China Says Kerry’s Call For Internet Freedom Naive

China criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday for his “naive” call for more Internet freedom in the country, and wondered why his discussion with Chinese bloggers had not touched upon Edward Snowden.

What do you think China thinks of his foreign policy? Or Religious freedom? The same?

Link: China says Kerry’s call for Internet freedom naive 

Tennessee Volkswagen Plant Votes NO To UAW

In a stinging defeat that could accelerate the decades-long decline of the United Auto Workers, employees voted against union representation at UnionNOVolkswagen AG’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, which had been seen as organized labor’s best chance to expand in the U.S. South.

Continuing the obsolescence of labor unions that are no longer needed or wanted. That’s good news for the workers, the company, and the local economy. And it will be instructive to see how much coverage and the interpretation the media gives this. Where Big Labor is concerned, this is a big defeat.

Link: Tennessee Volkswagen plant votes against union in UAW defeat | Reuters.

Caracas Burning, Army Sent In, Maduro Blames U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro says “fascist” forces financed from the United States were plotting against his government. Probably has caracas-burning_unrestnothing to do with corrupt elections and election campaigns, seizing media outlets that print or say anything against him or his party, empty shelves in stores, high crime and unemployment. It other words, the failing of another socialist/communist state.

Maduro ordered the arrest of a top opposition leader and a former military chief as he claimed “fascist” forces financed from the United States were plotting against his government.

Here’s the plan President Nicolás Maduro should follow. Stop selling oil to the United States. Immediately. He can do that. He owns the oil industry. But Maduro needs our money. So Plan B is for the U.S. to stop buying Venezuelan oil. We don’t need their oil. We have access to plenty of our own. It’s time to turn the tables and use our oil to our advantage. Not Venezuela, not Saudi Arabia, or anywhere else besides home.

Link: Army sent in to Venezuelan cities as unrest prompts coup warning

Obamacare Update, He Knew

Recall last October, shortly after the Obamacare rollout, President Obama acted totally surprised, ‘caught off guard’ I think was his phrase. Surprised to find out how bad the problems with the website and other problems with the law were. Everyone was astonished that the President would have been so disconnected from his signature piece of legislation that he was caught off guard. Then news that the White House visitors log showed only one entry of Secretary Sebelius having been to The White House in the 18 months prior to the rollout had everyone scratching their head.

From FOIA requests, The Hill has uncovered dozens of meetings between Sebelius and President Obama, many of those about Obamacare specifically. He knew what the situation was. His CYA was to lie about it and to throw Sebelius under the bus.

endofstory

Saturday February 15th is National Youth Enrollment Day

That’s the day The White House has picked to have an all-out youth enrollment campaign for Obamacare. Oh but wouldn’t you know, healthcare.gov will be down for maintenance on Saturday February 15th until Tuesday February 18th.

OK, everyone who still thinks that the federal government knows how to control your health care better than you, please raise your hand.

endofstory

Colorado Health Exchange Director Indicted For Fraud, Theft, False Claims

Christa McClure, 51 is the director of partner engagement for Connect for Health Colorado, the state program that implements the Affordable Care Act in the state. She is facing an eight-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Billings, Mont., in January. The 12-page indictment alleges that while serving as executive director of the federally funded Housing Montana, McClure between 2008 and 2010 paid herself “significant sums” for consulting services although she was already on the payroll as a full-time employee. She also made payments to her family and used federal money for personal travel, the indictment alleges. She also is accused of charging homeowners for a $750 warranty that did not exist, converting a laptop for personal use, inflating the hours she was to be compensated for and writing herself a $21,000 check.

What’s worse? State health care exchange officials said they had thoroughly vetted her.

endofstory

Oregon Health Exchange Enrolled ZERO

Despite receiving $160 million in taxpayer money, Oregon’s ObamaCare website has yet to properly sign up a single person for health care.

And there could be consequences. An Oregon legislator has gone to the FBI. Top officials have resigned. The state is investigating. And there could be a federal probe as soon as Thursday.

If history is any lesson with this administration, instead of hand-cuffs or a pink slip, there’s probably a promotion coming.

NSA Spying Has Strange Bedfellows, Almost

Incapable of joining forces with those like Rand Paul, who is suing the President and other accomplices over the NSA spying debacle, the Ring of Fire opines that Paul’s timing of the suit is questionable. The timing is questionable? If I may quote a former Secretary of State, “what difference, at this point, does it make?”

From the Ring of Fire website . . .

Paul, Tea Party group FreedomWorks, and Virginia’s former attorney general and Virginia gubernatorial loser Ken Cuccinelli have rallied to organize a lawsuit against President Obama for “his” domestic spying program. The right-wing group is suing on the basis that the spying program violates Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, which it does. But the timing of the suit is questionable. {emphasis added}

It is a little ironic that a class action lawsuit powerhouse like the Levin/Papantonio Law firm (Papantonio being the Ring of Fire wing) isn’t joining Sen. Paul in his efforts. Maybe if a republican was in The White House?

So rather than joining in the fight, the writer (or ghost writer) tries to discount the whole thing because “the Patriot Act and the NSA spying program are Republican-instituted measures.” That’s true. Much to the dismay of Chris Matthews, our country was attacked while a republican was Commander in Chief. But what is left unsaid, or the writer isn’t aware of, is that the expansion of the program to where it is today was not in the Patriot Act and was never intended to be in the Patriot Act.  That’s according Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI5), the guy who wrote it.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) today sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s application for a top secret court order to collect the phone records of essentially every call made by millions of Verizon customers.

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the FBI’s interpretation of this legislation. While I believe the Patriot Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I have always worried about potential abuses. The Bureau’s broad application for phone records was made under the so-called business records provision of the Act. I do not believe the broadly drafted FISA order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.”

Lest they be accused of being intensely hypocritical on the subject, they need to get on board and fight for the rights they believe are being violated.

Links: Just When You Thought Republicans Ran Out of Anti-Obama Ideas  |  Author of Patriot Act: FBI’s FISA Order is Abuse of Patriot Act

Dems Asking IRS To Be Their Campaign Tool

With the ongoing shucking and jiving going on in the Justice Department and FBI over their fake investigations into the IRS unfairly targeting and irspunishing conservative groups interested in conservative politics, or lets say, politics in contrast to the current administrations ideas, vulnerable Democrats are flat out asking the IRS for help. To shut down first amendment rights to their favor.

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the Senate Democrats’ chief political strategist, called for the IRS to curb political spending by outside groups during a major speech on how to blunt the impact of conservative donors such as the Koch brothers.

“The Tea Party elites gained extraordinary influence by being able to funnel millions of dollars into campaigns with ads that distort the truth and attack government. There are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies — we must redouble those efforts immediately,” he said in remarks at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Yet more from this lawless administration. Never mind that the first amendment is to protect political speech. Just another example of how Democrats use the power of government to fight their fight and punish their political opponents.

Link: Vulnerable Dems want IRS to step up

Stalinist Obama Criminalizes Normal Business Practices

This should make a difference to even the most staunch, deaf, dumb, and blind supporters of King President Obama, not to mention members of Congress.

So Obama has unilaterally legislated illegal conditions on the illegal waiver. To wit, employers will be required to certify to the IRS, under penalty of perjury, that the waiver was not a motivating factor in the company’s hiring and firing decisions. As Fox News’s Chris Stirewalt quips, “To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs.”

Businesses are only businesses because they can manage to make a profit. When expenses increase on one end, like in taxes for example, they find ways to offset those added expenses where possible. Else they will eventually be forced out of business. And there is no better a motivator for a cost-cutting business decision than tax increases. Happens all the time, every day of the week. The tax code even drives businesses overseas. This isn’t a story about tax reform and the advantages of FairTax, but it could be.

Where Obamacare is concerned, every employee now has tax value attached to them. Employers have to decide if they can afford to keep the employee and pay for their insurance, cut their hours and let them get their own insurance, or terminate them. In addition to interfering with free-market business decisions and stifling free speech prior to the next two elections, this lawless President is now going after businesses by criminalizing normal business activity. As a matter of fact, the normalcy of these kind of decisions was specifically confirmed by the Supreme Court, who ruled that the Obamacare mandates were taxes, not penalties.

As if all his making up laws and breaking laws is not enough, his latest move should garner bi-partisan support for having blatantly crossed the line of being within the law and under constitutional authority. President Obama has become the most destructive force in this country to this country. He and his agenda must be stopped.

This latest move by the regime should be front page, above the fold in every newspaper, calling him out on this lawless action. Carrying the call for impeachment. But that’ll never happen.

Link: Obama Adds Irrationality To Lawlessness — While Threatening Prosecution  |  Thought Police: Firms must swear ObamaCare not a factor in firings

Ray Nagin, Guilty Of Graft In Katrina Recovery

A federal jury on Wednesday found former New Orleans Democratic Mayor Ray (Chocolate City) Nagin guilty of bribery and corruption in connection with his dealings with contractors in the early years of the city’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

Nagin, 57, faces more than 20 years in prison and will be sentenced at a later date. The jury found him guilty on 20 of the 21 corruption counts that he faced, including bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion. He was cleared on one count of bribery.

Three more years and Obama will give him his “get out of jail free” card on Pardon Day.

Link: Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin convicted on bribery, other charges

Threat Assessment, In Case You Missed It

Here’s a minute and a half of how well things are going in the world. From our “greatest” Secretary of State to the current one, and five years of “leading from (his) behind.”

Can’t imagine why you aren’t seeing this on the major news networks. You?

Full transcript HERE.

Looking back over my now more than half a century in intelligence, I’ve not experienced a time when we’ve been beset by more crises and threats around the globe. My list is long. It includes the scourge and diversification of terrorism, loosely connected and globally dispersed, to include here at home, as exemplified by the Boston Marathon bombing and by the sectarian war in Syria, its attraction as a growing center of radical extremism and the potential threat this poses now to the homeland.

Let me briefly expand on this point. The strength of the insurgency is now estimated at somewhere between 75,000 to 80,000 on the low end and 110,000 to 115,000 on the high end, who are organized into more than 1,500 groups of widely varying political leanings. Three of the most effective are the Al- Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, as it’s known, whose numbers total more than 20,000. Complicating this further are the 7,500-plus foreign fighters from some 50 countries who have gravitated to Syria. Among them are a small group of Af/Pak al Qaida veterans who have aspirations for external attack in Europe, if not the homeland itself.

And there are many other crises and threats around the globe, to include the spillover of the Syrian conflict into neighboring Lebanon and Iraq, the destabilizing flood of refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, now almost 2.5 million, a symptom of one of the largest humanitarian disasters in a decade.

The implications of the drawdown in Afghanistan: This year, as the chairman noted, is a crossroads, with the drawdown of ISAF, the presidential election, and whether the bilateral security agreement is signed. Key to sustaining the fragile gains we’ve made is sustained, external financial support.

The deteriorating internal security posture in Iraq, with AQI now in control of Fallujah, and violence across Iraq at very high levels. More than 5,000 civilians were killed in Iraq in 2013, which is a made — made that year Iraq’s deadliest since 2007.

The growth of foreign cyber-capabilities, both nation states, as well as non-nation states; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; aggressive nation state intelligence efforts against us; an assertive Russia; a competitive China; a dangerous, unpredictable North Korea; a challenging Iran, where the economic sanctions have had a profound impact on Iran’s economy and have contributed to the P5- plus-1 joint plan of action . . .