FDA Flexes Regulatory Muscle Under 2009 Tobacco Control Act

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dipped its toe in new regulatory waters this week, approving new tobacco products for the first time since the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 was enacted.

In some ways, it’s hard to tell if the precedent set by Congress and President Barack Obama in approving the FSPTCA is a good thing. There’s certainly plenty of overreach – forcing tobacco companies to take up marketing real estate on their own products with ever-larger FDA warnings, banning “flavored” cigarettes (D’oh! Cloves are now ‘cigars!’) and gerrymandering the boundaries that define what’s acceptable in advertisements.

But a possible silver lining—if there is such a thing where government regulation is concerned— is the FDA’s new role in standardizing product quality. It’s debatable whether that’s a responsibility that should fall to the FDA, but the fact that tobacco companies are now required to disclose what’s in their product to the government could represent a baby step toward a future when they make that same disclosure to the public.

The FDA first gained regulatory purview over tobacco products in 2009 under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

NSA’s Non-Response; Man Faces 13 Years For Chalking Up Sidewalk; Rubio ‘Still A Tea Partier’; Trayvon Witness Recounts Racial Slurs; And More — Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 6-26-2013

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NSA Can’t Say Anything About Anything, It Would Help ‘Adversaries’

Shortly after the National Security Agency spy scandal broke, ProPublica journalist Jeff Larson filed a freedom of information request with the agency seeking any personal data it had collected on him. NSA officials said a response would help “adversaries” and damage national security. Read More… 

San Diego City Attorneys Attempt To Give A Man 13 Years For Criticizing Bank Of America

How much time do you think you could get for writing anti-bank messages on a sidewalk? Jeff Olson, a 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for just that, is facing 13 years in jail and a $13,000 fine. Read More… 

Rubio On The Defensive After Conservative Outcry On Immigration 180˚

Tea Party conservatives have been hammering Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) this week as the Senate hammers out its own version of the immigration bill he helped craft. On Wednesday, Rubio stood before the Senate and directly addressed his critics, appealing to them to see his amity with the Senate’s Gang of Eight as the lesser of two evils. Read More… 

Watch: Prosecution In Trayvon Martin Case Uses Martin’s Racist Comments To Benefit Case Against Zimmerman

During a mumbling testimony in the George Zimmerman trial, prosecution witness Rachel Jeantel, 19, who claims to have been on the phone with Trayvon Martin moments before he was shot, said Martin told her a “creepy ass cracker” was following him before his fatal encounter with Zimmerman. Hear The Outrageous Testimony… 

Obamacare Sermons From The TMZ Set

Get ready to see rappers and a desperate housewife hawking President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Already in talks with the NBA and NFL, the White House is now recruiting the TMZ set to serve as ambassadors for Obamacare. Read More… 

Supreme Court Kills DOMA; House Won’t Bring Up Gang of Eight Bill; McRino Charges Critics; Obama’s Environmental Crusade; And More: Wednesday Morning News Roundup 6-26-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • The Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act forbidding Federal recognition of gay marriages for couples residing in states that recognize their union. Source: Huffington Post
  • Good news via National Review Online’s Jonathan Strong:

  • And John McCain is going off on anyone who dares criticize the amnesty-laden Senate immigration effort.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_zK4RFQJ9I&w=420&h=315]

  • Don’t tell the truth: An environmental official suggesting he worked for Organizing for Action, the Obama Administration’s advocacy group, sent a memo to supporters and pro-Obama pundits, warning them to avoid using “economic arguments” to defend the President’s new climate change, which could put a damper on coal plants and the Keystone Pipeline project. Source: Washington Examiner
  • Meanwhile¸ President Obama has angered lawmakers on both sides of the aisle by calling for new regulations on coal-fired power plants. One of them is Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from coal-industry driven West Virginia. Source: Fox Nation
  • Syrian activists say more than 100,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. Source: Voice of America 

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Jim Carrey Shoots Off His Mouth About Gun Violence

Comedian Jim Carrey caused a firestorm in March when he released the anti-gun video “Cold Dead Hand.” Now, the loudmouthed actor is once again making headlines for spouting off about gun violence.

Referencing the massacre in Newtown, Conn., Carrey took to Twitter to condemn the upcoming film “Kick-Ass 2,” in which he plays a vigilante named Colonel Stars and Stripes:

Comic book writer Mark Millar, who created the characters upon which the “Kick-Ass” films were based, responded to Carrey on his blog:

As you may know, Jim is a passionate advocate of gun-control and I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I’m baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn’t in the screenplay eighteen months ago. Yes, the body-count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what it says on the tin. A sequel to the picture that gave us HIT-GIRL was always going to have some blood on the floor and this should have been no shock to a guy who enjoyed the first movie so much.

Ironically, Jim’s character in Kick-Ass 2 is a Born-Again Christian and the big deal we made of the fact that he refuses to fire a gun is something he told us attracted him to the role in the first place.

“Kick-Ass 2” opens Aug. 16. Here’s the trailer:
 
[vimeo 63738718 w=500 h=281]

KICK ASS 2 (2013) – Red Band Trailer [HD] from Radio Metropolis on Vimeo.

Now We’re Arming Terrorists; Carney’s 9,500 Ways To Evade; Obama Taps Republican To Head FBI; Civil Unrest In The Age Of Hope And Change; And More: Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 6-21-2013

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Obama Nominates Bush-Era Deputy AG James Comey To Succeed Robert Mueller As Head Of FBI

President Barack Obama nominated Republican James B. Comey, who served as Deputy Attorney General under George W. Bush, as a successor to outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller today. Read More…

Russia: In Syria, U.S. Is Making Same Mistake It Did In 1980’s Afghanistan

Russia and the United States are essentially engaged in proxy war following President Barack Obama’s public decision to support, and arm, Syrian rebels bent on toppling the nation’s government. Read More…

White House Press Puppet Jay Carney’s 9,486 Ways To Dodge A Question

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney spends most of his time dodging questions, according to an analysis of his answers to reporter inquiries conducted by Yahoo News. See Them All…

PTR MovesGun Manufacturing Operation From Connecticut To South Carolina

PTR (Precision Target Rifle) Industries, which announced in April it would relocate its operations outside its home State after the Connecticut Legislature approved a sweeping gun control package, has announced it will move its entire operation to an expanded location in South Carolina. Read More…

No Matter Who You Feel Is Right Or Wrong, This Video Is a Reminder Of How Dangerously Close ‘Hope’ And ‘Change’ Are Bringing The Nation To Widespread Civil Unrest

A man speaking at a gun control rally in Concord, N.H., this week about how stricter gun laws would have prevented his daughter’s shooting death was heckled by an angry 2nd Amendment advocate. The situation quickly escalated when cops arrived. Watch…

More NSA Developments; Carney has Dodged 9,486 Questions; Connecticut Gun Laws Bad For Business; Nullification Rising; And More – TGIF Morning News Roundup 6-21-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

 

  • The plot thickens: The Guardian is publishing in full two documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the Fisa court), signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped 29 July 2009. They detail the procedures the NSA is required to follow to target “non-US persons” under its foreign intelligence powers and what the agency does to minimize data collected on US citizens and residents in the course of that surveillance. Source: The Guardian… 

 

  • Analyzing the White House Press Secretary: A Yahoo News analysis of the 444 briefings that Jay Carney has held since becoming White House press secretary has identified 13 distinct strains in the way he dodges a reporter’s question. The White House press secretary has dodged a question at least 9,486 times. Source: Yahoo News   

 

  • Voting by foot: Less than a week after Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed gun restrictions into law in April, gun manufacturer PTR Industries said it intended to leave the state to avoid the damage it expected to be inflicted on its business. The rifle manufacturer kept its promise Wednesday, announcing it will move to Aynor, S.C. Source: CBS Charlotte 

 

  • Viva la Nullification!: An Associated Press analysis found that about four-fifths of the states now have enacted local laws that directly reject or ignore federal laws on marijuana use, gun control, health insurance requirements and identification standards for driver’s licenses. Source: The Associated Press 

 

  • Does Chelsea Clinton wish she were never born?: From the stage at the recent Women Deliver conference, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea lamented that her much-admired maternal grandmother was the child of unwed teenage parents who “did not have access to services that are so crucial that Planned Parenthood helps provide.” Source: Life News

 

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Cruz To President: Don’t Arm Our Enemies; GMO Guru Honored; Bill Would Stop DOJ From Bullying Techies; NSA Docs Reveal Obama’s Lies; Mooch Gets A School: Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 6-20-2013

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More NSA Documents Reveal Obama Lies About Domestic Spying

A new round of leaked National Security Agency documents acquired by The Guardian shine light on policies approved by  the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which allow the National Security Agency to retain and use information collected domestically in its communications surveillance. Read More… 

Cruz To Obama: Don’t Arm People Who Hate Us

Veering away from the Senate’s fickle debate over immigration Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz took to the floor of the legislative chamber to blast President Barack Obama for the White House’s decision to intervene in Syria. Read More… 

Bill To Rein In Federal Abuse Of CFAA Law Hits Congress; Named For Aaron Swartz

A bill that aims to rein in the vague and easily-misapplied Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and hopefully curb a pattern of government bullying of online dissenters, was introduced in Congress today. Read More… 

Monsanto Exec Receives World Food Prize For Pioneering GMO Research

Robert Fraley, the Chief Technology Officer for Monsanto Corporation, has been named as one of three recipients of the World Food Prize, an honor commonly referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize’ of the agricultural world. Read More… 

LA School Board Votes To Name Elementary School For First Lady

First lady Michelle Obama has done a great deal for school children: She’s filled their plates with healthier, if less palatable, food and encouraged youngsters to get off their keisters and move around a bit. Read More… 

Florida Gun Law Under Fire; Barack’s Brandenburg Bomb; Letting Go Of Holder; Ducking The NSA; Be Safe In The Vault: Thursday Morning News Roundup 6-20-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.

  • A bipartisan Florida gun bill has made its way to the governor’s desk. If signed into law, it will prevent tens of thousands of Floridians from buying firearms, but mental health workers worry the bill will backfire. It requires people who volunteer for mental health treatment to give up their gun rights. Mental health professionals want Governor Rick Scott to veto the legislation. Source: News4Jax… 
  • In stark contrast to that of his Presidential predecessors, Barack Obama’s Brandenburg Gate speech on Wednesday was big on platitudes and hopeless idealism, while containing much that was counterproductive for the United States. The poorly attended, poorly received address amounted to little more than a laundry list of Obama’s favorite liberal pet causes: part staggering naiveté, part appeasement of America’s enemies and strategic adversaries, and part championing of more big-government solutions. Source: The Telegraph…
  • The House Republican effort to oust Attorney General Eric Holder has attracted a significant amount of momentum this month. Since the beginning of June, 66 Republicans have signed on to Representative Paul Gosar’s (R-Ariz.) legislation that calls for Holder’s immediate resignation. Gosar’s resolution now has 122 co-sponsors, more than half of the House GOP conference. Source: The Hill… 
  • DuckDuckGo, a search engine that claims it gives its users complete anonymity, has seen a 33 percent increase in users since the National Security Agency news broke over a week ago, said founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg. Source: CNBC
  • A California man is creating what he calls the world’s largest private underground survivor shelter, using a complex of limestone caves dug more than 100 years ago beneath gently rolling hills near Atchison, Kansas. He’s selling space to RV owners, who bring their vehicles and take refuge inside, in case of world catastrophe. Source: AP… 

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FBI: Yes, We Use Domestic Drones…No, We Don’t Have Rules; Fed Says A Taper Is Coming; Government Txtng Gay Tweekers; AP Chief Slams The DOJ, And More: Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 6-19-2013

FBI Director: Yes, We Use Drones Domestically… No, We Can’t Say How, When Or Why

Wackobirds, you are officially vindicated in your worries over domestic drone use: FBI Director Robert Mueller told Senate lawmakers today the agency has several drones, and hasn’t adopted strict guidelines for their use. But that’s not deterring the FBI from going forward in the use of drones for domestic surveillance operations. Read more…

Federal Reserve: Continuing ‘Accommodative’ Policy, But Change Is Coming

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it plans to continue its “highly accommodative” monetary policies and will begin the process of reducing stimulus and bond purchases later in the year if unemployment rates continue to decline. Read more… 

WASTRELS: Feds Trying To Text Like (Their Idea Of) Gays In $500,000 Outreach To Promiscuous Meth Heads

The National Institutes of Health is devoting $509,000 in grant funds to a program aimed at curbing sexual promiscuity and abuse of methamphetamine among homosexual addicts. How? By sending gay men who’re hooked on meth some text messages every now and then that gaily urge them to use condoms and stay away from drugs. Read more…

AP President: U.S. Department Of Justice Is ‘Judge, Jury And Executioner’ When It Comes To Secret Spying

The head of the Associated Press lit into the U.S. Department of Justice and the Obama Administration today, saying the Nation’s top law enforcement agency acted as “judge, jury and executioner” in carrying out its secret dragnet of AP phone records. Read more…

Guarantee Of Secure Border, Congressional Accountability In Return For Amnesty Defeated In Senate… With GOP Help

A Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) amendment that would have called upon lawmakers to assess border security, finish a border fence in five years and establish protections against Federal efforts to require American citizens to carry national identification cards before illegal aliens were granted amnesty was defeated in the Senate. Can you guess which GOP Senators helped kill the proposal? Find out…

Three Attend Obama’s Gun Control Rally; NSA Hot Mic; Why Democrats Spy On Americans; Another Poll Shows No Love For The MSM; Tired Of Voting For Rats? — Wednesday Morning News Roundup 6-19-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Only three people — all members of Organizing For Action (formerly known as Obama For America) — showed up for a scheduled, weekend gun-control rally in San Bernardino, Calif. The State Legislature is trying to pass a slew of gun-control measures, even as firearms are flying off California store shelves at a historic rate. “It’s three people today, but it will be 23 next time, and we’ll see the time after that,” chirped one of the lonely gun grabbers. Source: San Bernardino Sun…
  • National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander and FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce cakewalked through a House Intelligence Committee hearing on its spy measures yesterday, with the two taking control of each other’s narrative in order to congratulate government on its supposedly effective terror war. Afterward, a hot mic caught Alexander telling Joyce, “Tell your boss I owe him another friggin’ beer.” Source: The Atlantic…
  • Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald’s exposure of the NSA’s massive domestic spy program has revealed the entire caste of current Democratic leaders as a gang of civil liberty opportunists, whose true passion, it seems, was in trolling George W. Bush for eight years on matters of national security. So says a columnist for the generally liberal Buzzfeed, a pop culture website that’s essentially MTV for the Internet. That same columnist, Michael Hastings, died Tuesday in an apparent car accident. Source: Buzzfeed…
  • Continuing a decades-long downward trend, fewer than one-fourth of Americans have confidence in newspapers, according to a recent Gallup poll. The percentage of Americans saying they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers dropped to 23 percent this year from 25 percent last year, according to a report on the poll, which was released Monday. Confidence in television news has also been slipping; it’s tied with newspapers this year at 23 percent, which is slightly up from last year’s all-time low of 21 percent. Source: US News… 
  • What started as a joke between friends has turned into a social media phenomenon with a serious message about political disenchantment. Morris the cat, really, is running for mayor of the Mexican city of Jalapa. “Morris has become an expression of how fed up people are with all the parties and a political system that does not represent us,” said Sergio Chamorro, the cat’s owner. “Tired of voting for rats? Vote for a cat.” Source: The Guardian… 

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Senate Tosses Border Fence; Bill Ayers Wants Obama Tried For ‘War Crimes’; Cops Play Shoot-‘Em-Up As Bystanders Cringe; World Condemns Domestic Spying In Land Of The Free; And More: Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 6-18-2013

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BREAKING: Senate Votes To Exclude Border Fence From Immigration Bill

The U.S. Senate tossed a provision in the Gang of Eight’s controversial attempt at bipartisan-backed immigration reform, voting 54-39 against a measure that would have mandated the construction of a 700-mile long border fence physically separating the U.S. from Mexico. Read more…

Bill Ayers: Obama Is Conducting Terror, Should Be Tried For War Crimes

Former Weather Underground member and a University of Illinois at Chicago professor Bill Ayers, who received much attention during the 2008 Presidential election for his relationship with Barack Obama, said in a recent interview that the President should be tried for war crimes. Read more…

Eyewitness: ‘Super Trigger Happy’ Cops Endanger Motorists Waiting At DUI Roadblock

A young North Carolina couple returning from a Father’s Day outing with their infant daughter slowed down for a DUI checkpoint in Brunswick County Sunday evening. That’s when the driver of an SUV nearer the front of the line made an alleged attempt to escape, and seven cops allegedly started shooting. Read more…

International Community: American Hypocrites Should Restore Constitution, Champion Human Rights At Home And Abroad

It’s not just Americans who are concerned about the U.S. government’s secret spying programs. An international coalition of nonprofit organizations focused on civil liberties abuses sent a letter to Congress Tuesday urging lawmakers to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens, as well as those of people everywhere. Read more…

Audit The IRS Rally Expected To Be Biggest Tea Party Protest Since 2010

Mainstream media is, thus far, characteristically mum on coverage of the event— but what is expected to be the largest gathering of Tea Party activists since 2010 will converge on Washington D.C. Tuesday in protest of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservatives. Read more… 

FBI Wonders If FISA Court Leaked; Kids Ask Prez To Spy On FOX News; Dems At Sea On Surveillance Scandals; House Frets Over EMPs; Lil’ Hitler? Kim Jong Un Gifts Mein Kampf: Tuesday Morning News Roundup 6-18-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Thirteen days after The Guardian published a top-secret court order from the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court disclosing the National Security Agency’s collection of all phone records from Verizon’s business customers over a three-month period, the U.S. intelligence community has yet to determine how the warrant, one of the most highly classified documents inside the U.S. government, was leaked. Source: The Daily Beast…
  • Students at George Mason University (GMU) signed a petition early this month asking President Barack Obama to listen in on the “private conversations” of all FOX News employees and their families. Source: Campus Reform… 
  • Revelations about the Obama Administration’s expansive domestic surveillance programs have opened a chasm between Democratic elected officials and their progressive base — one that could be tricky for the party’s future Presidential hopefuls to bridge. Have Democratic voters become more accepting of surveillance tactics after blasting them during the Bush Administration? Source: POLITICO
  • Amid growing fears of a massive electromagnetic pulse hit from either a solar flare or a terrorist nuclear bomb, House Republicans will unveil a plan today to save the Nation’s electric grid from an attack that could mean lights out for 300 million Americans. One former Pentagon official cited a new Lloyd’s of London report that determined the area from Washington, D.C., to New York could be without electricity for up to two years in a major solar flare-up. Source: Washington Examiner…
  • Among Kim Jong Un’s gifts to some of North Korea’s high-ranking officials this year were copies of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, according to a trusted source who serves as a DPRK official in China. Source: New Focus International…

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SCOTUS Axes Arizona Voter Law; 8th Grader Faces Year In Jail Over NRA Shirt; Muppets Add Inmate; TSA Agent Shouts At Teen For Outfit; And More: Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 6-17-2013

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Arizona Voter Law That Required Proof Of Citizenship

Proposition 200, Arizona’s 2004 law making it mandatory for would-be voters to provide proof of their citizenship, died before the U.S. Supreme Court today. Read More…

UPDATE: Prosecutors Not Backing Down From Case Of West Virginia Eighth-Grader Suspended For NRA T-Shirt

A while back, we told you about a West Virginia eighth-grader who wore a National Rifle Association shirt to school and got suspended — and arrested — for peaceably refusing to take it off. He now faces a $500 fine and up to a year in jail. Read More… 

TSA Agent Offers Harsh, Creepy Critique Of Teen Girl’s Outfit

A TSA officer at the Los Angeles International Airport allegedly offered an inappropriate, and pretty creepy, critique of a 15-year-old girl’s traveling attire while she was en route to a college tour with a group of high school students over the weekend. Read More… 

Prison-Nation America Incarcerates A Muppet

The furry monsters on “Sesame Street,” the children’s show that has been teaching America’s youngsters about the alphabet and kindness for more than four decades, are getting a new friend: one who highlights the harsh reality of flaws in the American justice system. Read More… 

Home Birth May Be Safer Than Hospital Delivery, Says Study

A Dutch study has found that having a baby at home with a midwife is likely safer than going through childbirth in a hospital environment. Read More…

Obama’s Expensive War On Pot; Benghazi Reporter Hacked; Public Has Lowest Recorded Confidence In Congress; FBI Director Has No Idea Who’s Doing What: Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 6-14-2013

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Obama Outspends Clinton, Dubya Going After Recreational And Medical Marijuana Users

According to a new report produced by Americans for Safe Access, a leading advocate of medical marijuana, the Obama Administration has not just been tough on American pot users — it has spent much more on medical cannabis enforcement than both the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton White Houses. Read More…

Bulldog Benghazi Reporter’s Computer Was Hacked At Height Of Libya Scandal – Was It The Government?

CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson, one of the only mainstream media reporters who has relentlessly pursued the Administration of President Barack Obama for the truth behind its handling of the Benghazi, Libya, embassy attack, was spied on via her own computer before and during the period when the scandal (which is still a scandal) was at its height. Read More… 

Public Confidence In Congress Reaches New Lows

Gallup has determined that American confidence in Congress is not only at the lowest level the polling agency has ever recorded, but is also at the lowest level for any institution on record for the confidence poll. Read More… 

FBI Director Robert Mueller: I Dunno Which Of My Guys Is Investigating The IRS

Of all the cases the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into, there’s probably not a higher-profile one than that of the Internal Revenue Service and its discriminatory election-year targeting of conservative nonprofit groups. But when FBI Director Robert Mueller testified Wednesday, he seemed pretty uninformed about where the investigation stood – even though it’s supposedly entering its second month. Read more…

A Flag Day Tribute

President George Washington, explained the sentiment of the American flag as follows: “We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty.” Read More… 

Government And Private Information Sharing Common; Obama Announces America Turning Queer; Paul Sees War On Christians At Home, Abroad; House Votes To Limit Indefinite Detention; And Allying With Al-Qaida: TGIF Morning News Roundup 6-14-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

  • If you thought the National Security Agency phone records collection was an invasion of privacy, wait until you see the many other ways you’re being watched by both private companies and the government: They watch from the air, from cameras, from computers. And you help them, volunteering vast amounts of information about yourself in the magnetic stripe on the back of your credit card, the SIM card in your phone, the sites you visit on the Internet. Source: McClatchy
  • But, wait, there’s more!: Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and, in return, receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said. Source: Bloomberg… 
  • President Barack Obama told attendees at an LGBT Pride Month celebration that the United States needs to get marriage equality “done now,” but that he believed the Nation had reached a “turning point” on gay rights. Source: The Hill
  • Meanwhile: Senator Rand Paul, who is seriously considering running for President of the United States, told a conservative Christian audience that, “There is a war on Christianity” being waged by “liberal elites” and “worldwide as well.” Source: CBN News… 
  • The House voted Thursday evening to put limits on Obama’s power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens who are terrorist suspects, but rejected a proposal to eliminate the authority altogether. Source: The Hill… 
  • War drums. The U.S. could soon be spending $50 million a day to help protect al-Qaida terrorists currently trying to overthrow the government in Syria with a U.S.-guarded no-fly zone… Wait, what?! Source: The Wall Street Journal… 

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Americans Side With Whistle Blower; D.C. Cops Need Constitution 101; NSA Targets Terror, Defendants Target NSA Data; NYC Hates 3-D Guns; And Obama’s African Adventure: Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 6-13-2013

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NYC Lawmakers Can’t Even Stomach 3-D Printing Of Firearm Components

A bill proposed in the New York City Council to regulate 3-D printed firearms would not only make it illegal to produce the firearms using printer technology, but would also make it a criminal offense to produce any part of such weapons without a gunsmith license. Read More… 

Obama Family Vacation To Africa… $100 Million, Shooting Holes In Sequester-Impact Lies… Priceless

Between $60 million and $100 million worth of Federal assets — including a large naval ship, 56 support vehicles, truckloads of bulletproof glass, fighter jets and hundreds of Federal personnel — will soon be shipped to sub-Saharan Africa. Is a small scale military operation being planned in an area of civil unrest? Nope… President Barack Obama is taking the wife and kids on vacation. Read More…

Washington, D.C., Cop Board Admits: We Need Retraining In 4th Amendment

The Washington D.C. Police Department’s board of police complaints issued a report Wednesday that recommends the city’s beat officers be retrained on when it’s legal to enter someone’s home without a warrant. Read more…

More Americans See Snowden As Whistle-Blowing Patriot Than Traitor

A Reuters poll released Wednesday reveals more Americans look upon Edward Snowden, the former security contractor who leaked information about the National Security Administration’s PRISM internet spying program to a British newspaper, as a patriot who did the right thing than as a traitor who deserves arrest. Read more…

Bank Robbing Suspect Asks For NSA Record Of His Own Cell Data To Prove Innocence

It was just a matter of time before an enterprising defense lawyer would sink his teeth into the trove of private data the National Security Agency (NSA) has been secretly collecting on Americans. Now an attorney representing a Florida man accused of attempting to rob several banks, is calling B.S. on the prosecution’s claim that it can’t get hold of suspect Terrence Brown’s cell phone records. Read more…

Political Exodus Over Obamacare; Syria’s Burgeoning Death Toll; Plutus Fails Greece; DHS Stocking Up On Riot Gear; Congressional Dems Want Kibosh On IRS Probe; And More: Thursday Morning News Roundup 6-13-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Members of the proletariat aren’t the only ones spooked by Obamacare: Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting. POLITICO… 
  • Making the case for a human rights war? At least 93,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the conflict, according to latest U.N. figures. BBC… 
  • House Government Reform and Oversight Committee chairman Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is criticizing Congressional Democrats who suggest that investigations into the Internal Revenue Service’s misdeeds are complete. CBS News…
  • The President’s former re-election campaign is asking supporters to “Stand up for Obamacare”: “Do you like Obamacare? Then I’m asking you to show it,” writes executive director Jon Carson in an email to supporters this morning. “Say you’re on Team Obamacare, the group of grassroots supporters who will be spreading the word on how health care reform is improving the lives of millions of Americans — and we’ll send you a free bumper sticker to say thanks.” The Weekly Standard…
  • The Department of Homeland Security is purchasing hundreds of items of protective gear for its fleet of Federal Protective Service officers in order to prepare for “riot control situations,” increasing concerns that the Federal agency is readying for domestic unrest. Infowars
  • The latest setback for Greece: MSCI Inc. booted the eurozone member from its index of developed countries. The decision, announced late Tuesday, is the first time the index provider demoted a country from its “developed” to its “emerging-market” category since the launch of its flagship emerging-markets index in 1987. Wall Street Journal

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FLASHBACK: We Told You The IRS Was Targeting Conservatives

Editor’s Note: This commentary by Personal Liberty’s Wayne Allyn Root was originally published on October 25, 2012. In it, Root discusses how the Internal Revenue Service has been bullying him for more than two years. He said then, that he believed the IRS’s intense focus on his personal finances was directly related to his conservative political activism.

 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW7mGcpxKzc&w=560&h=315]

Transcript:

Hello. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. Before I even begin my video commentary today, I’d like to read you a major part of the Articles of Impeachment that Congress leveled at President Richard Nixon:

He (Nixon) has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

My commentary this week is a personal story. It’s as personal as you can get. You see, I am on Barack Obama’s enemies list. I believe Obama is employing the same tactics as President Nixon. If so, he should meet the same fate: Congress should investigate and, if proven true, impeach Barack Obama for violating the Constitutional rights of American citizens.

Here’s my personal story. I’ve gone through an almost two-year ordeal with the IRS which, I believe, was triggered by my vocal criticism of the Obama Administration. Americans need to hear this story of a small-business owner — not a billionaire — with an unblemished tax record for 30 years suddenly facing this kind of harassment, persecution and intimidation.

If a President of the United States can go after me personally because he doesn’t like my political beliefs, then no one is safe. Today, it’s me; tomorrow it could be you. It doesn’t matter if the President is Republican or Democrat. This cannot be allowed to happen to anyone, regardless of his party or his beliefs.

But it is happening. I’ve done my own personal investigation, and I’ve found a pattern of abuse. This is happening all across America. Our Commander in Chief is a bully. Just like in the old Soviet Union, he’s using the power of the IRS and other government agencies to punish his political opposition and to try to intimidate and silence his critics.

It’s time for Congress to get involved. It’s time for Congressional hearings to determine if this is a widespread pattern of abuse. If this is a pattern of Obama using government to destroy his opposition, to destroy people’s lives, whether it is billionaires or small-business owners like me, Obama and his henchmen must be held accountable. The government of the United States has no right to persecute its citizens for political purposes.

This all started in 2008 when I became the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee and was campaigning across America. I informed audiences that I was Obama’s college classmate, class of ’83 at Columbia University. I told audiences what I thought Obama’s goal would be as President. I predicted he’d follow the strategy taught by two former Columbia professors, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.

I predicted that Obama would promote policies that would damage the economy and bankrupt the business community, so as to cause doubts about capitalism — to shake our faith in the current system. I predicted that he’d accomplish all that by overwhelming the system with spending, addicting a record number of Americans to entitlements, exploding the debt, demonizing business owners and then trying to convince the masses to redistribute wealth (with massive tax increases).

Sound familiar? It’s all happened exactly according to plan. My prediction was on the money (excuse the pun).

Over the past four years, my opinions critical of the Obama Administration appeared in newspapers across the country and many of the Internet’s most popular conservative websites (like Personal Liberty and FOX News), reaching tens of millions of Americans. I made frequent television appearances on networks like Fox News and CNBC and thousands of appearances on talk radio — always criticizing Obama and his anti-business, anti-capitalist policies.

Obviously, this caught the attention of Obama and his socialist cabal that was hell-bent on destroying capitalism — and anyone who got in the way. Obviously, Obama’s dirty tricks Chicago hit squad decided to intimidate and distract me, in the form of an unsettling call from the IRS.

In January of 2011, an IRS agent called my home and left a message. Without waiting for a response, he immediately called my accountant. We were both shocked at how eager and excited he sounded to get started. My accountant told the IRS agent that he had my “power of attorney” and he was to speak only with the accountant from this point forward.

Guess what this overzealous IRS agent did next? He immediately called me again.

My accountant remarked that in 30 years of dealing with IRS audits, he’d never heard of an IRS agent starting an investigation with a phone call to the taxpayer, then the taxpayer’s accountant and then the taxpayer again. The IRS always sends a letter asking the taxpayer to call them. That was the tipoff something was out of the ordinary. My conversation with the IRS agent seemed odd as well.

The agent let me know that he understood that my accountant had the power of attorney and he was not allowed to speak to me. But he said he just wanted to speak with me once because he was “my biggest fan.” He just had to tell me that he read all of my political columns and often listened to me on the radio. Then, he said he supported my politics and agreed with most everything I said. He said that he personally requested to be my auditor and it was a great “honor” to be auditing me.

I hung up the phone and felt a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. This was an unsettling conversation. It was clear to me that the IRS agent was trying to imitate “Columbo” (the detective from the 1970’s hit TV show). He was playing a game, trying to win my confidence, let my guard down, to hide a more sinister motive. I immediately thought to myself, “This agent is telling a story to try to throw me off the scent of what’s really happening — an attempt to persecute and intimidate a critic of President Obama, ordered by the Obama administration.”

Soon, my gut instinct was verified. My accountant called to say he’d had several conversations with the IRS agent and something seemed very different from any IRS audit he’d ever handled. This agent clearly had an agenda. He was unreasonable. He disregarded facts. He simply disallowed virtually all of my legal deductions. There was even a debate over my mortgage deduction. Soon, he was auditing a second year. It got worse with each conversation.

My accountant called and said, “Wayne, it is so clear that this IRS agent is out to badly damage you. You must hire a top tax lawyer. This is like nothing I’ve ever dealt with. This is not an ordinary IRS audit. You need legal representation right now.”

Please keep in mind, I’m no billionaire or big shot politician. I’m a small-business owner, home-schooling dad and citizen politician. With my many businesses and careers all struggling in this Obama economy, I was now facing a massive IRS attack, an unaffordable tax bill and huge legal fees to fight it.

Soon thereafter I found out that my accountant of 25 years — one of the finest, nicest, men I’ve ever met in my life — had also just received an IRS audit notice for himself only weeks after mine. Coincidence?

I got the message: This was an attack based on my political views. I researched tax attorneys and found the best one in the country. He agreed to handle my case. He looked over my tax records and assured me that he felt the IRS agent was 100 percent incorrect in his belief that any taxes were due. My attorney was also concerned that a review of the audit revealed a highly and unusually aggressive IRS position.

As such, my attorney immediately changed venue to Los Angeles (where he is based) and appealed the case to U.S. Tax Court in California. After almost 18 months of sleepless nights, lawyer bills I could not afford, accounting bills I could not afford, damage to my marriage and who knows how many years of my life reduced by stress, this past July we won a full and complete victory. Not a dime was owed. All of the IRS agent’s unreasonable and overzealous assertions were thrown out. Case closed. 100 percent vindication. Complete victory.

Except the story isn’t over. It gets far worse. I had five days to celebrate. Five days to feel like my life was mine again, with no cloud hanging over me. Five days to hug my wife, with both of us exhaling and repeating out loud: “No more IRS. No more cloud over our heads. No more legal fees!”

And then the unimaginable happened. My tax attorney called to say: “Are you sitting down? I have bad news. I don’t know what to say, but the IRS just contacted me. You’re being audited again.”

We had just won a complete victory for the years 2007 and 2008 five days before. And now I was being audited again (for the 2009 and 2010 tax years) five days later. In all his many years of practicing tax law, my tax attorney has never heard of such a situation. Ever.

And the new IRS agent treated my attorney the same way: with disdain. He disallowed every legal deduction. It was the same treatment all over again.

Here’s some important personal history you need to know. I have a perfect tax history. Not a single blemish. Thirty years of filing taxes without a problem. I was chosen at random for two audits in my life and came out of both owing nothing — not one dollar. I’ve never been late with a tax bill in my life. I’ve never owed money on a payment plan to the IRS. Nothing. I’m a model citizen and taxpayer.

The odds of this being some random occurrence are zero. People with perfect tax records for 30 years don’t suddenly become an IRS tax target. And certainly not after winning a complete 100 percent victory in U.S. Tax Court only five days before. There is no such thing ever.

And I’m not a billionaire. I’m not wealthy at all. There’s nothing big to go after. This is not just a witch hunt, but a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. Why would the IRS be persecuting a small-business owner (twice) who happens to be a vocal critic of President Obama?

There’s the answer. The answer is my media megaphone.

That’s why this story is so chilling. If this is allowed to stand, then anyone who has an opinion that government or a politician doesn’t like is at risk of being persecuted, harassed, intimidated and ruined. Free speech is at risk. Today, it’s me; tomorrow it could be you — even if you’re just a small-business owner.

Remember the famous lesson of the Holocaust?

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade

unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

I’m one of several who have come forward to call attention to this dangerous pattern of political persecution going on under Obama, but I’m betting that this is happening all across America to Republican and conservative critics and donors.

We know from media reports that virtually every Tea Party in the country is under IRS attack — not just simple harassment. The IRS is asking frightening questions, such as demanding the names of all members, donors and even speakers at Tea Party events. Are all of these critics of Obama being targeted for IRS persecution because of their ideological beliefs? And what are they doing with the names of Tea Party speakers? Let me give you two guesses: attacking them with IRS audits or attacking them with IRS audits?

We know Sheldon Adelson, the biggest GOP donor in America, is suddenly under Justice Department investigation. Coincidence? He calls it a “smear campaign” orchestrated by the Obama Administration.

Steve Wynn is another outspoken critic of Obama and a major GOP donor. He has been quoted as calling Obama the most anti-business President of his lifetime. Wynn says every business owner he knows is frightened by Obama. Days ago, it was disclosed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Wynn, too, is under Federal investigation. Coincidence?

I’m sure the lawyers of billionaire CEOs like Adelson and Wynn have told their clients to no longer criticize Obama publicly. This is how Obama plays the game — like the Mafia. He learned it from politicians in Chicago. This is how you silence your critics.

I have had numerous conversations with high-profile friends who contribute to the GOP or are GOP bundlers, and they are also being audited by the IRS. One of my neighbors is a big GOP fundraiser and bundler, and he’s being attacked by the IRS. Several friends of mine know wealthy donors who received an IRS audit notice only weeks after making major contributions to Romney. One such donor has even gone public. His name is Frank VanderSloot. Just a few weeks after giving $1 million to Romney, he came under attack from both the IRS and the Labor Department. Coincidence?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even recently accused Obama of using “Nixonian” tactics to target and silence Republican donors.

How many more victims of this Obama witch hunt are out there? I’m betting after my story comes out, thousands of GOP politicians, donors, Obama critics and conservative talk hosts come out of the woodwork to say that they, too, are under IRS attack. This is no coincidence. This can’t be an isolated incident. This is a pattern of abuse. It’s happening right now, right here in America under Obama.

It’s time for all of us to speak up now, before Obama is re-elected and we lose the right to speak out. Free speech and political expression are endangered in Obama’s second term. It is time for Congressional investigations. It is also time for Congress to pass a law that no Administration has the right to order the IRS to attack critics. It is time to reign in our government. It is time to demand an end to government witch hunts ordered by powerful politicians. It is time to shine the light of day on government attempts to intimidate and silence political opponents.

When President Nixon was found to be playing dirty tricks and targeting political opponents, the media screamed loudly about oppression, persecution and political intimidation and cried out for criminal investigations. Where is the media this time? It is time for the media to get outraged and demand Obama be held accountable, just as they did with Nixon.

Let me state this clearly. The IRS isn’t the problem. The IRS is filled with mostly good people, trying to do their jobs. They are just like you and me. But when they get a call from high above, from the office of the President of the United States or a close friend of the President, then they are fearful for their jobs. My outrage is toward President Obama and his henchmen. This is so wrong on so many levels.

But the bad news for Obama and his political mobsters is that they picked on the wrong guy. Not only have I never had a problem with the IRS in my life, I’m willing to do everything in my power to call out this political attack for what it really is. It is time for you to join me in asking questions about the harassment being aimed at critics of the Obama White House. It’s time for Congressional investigations.

I am on Obama’s enemies list. Next, it could be any one of us. It could be you. This cannot be allowed to go on in the United States of America.

I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. I pray that none of you ever have to go through what I’ve been through for the past 22 months. No matter what your political party. No matter what your beliefs. Not in America. This cannot stand.

See you next week. Same time, same place. God Bless.

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Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s afternoon update.

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