Archive for the ‘United States Congress’ Category

First, a quote from the Washington Times:

The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.

It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.

The Republicans, fighting with smaller-bore weaponry, keep trying to get some things reopened with carefully targeted legislation. The Senate, under the thumbs of Sen. Harry Reid and the White House, refuses to budge from the trivial and the petty.

Sure, Harry Reid is under pressure from the White House to not budge, but that’s because the White House is out to harm the public in order to create “optics”, in this case, the illusion that government shutdown is painful and hurtful.

We’ve seen WWII veterans blocked from the WWII memorial, which was paid for almost entirely by private donations.  And again, we’ve seen sections of the Mount Vernon parking lots and the bus turn-around closed just to inconvenience the public (and you know it’s bad when Infowars has a credible, objective news story).

John McCormack at the Weekly Standard went by the WWII memorial today and found the barricades had been wired together to stop people from entering.  This is deliberate.  You can see how deliberate by comparing the WWII memorial to the WWI memorial:

ww2 memorial wired up

Admittedly, it ain’t much wire, but it’s the thought that counts.

Compared to:

ww1 memorial closed(Update: Technically, that’s the 2nd ID Memorial – apparently the McCormack and plenty of others assumed it was the WWI memorial.  I assumed it was a WWI memorial, just one on the other side of the city.  The DC WWI Memorial is a small dome, but it’s not a national memorial, it’s a District of Columbia memorial.  One of the only major WWI memorials in the US is the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, which as their website notes, is open.)

In addition to this, the US Normandy cemeteries are closed, open areas of rivers that are unmonitored and never closed are intentionally closed, and the reason from the Democrats?  “Because we have a Tea Party.

As a supporter of the Tea Party, I can explain Chuck Schumer’s statement.  He means to say, “We’re doing this to you because we have a Tea Party to destroy, and we’ll blame them for every tyrannical action we take against you.”

The Tea Party, founded to oppose government waste, would not be in favor in any way shape or form of spending money and man-hours to close locations that require no staffing, no monitoring, no observation, and that function year-round with no government.  Schumer is arguing the Obama administration’s actions – they are spending money to close things that cost no money.

Those barricades, as seen in the picture, are rented.  Who’s paying for those?  If the government’s shut down, there’s no reason to spend money on barricades to close access to something that requires no funding, no monitoring, no observation, no staff, nothing.

Again, they closed a river:

Galletta, hunched over his computer at Bighorn Anglers fly shop, had been fielding calls all Wednesday morning from his out-of-state fly-fishing clients who were concerned about whether they would have access to the upper Bighorn — the most popular section of the stream, and the area where the government shutdown Tuesday took the form of 8-foot long concrete barriers that blocked access.  …

“They closed something down that they never monitored all year long,” said Rick Law at the Bighorn Trout Shop.

He said the nearby Park Service contact station, where anglers pay a fee to launch their boats at the federal sites, had been empty all summer and he never saw a Park Service employee picking up trash or even enforcing the parking rules.

“I could see it if they had people up here working, monitoring and picking up trash, but they’re not,” Law said.

Others, like longtime fishing guide Richard Montella, questioned whether the agency even had the right to close the sites, since they aren’t part of the nearby federally managed Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

“The worst of it is, we’re paying for this service,” he said. “To put it really bluntly, these people have nothing to do here.”

Oh, they do.  They’re there to make life as difficult as possible, and to get people like the California tourist quoted in the story upset at Republicans for opposing a tyrannical law.

Drudge already made the comparison, as have several other people.  It’s immediate, and immediately understandable.

Obama will negotiate with Iran, but not with Republicans in congress.

Iran is funding terrorism, is a state sponsor of terrorism, and yet the Obama administration calls Republicans terrorists.

Republicans are pushing through bills that will fund all of government except Obamacare – a wholly transformative, unconstitutional mandate that demands that every living citizen pay a tax in order to exist, that changes the nature of the citizen to the government and ignores that the Constitution limits the government (something even ignored by SCOTUS).

For me personally, a government shutdown will be a huge hassle.  I’d very much like for the Democrats to do the jobs their offices demand and pass budgets that fund necessary functions of government.  Then they can bicker over Obamacare.  But since Democrats refuse to allow for passage of those bills as they’re about their agenda and single-payer socialism, and are instead saying “give us Obamacare or we’ll shut it all down and blame you”, I guess a government shutdown is the next best option.  I’ll take the hassle in my own life that comes with a government shutdown for the knowledge that a government health care system is being stopped.  And it can be stopped.

Anyone who’s dealt with government health care (I know people with broken bones that healed wrong while waiting on government paperwork, and had to be rebroken and set by private doctors because government-related injuries were never treated by government) knows it’s a pathetic system of rationing.  Without the ability to use personal resources to move things along, or to benefit from charity, or from experimental treatment, or even the basic efficiency of the private sector, it’s nothing but a failure all the way around.  But don’t take my word for it.

Here’s hoping the government is funded, but not Obamacare.  And if we can’t get that, here’s hoping for a shutdown until the Democrats finally listen to what the American people want… which isn’t a 22,000 page bill and regulations they read after they pass it.

red tape tower obamacare

John Kerry says Obama can attack Syria with or without congressional approval, and may do so anyway:

“Now. I can’t tell you what judgment the president will make if, in three weeks, Bashar Assad uses chemical weapons again. But the president reserves the right in the presidency to respond as appropriate to protect the security of our nation.”

Syria has less to do with our security than Iraq or Afghanistan by a long shot, and the rebels in Syria are Al Qaeda, our enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last few decades.  So there is no case for this, but Obama might attack anyway, even if congress says no, because screw you.

Meanwhile, VP Joe said this:

It’s very much worth it to take a few minutes and watch, even though the very last part is a chest-beating call for belligerence by Kerry that is logically inconsistent.

Starting with a former president/lawyer talking about guns, from Katie Pavlich writing at bearingarms.com:

During his speech at the 50th anniversary celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech in Washington D.C. Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton implied it was easier to buy an ‘assault weapon’ in the United States of America than it is to vote in elections.

“A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than it does to buy an assault weapon,” Clinton said.

Ms. Pavlich notes that yes, you do in fact have to show ID to buy a firearm and you don’t need to show ID to vote.  One is sovereign franchise over the execution of the nation’s government, the other is a piece of metal and plastic.  Yet you need to show ID for the metal and plastic, but you can vote multiple times with no ID to put someone in office who will be able to wield the power of the state against the populace.

Not letting citizens of MA, CA, DC, or NY vote at all probably isn’t what he means by that.

Although, on the other hand, a truly great democracy simply issues its citizens actual assault rifles to defend themselves.

swiss girls with guns

Lawyers in congress are going after guns by using the power to destroy – the power to tax (H/T Gateway Pundit):

There is a new anti-gun bill sitting on Capitol Hill, and it doesn’t deal with banning particular models of firearms or even universal background checks.

The Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act of 2013, was proposed by U.S. Reps. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill., and Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. The bill seeks to raise the tax rate on gun sales from 10% to 20%.

This stuff does get pushed in every year and usually dies somewhere along the way, but the end result if it passes is actually class warfare by the Democrats against the poor.  If you’re poor and want to defend yourself because you live in a crappy neighborhood, that cheap Hi-Point 9mm pistol you could’ve bought for $150 just went up to $180.  That’s money out of your pocket, money that you need.

It targets the poor, who are disproportionately minorities or rural whites, and targets them for disarmament and makes them the victims of crime.  Of course the statist Democrats want there to be no self-defense, but those few who still might understand the basics of natural law would see they’re hurting people they’re trying to help… because criminals will always be violent, and will always have weapons.  The law-abiding good people will be hurt in their pocketbooks, and will be driven away from self defense due to increased costs.

And finally, Democrat congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, representative from DC (and gun-hating tyrant) calling to leave a message on a lobbyist’s answering machine demanding a bribe, called out by self-described progressive liberals at The Young Turks, of all people:

Corruption at its finest.

Trey Gowdy explains that CIA operatives are being moved and having their names changed so they can’t talk to congress.

Via HotAir, from CNN:

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night of the attack.

A source now tells CNN that number was 35, with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.

While it is still not known how many of them were CIA, a source tells CNN that 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex, believed to be run by the agency.

A “phony” scandal according to Obama, with seriously wounded operatives being moved around the country, having their names changed, and being hidden from congress.  Most transparent administration ever.

From HotAir:

Last month I seemed to anger some of my regular correspondents when I asked why IRS worker Lois Lerner was able to employ the 5th Amendment in the way she had. I was bothered by the way she seemed to be benefiting from the “best of both worlds” in terms of dancing around the law while apparently flaunting the national interests her job would require her to support. I suppose the lawyers in the crowd have made their case well enough for now, but rather than dragging her into court, how about if we just fire her? That could be the result if a new proposed rule is put in place.

Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks has sponsored legislation that would make refusing to testify in front of Congress a firable offense for federal workers, The Hill reported Thursday

The legislation is nicknamed the “Lerner” bill, after Director of IRS Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner, who plead the Fifth Amendment in front of a House committee on May 22 about her role in the IRS’s targeting of tax-exempt tea party groups.

A tool for termination already exists.  It’s called “lack of candor“.

The short version is that if you don’t answer questions about your own work duties and if you aren’t forthcoming about your own work, you get fired.  The government can’t afford to have someone who will withhold information and is untrustworthy.

Well, Obama’s IRS and EPA and DOJ and ATF can, but in most of the government, it’s still supposed to be treated as a bad thing.

A description and example from Tully Legal:

Appellate courts also take a hard-line stance with respect to lack of candor charges. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit explained in its 2001 ruling in Ludlum v. Dept. of Justice, lack of candor involves an employee’s “failure to disclose something that, in the circumstances, should have been disclosed in order to make the given statement accurate and complete.”

This charge should not be confused with falsification, which involves an “affirmative misrepresentation” and intent to deceive.

In Ludlum, the Federal Circuit affirmed an MSPB decision that upheld a lack of candor charge against an FBI special agent who was not completely forthcoming about how frequently he used his work vehicle to pick up his daughter from daycare. The case represents an all too common situation whereby federal employees engage in lack of candor when attempting to explain (or not explain) work-related situations tangential to their performance objectives in the workplace.

In the case of Lerner, she’s not answering a question directly related to her job from Congress.  If Joe the FBI Agent or Jose the USBP Agent or Jane the SSA Investigator did that, they’d have OIG on them in a heartbeat and be on their way out the door.  There’s no reason this law is necessary – the problem is the IRS again isn’t doing their job.  Whoever her superiors are should be crushing her right now, but they aren’t, because they’re just as corrupt and in agreement with targeting the Tea Party as a financial-warfare wing of the Democrat party.

There’s also a special warning given for when federal employees are targeted and are obligated to speak due to their job, but still protected by the 5th Amendment.  It’s called Kalkines rights.

The Kalkines warning is an advisement of rights usually administered by United States federal government agents to federal employees and contractors in internal investigations. The Kalkines warning compels subjects to make statements or face disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, but also provides suspects with criminal immunity for their statements. It was promulgated by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Kalkines v. United States.[1] In that case, a federal employee was fired for not cooperating with an internal investigation. The Court of Claims found that the employee had not been sufficiently advised of his immunity to criminal prosecution, nor sufficiently warned that he would be fired if he refused to cooperate.

As a federal employee, a worker can be threatened with termination and might worry more about their job than jail.  The fedgov can and will lean on someone’s job if they suspect them of criminal activity, but Kalkines lets them know they don’t have to give up their 5th Amendment rights even though their job is being threatened.

It’s an important distinction to note that one can be both administratively looked at and criminally looked at; and makes the point so the employee knows where they stand.  It’s a rock and a hard place, but something they have to balance out.

When Lerner took the Fifth, she announced she wasn’t going to answer what happened at work, and violated her job.  She demonstrated lack of candor.  She can be fired right there for not doing her job.  Then she can plead the Fifth as a private citizen all she likes to avoid criminal prosecution.

It’s no different than if she worked at McDonalds and was asked to explain why she got caught pissing in the soft drink machine.  Her boss can fire her right there, and she can plead the Fifth to the health inspector and the police about her attempts to poison the public.  If she works at a big police station as a concessionaire and pisses in the cafeteria soft drink machine, she doesn’t get to plead the Fifth and just keep pissing in the Coke.