Obama enters Hill health care dispute

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From Politico.com

President Barack Obama privately told Democratic senators Wednesday he is now personally involved in resolving a heated dispute over how Obamacare treats Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers, according to senators in the meeting.

The president’s commitment was delivered at the beginning of Obama’s remarks to Senate Democrats during a closed-door session

At issue is whether Obama’s health care law allows the federal government to continue to pay part of the health insurance premiums for members of Congress and thousands of Hill aides when they are nudged onto health exchanges.

Currently, the government pays nearly 75 percent of these premiums. The government’s contributions are in jeopardy due to a controversial Republican amendment to the Affordable Care Act, which says that by 2014, lawmakers and their staff must be covered by plans “created” by the law or “offered through an exchange.”

The Office of Personnel Management hasn’t said if the Federal Employee Health Benefits program can contribute premium payments toward health plans on the exchange. If the payments stop, it could cost Hill staffers thousands of extra dollars each year.

The uncertainty is leading to dozens of lawmakers and aides considering leaving Capitol Hill.

It is extraordinarily rare, to say the least, for the president of the United States to get involved in an inside-the-Beltway flap over the payment of health care premiums.

Read more:

Obama enters Hill health care dispute – John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman – POLITICO.com.

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Retired Army officer warns: DHS preparing for war against American citizens

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I must admit, it’s hard to understand why, your own government would want to do this to it’s citizens. This article is from March of this year, 2013.

On Saturday, Terry M. Hestilow, a retired United States Army Captain from Fort Worth, Texas, posted a letter on Facebook that he wrote to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, warning that the Department of Homeland Security is preparing to go to war with the citizens of the United States.

“It is with gravest concern that I write to you today concerning the recent appropriation of weapons by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that can only be understood as a bold threat of war by that agency, and the Obama administration, against the citizens of the United States of America,” his letter began.

The retired officer expressed deep concerns over “recent purchases of almost 3,000 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) armored personnel carriers, 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition (with associated weapons), and other weapons systems.”

Capt. Hestilow added a statement that Barack Obama made during his 2008 campaign.

“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve gotta (sic) have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded [as the United States military],” he said.

He also accused the administration of “deliberately defunding, overextending, and hollowing the Department of Defense,” which he said is the “only legitimate agency” with the mission of conducting combat operations.

In his letter, Capt. Hestilow called on Congress to demand that the DHS surrender their weapons systems to the Defense Department. He also accused the DHS of enforcing the “tyrannical acts of this president” and said lawmakers should dissolve the agency “as soon as possible.”

“One needs only to look to the rise of Adolf Hitler, and his associated DHS organizations, the SA and the SS, of 1932-1934, to see the outcome of allowing an agency of government this kind of control over the free citizens of a nation,” he added.

Capt. Hestilow said that Americans cannot “be so naïve” as to think that what happened in Germany cannot happen here.

Earlier in the week, Capt. Hestilow asked his Facebook followers who the DHS intends to kill with the weapons and ammunition that it has recently purchased.

“Short answer,” he wrote. “You and me! Anyone they think is standing in their way to impose a new Marxist government! Anyone who stands for the U.S. Constitution!”

“If I live and still have a page to speak out on later this week, I will discuss a proper Constitutional response in a couple of days. Standby. Out,” he wrote on Thursday.

Capt. Hestilow ended his strongly-worded letter with a simple declaration: “We refuse to surrender our Constitution or our nation!”

Retired Army officer warns: DHS preparing for war against American citizens – National Policy & Issues | Examiner.com.

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Obama’s 50 most beautiful lobbyists

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They say D.C. is Hollywood for ugly people, but K Street can be D.C. for beautiful people — or people whose navigation of ethics rules is a sight to behold.

Candidate Obama said lobbyists wouldn’t work in his White House. President Obama said “we’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs.” But some lobbyists were too beautiful to exclude.

Here are our favorite 50 of the more than 100 former lobbyists who hold or have held senior policymaking jobs in the Obama administration.

Obama’s 50 most beautiful lobbyists | WashingtonExaminer.com.

E-mails Suggest Collusion Between FEC, IRS to Target Conservative Groups

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Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office appear to have twice colluded to influence the record before the FEC’s vote in the case of a conservative non-profit organization, according to e-mails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee and obtained exclusively by National Review Online. The correspondence suggests the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond the IRS and into the FEC, where an attorney from the agency’s enforcement division in at least one case sought and received tax information about the status of a conservative group, the American Future Fund, before recommending that the commission prosecute it for violations of campaign-finance law. Lerner, the former head of the IRS’s exempt-organizations division, worked at the FEC from 1986 to 1995, and was known for aggressive investigation of conservative groups during her tenure there, too.

“Several months ago . . . I spoke with you about the American Future Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization that had submitted an exemption application the IRS [sic],” the FEC attorney wrote Lerner in February 2009. The FEC, which polices violations of campaign-finance laws, is not exempted under Rule 6103, which prohibits the IRS from sharing confidential taxpayer information, but the e-mail indicates Lerner may have provided that information nonetheless: “When we spoke last July, you had told us that the American Future Fund had not received an exemption letter from the IRS,” the FEC attorney wrote.

The timing of the correspondence between Lerner and the FEC suggests the FEC attorney sought information from the IRS in order to influence an upcoming vote by the six FEC commissioners.

E-mails Suggest Collusion Between FEC, IRS to Target Conservative Groups | National Review Online.

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’

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NSA “Big Brother” Watching Everything you Do On the Internet…Including Facebook Chats…It’s getting to where living in America is approaching like living in Communist China as far as this type thing goes.

 

XKeyscore map

One presentation claims the XKeyscore program covers ‘nearly everything a typical user does on the internet’

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.

The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian’s earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight.

The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10.

“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden’s assertion: “He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA‘s “widest reaching” system developing intelligence from computer networks – what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata.

Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing “real-time” interception of an individual’s internet activity.

 

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’ | World news | theguardian.com.

Rubio Votes With Reid and Obama, Against American People

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Rubio Votes With Reid and Obama, Against American People

Today, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) stood with President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and against the rule of law to continue sending foreign aid to Egypt. Under current law, the United States is prohibited from providing financial assistance to countries that have experienced a military coup d’état.

“Despite the fact that nearly 75 percent of Americans are against sending foreign aid to Egypt, Senator Rubio today stood with President Obama and Harry Reid to vote against the rule of law and the American people,” said Campaign for Liberty President John Tate. “I fully expected Senator McCain and Senator Graham to vote with Reid and Obama, as they often do, but for Senator Rubio, who bills himself as a conservative, to do so is disgraceful.

“Campaign for Liberty will be sure to remind the citizens of Florida that Senator Rubio stood with Obama to send their money to Egypt.”

Rubio Votes With Reid and Obama, Against American People – Campaign for Liberty.

Texas AG – Greg Abbott: Obama’s scheme to take over Texas

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This op-ed was written by Attorney General Greg Abbott for The Washington Times.

ABBOTT: Obama’s scheme to take over Texas
Overruling the Supreme Court on voting rights is the start
By Greg Abbott
The Washington Times
July 30, 2013

The Obama administration’s interference in Texas’ redistricting and voter-ID litigation does not protect voting rights. It protects the Democratic Party. Recall that just a few months ago, high-ranking Obama operatives launched a campaign to “turn Texas blue.” The administration’s foray into Texas voting rights litigation is just another page in that political playbook.

In redistricting, the Obama administration has aligned itself with Democratic state representatives and Democratic members of Congress who already are suing Texas. It is no surprise then that the legal position of President Obama’s attorneys seeks to improve Democratic candidates’ prospects. Of course, Mr. Obama’s attorneys conceal this partisan agenda with lofty rhetoric about minority voting rights. But it is no coincidence that every change to district lines supported by the administration benefits Democrats. Behind the empty allegations of racial discrimination lies one goal — helping Democrats in 2014.

The president’s partisan use of the Voting Rights Act actually hurts many minority voters in Texas. With the administration’s support, redistricting litigation already has unseated Texas state Reps. Jose Aliseda, Raul Torres, Aaron Pena and John Garza, as well as U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco. These representatives — all Republicans — won in 2010 in predominantly Hispanic districts. In 2011, however, the Obama administration and other partisan interest groups succeeded in getting a court to draw district lines so that only a Democrat could win these seats. As a direct result, all of these Republican Hispanic representatives lost their seats in 2012 except for Mr. Aliseda, who chose not to run for re-election. His district had been dismantled altogether at Democrats‘ request.

The administration’s approach reveals the Democrats‘ fear that Republican candidates were making inroads with Hispanic voters. Democrats could never “turn Texas blue” if that trend continued, so they got the courts to draw district lines that guarantee Democratic victory in predominantly Hispanic areas. What about the rights of Hispanic voters who preferred representatives such as Mr. Aliseda, you might ask? They apparently don’t matter to this administration.

– See more at: http://www.gregabbott.com/abbott-obamas-scheme-to-take-over-texas/#sthash.qtiRtKOd.dpuf

This op-ed was written by Attorney General Greg Abbott for The Washington Times.

ABBOTT: Obama’s scheme to take over Texas
Overruling the Supreme Court on voting rights is the start
By Greg Abbott
The Washington Times
July 30, 2013

The Obama administration’s interference in Texas’ redistricting and voter-ID litigation does not protect voting rights. It protects the Democratic Party. Recall that just a few months ago, high-ranking Obama operatives launched a campaign to “turn Texas blue.” The administration’s foray into Texas voting rights litigation is just another page in that political playbook.

In redistricting, the Obama administration has aligned itself with Democratic state representatives and Democratic members of Congress who already are suing Texas. It is no surprise then that the legal position of President Obama’s attorneys seeks to improve Democratic candidates’ prospects. Of course, Mr. Obama’s attorneys conceal this partisan agenda with lofty rhetoric about minority voting rights. But it is no coincidence that every change to district lines supported by the administration benefits Democrats. Behind the empty allegations of racial discrimination lies one goal — helping Democrats in 2014.

The president’s partisan use of the Voting Rights Act actually hurts many minority voters in Texas. With the administration’s support, redistricting litigation already has unseated Texas state Reps. Jose Aliseda, Raul Torres, Aaron Pena and John Garza, as well as U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco. These representatives — all Republicans — won in 2010 in predominantly Hispanic districts. In 2011, however, the Obama administration and other partisan interest groups succeeded in getting a court to draw district lines so that only a Democrat could win these seats. As a direct result, all of these Republican Hispanic representatives lost their seats in 2012 except for Mr. Aliseda, who chose not to run for re-election. His district had been dismantled altogether at Democrats‘ request.

The administration’s approach reveals the Democrats‘ fear that Republican candidates were making inroads with Hispanic voters. Democrats could never “turn Texas blue” if that trend continued, so they got the courts to draw district lines that guarantee Democratic victory in predominantly Hispanic areas. What about the rights of Hispanic voters who preferred representatives such as Mr. Aliseda, you might ask? They apparently don’t matter to this administration.

– See more at: http://www.gregabbott.com/abbott-obamas-scheme-to-take-over-texas/#sthash.qtiRtKOd.dpuf

This op-ed was written by Attorney General Greg Abbott for The Washington Times.

ABBOTT: Obama’s scheme to take over Texas
Overruling the Supreme Court on voting rights is the start
By Greg Abbott
The Washington Times
July 30, 2013

The Obama administration’s interference in Texas’ redistricting and voter-ID litigation does not protect voting rights. It protects the Democratic Party. Recall that just a few months ago, high-ranking Obama operatives launched a campaign to “turn Texas blue.” The administration’s foray into Texas voting rights litigation is just another page in that political playbook.

In redistricting, the Obama administration has aligned itself with Democratic state representatives and Democratic members of Congress who already are suing Texas. It is no surprise then that the legal position of President Obama’s attorneys seeks to improve Democratic candidates’ prospects. Of course, Mr. Obama’s attorneys conceal this partisan agenda with lofty rhetoric about minority voting rights. But it is no coincidence that every change to district lines supported by the administration benefits Democrats. Behind the empty allegations of racial discrimination lies one goal — helping Democrats in 2014.

The president’s partisan use of the Voting Rights Act actually hurts many minority voters in Texas. With the administration’s support, redistricting litigation already has unseated Texas state Reps. Jose Aliseda, Raul Torres, Aaron Pena and John Garza, as well as U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco. These representatives — all Republicans — won in 2010 in predominantly Hispanic districts. In 2011, however, the Obama administration and other partisan interest groups succeeded in getting a court to draw district lines so that only a Democrat could win these seats. As a direct result, all of these Republican Hispanic representatives lost their seats in 2012 except for Mr. Aliseda, who chose not to run for re-election. His district had been dismantled altogether at Democrats‘ request.

The administration’s approach reveals the Democrats‘ fear that Republican candidates were making inroads with Hispanic voters. Democrats could never “turn Texas blue” if that trend continued, so they got the courts to draw district lines that guarantee Democratic victory in predominantly Hispanic areas. What about the rights of Hispanic voters who preferred representatives such as Mr. Aliseda, you might ask? They apparently don’t matter to this administration.

– See more at: http://www.gregabbott.com/abbott-obamas-scheme-to-take-over-texas/#sthash.qtiRtKOd.dpuf

This op-ed was written by Attorney General Greg Abbott for The Washington Times.

ABBOTT: Obama’s scheme to take over Texas
Overruling the Supreme Court on voting rights is the start
By Greg Abbott
The Washington Times
July 30, 2013

The Obama administration’s interference in Texas’ redistricting and voter-ID litigation does not protect voting rights. It protects the Democratic Party. Recall that just a few months ago, high-ranking Obama operatives launched a campaign to “turn Texas blue.” The administration’s foray into Texas voting rights litigation is just another page in that political playbook.

In redistricting, the Obama administration has aligned itself with Democratic state representatives and Democratic members of Congress who already are suing Texas. It is no surprise then that the legal position of President Obama’s attorneys seeks to improve Democratic candidates’ prospects. Of course, Mr. Obama’s attorneys conceal this partisan agenda with lofty rhetoric about minority voting rights. But it is no coincidence that every change to district lines supported by the administration benefits Democrats. Behind the empty allegations of racial discrimination lies one goal — helping Democrats in 2014.

The president’s partisan use of the Voting Rights Act actually hurts many minority voters in Texas. With the administration’s support, redistricting litigation already has unseated Texas state Reps. Jose Aliseda, Raul Torres, Aaron Pena and John Garza, as well as U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco. These representatives — all Republicans — won in 2010 in predominantly Hispanic districts. In 2011, however, the Obama administration and other partisan interest groups succeeded in getting a court to draw district lines so that only a Democrat could win these seats. As a direct result, all of these Republican Hispanic representatives lost their seats in 2012 except for Mr. Aliseda, who chose not to run for re-election. His district had been dismantled altogether at Democrats‘ request.

The administration’s approach reveals the Democrats‘ fear that Republican candidates were making inroads with Hispanic voters. Democrats could never “turn Texas blue” if that trend continued, so they got the courts to draw district lines that guarantee Democratic victory in predominantly Hispanic areas. What about the rights of Hispanic voters who preferred representatives such as Mr. Aliseda, you might ask? They apparently don’t matter to this administration.

– See more at: http://www.gregabbott.com/abbott-obamas-scheme-to-take-over-texas/#sthash.qtiRtKOd.dpuf

his op-ed was written by Attorney General Greg Abbott for The Washington Times.

ABBOTT: Obama’s scheme to take over Texas
Overruling the Supreme Court on voting rights is the start
By Greg Abbott
The Washington Times
July 30, 2013

The Obama administration’s interference in Texas’ redistricting and voter-ID litigation does not protect voting rights. It protects the Democratic Party. Recall that just a few months ago, high-ranking Obama operatives launched a campaign to “turn Texas blue.” The administration’s foray into Texas voting rights litigation is just another page in that political playbook.

In redistricting, the Obama administration has aligned itself with Democratic state representatives and Democratic members of Congress who already are suing Texas. It is no surprise then that the legal position of President Obama’s attorneys seeks to improve Democratic candidates’ prospects. Of course, Mr. Obama’s attorneys conceal this partisan agenda with lofty rhetoric about minority voting rights. But it is no coincidence that every change to district lines supported by the administration benefits Democrats. Behind the empty allegations of racial discrimination lies one goal — helping Democrats in 2014.

The president’s partisan use of the Voting Rights Act actually hurts many minority voters in Texas. With the administration’s support, redistricting litigation already has unseated Texas state Reps. Jose Aliseda, Raul Torres, Aaron Pena and John Garza, as well as U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco. These representatives — all Republicans — won in 2010 in predominantly Hispanic districts. In 2011, however, the Obama administration and other partisan interest groups succeeded in getting a court to draw district lines so that only a Democrat could win these seats. As a direct result, all of these Republican Hispanic representatives lost their seats in 2012 except for Mr. Aliseda, who chose not to run for re-election. His district had been dismantled altogether at Democrats‘ request.

The administration’s approach reveals the Democrats‘ fear that Republican candidates were making inroads with Hispanic voters. Democrats could never “turn Texas blue” if that trend continued, so they got the courts to draw district lines that guarantee Democratic victory in predominantly Hispanic areas. What about the rights of Hispanic voters who preferred representatives such as Mr. Aliseda, you might ask? They apparently don’t matter to this administration.

– See more at: http://www.gregabbott.com/abbott-obamas-scheme-to-take-over-texas/#sthash.qtiRtKOd.dpuf

Overruling the Supreme Court on voting rights is the start…

.Eric Holder’s Justice Department is redrawing Texas voting districts to stack the deck in favor of Democrats…And his opposition to voter ID laws is proof positive he aims to encourage outright vote fraud.

Texas will supply anyone with a valid ID for voting purposes at no charge. They’ll even come to your door…There’s simply no excuse for not having an ID–except to commit fraud.

The Obama administration’s interference in Texas’ redistricting and voter-ID litigation does not protect voting rights. It protects the Democratic Party. Recall that just a few months ago, high-ranking Obama operatives launched a campaign to “turn Texas blue.” The administration’s foray into Texas voting rights litigation is just another page in that political playbook.

In redistricting, the Obama administration has aligned itself with Democratic state representatives and Democratic members of Congress who already are suing Texas. It is no surprise then that the legal position of President Obama’s attorneys seeks to improve Democratic candidates’ prospects. Of course, Mr. Obama’s attorneys conceal this partisan agenda with lofty rhetoric about minority voting rights. But it is no coincidence that every change to district lines supported by the administration benefits Democrats. Behind the empty allegations of racial discrimination lies one goal — helping Democrats in 2014.

The president’s partisan use of the Voting Rights Act actually hurts many minority voters in Texas. With the administration’s support, redistricting litigation already has unseated Texas state Reps. Jose Aliseda, Raul Torres, Aaron Pena and John Garza, as well as U.S. Rep. Quico Canseco. These representatives — all Republicans — won in 2010 in predominantly Hispanic districts. In 2011, however, the Obama administration and other partisan interest groups succeeded in getting a court to draw district lines so that only a Democrat could win these seats. As a direct result, all of these Republican Hispanic representatives lost their seats in 2012 except for Mr. Aliseda, who chose not to run for re-election. His district had been dismantled altogether at Democrats‘ request.

The administration’s approach reveals the Democrats‘ fear that Republican candidates were making inroads with Hispanic voters. Democrats could never “turn Texas blue” if that trend continued, so they got the courts to draw district lines that guarantee Democratic victory in predominantly Hispanic areas. What about the rights of Hispanic voters who preferred representatives such as Mr. Aliseda, you might ask? They apparently don’t matter to this administration.

Read more:

ABBOTT: Obama’s scheme to take over Texas – Greg Abbott.

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