Tag Archive: Barack Obama


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ObamaCare architect and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber’s remarks about the “stupidity” of the American voter and the passage of ObamaCare is bad enough. What is even more disturbing are his comments about the bill’s deliberate lack of transparency. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s denials Thursday were also absurd.

The arrogance and condescension that has too often characterized the Obama administration’s policies have put the American public in the unfortunate position of having to learn about the health care changes the hard way, on their own.

Here are three crucial changes that the president clearly didn’t want you to know about:


1. HUGE DEFICITS AND NEW TAXES.
 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the latest projections for the net cost of ObamaCare over the next ten years are just over $1.4 trillion. Whereas President Obama promised in 2009 that it would cost less than $1 trillion over ten years. In order to partially pay for this, ObamaCare has added more than 20 new taxes totaling over $500 billion.

2. BUREAUCRACY. Speaking of Orwellian politics, ObamaCare includes 159 new boards and agencies to restrict and govern your health care choices.

3. STILL MORE BUREAUCRACY.
 Dysfunctional state exchanges with high deductible policies, narrow doctor networks, including federally-run exchanges in 36 states which may not be allowable under the law (SCOTUS currently considering this case).

Here are three new things coming up in 2015 that you aren’t going to like:

1. PENALTIES WILL RISE – INDIVIDUAL MANDATE. 
In 2014, people are facing a penalty of $95 per person or 1% of income.

In 2015, the penalty will more than triple to $325 per person or 2% of income, whichever is higher.

If an American failed to get coverage this year, the penalty will be taken out of their tax refund in early 2015.

2. SERIOUS RATE HIKES FOR CHEAPER OBAMACARE PLANS.
 According to Investor’s Business Daily, the lowest cost bronze plan will increase an average of 7 % in many cases, the lowest cost silver plan by 9%, and the lowest priced catastrophic policy will climb 18 percent on average. Double digit rate hikes are anticipated in several southern and Midwestern states includingKansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, and Virginia.

Subsidies will continue to be a huge part of the program. In 2014, subsidies provided ¾ of the premiums for the federally-run exchanges.

3. EMPLOYER MANDATE WILL TAKE EFFECT. 
After being delayed for a year, large businesses (100 or more employees in 2015, 50 or more in 2016) will be required to offer affordable (and subsidized) health plans to at least 70 percent of their full time employees or face a $2,000-$3,000 penalty per employee.

This mandate will lead to fewer full time employees being hired.

The latest Kaiser Family Foundation poll in July revealed that 53 percent of those surveyed had an unfavorable view of ObamaCare.

I expect this number to rise as more of ObamaCare’s “bells and whistles” are rolled out. Americans are experiencing ObamaCare as a cancer of the health care system. — The more it grows, the more it infiltrates and destroys healthy tissue.

Dr. Marc Siegel, a practicing internist, joined FOX News Channel (FNC) as a contributor in 2008.

 

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By: Fred Lucas

This significant golf outing took place at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The president has been criticized frequently for playing the game amid national and global crises.

On Sunday a second U.S. Ebola diagnosis was reported.

In August, Obama came under fire for golfing shortly after speaking about the beheading of an American journalist by the Islamic State.

In 2008 Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush told Politico the reason why he stopped playing golf five years earlier: “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

But last year Bush said Obama should not be criticized for playing golf.

Not everyone is as charitable, however.

“The president’s 200th trip to an oasis of fairways comes at a particularly turbulent time,” veteran White House correspondent Keith Koffler wrote on his website White House Dossier.

“The usual problems – an uncertain economy that may or may not be gaining its footing, stagnant wages, low work force participation, Iran on the cusp of a nuclear weapon, and soaring U.S. debt – are all present,” Koffler continued. “But as he strolls about the course today, Obama now also finds himself waging war with merciless (Islamic) terrorists raging across Iraq and Syria like a wildfire, confronting the 21st century version of the Bubonic Plague, and facing the revived threat of a major terrorist attack.”

Even at this rate of golfing (which averages about 33 games a year), Obama won’t break any presidential records for the frequency of his outings.

President Dwight Eisenhower golfed 800 times over his eight years in office, while President Woodrow Wilson golfed 1,600 times in eight years, according to Don Van Natta Jr.’s book on presidential golfing, “First Off the Tee.”

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Obama’s condemnation of Ferguson, Missouri, during UN talk was a mistake

President Obama spoke Wednesday to the United Nations General Assembly in his annual foreign policy address to the world body.  Speaking after the Brazilian president but before Uganda’s leader, Obama spoke for 31 minutes on Russia, Asia, Ebola, Iran and climate change.

Eighteen minutes into his speech, Obama mentioned ISIS. Then, he went on to talk about “violent extremism” (he never mentioned “Islamic extremism”).  But after talking about terrorism and “taking action against immediate threats,” Obama transitioned to calling out America’s “failure” and “our own racial and ethnic tensions” in “the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri.”

Equating the burglary-turned-shooting death in Ferguson with ISIS killings and beheadings was a big mistake.

While humility and self-reflection are admirable leadership qualities, equating the burglary-turned-shooting death in Ferguson with ISIS killings and beheadings was a big mistake.

In the sentence right before President Obama’s Ferguson comment in front of 191 other countries, the president said, “In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri . . .”

Morally equating the events of Ferguson to Islamic terrorism and Russia’s annexation of Crimea gives foreign diplomats from Arab countries and Russia the excuse they need to dismiss America’s condemnation of their actions.

For anyone thinking that President Obama didn’t purposefully mean to equate the world’s problems with the events in Ferguson, two sentences later Obama blamed globalization for the public’s outrage in Ferguson:  “And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization…”

Overstating America’s issues doesn’t make us relatable; it makes others’ issues easily dismissable.

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Puerto Rico

More U.S. companies are reportedly eyeing inversions to get a cheaper tax bill overseas, and the controversial issue has been front and center this week on Capitol Hill, with lawmakers calling for a fix to the loophole. Now some are asking, if businesses may also have the option to skirt penalties under the Affordable Care Act, using U.S. territories as a safe haven.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services released 4.1 million Americans in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico from the individual mandate. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a weekly notice the law was undermining the stability of the insurance market in these places.

“The department is committed to working with states and the U.S. territories in order to implement the health care law in a way that maximizes coverage options for consumers. As such, we are providing additional flexibility to the territories in order to implement the law in a way that recognizes their unique situations,” Aaron Albright, spokesman for CMS, said in an email.”

Also, businesses in these areas will not be required to comply with the employer mandate portion of the law. This requires all businesses with at least 50 or more full-time employees to offer their workers coverage, or face a fine of $2,000 per worker per year (the first 30 full-time employees are exempt). This kicks in come 2015 for businesses with 100 or more full-time workers, and in 2016 for those businesses with between 50 and 99 full-time workers. The law was delayed in February after pushback from the business community.

Kevin Kuhlman, manager for legislative affairs at the National Federation of Independent Business, says the U.S. territories could potentially become more attractive to businesses, depending on their particular model. The mandate will be disruptive to businesses in local markets, he says, and anything that creates fewer barriers to entry is likely welcome.

“Hospitality and tourism businesses may have the most trouble complying with the burdensome employer mandate,” Kuhlman says. “Anyone looking to start a business in these arenas may look at locations where the employer mandate is not a barrier to growth.”

The NFIB does not have offices in the territories, and Kuhlman says he has not yet heard of companies seeking refuge in U.S. territories from the mandate, although he says it may not be well-known that this is an option.

“Too many employers are still continuing to digest this,” he says. “The employer mandate delays have pushed off their major concerns until it comes to fruition.”

One thing to keep in mind, says Timothy Jost, Robert L. Willett Family professor of law at the Washington and Lee University, is that businesses that opt to move to territories would only skirt the mandate for those locations. If a business were to have its headquarters in Puerto Rico, for example, but had operations in other states, the state-based businesses would still be subject to the penalty.

“An employer is not subject to the mandate for [those] it employs in the territories, but would be for employees it employees in the 50 states, regardless of where it is headquartered,” Jost says.

It could, as Kuhlman pointed out also, be attractive to those who have low-wage workers that don’t want to comply with the mandate.

“It could be a benefit, but it’s unclear if anyone has done this so far,” he says.

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 July 22

 


Government investigators were able to procure health plans and federal subsidies for fake applicants. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

In undercover tests of the new federal health insurance marketplace, government investigators have been able to procure health plans and federal subsidies for fake applicants with fictitious documents, according to findings that will be disclosed to lawmakers Wednesday.

The results of the inquiry by the Government Accountability Office are evidence of still-imperfect work by specialists intended to assist new insurance customers as well as government contractors hired to verify that coverage and subsidies are legitimate. The GAO also pointed to flaws that linger in the marketplace’s Web site, HealthCare.gov.

According to testimony to be delivered before a House Ways and Means subcommittee, undercover GAO investigators tried to obtain health plans for a dozen fictitious applicants online or by phone, using invalid or missing Social Security numbers or inaccurate citizenship information.

All but one of the fake applicants ended up getting subsidized coverage — and have kept it. In one instance, an application was denied but then approved on a second try. In six other attempts to sign up fake applicants via in-person assisters, just one assister accurately told an investigator that the applicant’s income was too high for a subsidy.

In their testimony, GAO officials plan to emphasize that the findings are preliminary and that they are continuing the investigation before reaching final conclusions, probably next year. The tests have been done in several states. Because the work is not finished, the GAO is not identifying the states.


California and Florida lead the way for state and federal healthcare sign-up markets.

House Republicans were eager for early information because the findings reinforce their contention that the Obama administration set up the health insurance marketplace in ways that leave it vulnerable to fraud and waste of taxpayer money. The allegation that HealthCare.gov does not properly verify the identity and eligibility of consumers has been one of several lines of attack that congressional Republicans have used in trying to discredit the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the way administration officials set it in motion.

The GAO investigation was requested before the marketplace opened in the fall, by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.); Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. (R-La.), chairman of the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee; and Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah).

Even before the GAO delivered the early findings, the lawmakers were seizing them as fresh ammunition. “We are seeing a trend with Obamacare information systems: under every rock, there is incompetence, waste and the potential for fraud,” Camp said in a statement. “Now, we learn that in many cases, the exchange is unable to screen out fake identities or documents.”

A spokesman for the federal agency that oversees the marketplace, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, noted that the procedures for ensuring that the applicants’ information is accurate remain a work in progress. “We . . . will work with GAO to identify additional strategies to strengthen our verification processes during this first year of the Affordable Care Act,” CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said.

The GAO’s account of fictitious applicants obtaining subsidized coverage goes beyond a related problem that surfaced this spring and that the investigators also cited: The government may be paying incorrect insurance subsidies to a significant share of the 5.4 million Americans who signed up for health plans for this year through the federal marketplace.

The GAO testimony contains updates on that problem, saying that, as of mid-July, about 2.6 million “inconsistencies” existed among applicants who had chosen a health plan and that 650,000 of them had been resolved.

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Last Friday, July 18, Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed into law anti-gun Assembly Bill 1964.  AB 1964 unnecessarily removes existing exemptions for all single-shot pistols, other than those with a break top or bolt-action, from California’s roster of “not unsafe” handguns.  It is unfortunate that this legislation was passed and Governor Brown signed such a law that does not address any legitimate public safety problems and conflicts with well-established constitutional principles.

Criminals are not purchasing single shot handguns from firearms dealers to commit their crimes.  Rather than target criminal behavior, AB 1964 will only impact law-abiding gun owners.  This new law effectively eliminates the only option for Californians to purchase numerous handguns that are commonly owned throughout the rest of the United States.  As the U.S. Supreme Court made clear, the Second Amendment protects firearms that are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.”  District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 624-625.  By improperly expanding California’s ban on common handguns, AB 1964 violates the Second Amendment and will add to the growing list of litigation the state is already facing.

Another point that AB 1964 only affects law-abiding gun owners is that it further reduces handguns available for purchase in California, which is already greatly reduced by the microstamping law taking effect in May of 2013.  As a result of the microstamping law, a large number of handguns were “delisted” and can no longer be sold by retailers in California.  And the state Department of Justice (DOJ) Newly Added Firearms list has been blank since May 2013, only on June 13 of THIS year were twenty-five new model handguns added to the list.  To view the list of newly added handguns click here.  To view more information on the microstamping fiasco, please click here.

The NRA understands the need to fight the criminal misuse of firearms, and supports policies that are truly aimed at improving public safety instead of measures like AB 1964 that will only impact law-abiding Americans.

Please call AND e-mail Governor Brown respectfully informing him of your disappointment on his lack of protection for law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen.  Governor Brown can be reached at 916-445-2841 and by e-mail at:  http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php.

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Published July 17, 2014

Three employees at a Lowe’s store on New York’s Staten Island stayed well past closing time last week to repair a Vietnam veteran’s wheelchair that he asked the Veterans Administration to replace two years ago.

“They said, ‘You’re not leaving till it’s like new again,'” Michael Sulsona, the double-amputee veteran, said. The wheelchair apparently broke down in the store.

Sulsona, 62, who said up to that point he heard nothing from the VA about a replacement chair, but felt uplifted by the workers at the store. He sent a letter to his local newspaper, The Staten Island Advance, to publicly thank the employees who stayed at the store well past 10 p.m. and didn’t charge him anything.

“I kept thanking them and all they could say was, ‘It was our honor,'” he wrote. “The actions of these three employees at Lowe’s showed me there are some who still believe in stepping to the plate. … Someone needed help and they felt privileged to be given the opportunity.”

“I kept thanking them and all they could say was, ‘It was out honor'”- Michael Sulsona

Sulsona, an ex-Marine, said he lost his legs in 1971 when he stepped on a landmine in Vietnam. After his letter to the newspaper, the VA got word of Sulsona and sent him a brand-new wheelchair Tuesday.

Sulsona’s new chair arrived in the wake of months of scandal in the VA’s health care unit over complaints nationwide of long wait times and poor patient care.

“We were very grateful that this was brought to our attention,” said VA spokesman Jim Blue with the VA New York/New Jersey Healthcare Network. “Too many veterans wait too long to receive their health care and benefits and this has never been acceptable.”

In a statement, Chris DiMaria, store manager at the Staten Island Lowe’s, said he couldn’t “be more proud of his team or company.”

Sulsona said he is enjoying his new wheelchair and likened it to getting a new car. But he criticized the red tape that held up his new chair.

“This whole story is based around three good guys,” Sulsona said. “I think it’s really important that we all be like these people who wanted to help me; things would be so much easier.”

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Published July 14, 2014

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This image shows a guided bullet’s path to its target (green) compared to the rifle’s aim point (red).DARPA

‘Smart’ bullets look set to join guided missiles in the military’s growing arsenal of high-tech weapons.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently conducted its first successful live-fire tests of 0.50-caliber bullets capable of “in-flight guidance.” This means that even if a sniper’s aim is off, the bullets can still reach their intended target.

Part of DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, the specially designed bullets are tracked and directed to their target by an optical guidance system. The system compensates for factors such as weather, wind and target movement, according to DARPA.

video posted on the DARPA website shows a round heading towards a rifle aim point, then maneuvering in mid-flight to hit its intended target.

Funded by DARPA, EXACTO is being developed by Thousand Oaks, California.-based Teledyne Scientific and Imaging. The program aims to revolutionize rifle accuracy.

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By Sarah Palin

The next time you hear politicians denounce Barack Obama as a lawless, imperial president with a scandal-riddled administration, ask them what they’re going to do about it. Their gnashing of teeth over Obama’s self-granted omnipotence is repetitive.

Let’s agree with our ninth president, William Henry Harrison, who said there is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive than the exercise of unlimited power. We understand the problem. The only way for politicians to fix it is with a little less talk and a lot more action.

The Constitution provides the remedy for a president who commits “high crimes and misdemeanors.” It’s impeachment.

The only thing necessary to transform America into something unrecognizable is for good men to do nothing!

To be clear, “high crimes and misdemeanors” are not necessarily ordinary criminal offenses. Our Framers used the term to signify a dereliction of duty, and the first duty of the president is to enforce our laws and preserve, protect, and defend our Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton described impeachable offenses as those “which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” He explained that they are “political” offenses “as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

No serious person who is paying attention can deny that Obama and his administration have abused and violated the public trust and disregarded the Constitution. Let me count the ways.

Without notifying Congress as required by law, he set free terrorist prisoners at a time of war when they can return to the battlefield to kill our troops.

In violation of our Constitution, he regularly ignores court orders, changes laws by executive fiat, and refuses to enforce laws he doesn’t like, including our immigration laws.

When Congress declined to pass amnesty for illegal immigrants’ offspring, he unilaterally enacted his own version of it, which created the current crisis on our border as illegal youth pour into our country to receive what he illegally promised them.

He committed fraud on the American people when he promised that if we liked our health care plan we could keep it.

He got us into a war in Libya without Congressional approval. When our ambassador begged for security at the consulate in Benghazi, he was ignored and then murdered when the consulate was attacked as predicted. Americans were left behind to die, as the president did nothing to rescue our people there. Afterwards, he helped spread the lie that a spontaneous protest over a YouTube video was to blame for this highly organized, premeditated terrorist attack.

Obama’s IRS targeted his political opponents for harassment. Then the agency lied to and stonewalled Congress and likely destroyed subpoenaed evidence, while Obama falsely declared there’s no corruption there, not even a smidgen.

From the VA scandal to his unconstitutional recess appointments, to his DOJ wiretapping reporters and giving guns to Mexican drug cartels, to violating religious freedom exercised by businesses and ignoring in-house illegal fundraising, the list of abuse goes on and on.

Barack Obama’s administration is proving itself a festering boil of scandal. The Constitution is rock solid in holding the president responsible for the executive branch. He can’t just vote “present” while shrugging and feigning ignorance about all these abuses of the public trust, any more than a mob boss can claim innocence because he didn’t personally do the hit. The buck stops with the guy at the top.

Impeachment is the ultimate check on an out-of-control executive branch. It is serious, not to be used for petty partisan purposes; and it is imperative that it becomes a matter of legitimate discussion before the American people lose all trust in our federal government.

Impeachment requires moral courage to advance what is right, and it requires political will. A complacent or disheartened electorate may silently endure these abuses from the administration, the permanent political class is only too happy to maintain the status quo, and the mainstream media is not a fair watchdog. So, the nation’s last line of defense is for We the People to rise up and say, “enough is enough.”

Obama’s lawless encouragement of illegal immigration should be the tipping point for that political will because it impacts all Americans – native-born and legal immigrants of all backgrounds who followed the rules and now watch rewards go to rule breakers while they’re forced to compete for limited jobs and resources. It’s the tipping point because the forgotten working class is hurt most by this lawlessness; and these good Americans deserve the strongest, most effective tool to defend the livelihoods they’ve so honorably built!

Some are arguing for cautious inaction and dismiss even a discussion of impeachment. With Obama’s poll numbers in the tank and his liberal policies exposed as failures, why rock the boat? But that argument misses the point.

The president is radically changing the way the executive branch does business. He is setting a dangerous precedent that will fundamentally change us. With his “pen and phone,” he’s abrogating Congressional authority in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers. He’s making himself a ruler, not a president. We had a revolution back in 1776 because we don’t like kings.

Some argue we should wait for midterm elections and hope a big victory by Republicans in both Houses of Congress will rein in Obama.

Been there, done that in 2010. If Congress refuses to use the power the Constitution gives it, Barack Obama will continue to rule however he wants.

Some argue that at best the House might vote for articles of impeachment, but the Senate is unlikely to convict. But that is no argument against holding a president accountable and sending the people’s message to all successors.

Obama can keep laughing and say, “so sue me” to the House’s tepid lawsuit threat. Let’s hear him laugh off impeachment. At the very least, despite his mocking the Constitution, this Constitutional process will put him on notice.

The only thing necessary to transform America into something unrecognizable is for good men to do nothing! If not these violations and the president’s promise to continue to “go it alone” in ignoring the separation of powers and rule of law, what will it take for you to take a stand? How bad does it have to get?

We live in an America where the NSA spies on our communications, the IRS targets us because of our political beliefs, the border is overrun by foreign nationals, terrorist leaders are released to the battlefield, our health care is taken from us and we’re forced to buy a plan we don’t want and can’t afford, Catholic nuns are targeted by the government simply because they adhere to their Catholic faith, the Justice Department arms Mexican drug lords, and the president keeps a “kill list” of people he’s authorized to be executed on sight.

If you’re comfortable with all that, then by all means sit back and hope for the best. Those concerned about America want change. That comes with healing the injuries done to society by an unchecked president; that starts with impeachment.

 

Sarah Palin first made history on December 4, 2006, when she was sworn in as the first female and youngest governor of Alaska. In August 2008, Senator John McCain tapped Palin to serve as his vice-presidential running mate in his presidential campaign, making her the first woman to run on the Republican Party’s presidential ticket. She is a contributor for Fox News where she offers her political commentary and analysis across all Fox News platforms.

 

Posted on June 20, 2014

Gun control activists have recently renewed their efforts to gain ground on Capitol Hill.  As we reported this week, they continue to exploit high-profile national tragedies in an attempt to push their anti-gun agenda. They use grieving victims to falsely claim that enacting their “reforms” would have prevented these tragedies.  Anti-gun groups sponsored by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are trying to convince Congress to enact their proposals.  And as we saw this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wants to help them do just that.

As reported this week by the Washington Examiner, Reid said Tuesday that he may call for a vote on so-called “universal” background check legislation.  The article noted that Reid said he had no expectation the legislation would pass, but the vote would help highlight the differences between the two parties when it comes to gun control.

“We need some more votes,” Reid said. “But it may be good to bring this up just to send the American people another message about how 85 percent of the American people can agree on one thing, but it doesn’t mean a thing to the Republicans here.”

As you know, in April 2013, the U.S. Senate, on a bipartisan vote, soundly rejected gun control attempts pushed by Sen. Reid, President Obama and a host of anti-gun legislators in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

The current push by the anti-gunners is all the more disingenuous in light of the fact that some anti-gun activists themselves have acknowledged that their proposed “solutions” won’t work.  This week, Mark Glaze, the former executive director of Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, admitted that “nothing we have to offer” would prevent mass shootings.

The bottom line is this:  The anti-Second Amendment agenda being financed and pushed by Bloomberg and his anti-gun supporters restricts the rights of lawful gun owners and does nothing to stop violent crime.  It’s clear that their agenda is not to make our communities safer, but simply to eliminate our Second Amendment freedoms.  If they were truly concerned with saving lives, they would work to address our broken mental health system and ensure that violent criminals are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Michael Bloomberg and Harry Reid are not telling the truth to the American people.  Your U.S. Representative and Senators need to hear from your today.  Tell them you won’t stand for more ineffective bans on firearms; so-called “universal” background check systems; or any other gun control scheme that restricts the rights of law-abiding Americans.  Let them know they should focus on fixing our broken mental health system and prosecuting violent criminals.  Bloomberg thinks he can buy the American people and the U.S. Congress.  While he may have billions of dollars, he doesn’t have you.  Please contact your Senators and Representative today and tell them to stand up to Bloomberg’s lies!

You can contact your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative by using the “Write Your Lawmakers” tool at www.NRAILA.org.  You may also contact your Senators by phone at (202) 224-3121, and your Representative by phone at (202) 225-3121.

 

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By Dr. John R. Lott Jr.

June 16, 2014

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President Obama just can’t seem to help himself. Over and over again, he makes exaggerated or false claims about guns and crime.

Last year Obama kept asserting the bogus numbers such as “40 percent of all gun purchases take place without a background check.”  Besides the study being based on a tiny survey it was started before the Federal background check law went into effect.  Moreover, the 40 percent figure referred to all transfers, not just sales, and the vast majority of transfers took place within families through gifts and inheritances. Then, for good measure, Obama added an extra 4 percentage points to increase the number from 36 to 40 percent.

If Obama had a stronger case for gun control, he wouldn’t have to make up so many facts and distort others.

Unfortunately, this past Tuesday Obama was at it again. He lamented:

“My biggest frustration has been that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.  We are the only developed country on earth where this happens.” 

Does Obama not consider Norway a developed country? After all, Anders Breivik shot 69 people to death and wounded 110 others.  That attack holds the record for a single-person shooting spree.

Is Germany a developed country?  While the president focused on school shootings, he never acknowledged that two of the three worst K-12 school shootings have occurred in Germany since 2000, not in the United States.  These were:

— Erfurt, Germany on April 26, 2002: a former student killed 18 at a secondary school.

— Winnenden, Germany, March 11, 2009: a 17-year-old former student killed 15 people, including nine students and three teachers.

A partial list of mass shootings in Europe from 2000 to early 2010 is available here.

Obama also claimed: “The idea, for example, that we couldn’t even get a background check bill in to make sure that if you are going to buy a weapon you have to go through a fairly rigorous process so that we know who you are so that you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semi-automatic weapon makes no sense.” 

Obama ought to try purchasing a gun himself.  He will realize it is not as easy as he thinks to buy a gun.  No store in the entire United States can legally sell a semi-automatic gun without conducting a background check.  Indeed, That has been the federal law for two decades now, since 1994.

“The combination of the NRA and gun manufactures are very well financed and have the capacity to move votes in local elections and congressional elections and so if you are running for election right now that’s where you feel the heat.” 

Gun control advocates have plenty of money to get their message across. Thus last year, gun control advocates outspent their opponents by a ratio of 7.4 to 1 on television advertisements.

This year is shaping up to be just as lopsided.  While the NRA spends about $20 million annually on political activities, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending about $50 million per year. And Gabreille Gifford’s anti-gun organization is putting up another $20 million. Still others are putting in tens of millions more dollars. On top of that gun control advocates have a very sympathetic media that gets their points across.

“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on earth that would put up with this.” 

The U.S. doesn’t have the most gun murders among developed countries.

In any case, the total number of murders is the more important comparison and the U.S. murder rate is less than the average murder rate for the world.  Nor is it close to having the highest murder rate among developed countries.

“…but that we are going to put some commonsense rules in place that make a dent, at least, in what’s happening — until that is not just the majority of you — because that’s already the majority of you, even the majority of gun owners believe that.” 

The surveys that Obama references by Michael Bloomberg are misleading.  Asking if people support background checks on the “sale” of guns is not the same as asking them if they support background checks on transferring guns within families or the actual bills being put before congress.  Clear majorities of Americans were actually happy that the gun control bill that Obama backed last year was defeated.

“Australia just said, well that is it, we aren’t seeing that again and basically imposed very strict, tough gun laws and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.”

Pointing to one single country doesn’t prove very much.  For example, I could point to neighboring New Zealand, another isolated island nation that is demographically and economically similar, that appears to prove the exact opposite. From 1980 to 1996, New Zealand actually had a slightly higher mass murder rate (0.0050 incidents per 100,000 people versus Australia’s 0.0042).

But while Obama points to Australia not have mass shootings since its gun regulations in 1997, New Zealand, which has remained a heavily armed country, has also not had any more mass shootings.

What needs to be done is a systematic study of many different areas to see whether changes in gun laws cause statistically significant differences in mass shootings.  And that type of study is exactly what Bill Landes and I did for all the mass shootings in the US from 1977 to 1999, and we found clear evidence that the only type of gun law that made people safer was one that increased gun ownership.

If Obama had a stronger case for gun control, he wouldn’t have to make up so many facts and distort others.  But with policies such as background checks, which would have done nothing to stop any of the attacks, Obama has little choice but to make things up.  However, getting policies right requires accurate facts.

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The definition of the word conundrum is “something that is puzzling or confusing.”

 

Here are six conundrums of socialism in the United States of America:

1. America is capitalist and greedy – yet half of the population is subsidized.

2. Half of the population is subsidized – yet they think they are victims.

3. They think they are victims – yet their representatives run the government.

4. Their representatives run the government – yet the poor keep getting poorer.

5. The poor keep getting poorer – yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.

6. They have things that people in other countries only dream about – yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

 

Think about it! That, my friends, pretty much sums up the USA in the 21st century.

Makes you wonder who is doing the math?

 

These three, short sentences tell you a lot about the direction of our current government and cultural environment:

1. We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics.

Funny how that works!

 

And here’s another one worth considering . . .

2. Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. How come we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money? What’s interesting is the first group “worked for” their money, but the second didn’t. Think about it . . .

 

and, last but not least,

3. Why are we cutting benefits for our veterans, no pay raises for our military and cutting our army to a level lower than before WWII, but we are not stopping the payments or benefits to illegal aliens.

 

Am I the only one missing something here?

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May 21, 2014: Attorney General Eric Holder pauses during a meeting at the Justice Department in Washington.AP

The Obama administration, after failing to get gun control passed on Capitol Hill, has resorted to using its executive power to try to put some in the firearms industry out of business, House Republican investigators say.

The assertion is included in a report recently released by California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Citing internal Justice Department documents, the committee concluded that the administration used a program known as Operation Choke Point to target legal companies that it finds “objectionable.”

The program was started in 2013 to protect consumers by “choking” alleged fraudsters’ access to the banking system. The Justice Department essentially forces banks and third-party payment processors to stop accepting payments from companies that are considered “high risk” and are supposedly violating federal law.

However, the documents released by Issa’s committee show the federal government lumped the firearms industry in with other “high-risk” businesses including those dealing with pornography, drug paraphernalia, escort services, racist materials, Ponzi schemes and online gambling.

The committee also reported that Attorney General Eric Holder was informed the program has been shutting down legal businesses.

“We have documented that they are going after gun and ammunitions manufacturers, gun sellers and non-deposit lenders. Their own memos show they are well beyond enforcing the law,” Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., said Friday.

Luetkemeyer sponsored an amendment, which the House passed ​​Thursday night,​ which prohibits federal funds in the next fiscal year from being used to carry out Operation Choke Point. The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act amendment passed by voice vote.

“There is an orchestrated effort by [the Justice Department] and [the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] to do away with entire industries instead of going after the bad actors. This is wrong,” said Luetkemeyer, a former bank regulator, who currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee.

He said the goal is to stop the Justice Department by establishing “safe harbors for legal entities to do business.”

The congressman also said that if the amendment doesn’t fix the problem, he will introduce legislation to do it.

Justice Department spokesman Emily Pierce said Friday that all the assertions by the House committee are “false.” She said in an email that the documents Issa released actually “make clear that we are targeting fraudulent and illegal behavior.”

Pierce also said the department will continue to hold “accountable” the financial institutions that process fraudulent transactions.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for firearms and ammunitions manufacturers, said that several of its members have had banking relationships wrongfully terminated as a result of Operation Choke Point.

​The group argues the federal government is discriminating against businesses “simply because they are engaged in the lawful commerce of firearms.”

Andrew Arulanandam, National Rifle Association spokesman, said Saturday that the group is working with members of Congress and affected parties to get answers about the program.

“The efforts of the Obama administration to impose its vision of a ‘fundamentally transformed’ America have already fallen hard on those who value the Second Amendment,” he said. “Some fear this could be yet another example of [the president’s] ‘phone and pen’ style of imperial governance.”

 

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Posted on May 9, 2014

The NRA has always supported laws prohibiting violent felons and certain other categories of potentially dangerous persons from possessing guns, and it’s a position we’re confident is shared by the vast majority of gun owners nationwide.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said, “I think that we’ve got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime.”

Clinton also said that when it comes to guns, “I think again we’re way out of balance, and I don’t believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people.” As if quoting from the playbook of 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama, she added, “I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns.”

For the record, gun ownership “supporter” Clinton has previously supported banning “assault weapons,” supported gun owner licensing and gun registration, opposed legislation prohibiting the confiscation of firearms during emergencies, and opposed legislation prohibiting lawsuits seeking to hold the firearm industry financially liable for harm caused by criminals who use guns.

Furthermore, Clinton is a supporter of the Center for American Progress (CAP), founded by her anti-gun husband’s White House Chief of Staff and funded in part by anti-gun billionaire George Soros and the anti-gun Joyce Foundation. CAP, which also has very close ties to the Obama White House, advocates background checks on all firearm transfers and a ban on “assault weapons” and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. It alsoopposes Right-to-Carry and Stand Your Ground laws, and it boasts that “progress on stronger gun laws is within reach” because “Democrats and progressives are re-engaged.” Needless to say, CAP doesn’t speak for all Democrats on the issue, but Clinton is obviously not being shy about attaching gun control to her own political brand.

If contemplating a run for the White House, Mrs. Clinton would do well to note that the agenda she has advocated over the last 20 years has been rejected by Congress and most of the states.  The ownership of the kinds of guns that she most opposes has soared, as has the number of states with Right-to-Carry and strong self-defense laws, while the nation’s murder rate has decreased to nearly an all-time low.

Should she decide to run for president, and if she refuses to acknowledge the basic realities of the gun control debate, Hillary Clinton will certainly be reminded of them by the NRA.

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