ILLUMINATIONS DVD All content owned and licensed by EMI Music (Canada) Inc.
Chicago Tea Party – tax day 2009 www.foundingbloggers.com
Back in early March I wrote about Patriot Super PAC, the tea party political action committee that we’re closely associated with here at LibertyNews.com. We are, after all, not just an information hub, but one also built on the idea of following information up with action. If you didn’t catch our post about Patriot Super PAC then, please take a minute to check it out now.
Now that the PAC is fully established and is well into the development of a very strong network of tea party activists, it’s time for its general election messaging campaign to begin shifting into higher gears. This begins the first of what will be many ads pushing back against Obama’s false hope. Specifically, Obama’s false change.
Be sure and check out more information about Patriot Super PAC, sign up for emails and watch for big announcements on targeted tea party races.
(Full Disclosure: I serve as a volunteer, unpaid political advisor for Patriot Super PAC)
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Complete video at: fora.tv Tea Party Patriots co-founders Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin cite internal polls showing a vast majority of their members are dissatisfied with the performance of GOP leadership in the US House of Representatives. According to Meckler, members may see “some concern” speaker John Boehner “can’t provide leadership” in a way consistent with Tea Party values. Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin are co-founders and national coordinators for the Tea Party Patriots, which claims to be the nation’s largest Tea Party organization with 3500 locally affiliated groups. This program was recorded in collaboration with the Christian Science Monitor, on July 27, 2011.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is reportedly moving towards a new back room deal in regard to the Stop Piracy Online Act (SOPA).
For those unfamiliar with the act, here is a description from EFF:
“As drafted, the legislation would grant the government and private parties unprecedented power to interfere with the Internet’s underlying infrastructure. The government would be able to force ISPs and search engines to block users’ attempts to reach certain websites’ URLs. In response, third parties will woo average users to alternative servers that offer access to the entire Internet (not just the newly censored U.S. version), which will create new computer security vulnerabilities as the Internet grows increasingly balkanized.
It gets worse: the blacklist bills’ provisions would give corporations and other private parties new powers to censor foreign websites with court orders that would cut off payment processors and advertisers. Broad immunity provisions (combined with a threat of litigation) would encourage service providers to overblock innocent users or even block websites voluntarily. This gives content companies every incentive to create unofficial blacklists of websites, which service providers would be under pressure to block without regard to the First Amendment.
Service providers would be forced to monitor and police their users’ activities as well, threatening the DMCA safe harbors that have been vital to online innovation over the last decade. SOPA gives the government new powers to go after sites that provide information about tools that might be used to bypass the blacklists – even though these are often the same tools used by democratic activists around the world to bypass Internet censorship mechanisms implemented by authoritarian governments like Iran and China.”
Chair of the MPAA, Chris Dodd, has said that he is he is “confident” negotiations for a SOPA revival are in the works. A statement which ignores the unprecedented Internet blackout protests, which were able to thwart the passage of both SOPA and PIPA, for the time being.
Internet users also took to the streets, in Europe, in massive protests against another rights-infringing act, ACTA.
The MPAA, however, is reluctant to give up on pushing this or similar legislation. The voluntary “graduated response” agreement is one example, which has been adopted by major American ISPs and is expected to roll out on July 1. Thousands have been calling on their providers to guarantee that they will never terminate a customer’s account under the new program. You can urge participating ISPs to make that commitment, at this link.
According to Harvard Professor, Lawrence Lessig, who is an outspoken advocate for net neutrality and Internet Freedom, the fight over SOPA is far from being over. As appears to now be the case, Lessig points out that while the battle over SOPA may have been won, the bill can resurface at any time under another name.
And, so it has. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is the latest proposed legislation being considered in congress.
“The Center for Democracy and Technology has some serious concerns with CISPA:
Concerns with CISPA include:
- CISPA has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies and it supersedes all other privacy laws.
- CISPA is likely to lead to expansion of the government’s role in the monitoring of private communications.
- CISPA is likely to shift control of government cybersecurity efforts from civilian agencies to the military.
- Once the information is shared with the government, it wouldn’t have to be used for cybersecurity, but could instead be used for other purposes.”
This is an atrocious bill, which would, for all practical purposes, lead to “significant spying on internet usage and private communications by the government with little to no oversight–and that includes not just domestic law enforcement, but military spying as well.”
David Seaman, of Business Insider, warns that it would be a mistake to assume a bill like this would never wind up on Obama’s desk, after passing both houses of Congress. People had the same doubts, initially, regarding the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which the president signed on December 31, 2011.
- Another Obama Administration BYPASS of Congress and The Constitution: Government Control of Internet Privacy and Intellectual Property Rights… Meet ACTA
- Internet goes dark in protest of big government regulation
- Is Reid Trying To Regulate The Internet Under The Guise of “Cybersecurity?”
- Landmark Water Rights Bill Clears House
- “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” Shot Down In Senate
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As I type, the Dow is down over 100 and there is gloom and doom on Wall St. And in Europe.
Here’s what the AP had to say a few minutes ago…
Worst day in a month for US stocks
NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market suffered its worst loss in a month Wednesday after a weak bond auction in Spain caused fears about Europe’s debt problems to flare up again. Gold plunged to its lowest level since January.
Investors looking for safe places to park money drove prices for U.S. government debt higher. The dollar surged against the euro…
The selloff was caused by a disappointing auction of government debt in Spain. Bond yields there shot higher, a signal that investor confidence in Spain’s finances is weakening. Spain announced tax increases and budget cuts last week….
In the United States, minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve showed that members had a sunnier view of the economy because of strong gains in the job market in December, January and February.
But the Fed also signaled that it is unlikely to buy more bonds to help the economy. The Fed has embarked on two rounds of bond-buying in the last several years, most recently in August 2010, to lower interest rates and help stock prices.
If you’re a regular reader, you know that the stock market is what’s called a “trailing indicator”, in other words, it reacts to market perceptions. You’re also not surprised that Spain is having problems peddling their sovereign debt, nor will you be surprised when Italy experiences the same problem with theirs, and when Greece comes to the table for a third bailout, you won’t be shocked.
What may be a tad eye popping is this report from Lee Adler in the Wall Street Examiner as reported in ZeroHedge about the Federal Reserve.
In today’s economic news, the mainstream media focused on the disappointment surrounding the FOMC [Federal Reserve Open Market Committee] Minutes, the massaged and sanitized fairy tale about what the participants said at last month’s FOMC confab. The market was shocked! SHOCKED! that most of the members saw no need for additional QE, unless things got worse.
…The minutes are fake. They are fabricated, false, phony, and sterilized garbage, designed for public consumption. To put it bluntly, they’re propaganda. They are what the Fed and Wall Street casino owners want you to think. They are a blatant attempt to manipulate the behavior of market participants through the use of clever turns of phrase.
Adler follows with a pretty technical dissertation on the Federal Reserve and how Bernanke’s moves in 2008 exacerbated the problems and how we’re being set up for round two. His conclusion is pretty stark.
The issue now is when will the Fed make its next catastrophic blunder. Just by tapping the brakes on the SOMA [Fed’s System Open Market Account], it is creating conditions for another swoon. It is trying to hold back commodity prices while getting the benefit of economic growth. The problem is that that growth is a second order bubble effect of the rising stock market. If they don’t feed the market, they won’t get their economic growth. If they do feed the market, commodity prices will explode upward, and that will eventually put a stake in the heart of growth. For now, manufacturing activity is on a growth track. On the surface it appears that the Fed’s propaganda and manipulation is working, but in truth Bernanke has laid the groundwork for the Fed’s next blunder, panic move, and massive dislocation.
We are sitting on top of a house of cards. The US Government has not had an operating budget in three years. This President has yet to propose a serious budget, he sends political documents to Congress so he can rail about the “do nothings”. His latest budget fiasco was offered in the House and was defeated 414-0. Zero. Democrats have controlled the US Senate for Obama’s entire term, it takes just 51 votes to pass a budget, it can’t be filibustered. The Democrats have refused to even bring a budget to a vote, even though they could introduce it and pass it before lunch on any given day the Senate is in session.
Our national debt is skyrocketing, we crossed the 100% debt-to-GDP ratio in December and we’re headed for the “magical 120%” like a runaway train. The administration refuses to produce a realistic picture of the state of the US economy and the open rebuke from the CBO earlier this year showing the dislocation between what will likely occur and what the administration insists will occur over the next ten years based on the difference between what the President is assuming vs. the CBO.
Europe is nothing short of a bomb just waiting to go off. As we’ve discussed, Greece is going to have to go back to the well. They have elections coming up and the politicians will have hell to pay over the austerity programs that the European Central Bank (ECB) has extracted. Not only will their people be up in arms, their economy won’t be recovering any time soon. Spain is queuing up as the next domino, with Italy not far behind. Europe is in a recession that their bankers are selling as “mild”. We’ll see this summer. If their recession is, in fact, more serious than “mild” it will hit the US like truck, they are our number one customer.
Let’s not forget $5.00 gas and quickly rising electricity rates thanks to the President’s inaction on energy development while he schmoozes his green buddies with drilling exploration bans and the EPA killing the coal industry.
Sorry to be a wet blanket. Really I am. But somebody’s got to stare reality in the face and sound a warning. There IS something you can do. The election is in November. Get involved at your local level, write a check to conservative candidates and get involved in a campaign. And vote. The stakes are too high to sleep in.
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Univision’s Jorge Ramos sat down with Andrew Breitbart and talked among many things about the importance of the hispanic community in US Politics.
“Important findings of independent audits ought to result in accountability, ” says Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He’s asking a Navy official about her rejection of recommendations in an audit regarding a contract which failed to meet cost-effectiveness standards.
“The truth is, these projects have been a license to waste the taxpayers’ money.” Grassley said. “They need to be stopped, and decision makers need to be held accountable.”
The subject of the Naval Audit Service Report driving Grassley’s questions is a $90 million contract awarded for photovoltaic projects in Florida, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia using money appropriated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Based on a careful review of all relevant facts, the audit concluded that these projects were a waste of money and recommended that they be cancelled.
Grassley said the Naval Audit Service Report spells out the dramatic degree to which these projects fail on cost-effectiveness. With an average payback of 124 years, ranging from a low of 70 all the way up to 324 years and a savings-to-investment ratio in the 0.04-0.20 range, these projects were not even close to meeting energy efficiency standards established in law and regulation. And because the photovoltaic panels have an expected useful life of 25 years, the audit report states, “recovery of investment is impossible … . The panels will never pay for themselves.”
Grassley said contracts like this one show why people at the grass roots are so legitimately frustrated with wasteful government spending. In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, who is responsible for the decisions that led to the contract awards, Grassley said that by the government’s own standards that carry the force of law, these $90 million photovoltaic projects were not cost effective. “In fact, they were a gross waste of the taxpayers’ money,” he wrote:
“…Recognizing the obligations of the Assistant Secretary’s position to abide by the law and responsibly manage taxpayer money…[f]or reasons I do not yet understand, you appear to have willingly abandoned those responsibilities to further the energy ‘goals’ advocated by the Secretary of the Navy…”
Following the September 2011 release of a separate but related audit conducted by the Inspector General for the Department of Defense, Grassley raised questions directly with the Navy last November. The Navy response said, “There is no absolute requirement on Federal agencies that renewable energy projects be cost-effective in order to be executed.” In his response in a letter, Grassley asked for the law and regulation that exempt such projects from cost-effectiveness standards.
Grassley said he has notified both Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Acting Inspector General Lynne M. Halbrooks about his questions regarding the Navy’s response to this audit.
Three days ago Defense Secretary Leon Panetta blasted Congress on the USS Peleliu, during a shipboard visit off the Southern California Coast:
“…Congress did a stupid thing. What they essentially did was to put a gun to their heads and to the head of the country and basically say that if they did not come up with a plan to reduce the deficit, that this so-called sequester process would go into effect…That process would cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending across the board — almost $500 billion to come from the defense budget…The cuts would be implemented across the board, he said, guaranteeing that the force would be hollowed out in the process. “It would guarantee that every area would be cut,” Panetta said. “It would guarantee that it would weaken our defense system for the future…”
“…I told the members of Congress, ‘Look, I’ve got men and women that put their heads, their lives on the line every day to protect this country. I’m just asking you to assume just a little bit of risk here to do what’s right for this country and to solve the problems that we face,’” he told the group.‘If my men in women can do this, then you can do it as well,’ Panetta said he told Congress….So I’m hoping that ultimately they’ll do what’s right and that [sequestration] won’t happen…”
During a recent Senate Budget Committee hearing in on defense spending, Grassley urged Panetta to examine audit recommendations and pursue reforms. He said the Defense Secretary could prevent the problems identified by auditors from being buried in the bureaucracy and never addressed
Grassley said he, for years, has been calling on auditors for the Defense Department’s Inspector General to issue stronger recommendations and said their work is a mission of the highest importance.
In the meantime, Representative Randy Forbes, is urging the Secretary of the Navy to fight for more ships and NOT Green Energy. ”You’re the Secretary of the Navy,” he said. “Not the Secretary of Energy.”
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CNBC commentator, Rick Santelli, fired the rant heard round the country on February 19, 2009. Eight days later rallies erupted all over America. Hartford’s first rally attracted about 125 people. Most of the Hartford attendees on that 2009 Friday had never been active in politics. Things changed. The Tea Party Movement has seen a momentous rise in a short time. As the movement matures and enters it’s 4th year, Tea Party Patriots walk the halls of Congress. Tea Party Patriots have taken back entire state legislatures. Connecticut nurtures a very ardent cadre of conservative grass roots activists. Many of them held court today across the street from the Capitol Building. Perhaps 2012 will be the year Connecticut comes to it’s senses and begins the trend to the right. At least for a few minutes this morning a heavenly light bathed we the people through a prism of a brace of “Old Glories”. The lady in red, Kay, was one of the four original Hartford Tax Day Tea Party organizers.