just 35 percent of white respondents told Pew that they believed the police have gone too far in responding to the unrest in Ferguson, compared to 65 percent of black Americans who decried the police actions.

Age and political affiliation also influenced opinions in the Pew poll.

Fifty-five percent of Americans younger than 30 reported that the events in Ferguson highlight important racial issues. Other age demographics were divided about whether race plays a key role.

Democrats were more likely than Republicans to view race as an important part of the Ferguson story, as 68 percent said that Brown’s death should lead to renewed discussions about race in America. A majority of Democrats (56 percent) also said that the police response was too heavy-handed. GOP voters expressed near opposite views, with 61 percent saying that the racial component of Brown’s death is overblown and 43 percent reporting that the police are responding to the Ferguson protests appropriately.

The usual-suspect lineup of race hucksters (Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, et al.) has latched on to the racial component of the Ferguson protests. But reflections on race and law enforcement in the U.S. resulting from the situation in Ferguson are a little more surprising.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul has made no secret of his efforts to broaden his Party’s appeal to black voters. But his decision to dive feet first, via a column published in TIME last week, into the Ferguson debacle was met with skepticism from some Americans on the left and criticism from GOP factions.

“Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention,” Paul wrote in his piece. “Our prisons are full of black and brown men and women who are serving inappropriately long and harsh sentences for non-violent mistakes in their youth.”

Matt Wills, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, later criticized Paul’s remarks on race as “unhelpful.”

“This is a tragedy for all communities — not just African-American communities,” Wills told The Hill. “I think this all just too much too soon from these politicians. We’re still learning new details. I can’t fault the police for wanting to protect themselves and the community, and I also have a deep place in my heart for the civil liberties we have as Americans.”

The situation in Ferguson deteriorated over the weekend after a period of relative calm late last week, prompting Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to deploy state National Guard units to the community.

“The Guard’s immediate and limited responsibilities under the direction of Colonel Ron Replogle of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, are to provide protection, and ensure the safety of our Unified Command Center, which was the target last night of a coordinated attack,” Nixon said in a statement. “The Guard will concentrate its resources on carrying out this limited mission.”