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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

FDA: Morning-after pill to move over-the-counter

morning after pill.jpg
             Plan B One-Step. (AP)

The government is moving the morning-after pill over the counter but only those 15 and older can buy it -- an attempt to find middle ground just days before a court-imposed deadline to lift all age restrictions on the emergency contraceptive.
Today, Plan B One-Step is sold behind pharmacy counters, and buyers must prove they're 17 or older to buy it without a prescription. Tuesday's decision by the Food and Drug Administration lowers the age limit and will allow the pill to sit on drugstore shelves next to spermicides or other women's health products and condoms -- but anyone who wants to buy it must prove their age at the cash register.
Some contraceptive advocates called the move promising.
"This decision is a step in the right direction for increased access to a product that is a safe and effective method of preventing unintended pregnancies," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. "It's also a decision that moves us closer to these critical availability decisions being based on science, not politics."
But earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York blasted the Obama administration for imposing the age-17 limit, saying it had let election-year politics trump science and was making it hard for women of any age to obtain the emergency contraception in time. He ordered an end to the age restrictions by Monday.
The women's group that sued over the age limits said Tuesday's action is not enough, and it will continue the court fight.
Lowering the age limit "may reduce delays for some young women but it does nothing to address the significant barriers that far too many women of all ages will still find if they arrive at the drugstore without identification," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The FDA said the Plan B One-Step will be packaged with a product code that prompts the cashier to verify a customer's age. Anyone who can't provide such proof as a driver's license, birth certificate or passport wouldn't be allowed to complete the purchase.
"These are daunting and sometimes insurmountable hoops women are forced to jump through in time-sensitive circumstances, and we will continue our battle in court to remove these arbitrary restrictions on emergency contraception for all women," Northup said.
Half the nation's pregnancies every year are unintended, and doctors' groups say more access to morning-after pills could cut those numbers. The pills contain higher doses of regular contraceptives, and if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent.
The FDA had been poised to lift all age limits and let Plan B sell over-the-counter in late 2011, when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in an unprecedented move, overruled her own scientists. Sebelius said some girls as young as 11 are physically capable of bearing children, but shouldn't be able to buy the pregnancy-preventing pill on their own.
President Barack Obama supported Sebelius' move and a spokesman said earlier this month that the president's position hadn't changed.
The FDA said Tuesday's decision was independent of the court case. Instead, after the Obama administration's 2011 action, Plan B maker Teva Women's Health had filed a new application with the age-15 compromise.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/30/fda-morning-after-pill-to-move-over-counter/#ixzz2RzWoUvr3

 

Immigration Reform's Impact on US Security

Immigration Reform News and Impact on US Homeland Security April 29, 2013
 
Right Side News reports on comprehensive immigration reform legislation being offered by the gang of 8 from the Federation for American Immigration Reform:
  • Gang of Eight Breaks Promise on Back Taxes
  • Gang of Eight Breaks Promise to Bar Criminals from Receiving Amnesty
  • Gang Members Eligible for Gang of Eight Amnesty
  • Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill Allows Illegal Aliens to File Class Action Lawsuits against the United States
  • Gang of Eight Breaks Promise Regarding English
  • Taxpayers to Foot Bill for Illegal Alien Attorneys under G8 Plan
  • Federal Court Finds Napolitano and Morton DACA Directive Illegal
  • Napolitano Proclaims S. 744 Secures the Southern Border
  • House Bill Grants Amnesty to Illegal Aliens Working in Agriculture
  • Governor Deal Signs Bill Strengthening Georgia's Immigration-Enforcement Law
130322 gang of eight ap 328-600x328

Gang of Eight Breaks Promise on Back Taxes

A close analysis of the Gang of Eight's amnesty bill (S.744) shows that illegal aliens will in fact not be required to pay back taxes in order to receive legal status, which the bill calls "registered provisional immigrant" (RPI) status.
This conclusion turns on one word used in the text of the bill: "assessed." Under S.744, an alien may not even file an application for RPI status "unless the applicant has satisfied any applicable Federal tax liability." (Sec. 2101, p.68-69) "Applicable federal tax liability" is defined as "all Federal income taxes assessed." (Id.)
While this sounds good at first blush, one must look closer at the exact words used. First, "taxes assessed" does not mean "taxes owed." A tax is "assessed" when the IRS officially records that a person owes a tax. (See, e.g., Warren, Gorham & Lamont Treatise on Tax Controversies, § 3.01; Warren, Gorham & Lamont Treatise on Tax Procedures, § 10.01) A tax assessment can happen in two ways. One, an individual files a tax return, tells the IRS what he owes, and, after correcting any mathematical errors, the IRS records it. (See 26 U.S.C. §6201) Two, the IRS audits an individual — whether or not he has filed a return — and, after giving the taxpayer an opportunity to contest, records how much the person owes. (See 26 U.S.C. §6212)
This leads to two possible scenarios in which the "back taxes" of an illegal alien will have been "assessed." In the first scenario, the illegal alien has filed a tax return and the IRS has "assessed" any unpaid portion of the reported tax. This will be a rare scenario since an illegal alien is unlikely to file a return reporting taxes that he is unable or unwilling to pay, for fear of causing trouble with the federal government. In the second scenario, the illegal alien is working off the books, has not filed a return, and has been audited by the IRS. This will also be a very rare scenario since the IRS has no knowledge of the alien's existence. In short, despite the promises of the authors, the Gang of Eight has drafted a tax provision that will almost never require illegal aliens to pay "back taxes" as a condition of receiving amnesty.
Other language in the bill supports this conclusion. For example, there is no requirement that the alien present himself to the IRS for a tax assessment before or during the application process. Nor is there any requirement that an alien submit specific information (employment history, wages, etc.) that would indicate that taxes are owed. And even if S.744 required illegal aliens to submit such information to DHS when they apply for amnesty, there is no requirement that DHS share it with the IRS in order to allow an assessment.
Not only does the Gang of Eight bill utterly fail to make illegal aliens pay federal back taxes as a condition of getting amnesty, there is no requirement that illegal aliens pay state or local back taxes either. Finally, the Gang of Eight gives employers their own amnesty by failing to require that they too pay back taxes for any illegal aliens they employed over the years. In fact, the Gang of Eight amnesty bill provides that any documents provided by an employer to enable an illegal alien to apply for amnesty may not be used against him in a civil or criminal prosecution for hiring that illegal alien. (Sec. 2104, p.120).

Gang of Eight Breaks Promise to Bar Criminals from Receiving Amnesty

A close analysis of the Senate Gang of Eight's Amnesty bill (S.744) shows that its authors have broken their promise to bar criminals from receiving amnesty, called "registered provisional immigrant" status (RPI status).
At first, S.744 appears to prohibit most criminals from receiving amnesty under the bill. The bill provides that an illegal alien is ineligible for RPI status if he/she:
  • Has a conviction for a felony;
  • Has a conviction for an aggravated felony, as defined under 101(a)(43);
  • Has a conviction for 3 or more misdemeanors (other than minor traffic offenses) if the alien was convicted on different dates for each of the offenses (Sec. 2102(b)(3)(B)(i));
  • Has a conviction for any offense under foreign law that if committed in the U.S. would render the alien inadmissible or removable under the INA
  • Has a conviction for unlawful voting under INA 237(a)(6); and
  • Is reasonably believed to be engaged in, or likely to engage in, terrorist activity (Sec. 2102(b)(3)(A)(iii)
(Sec. 2101, INA 245B(b)(3), p.61-66)
However, when one looks at the details, one sees that these bars do not apply a wide range of criminal conduct. First, the language provides that aliens with certain "convictions" are ineligible for RPI status. This means that anyone charged with the offense and released on bond is still eligible. It also means that juvenile aliens who committed egregious offenses will not be barred from eligibility, as they are technically "adjudicated delinquent" not "convicted" of a crime. Finally, barring aliens with convictions for certain crimes ignores the fact that many individuals will "plea down" their offenses in order to turn a felony conviction into a misdemeanor conviction or a misdemeanor conviction into a misdemeanor conviction with a lesser penalty.
Next, the bill contains a glaring loophole: it allows DHS to waive misdemeanor convictions for the purposes of determining eligibility for amnesty. Indeed S.744 allows DHS to waive multiple misdemeanor convictions.(Sec. 2101, p.65) And while most people's knowledge of misdemeanor offenses relates to traffic violations, misdemeanors span a wide range of activity.

In Florida, for example, misdemeanor crimes include:
  • Assault, Fla. Stat. § 784.011;
  • Assault on law enforcement officers, Fla. Stat. §784.07;
  • Battery, Fla. Stat. § 784.03;
  • Stalking, Fla. Stat. § 784.048;
  • Human smuggling, Fla. Stat. § 787.07;
  • Unlawful carrying of a chemical weapon or other deadly weapon (non-firearm), Fla. Stat. § 790.01;
  • Unlawful placing or discharging of a bomb that results in any bodily harm, Fla. Stat. 790.1615;
  • Unnatural and Lascivious Act, Fla. Stat. §800.02; and
  • Exposure of Sexual Organs; Fla. Stat. § 800.03.
Similarly, In Texas, misdemeanor crimes include:
  • Public Lewdness, Texas Penal Code § 21.07;
  • Indecent Exposure, Texas Penal Code § 21.08;
  • Terroristic Threats, Texas Penal Code § 22.07;
  • Burglary of Vehicles, Texas Penal Code § 30.04;
  • Deadly Conduct, Texas Penal Code § 22.05;
  • Assault, Texas Penal Code § 22.01;
  • Soliciting Membership in a Criminal Street Gang, Texas Penal Code, § 71.022;
  • Soliciting Prostitution, Texas Penal Code § 43.02;
  • Unlawful Carrying of Weapons, Texas Penal Code § 46.02; and
  • Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, Texas Penal Code § 71.02.
In New York, misdemeanor crimes include:
  • Assault, New York Penal Law § 120.00;
  • Stalking, New York Penal Law § 120.45;
  • Forcible touching, New York Penal Law § 130.52;
  • Sexual abuse in the second degree, New York Penal Law § 130.60;
  • Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, New York Penal Law § 135.05;
  • Endangering the welfare of a child, New York Penal Law § 260.10;
  • Insurance fraud in the fifth degree, New York Penal Law § 176.10;
  • Health care fraud in the fifth degree, New York Penal Law § 177.05;
  • Welfare fraud in the fifth degree, New York Penal Law § 158.05; and
  • Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree, New York Penal Law § 220.70
S.744 also authorizes DHS to waive a broad array of criminal behavior for the purpose of determining admissibility, including convictions for:
  • Gang-related crimes (INA 212(a)(2)(F))(added to the INA by §3701)
  • Three or more drunk driving offenses (INA 212(a)(2)(J))(added to the INA by § 3702)
  • Domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, and violation of protective orders (INA 212(a)(2)(K))(added to the INA by §3711)
Also for the purpose of determining admissibility, S.744 allows DHS to waive the following conduct, which does not require a conviction in order to make an alien inadmissible:
  • Committing crimes or of moral turpitude (INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I));
  • Violating federal or state drug laws (INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II));
  • Trafficking in passports (INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(III))(added to the INA by §3709);
  • Providing fraudulent immigration services (INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(III))(added to the INA by §3709);
  • Trafficking immigration documents, including document fraud (INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(III))(added to the INA by §3709);
  • Prostitution (INA 212(a)(2)(D)(i));
  • Gang membership (INA 212(a)(2)(F))(added to the INA by §3701);
  • Misrepresenting a material fact to procure visas or other immigration benefits (if done for any purpose other than submitting an amnesty application) (INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i));
  • Violating student visas (INA 212(a)(6)(G));
  • Falsely claiming citizenship (INA 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)); and
  • Illegally re-entering the U.S. after deportation (a felony)(INA 212(a)(9)(C).
hen the Senate Gang of Eight unveiled S.744 at a press conference April 18th, they made repeated promises that illegal aliens applying for amnesty would have to undergo a criminal background check. While that may be true, a background check is only meaningful if aliens who committed serious crimes are actually barred from receiving amnesty and being placed on that pathway to citizenship. The specific text of the S.744, combined with its numerous waiver provisions, demonstrate that criminal illegal aliens will indeed be eligible for amnesty under the Gang of Eight plan.

Gang Members Eligible for Gang of Eight Amnesty

At first glance, the Gang of Eight's amnesty bill appears to crack down on members of criminal street gangs. In fact, the bill adds aliens who are members of "criminal street gangs" to the list of those who are inadmissible and deportable under current law, and even contains a provision that explicitly excludes convicted gang members from gaining amnesty under the bill. (see Sec. 3701, p. 604-608)
However, upon more careful examination of the gang provisions in the bill, it becomes apparent they are nothing more than a mere attempt to appear tough. Rather, the provisions are so narrow that they will fail to keep out the vast majority of illegal aliens belonging to a gang, even allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive the newly-created gang membership grounds for ineligibility.
Specifically, the bill bars gang members from receiving amnesty ("registered provisional immigrant" (RPI) status) under two different sets of circumstances. The first pertains to aliens who are 18 and older who:
  • Have been convicted of a gang-related offense under 18 U.S.C. 521(a);
  • Have knowledge the gang's members engaged in a series of offenses under 18 U.S.C. 521(c); and
  • Acted with the intention to promote or further the felonious activities of the gang or maintain or increase his or her position in the gang. (p. 607)
Delving deeper, it becomes apparent that the vast majority of illegal alien gang members will not be prohibited from obtaining amnesty under this provision. First, the provision limits gang activity to that which is committed after the alien turned 18, giving illegal aliens a free pass on any gang offenses committed under the age of majority. Next, the provision only excludes alien gang members with convictions, allowing those who have been charged or arrested, but never actually convicted, of gang activity the ability to apply. Third, the definition of offenses under Title 18 only includes felonies, leaving those who have been convicted of any misdemeanor offenses as a gang member (even those who were pled down from a felony) to apply for amnesty. Finally, the provision includes an intent requirement, allowing illegal aliens a loophole to argue they unknowingly or unwillingly participated in the gang activity, and thus should be eligible for amnesty.
As such, the above criteria is so narrow that it will only prevent a fraction of illegal alien gang members from being excluded from receiving RPI status. Unfortunately, the second set of circumstances laid out under the bill for finding illegal alien gang members ineligible for amnesty is no better. The second category is aimed at those who may not have felony convictions related to their gang membership, but for whom the Secretary of DHS is given special knowledge as to their gang activity. Specifically, the second group of aliens includes those whom:
The DHS Secretary determines by clear and convincing evidence, based on law enforcement information, that since the alien turned 18 years of age he or she has knowingly and willingly participated in a gang with the knowledge that such participation promoted or furthered the gang's illegal activity. (p. 607-608)
As with the first group, there are several reasons as to why this provision also won't catch the majority of illegal alien gang members. Again, the provision excludes any gang related-offenses or activity committed by the illegal alien before the age of majority, only taking into consideration gang affiliation after the age of eighteen despite the fact the majority of gang members become involved as minors. Next, the DHS Secretary must determine by "clear and convincing" evidence based on law enforcement information that the alien is a gang member. A step below the highest level of proof in the judicial system, requiring clear and convincing evidence raises the burden law enforcement officers must show DHS to protect the public from illegal alien gang members. Finally, the provision includes yet another intent requirement, again allowing illegal aliens a loophole to argue their way into an amnesty.
Perhaps most troubling is that even if the DHS Secretary were to find an illegal alien to be a member of a criminal street gang, the Gang of Eight grants the Secretary the ability to waive the gang member grounds for ineligibility. The waiver provision provides that so long as the alien renounces their gang association and are otherwise not a security threat, the DHS Secretary can waive that ground of ineligibility. (p. 608) Certainly illegal aliens, including members of the most nefarious drug cartels, will be all too happy to claim they've renounced their gang membership in order to gain legal entry to the United States to continue to engage in their criminal behavior.
The gang membership waiver of course is just one of hundreds of waivers granted to the DHS Secretary under the Gang of Eight amnesty bill to ensure no illegal alien is left behind, even those who have come to our country to do us nothing but harm.

Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill Allows Illegal Aliens to File Class Action Lawsuits against the United States

The Senate Gang of Eight amnesty bill (S.744) authorizes illegal aliens to sue file lawsuits – including class action lawsuits – against the United States in order to force the government to give them amnesty. (Sec. 2104, INA 245E(c), p. 120-129) The authorization of class action lawsuits is only one of many provisions in the bill that gives illegal aliens the right to legally challenge any denial of amnesty, called "registered provisional immigrant" status (RPI status) or green cards offered under the bill.
First, S.744 allows illegal aliens to administratively challenge any decision that denies or revokes their RPI status. (Sec. 2104(a), p.120-123) The bill requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide illegal aliens with the ability to administratively appeal the denial or revocation of RPI status, regardless of whether the grounds for denial involved national security, a criminal background, or any other disqualifying information. The alien must file his appeal within 90 days after the denial or revocation, unless "the delay is reasonably justifiable." During review, an administrative court may consider any "new evidence" discovered from the date of application.
Remarkably, the bill even encourages illegal aliens to challenge a denial or revocation, by prohibiting the DHS from removing an illegal alien – for any reason – during administrative review until a "final decision" establishing ineligibility has been made. (Id. at 122) The bill also protects the illegal alien by providing that his/her presence in the U.S. during the appeals process may not count towards the period of unlawful presence that triggers the 3 and 10-year bars for admission. (Id. at 123)
Not only does the Gang of Eight bill allow illegal aliens to administratively review a denial or revocation of RPI status, it authorizes illegal aliens to avail themselves of the U.S. court system to demand it. (Sec.2104(b), p.124-127) If an illegal alien is unable to convince an immigration judge to administratively overturn a denial or revocation of RPI status, S.744 authorizes illegal aliens to appeal the adverse decision in federal court. The only limitation on such appeals is that an illegal alien must first exhaust all administrative remedies before filing in federal court. (Id.)
As with administrative review, the Gang of Eight bill protects illegal aliens through the judicial review process. S.744 provides that while a federal court reviews an illegal alien's case:
  • The alien's unlawful presence shall not count towards the 3 and 10-year bars;
  • The alien's presence shall not count towards the time allotted for voluntary departure; and
  • The court shall have discretion to stay the execution of any removal order. (Id. at 125)
An illegal alien's opportunity to challenge an adverse decision does not end there, however. If a federal district court rejects an illegal alien's appeal and DHS subsequently orders the alien deported, an alien may appeal the district court's decision, in conjunction review of his removal order, in a federal circuit court of appeals. (Id. at 125) At any point along the way, a court may remand the case to DHS for consideration of additional evidence if the court finds that:
  • The additional evidence is material, and
  • There were reasonable grounds for failure to adduce the additional evidence before the Secretary. (Id. at 126)
Not only may illegal aliens sue the government in order to reverse a specific decision in their own cases, S.744 authorizes illegal aliens to sue the U.S. government in federal court, either individually or in a class action lawsuit to challenge any provision of S.744, the relevant regulations, any DHS policy issued pursuant thereto, or any pattern or practice of DHS that emerges in the process. (Id. at 126-128) In such lawsuits, S.744 authorizes the federal courts to order any appropriate relief without regard to exhaustion of administrative remedies. (Id. at 126) In addition, S.744 authorizes courts to put judicial proceedings on hold to permit DHS to evaluate an allegation of an unwritten policy or practice or to take corrective action. (Id. at 129).
The provisions in S.744 that give illegal aliens endless opportunities to sue the government for amnesty will undoubtedly lead to years of litigation in the taxpayer-funded U.S. court system, clogging up court dockets for years to come. This was also the outcome of the 1986 amnesty, when tens of thousands of illegal aliens sued the government in class action lawsuits, demanding legal status under that law. Some of these lawsuits lasted decades and forced the government to give illegal aliens amnesty more than twenty years after passage of the legislation. (See, e.g., Los Angeles Times, Dec. 15, 2008)

Gang of Eight Breaks Promise Regarding English

A close analysis of the Gang of Eight's amnesty bill (S.744) shows that despite promises by Senators in the Gang of Eight, illegal aliens will in fact not be required to learn English at any time during the amnesty process.
First, illegal aliens are not required to learn English when they apply for amnesty, called "registered provisional immigrant" status (RPI status). The eligibility requirements are relatively straightforward. To be eligible for RPI status, an alien must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the alien:
  • Is physically present in the U.S. on the date of application;
  • Has been physically present in the U.S. on or before 12/31/11, except for "brief, casual, and innocent" absences; and
  • Has maintained continuous physical presence (except absences up to 180 days) in the U.S. from Dec. 31, 2011 until receiving RPI status. (Sec. 2101, INA245B(b), p.60-68)
Nowhere in S.744 is there a requirement that illegal aliens learn English in order to get amnesty.
Moreover, S.744 does not require that illegal aliens learn English to renew their RPI status (which lasts for six years and is renewable indefinitely). To renew RPI status, an alien must simply establish that he/she:
  • Remains eligible for RPI status;
  • Has not had his/her RPI status revoked;
  • Meets employment or education requirements, which are waivable;
  • Has satisfied any federal tax liability that has been "assessed" (meaning the IRS has officially recorded that the alien owes it taxes);
  • Pays a processing fee, which is waivable. (p.83); and
  • Pays a $1,000 penalty.
(Sec. 2101, INA 245B(c)(9), p.79-84)
In fact, the only English requirement the Gang of Eight bill imposes on any illegal alien going through the amnesty process comes when the alien applies for a green card — if he chooses to do so. However, an alien may satisfy the English requirement necessary for obtaining a green card by establishing merely that :
  • The alien meets the English and civics requirements for naturalization under INA § 312, OR
  • The alien Is satisfactorily pursuing a course of study "to achieve an understanding of English and knowledge and understanding" of civics (p. 103)
Thus, even at the point of getting a green card –10 years into the future – an illegal alien who received amnesty must only show that he is studying English and civics.

Taxpayers to Foot Bill for Illegal Alien Attorneys under G8 Plan

Under the Gang of Eight's amnesty legislation, taxpayers could be on the hook for illegal aliens' attorneys' fees when they fight removal from the United States. (See S. 744 § 3502, p. 567)
Specifically, the legislation strikes a provision under current law stating that aliens' right to counsel in removal proceedings will not be at the expense of the Government. The legislation then grants the Attorney General unfettered discretion to appoint counsel as he sees fit. In fact, the legislation grants the Attorney General the "sole and unreviewable discretion to appoint or provide counsel" to aliens in removal proceedings, denying any judicial recourse if the Attorney General abuses such power. (Id. at p. 568)(emphasis added)
And, in instances where certain alien minors are placed in removal proceedings, the legislation actually requires the Attorney General to appoint taxpayer-funded counsel. "[T]he Attorney General shall appoint counsel, at the expense of the Government, if necessary, to represent an alien in a removal proceeding who has been determined by the Secretary to be an unaccompanied alien child…." the bill reads. (Id. at p. 569)(emphasis added)
While the provision limits the requirement to appoint counsel to alien minors who are incompetent or "considered particularly vulnerable when compared to other aliens in removal proceedings," no doubt all unaccompanied minors will receive free counsel given their minor status makes them inherently vulnerable when compared to the remainder of the illegal alien population. (Id.)
Moreover, the number of unaccompanied illegal alien minors crossing the border has grown since the Obama Administration instituted its DACA backdoor amnesty policy. The total number of illegal alien unaccompanied minors apprehended crossing the border in FY 2011 was 16,607, and before FY 2012 was even over, U.S. Customs and Border Protection already recorded 15,590 unaccompanied minor border crossings. (FAIR Legislative Update, Jul. 9, 2012)

Federal Court Finds Napolitano and Morton DACA Directive Illegal

Despite Congress' rejection of the DREAM Act, in June 2012, Homeland Security ("DHS") Secretary Janet Napolitano directed her agency to circumvent Congress and administratively implement the DREAM Act. (Napolitano Directive). On the same day, Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") Director John Morton issued a memorandum directing all ICE employees to implement Napolitano's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") program by refraining from arresting or placing illegal aliens who meet the DACA criteria into removal proceedings. (Morton Directive).
Shortly thereafter, ten ICE Agents filed suit against Napolitano, Morton, and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") Director Alejandro Mayorkas (collectively "the Defendants") claiming Napolitano and Morton's directives order them to violate federal law. (Amended Complaint). Specifically, the agents assert that federal law requires them to arrest or place in removal proceedings every illegal alien they encounter who is not clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted to the United States, including DACA eligible persons. (See 8 U.S.C. 1225) This past week, a federal court in Texas agreed.
United States District Judge Reed O'Connor affirmed that Congress has plenary power to set immigration law and by adopting [relevant federal statute] expressed its intent that the government initiate removal proceedings against all illegal aliens, including DACA eligible persons. (Memorandum Opinion & Order). Consequently, Napolitano does not have the discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings, nor can she or Morton instruct their agents to do the same. (Id.)
While a victory for true immigration reformers, the court's ruling is not final. The court has asked for additional briefing by May 6 on a technical jurisdictional issue before relief can be granted in the Plaintiffs' favor.

Napolitano Proclaims S. 744 Secures the Southern Border

Last Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in what was the third (and final) hearing in as many working days on the Gang of Eight's 844-page "comprehensive" immigration reform bill. Remarkably, in addition to handling her other responsibilities as DHS Secretary in the mere six days since the bill had been introduced, Napolitano claimed to have "read the bill" prior to the hearing. (CQ Transcript, Apr. 23, 2013)
Secretary Napolitano praised the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act," declaring that the bill will make the country more secure. Napolitano stated that the legislation "absolutely" improves border security because its provisions are realistic and achievable. "The [DHS] is ready to implement [the Southern Border Strategy and Southern Border Fence Strategy] within the timeline the draft bill provides," she said. (Id.) "We can and we will achieve the four provisions of the bill." (Id.)
According to the bill, amnestied illegal aliens can apply for legal permanent resident status after the Secretary merely "certifies" that several border security conditions have been met. These include certifying that (1) the Southern Border Strategy is "substantially" deployed and "substantially" operational; (2) the Southern Border Fencing Strategy is "substantially" completed; (3) the mandatory employment verification system has been "implemented;" and (4) an electronic entry-exit system has been "established" for air and sea ports (but not land ports of entry). (See FAIR S. 744 Summary)
Despite claiming that the bill makes the border more secure, Napolitano objected to the allocation of funds to install additional fencing along the border. The bill specifically appropriates $3 billion for the Southern Border Strategy and an additional $1.5 billion for the Southern Border Fencing Strategy. (S. 744, sec. 6) However, Napolitano indicated she had no intent to construct more fencing along the border. Rather, she expressed a desire to have "flexibility" with the $1.5 billion earmarked to reinforce the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. "We would prefer having money not so designated so that we can look at technology, air-based, ground-based, manpower, other needs that may be more fitting to prevent illegal flows across the Southwest border," she said. (CQ Transcript, Apr. 23, 2013)
Committee Republicans expressed their discontent with the amount of discretion afforded the Secretary to implement many of the bill's provisions. Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said the bill lacks sufficient Congressional oversight and was reminiscent of the 1,700 delegations of authority in Obamacare. "The bill would put no pressure on this Secretary or any future Secretary to secure the borders," Grassley said. (Id.) "The bill provides unfettered and unchecked authority to you and your Department and your successor on almost every other page." (Id.) "The Secretary may define terms as she sees fit," Grassley exclaimed. (Id.) "This bill gives you, the Secretary, extraordinary discretion in making many decisions about how the [task] would be carried out … that causes me many concerns," Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told Napolitano. (Id.) "You'll have discretion on how much fencing [to build on the U.S.-Mexican border], and the ability to say when it is ‘substantially' complete," added Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). (Id.)
Likewise, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Ranking Member of the Senate's Immigration Subcommittee, expressed skepticism that the bill is capable of fully securing the border because the plan does not apply to the entire Southern border (and not at all the Northern border). As defined in the bill, DHS must have a 90 percent effective rate in "high risk border sectors" (sectors where 30,000 or more apprehensions take place per year). (S. 744, sec. 3) Sen. Cornyn pointed out that this definition only encompasses three of the nine border sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border, making those other areas less secure because drug and human traffickers will quickly move their operations. (CQ Transcript, Apr. 23, 2013) Nevertheless, Napolitano dismissed those concerns, claiming that DHS is flexible enough to timely move resources to other sectors when needed. (Id.) "We regularly review those numbers and make decisions," she said. (Id.) "We would not wait for an annual review to make adjustments." (Id.)
Despite numerous public statements that this bill will go through "regular order," Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) put S. 744 on the April 25, 2013 markup schedule, just two days after Napolitano testified. Committee Republicans extended the markup by a week, as authorized under Committee rules, and the bill is now set to begin markup on May 9, 2013 (the Senate is in recess this week).
Stay tuned to FAIR as details unfold…

House Bill Grants Amnesty to Illegal Aliens Working in Agriculture

The House of Representatives began its piecemeal deliberations for overhauling the immigration system on Friday when Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the "Agricultural Guestworker Act" (H.R. 1773). Goodlatte, the bill's author, described H.R. 1773 as providing "American farmers with a workable temporary agricultural guestworker program that will help provide access to a reliable workforce." (Goodlatte Press Release, Apr. 26, 2013) Original cosponsors to H.R. 1773 include Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), George Holding (R-NC), Ted Poe (R-TX), Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA).
The introduction of H.R. 1773 marks the beginning of House action on immigration policy. Last week, Chairman Goodlatte announced that the House Judiciary Committee would take a "step-by-step approach" to examining immigration rather than following the Senate's "comprehensive" approach. (The Hill, Apr. 25, 2013) During that press conference, Goodlatte cautioned that "no one should take the limited bills that we're introducing here this week to be in any way an indication of our overall interest in solving all of the various aspects of immigration reform that are before the House and the Senate." (Id.) "We're not viewing anything we introduce as a final product." (Id.) While Goodlatte did not say how many stand-alone bills the House would introduce, he indicated that the bills would serve as the basis for Committee hearings and would not necessarily be marked-up. (Id.)
H.R. 1773 eliminates the current H-2A agricultural guestworker program and replaces it with a new H-2C program. Specifically, the bill sets the maximum number of H-2C visas issued per year at 500,000 but grants the Secretary of Agriculture discretion to increase or decrease the ceiling based on certain factors. (Sec. 3) By comparison, the Gang of Eight's bill sets the ceiling for temporary agricultural workers at approximately 112,000 per year. Although the current H-2A program is uncapped, according to a GAO report only 55,000 visas were issued in Fiscal Year 2011. (GAO Report, Sept. 12, 2012) Therefore, H.R. 1773 would bring in nearly ten times the number of agricultural workers that currently come in through the H-2A program.
Notably, the bill grants amnesty to all illegal aliens present as long as they will work in agriculture. The bill does this in two different ways. First, upon enactment, the bill allows illegal aliens in the U.S. to adjust status to an H-2A nonimmigrant guest worker. (Sec. 9) Then, once the contract-based component of the H-2C program takes effect two years after enactment, it would make those illegal aliens eligible to work in the new program so long as they were in the U.S. as of April 25, 2013. (Sec. 7) However, employers will not be able to begin submitting applications for "at-will" workers under the new program until E-Verify (or similar employment eligibility program) is in place and it is unlawful for employers to hire illegal aliens without its use. (Sec. 9)
Moreover, the H-2C visa program created under the bill is more expansive than the current H-2A seasonal guestworker program. The H-2A program is currently limited to agricultural labor and services, whereas in addition to those currently admitted under the H-2A program, the new H-2C visa would also be available for work in "non-seasonal" agricultural employment, including dairies and food processors. (Sec. 3)
An H-2C visa for temporary or seasonal workers is valid for 18 months and then the workers must remain outside the U.S. for a "period equal to at least 1/6 the duration of their stay on an H-2C visa" before becoming eligible again for an H-2C visa. On the other hand, the initial term of a non-seasonal H-2C lasts 36 months and any subsequent renewals are valid for 18 months at a time. Non-seasonal H-2C workers must leave after their initial visa expires for a maximum of 3 months outside the U.S. and subsequently follow the requirement for temporary or seasonal workers. Sheepherders are exempt from the requirement to the leave the U.S. (Id.)
Under the terms of the contract-based component of the H-2C program, employers must guarantee to offer H-2C workers 50 percent of the work hours promised, unless the workers abandon employment, are terminated for cause, or a natural disaster makes their services no longer necessary. Employers must pay H-2C workers the greater of the "prevailing wage" or the State minimum wage, and must offer H-2C workers the same benefits afforded to U.S. workers. (Id.)
Aliens overstaying their H-2C visa for more than 14-days, or for more than 30-days (if looking for other H-2C work), are barred from entering the U.S. in the future for 3 and 10-years. (Id.; see also 212(a)(9)(B)(i)) The bill requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to "promptly remove" from the U.S. any H-2C workers who violate the terms of their status. (Sec. 3) Given the current Administration's prosecutorial discretion policy, it's uncertain whether this provision would actually be enforced.
In a press release, Goodlatte stated that the H-2C program created by H.R. 1773 is an improvement on the H-2A program because it removes red tape, streamlines access to a "reliable workforce," and protects farmers from abusive lawsuits. (Goodlatte Press Release, Apr. 26, 2013)

Governor Deal Signs Bill Strengthening Georgia's Immigration-Enforcement Law

On Wednesday, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law Senate Bill 160, which strengthens and closes several loopholes in Georgia's 2011 immigration enforcement law (see House Bill 87; FAIR Legislative Update, April 18, 2011).
More specifically, SB 160 expands the definition of a "public benefit" for which illegal aliens are not entitled, to include grants, the homestead exemption, public and assisted housing, retirement benefits, driver's licenses and tax credits. The bill also redefines the term "secure and verifiable document" for identity purposes, including applying for a driver's license, to exclude any foreign passport unless the passport is submitted with a valid United States Homeland Security Form I-94, I-94A, or I-94W, or other federal document specifying an alien's lawful immigration status, or other proof of lawful presence in the United States under federal immigration law.
Through amendments, the General Assembly also clarified its intention in passing the 2011 law that all public employers and contractors at every tier and level use E-Verify on all projects, jobs, and work resulting from any bid or contract and that every public employer and contractor working for a public employer take all possible steps to ensure that a legal and eligible workforce is utilized in accordance with federal immigration and employment.
SB 160 also fixed an unintended consequence of the 2011 law by streamlining the backlogged professional license renewal process wherein persons were required to produce secure and verifiable documents establishing identity every time they renewed their license. Under SB 160, persons seeking renewals are not required to establish their identity a second time.
Sponsor of a similar bill in the House, Representative Dustin Hightower said the bill "goes a long way in protecting the taxpayers of Georgia by filling a lot of loopholes that were there where illegal immigrants were taking advantage of different public benefits." (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 28, 2013).
As of 2010, FAIR estimates that roughly 450,000 illegal immigrants live in Georgia and cost the state $2.4 billion annually. (FAIR: The Fiscal burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers).
SB 160 passed the House by a vote of 113-54 and the Senate by a vote of 43-9. Before signing the bill, Governor Deal's spokesman Brian Robinson stated that "Governor Deal is a strong supporter of efforts to prevent illegal immigration and to uphold the rule of law." (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 28, 2013)
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a national, nonprofit, public-interest, membership organization of concerned citizens who share a common belief that our nation's immigration policies must be reformed to serve the national interest.

Obama Walks Back 'Red Line' on Syria



President Obama, who earlier said use of chemical weapons by Syria on its people would be a “red line” requiring action by the U.S., walked the stance back on Tuesday, saying he needs more information on the reported attacks before responding.
Administration officials recently said intelligence analysts had "varying degrees of confidence" the embattled government of Syrian President Bashar Assad has gassed civilians with sarin. However, Obama said the administration is using all its resources to determine the facts about a weapon that he has said would be a "game changer" for U.S. policy in the war.
"If we end up rushing to judgment without hard, effective evidence ... we can find ourselves in a position where we can't marshal the international community in support of what we do," Obama said. "It's important for us to do this in a prudent way."
The administration long ago called for Assad to step down and pave the way for a new government. But Obama has resisted calls from some Republicans in Congress to send U.S. military aid to the rebels and perhaps commit U.S. military resources directly.
"If we end up rushing to judgment without hard, effective evidence ... we can find ourselves in a position where we can't marshal the international community in support what we do."
- President Obama on a possible U.S. response to growing concerns Syria has deployed chemical weapons

So far, the war, which began in March 2011, has claimed an estimated 75,000 lives. While the U.S. has backed the Syrian rebels with non-military aid, critics have said that the forces include Al Qaeda fighters and other insurgents unfriendly toward the U.S., leaving uncertainty surrounding Syria's future under a post-Assad government.
Republican Sens. John McCain, Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, S.C., said the president must do more to end the conflict.
"It will not be long before Assad takes this delay as an invitation to use chemical weapons again on an even larger scale," they said in a joint statement. "The president needs to lead. He needs to articulate exactly what outcome in Syria would best serve America’s national security interests."
Obama made the remarks at a wide-ranging White House press conference in which he also answered questions about his signature health-care law, defended the FBI in its efforts to crack down on terrorism before the deadly Boston Marathon bombing and said he’d renew efforts to close the terrorist prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Four months into his second term, Obama said he remains open-minded about the immigration legislation being hammered out by congressional lawmakers and that he would not support a bill that excludes a pathway to citizenship – a sticking point for most Democrats and a divisive issue for Republicans. Reforming the nation’s immigration system has been one of the president’s top legislative priorities this term.
Asked about the FBI's investigation into a possible terrorist threat posed in the past by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a suspect in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings who died in an escape attempt, the president said, "Based on what I've seen so far, the FBI performed its duties, the Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing."
Obama also said he’d renew efforts to close Guantanamo Bay. His first-term campaign promise to shut down the terrorist camp has been met with strong objection from lawmakers who don’t want the prisoners transferred to American soil.
Asked about a hunger strike by some detainees, he said, "I don't want these individuals to die." The president also said the Pentagon was doing what it could to manage the situation.
Obama also noted that several suspected terrorists have been tried and found guilty in U.S. federal courts, a response to congressional critics who say the detainees must be tried in special courts if the United States is to maximize its ability to prevent future attacks.
On another contentious issue, the president said a variety of Republicans were working to foil the final implementation of the health care law he pushed through Congress three years ago.
He said GOP lawmakers want to repeal the law and some Republican governors don't want to have their states participate in establishing insurance pools where the uninsured can find coverage. In other cases, Republican legislatures object when governors are willing to go along.
“We will implement" the law, Obama said, though he conceded there will be glitches along the way.
"Despite all the hue and cry and sky-is-falling predictions about this stuff, if you've already got health insurance, then the part of ObamaCare that affects you is already in place," he said.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/30/obama-walks-back-red-line-stance-on-syrian-government-using-chemical-weapons/#ixzz2RyxyOusi

Obama "Isn't Familiar" With Blocking of Benghazi Testimony

Katie Pavlich

Speaking today to reporters at the White House, President Obama denied knowing anything about Benghazi survivor claims that their testimony and efforts to become whistleblowers have been blocked.
"I'm not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying," Obama said in response to a question from FoxNews' Ed Henry. "I'm not familiar with it."
President Obama said he would "find out" what was going on and that of course he is dedicated to making sure U.S. embassies around the world are secure and safe for diplomats.
 


Fox News reporter James Rosen revealed yesterday that Benghazi whistleblowers have been threatened by the Obama administration according to their attorneys.
At least four career officials at the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency have retained lawyers or are in the process of doing so, as they prepare to provide sensitive information about the Benghazi attacks to Congress, Fox News has learned.

Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official and Republican counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, is now representing one of the State Department employees. She told Fox News her client and some of the others, who consider themselves whistle-blowers, have been threatened by unnamed Obama administration officials.

“I'm not talking generally, I'm talking specifically about Benghazi – that people have been threatened,” Toensing said in an interview Monday. “And not just the State Department. People have been threatened at the CIA.”

“It's frightening, and they're doing some very despicable threats to people,” she said. “Not ‘we're going to kill you,’ or not ‘we're going to prosecute you tomorrow,’ but they're taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over [if they cooperate with congressional investigators].”
Whistleblower retaliation is status quo for the Obama administration. This is the same thing that happened in the Fast and Furious scandal. Careers of whistleblowers were ruined and their lives were deliberately negatively changed.
Back in October, Kerry Picket wrote about the Obama administration's use of the Espionage Act to silence whistleblowers, which they would justify in the Benghazi case due to national security being at the center of the controversy.
In light of Americans who are demanding answers from the Obama administration on why four Americans were denied help for military assistance when the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi was under attack, there is little chance that any whistle-blower with first hand information will step forward as long as President Barack Obama is still in office.

Republicans are demanding the administration turnover material, including video, that explain what happened in Benghazi, but the President is more likely to cite executive privilege and use the hammer of his Justice Department to keep anybody who knows anything quiet.
Bloomberg News reported on October 17 that Attorney General Eric Holder “prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined, including law-and-order Republicans John Mitchell, Edwin Meese and John Ashcroft.”

The Espionage Act, bans unlawful disclosure of national security information to individuals not authorized to get it. The act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917 and has been used to prosecute double agents like Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen.
But of course, the administration is only interested in punishing whistleblowers exposing corruption and lies.
However, when leaks to the press benefit the administration, prosecutions from the Justice Department are absent. For example, AG Holder was not prosecuting anyone over who leaked information about the killing of Oasma bin Laden. The Justice Department has yet to charge anyone over leaking information regarding the U.S. involvement in cyberattacks on Iran as well as an al Qaida plan to blow up a U.S. bound airplane. In fact, the Justice Department ended up appointing one of two attorneys to the cyberattacks investigation who was an Obama donor.
As a reminder, retaliation against whistleblowers is illegal and against the Whistleblower Protection Act which was reinforced last year.
 

Created Equal

By JAY COST

Two recent news items highlight the issue of income inequality in America. First, a study by the Pew Research Center found that the net worth of the upper 7 percent has risen by 28 percent since 2009 while the net worth of everybody else has dropped by 4 percent. Second, a recent poll conducted by Gallup found that 52 percent of Americans—an all-time high—think the government should “redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich.”
 
Alexander Hamilton


Income inequality receives more attention from the left than from the right. Conservatives usually view it as a consequence of a capitalist economy in which individuals of naturally unequal talents operate. It may be regrettable in the short term, but over the long term the same free market that produces inequality raises everybody’s standard of living. Today’s man of few means enjoys a better quality of life than did John D. Rockefeller a century ago, because of progress produced through capitalism.
But that should not be the end of the story. Many of the Founders, whom conservatives rightly admire, were worried about income inequality, even though the concept of governmental redistribution was foreign to them. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and their allies did not see wealth per se as a problem, but they worried about the potential for moneyed interests to tilt policy in their direction, at the expense of the public good.
This should all sound familiar in this age of billion-dollar bailouts, crony capitalism, and “too big to fail.” But what might sound strange to modern ears is the Jeffersonian solution to creeping civic inequality: less government and a stricter interpretation of the Constitution. A government powerful enough to do grand things was also powerful enough to play favorites; and if, to accomplish those things, officials disrupted constitutional checks and balances, protections against undue influence would be eroded.
In other words, Jefferson and Madison might today argue that the modern left’s preferred solutions to income inequality inevitably create more civic inequality. One need look no further than Obamacare to see this point. Liberals trumpeted the expansion of coverage to millions of uninsured, which is a worthy goal, but consider the scores of exceptions to Obamacare’s mandates for the politically connected: big business, big labor, and now possibly even federal lawmakers and their aides.
Some measure of income inequality is undoubtedly baked into the cake of modern economies. That doesn’t mean conservatives who rightly oppose government-imposed egalitarianism should throw up their hands. Two policy areas stand out. The first is constant vigilance against the rent-seekers encamped in Washington, D.C. The federal government does play favorites; well-connected interests receive special treatment. And they receive it from both sides of the aisle.
The second point of attack should be on the middle-class squeeze. If conservatives are opposed to government efforts to equalize wealth, they nevertheless can whittle away at the role of government in areas where it is already involved. That suggests an emphasis on the exorbitant costs of higher education, health care, and energy. The Pew study mentioned above is picking up the fact that paychecks have not been rising fast enough to cover these high-ticket items. The role government is already playing in these areas more often than not drives up costs—this should be a priority for conservatives. It’s a good thing in itself to alleviate burdens on middle class families, but it will also reduce the appeal of the left’s call for larger and larger government.
It is important to continue to make the case for free-market reform in Washington, especially regarding the undue regulatory barriers that businesses face. But that is simply not enough. As income inequality rises, so does the salience of the left’s call for government intervention, which will only worsen the already growing problem of civic inequality. The left shouldn’t have the first and last words on the subject. Special interest privileges and the middle-class squeeze are the most obvious places for the right to begin to push back.
 

President Obama: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

By Janice Shaw Crouse

Leisure and luxury over hard work -- it's been a problem for this president ever since he first took office. President Obama spends a lot of time golfing; he even famously went golfing with Tiger Woods in Florida, while his family took a ski vacation (thus doubling the financial costs to taxpayers of their vacation). On the opposite side of the coin, the president, who presides over record levels of government dependency and debt, seems very cavalier about actually attending to the economy ... other than giving the occasional high-sounding speech that by now hardly anyone believes.
In a detailed report, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute (GAI) estimated that the president has spent over twice as many hours on vacation and golf (976 hours) as he has in economic meetings of any kind (474.4 hours). And those calculations were figured in ways that gave a very distinct advantage to the president. There is general agreement that GAI seriously underestimated the president's leisure time and overestimated his time working on the economy. For instance, GAI used very broad interpretations of what constitutes "economic meetings" by including any cabinet meeting or time spent with businessmen. Likewise, the president was given "benefit of the doubt" regarding the time he spent vacationing and golfing. For instance, the president once said on record that playing golf takes six hours, but the GAI only counted four hours for each golf round.
But even when given credit for many more hours of economic meetings and counting far fewer hours of vacation and golf time, President Obama still ended up playing twice as much as working on the economy since he was elected in 2008.
The report from GAI, "Presidential Calendar: A Time-Based Analysis," parallels findings by the GAI last July, adding to the documented evidence that this president spends very little time working on the economy, even though unemployment remains high and the fiscal debt and deficit remain in crisis.
Based on a variety of sources covering 1,532 days in office (through March 31, 2013) - the official White House calendar, the comprehensive presidential calendar from Politico, and media reports - the GAI report is both comprehensive and thorough.
Some Key GAI Findings regarding the President's lack of diligence on the economy:
  • Assuming a 10-hour workday, six days a week, Mr. Obama has spent only 3.6% of his time on economic matters.
  • Throughout his whole presidency, Mr. Obama has spent less than 50 workdays on any kind of economic meeting or briefing.
  • Thus far this year, the president has spent a total of six hours in economic meetings of any kind.
  • As his term has gone on, the president has spent "significantly" less and less time on the economy (almost 80% decline).
  • President Obama has attended less than half of the daily intelligence briefings (42.1% of the 1,532 days reviewed by GAI).
Some Key GAI Findings regarding the president's enjoyment of vacations and golfing:
  • The president has played 115 rounds of golf.
  • The president has spent 86 days on vacation.
Breitbart reported that Peter Schweizer, GAI President, said, "We really went out of our way to fairly and accurately reflect how the president spends his time."
The president was roundly criticized in 2012 when he played his 100th round of golf. At the time, numerous media contrasted Mr. Obama with President Bush, who played just 24 rounds of golf in two years and the fact that he quit playing golf during the war in Iraq, telling Politico that "playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal." President Obama defended his golfing by telling Harry Smith of CBS News that "It's the only time that for six hours, I'm outside." Numerous media outlets came to his defense; the Washington Post wrote that the president's time playing golf didn't matter.
Obviously, other media agree that it doesn't matter; only a handful of media -- for instance, Breitbart, Washington Times, Frontpage and London's Telegraph -- have covered the GAI report. Apparently, it is not news when a U.S. president spends twice the amount of time on recreation than he does working on the economy.
If he had grown up the way I did, he would have learned the grubby reality that hard work is rewarding in and of itself, as well as being a necessary ingredient for success. Being the intellectual that he is reputed to be, perhaps someone could urge President Obama to read Ghandi, who included in his list of seven deadly sins the following: "wealth without work" and "pleasure without conscience."

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/president_obama_working_hard_or_hardly_working.html#ixzz2RxONceQa

Radical Islam and Obama's willful blindness



By Michael Goodwin
 
According to a relative of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Chechen immigrant believed there is “oppression of the Muslim population around the world.” The relative described Tsarnaev to The New York Times this way: “He was angry that the world pictures Islam as a violent religion.”
Bombing the Boston Marathon was the Tsarnaev brothers’ way of defending Islam. To say their argument boomeranged, however, isn’t fully true. Not as long as the Obama administration puts religious blinders on the defenders of our homeland.
At its core, the Boston case reveals two fundamental truths. One, not all Muslims are terrorists. Two, in recent times, almost all terrorists are Muslims.
Willie Sutton robbed banks because that’s where the money is. Police didn’t catch him by staking out lemonade stands.
By the same logic, preventing terrorism requires close scrutiny of Muslim men leaning toward violent jihad. Had they followed that logic, the FBI could have prevented the bombing.
But with each passing day, it becomes maddeningly clear that political correctness was complicit in the failure. President Obama’s stubborn refusal to connect the dots to Islam isn’t just a personal tic. It reflects the policy he has spread throughout the bureaucracy, including law enforcement and the military.
At the least, orders to “see no Islam evil” created extra hurdles for those trying to keep America safe. At the worst, they opened the door to the bombers.
The moral of the story is that political correctness kills.
We already knew that from the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, where 13 service members allegedly were murdered by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Witnesses say he shouted, “God is great,” in Arabic as he started a massacre that also left 30 other people injured.
Although Army brass and anti-terror officials knew Hasan, a psychiatrist, was a radicalized Islamist, they took no action for fear of violating his rights. His colleagues called him belligerent, paranoid and schizoid, but he was promoted. When Hasan communicated about suicide bombings with Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born terror leader living in Yemen, his superiors remained silent.
All this happened when George W. Bush was in the White House.
After Hasan allegedly turned Fort Hood into a bloodbath in November 2009, the Obama administration termed the shooting “workplace violence” instead of a terrorism, an outrageous designation that remains in place. In a remark that still takes the breath away, the Army chief of staff, Gen. George Casey Jr., declared that, “as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

'Beach week' draws black crowd - and violence

1 weekend: 3 shootings, 3 stabbings, 3 robberies

BeachWeek

Colin Flaherty

(Editor’s note: Colin Flaherty has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse. WND features these reports to counterbalance the virtual blackout by the rest of the media due to their concerns that reporting such incidents would be inflammatory or even racist. WND considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.)
Reporters with all the local media had trouble describing what happened over the weekend when 40,000 black people descended on Virginia Beach for a party.
Their audiences, however, did not.
Daniel Johnson was one of dozens of people who had no trouble talking about the lawbreakers and the widespread chaos, danger, thefts, violence and lawlessness they brought to Virginia Beach as part of College Beach Week 2013; a time when black students could “blow off some steam” before final exams.
“Because it was a group of young black college people everyone is scared to say anything for fear of being called a racist,” he said in a post to a Virginian-Pilot news story. “It is what it is – these people come to the Beach and do everything in there [sic] power to intimidate the local and visiting White people at the Beach – rude – disrespectful – dirty and violent – They come here and treat our beach like a toilet On Saturday afternoon I went to the Harris Teeter and a LARGE group of young black visitors were in the parking lot drinking and playing loud music – intimidating locals – I called the police and even though 2 cop cars drove by nothing was done!”
Police reported 300 emergency calls to 911 Saturday night involving at least three shootings, three stabbings and three robberies. That they know of. All during a four-hour period. People in Virginia Beach are furious and are taking to Facebook and the local news sites to have their say.
Conscious of the paper’s history of deleting comments that refer to race, Mark Morrell backed up Daniel Johnson:
“PSA: There were no persons of any other race on the videos perpetrating those crimes. None. Not stealing the bikes, or starting the brawls, or any other illegal, crazy action. Have I mentioned any race at all? Nope!!! Because you know exactly what I’m talking about, I most certainly don’t have to. You can identify me all you want, I’m not scared, and I don’t hide behind my screen – or my newspaper. There is an elephant in the room, Pilot. WHATCHAGONNADOOOOO ABOUT IT???”
The “College Beach Weekend 2013″ party was organized by several black promoters for black fraternity members at several area colleges. Their invitations can be seen at http://beachweekva.com. Their tweets cam be followed at #beachweekend.
The family of Anas Harmache owns a restaurant in Virginia Beach. He posted a video on his Facebook page that captured some of black mob violence.
“These guys destroyed my family’s store, beat a kid senseless and put my dad’s life in danger,” said Harmache. “When I called the cops not one person showed up.”
The video showed dozens of black people fighting, taunting and harrassing people outside the restaurant.
Laurette LaLiberte, also on Facebook, said this kind of racial violence is becoming a regular feature of life in Virgina Beach: “My son was jumped a few months ago … 6 guys … right down the block from [this video]. … Robbed him and they kept kicking and beating him even after he was unconscious … he was in the hospital a week and had hemorrhaging on his brain … they haven’t caught those punks either.”
On Fox43 news, a black woman said fighting and lawlessness at Beach Week is nothing to worry about.
“I think it’s still fun,” said Kharizma Jackson. “It happens when you get a lot of people together this stuff happens everywhere you go. It’s like that.”
“It was just so crazy,” said business owner Billy Baldwin to the local ABC affiliate. “We actually had a fight break out in front of my business at Sandbar that the crowd busted in and broke my front window. So that’s a thousand dollars per window.”
The Virginia Beach racial violence is part of a pattern of more than 500 episodes of black mob violence documented in “White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it.”
Kenneth Darden told the Virginian-Pilot that anyone who notices that all the lawbreakers were black is a racist.
“Being a black male, I am insulted reading your comments because they are very degrading and assumes that white kids are not capable of doing such things. Well let me tell you, all you have to do is come to Ocean View any day of the week and see for yourself how wrong you are!”
Denise Gordon also owns a business in Virginia Beach. The Virginian-Pilot reported:
“I was scared to death,” said Denise Gordon, a manager for 18th Street Seafood Bar and Grill.
Though all those incidents happened late at night, Gordon said she’d noticed “rude, obnoxious” behavior around her restaurant much of the day. Fearful, she closed the restaurant at 8 p.m., two hours earlier than usual for a Saturday.
Gordon then said she called for security to help employees get to their cars after closing.
“It was so crazy, I don’t even know how to describe it,” she said.
The Virginian-Pilot is the same paper that achieved notoriety last spring when the editor refused to report that a black mob of 50 to 100 people assaulted two of his reporters after pelting their car with rocks in Norfolk.
A columnist revealed it two weeks later. Some reportedly said it was revenge for Travyon Martin.
The editor told a producer for Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show that he had no evidence that a mob was involved or that the attack was racially motivated.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/beach-week-draws-black-crowd-and-violence/#6i3X8h3GEhS0qIp5.99


Monday, April 29, 2013

'Missiles fired at' Russian plane over Syria


 
Two missiles were reportedly fired at a Russian plane with at least 159 passengers on board that was flying over Syrian territory. Russian officials admit the jet faced danger, but are not talking of a targeted attack.
The news broke in on Monday as Interfax, citing “an informed source in Moscow,” reported that a Russian passenger plane was attacked.
“Syrian [officials] informed us that on Monday morning, unidentified forces launched two ground-to-air missiles which exploded in the air very close to a civilian aircraft belonging to a Russian airline,” the source told the Russian agency.
The pilots reportedly managed to maneuver the plane in time however, “saving the lives of passengers.”
It is believed the aircraft was intentionally targeted, “but it remains unclear whether the attackers knew it was Russian or not,” the source added.
However, Russian officials, though admitting the plane might have been endangered, are not yet talking of a targeted attack.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s said on its website the plane’s crew at 4.55 PM Moscow time (12.55 GMT) “detected battle action on the ground that, according to the crew, could constitute a threat to the 159 passengers on board the plane.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry is now “taking emergency measures to clarify all the circumstances of this situation, including making contact with the Syrian authorities,” the ministry’s spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich said.
The plane that was allegedly targeted belonged to Nordwind Airlines – a Russian charter air carrier – and was identified as an Airbus A320. On April 29 it was en route to the city of Kazan, in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan, from Egypt's resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Airbus A320 specifications
Cockpit crew: 2
Seating capacity: up to 180
Length: 37.57 m
Wingspan: 34.10 m
Operating empty weight: 42,600 kg
Cruising speed: 828 km/h
Maximum speed: 871 km/h
Maximum range: 5,900 km
Service ceiling: 12,000 m
 
So far, there are no grounds to claim that the aircraft became a target of a missile attack, experts say.
It was flying over a mountainous area in Syria when one of the pilots noticed “flashes on the ground.” After that, to keep safe, it was decided to increase the height of the flight, Irina Tyurina, a spokeswoman for Russian Union of Tourist Industry told RIA Novosti.
“No one was injured, and the plane was not damaged. The aircraft landed in Kazan as had been planned,” the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism told news agencies. There were 159 passengers and eight crew members on-board the aircraft.
Meanwhile, Syrian aviation authorities received no indication of the alleged attack on the Russian plane, says the director of Syrian Airlines, Ghaida Abdullatif:
“We contacted the service that monitors traffic within Syrian airspace. None of the air traffic control services or other ground services at the airports in Damascus and Latakia have confirmed the information of a Russian plane being fired at".
Russian experts have already voiced their doubts that a passenger plane can actually perform the kind of maneuvers that would allow it to avoid a missile attack.
“Planes are usually attacked either from the side or from above. A pilot could not have seen the missiles ,” Vladimir Gerasimov, a Russian pilot and an expert on flight security told RT. “
A passenger plane crew simply couldn’t see what’s behind. And if something is approaching the plane from the opposite direction –the speed doubles, so there is no time to do anything, ” he added.
Danny Makki of the Syrian Youth Movement in the UK believes that the incident is no doubt a rebel attack, which could have been carried out with weapons supplied by neighboring governments or taken off the Syrian army. He thinks that the attack is an intentional one and should receive widespread condemnation, just as the attacks carried out by government forces do.

“The most likely thing that could have happened was rebel fire from missiles that could have been given by regional countries or government forces… no rebel forces would fire a missile at civilian aircraft without it being done intentionally. So it is essentially another reprehensible act that would have been committed by rebel forces, and should gain condemnation from all the states after it is clearer who actually committed it”, Makki said,

“But it does show that these are not the liberal forces which the West wanted to arm in the first place”, he added.
The civil war in Syria between the government of President Bashar Assad and opposition forces has been raging for over two years, claiming the lives of more than 70,000 people according to UN estimates. Assad says he is fighting an insurgency that has been sponsored from abroad.