America’s Rating as a Free Country Continues to Plummet

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This is a sad article for me to post….we are losing our freedoms folks.

Freedom can be defined in many ways. However, one of the greatest indicators of freedom and liberty is economic freedom. True free-market capitalism is the basis of individual liberty. However, America is no longer a top 5 contender, and we haven’t been for a years. Actually, America is barely even in the top 10. The 2012 Index of Economic Freedom study reports that America continues to fail. Who took first place in economic freedom in 2012? The

Source:http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/12067-economic-freedom-by-country.html#axzz2JI3AV7Pz

Source: http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/12067-economic-freedom-by-country.html#axzz2JI3AV7Pz

answer may surprise you. It was Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s score was an 89.9%, which was a 0.2% increase from 2011. Following Hong Kong in order: Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Ireland, and finally America at number 10. America’s economic freedom score was a 76.3%, which is down 1.5% from 2011. In fact, America is no longer even rated as a “Free” nation, which is a title granted only to countries with a score above 80%, but a “Mostly Free” nation. Right behind America rated at number 11 is Denmark. Denmark places the highest total tax pressure on its citizens in the world.

This study takes the following 10 benchmarks into account when rating countries: Freedom from corruption, property rights, individual fiscal freedom, restrained government spending, monetary freedom, business freedom, labor freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom. As mentioned earlier, economic freedom is more vast than it may sound on the surface. It includes all of the above benchmarks, which affect our everyday lives. Money is not the root of all evil; however it is at the root of our lives and if we are not economically free one must ask themselves if our freedom simply a fallacy. There are 9 other countries more economically free than America and our rating is dropping drastically. In 2010, America was rated number 8.  With the numbers trending down and all of the benchmarks trending towards negative values America’s rating should not be expected to improve when the 2013 ratings are released.

There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty. -Margaret Thatcher

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Black Lawmakers Going to Walk on Holder Vote?

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Exceptionally stupid…whichever party is in power. If you don’t cooperate with Congress, you evade taxes, you won’t turn over papers…you get charged. Now, here’s where the real politics starts, a Democrat tells Juan Williams on FNC’s “O’Reilly Factor that the NRA is to blame, and then this grandstanding. Looks to me like it’s hard to admit that you’re not just wrong, but stupid too….

Black Lawmakers Plot ‘Walkout Strategy’ During Holder Contempt Vote

By Shane Goldmacher, National Journal.
June 27, 2012 

The Congressional Black Caucus has called a members-only “emergency” meeting on Thursday to plot a “walkout strategy” ahead of the scheduled contempt vote of Attorney General Eric Holder later in the day.

The plans, detailed in an email from the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus obtained by the Alley, include circulating a letter disapproving of the vote and having lawmakers walk out of the Capitol to hold a press conference during the roll call.

The letter, a draft of which is being circulated for signatures, accuses the GOP leadership of “rushing recklessly to a contempt vote.” The letter is being circulated among the Black, Hispanic, Asian and Progressive caucuses, among other.

“We cannot and will not participate in a vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt,” says the letter, in which the signers urge that “all members of Congress to stand with us during a press conference on the Capitol Building steps during this appalling series of votes to discuss our nation’s most significant priority–creating jobs.”

The House is expected to vote on Thursday hold Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to release certain documents related to the failed “Fast and Furious” gun-running program.

At moments, the fight has taken on racial undertones, most notably when Holder, who is African American, told the New York Times in December 2011 that he served as a stand-in for GOP attacks on President Obama. “This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” Holder said, “both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”

A copy of the full draft letter is below:

Dear Colleague:

We write to urge you to stand with us in the pursuit of justice for the Attorney General of the United States of America, Eric H. Holder. In its history, the United States House of Representatives has never held a United States Attorney General, or any other Cabinet official, in contempt.

Instead of focusing on job creation and other critical issues before this Congress, we have been asked to engage in a political stunt on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Our constituents elected us to do real work, not to engage in meaningless partisan activity.

Over the past 15 months, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice have cooperated with the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s requests for information on “Fast and Furious”, an unfortunate operation that began under the Bush Administration and, in fact, was terminated by Attorney General Holder. The Department has made extraordinary efforts to accommodate Congress by turning over almost 8,000 documents–including all the documents that relate to the tactics in this investigation and the other flawed investigations that occurred in Arizona during the Bush Administration. The Attorney General also participated in a bicameral meeting in a good faith effort to satisfy the Committee’s information requests. While the Attorney General has advised House Republicans that he is willing to work with them in attempting to reach an agreement, the Republican Leadership is instead rushing recklessly to a contempt vote.

Contempt power should be used sparingly, carefully and only in the most egregious situations. The Republican Leadership has articulated no legislative purpose for pursuing this course of action. For these reasons we cannot and will not participate in a vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt. We adamantly oppose this partisan attack and refuse to participate in any vote that would tarnish the image of Congress or of an Attorney General who has done nothing but work tirelessly to protect the rights of the American people. We must reflect upon why we are elected to this body and choose now to stand up for justice.

We call upon all members of Congress to stand with us during a press conference on the Capitol Building steps during this appalling series of votes to discuss our nation’s most significant priority–creating jobs. At this critically important time in our nation, we must work as colleagues rather than political enemies.

No Cajones in Congress…

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OK, then what? If he’s usurping the law, he should be tried…where are the representatives of our country to call him to task? Huh? They have as much power as he, and can stop it.

 

Lamar Smith: Obama’s amnesty for illegal immigrants is against the law

The Obama administration decision for immunity from deportation for young illegal immigrants is a breach of faith with Americans. It also blatantly ignores the law. This isn’t the first time Obama has waived rules or refused to enforce laws against illegal immigration, writes Rep. Smith.

 

President Obama responds June 15 as he is interrupted while announcing that his administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants. Op-ed contributor Rep. Lamar Smith writes that to ‘ignore Congress and the Constitution is exactly what the president has done.’ 

WASHINGTON

It’s said that desperate times call for desperate measures. But in these dismal economic and political times, the Obama administration has called for unlawful measures that grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants.

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Today, Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, announced immunity from deportation for illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and who are younger than 30 – among other criteria. They can apply for a two-year work permit that can be renewed indefinitely.

The decision is not just a breach of faith with the American people. It blatantly ignores the rule of law that is the foundation of our democracy.

In an interview with Univision television earlier this year, President Obama said that he can’t just “waive away the laws that Congress put in place” and that “the president doesn’t have the authority to simply ignore Congress and say, ‘We’re not going to enforce the laws that you’ve passed.’”

But ignore Congress and the Constitution is exactly what the president has done –  and this isn’t the first time. Throughout the past three years of his administration, Mr. Obama has waived applying several of our immigration rules and has refused to enforce other immigration laws.

Earlier this year, administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) outlined their plan to ignore a rule that requires illegal immigrants to leave the US before they can then ask the federal government to waive a law that bans them from legally returning here for several years.

While the waiver of this rule is sometimes allowed under current law, it is only applied on a case-by-case basis, not to entire categories of illegal immigrants. But Obama and his administration have bent these established rules by applying them to potentially millions of illegal immigrants.

And this decision comes on the heels of an even larger plan to reward illegal immigrants. Last year, political appointees at DHS issued new deportation guidelines to target illegal immigrants that have been identified by DHS. That amounts to backdoor amnesty and strikes another blow at the 13 million unemployed American workers.

Under Obama’s deportation policy, DHS officials review all incoming and most pending cases before an immigration court to determine if the illegal immigrant can remain in the US. Since DHS political appointees have made clear that many illegal immigrants are not considered “priorities” for removal, this means that potentially millions of illegal immigrants can remain in the US without a vote of Congress.

The administration’s amnesty policy, expanded once again, not only violates the rule of law, it only benefits illegal immigrants, not Americans, and is a magnet for fraud. Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim they came here as children or are under the age of 30 and the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true.

And once these illegal immigrants are granted deferred action, they can then apply for a work permit, which the administration routinely grants 90 percent of the time. This could put even more US citizens on the unemployment rolls.

Ignoring Congress and the Constitution may be politically convenient for President Obama, but this huge policy shift has horrible consequences for unemployed Americans looking for jobs. It violates the president’s oath to uphold the laws of this land.

It doesn’t matter how bleak poll numbers are or how low campaign coffers may be, the president of the United States cannot ignore the rule of law.

Executive Orders And The New American Sovyet

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Dear Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, et. al;

Our federal government is out of control.  It is not the role of the federal government to regulate the daily lives of the citizens.   It is not the role of the federal government to regulate domestic commerce.  It is not the role of the federal government to tell farmers what to grow, nor tell people what to eat.  It is not the role of the federal government to dictate the education of our children.  It is not the job of the federal government to trespass into state criminal investigations.

It is not the role of the federal government to control our rural or municipal affairs; yet, the President has now established federal councils for both rural affairs (Executive Order 13575—Establishment of the White House Rural Council June 9, 2011)and municipal affairs (Executive Order— Establishing a White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities May 1, 2012).  Russia called these councils the “sovyet” and they are the final building blocks to communism.  It is not the role of the Federal government to be the people’s nanny.

It’s not the role of the Federal government to spend this nation into oblivion.  Pardon me if I do not get excited about your current budget debate.  That drama has outlived itself, and I say let the government shut down for a while; we might buy a few more days of life for our Constitution.   I am also not impressed by your resolution on foreign affairs, encouraging “democracies” in foreign nations, while our republic is being actively destroyed by its own government.

It is your role, Congress, to stop the Executive encroachment into the Legislature and it is your duty to stop the Federal encroachment upon individual Liberty.  Our founders took great care when creating a federal government that would be limited and always in submission to the states and the people.  WHEN is Congress going to take a real stand against the destruction of the rights and privileges of this people? Will you wait until it’s too late? Mere “outrage” doesn’t get the job done.  This Congress is pushing the nation to a point of turmoil it has not seen for 150 years.  And make no mistake; each and every one of you will be personally responsible for what will occur.  Are you prepared to live with that responsibility and those consequences?  It will not fall on the shoulders of the President alone and the blame game will not alleviate the suffering of our children when they are so grievously affected.  Yet, we can avoid repeating the mistakes of our history.  But we must act now. We must act decisively.  If not, we will regret our neglect.  We have the opportunity now, but have no guarantee it will be available much longer.

Does Congress truly understand WHY people fled communist nations to come to the greatest nation in the world?  Do you truly know the cost of such sacrifice and what you are supposed to be defending?  You are fooling yourselves if you think one more election is going to fix it.  You don’t have that kind of time.  The blocks are in place, and you have provided the mortar.  Take a stand now.  Not a political stand, but a stand that involves integrity, courage, and resolve.  No more petitions asking the president to stop stealing legislative power.  No more demands that Eric Holder resign.  YOU must do your job and YOU must defend this nation and it’s Constitution from these enemies, both foreign and domestic.   You must:

  1. Put an end to the executive order madness.  Exercise your constitutionally given power, as provided through the checks and balances and separation of powers.  Show this nation that you understand that Legislative power is not to be shared and it is definitely NOT to be taken.
  2. We are not subjects of the United Nations and never intend to be.  Get them out of our business.
  3. If you are unwilling to impeach, defund any person appointed by the executive branch outside Congressional and Constitutional authority.  (i.e. all the Christmas appointments and Czars)
  4. Pick up your Congressional oversight responsibility and shut down these executive regulatory agencies whose only purpose is to “harass our people, and eat out their substance.”
  5. Get control of the immigration in this nation.  We don’t want to see GAO reports telling us that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department cannot agree on the degree of terrorist association a visa applicant must have to render the applicant ineligible.
  6. It is time to indict Eric Holder for the criminal that he is. No more whining, no more demanding for resignations, INDICT him and then FIRE him.
  7. Impeach Elena Kagan.  She is obviously incapable of using the appropriate professional ethic and judgment needed to be a Supreme Court Justice.  Learn from this mistake and actually involve yourselves in the confirmation process.  Your employers are sick to death of political games.
  8. Repeal The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act.  Now. You are supposed to be protecting the rights of the people, not violating them.
  9. End the 4th amendment violations permitted in the Patriot Act.  Now.
  10. Repeal sections 1021 & 1022 of NDAA 2012. It’s not only about habeas corpus, it’s about
    1.  unilateral power given to the president by congress to determine who is a terrorist and then detain them in secret with no probable cause;
    2. unilateral power given to the president by congress to invoke the laws of war during a “hostility”;
    3. unilateral power given to the president by congress to transfer the power under the laws of war to “domestic agencies fighting terrorists”
  11. Get the IRS out of the passport business.
  12. Don’t just read the Constitution, study it.  Not how you studied it in law school, that wasn’t the Constitution, that was Constitutional Law, there is a huge difference.  Those of you who went to Harvard, we understand if you don’t know what the Constitution is, it hasn’t been studied there in years.  May I suggest a course that I know will teach you the truth and is so simple a Congressman can understand it.  I happen to know the teacher personally and I am sure that she would come teach it at her own expense and sacrifice.  Interested? Click Here.

These are some of the demands of your employers; we demand you do your job.  These are the requirements of our founders; they have entrusted us with the Liberty purchased with their lives.  These are the duties imposed upon you by the Constitution of the United States, and your obligations consistent with the oaths you took.  And, these are the times that try men’s souls. How will history remember us? The generation that participated in death of Liberty or the generation that gave our last breath to prosper it? I have made my choice. How will you choose?

Sincerely,

KrisAnne Hall

www.KrisAnneHall.com

 

No Merry Christmas Allowed in Congress

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Well, here it is, your congress has been infected by the PC police:

Congressmen can’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ in mail | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner
http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/congressmen-cant-say-merry-christmas-mail/261466/blockquote>

Hopefully Not Coming Soon: Internet “Off” Switch…

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Caught this in the Washington Post. Please write your senator or congressman and tell them to worry about the economy and quit infringing on the last bastion of free speech…or we won’t even be able to bring you these stories:

 

Overkill on Internet piracy

By Jennifer Rubin

Over the weekend, First Amendment impresario Floyd Abrams addressed two controversial Internet piracy bills, the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the House version, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). He argued that the bill, designed to stop Internet theft of intellectual property, has been denounced by critics for setting up “ ‘walled gardens patrolled by government censors.’ Or derided as imparting ‘major features’ of ‘China’s Great Firewall’ to America. And accused of being ‘potentially politically repressive.’ ” He contends, “This is not serious criticism. The proposition that efforts to enforce the Copyright Act on the Internet amount to some sort of censorship, let alone Chinese-level censorship, is not merely fanciful. It trivializes the pain inflicted by actual censorship that occurs in repressive states throughout the world. Chinese dissidents do not yearn for freedom in order to download pirated movies.”

I don’t quarrel with his assertion that it is hysterical to regard enforcement of libel and copyright infringement on the Internet as the beginning of a totalitarian state. But he misses the real point of sober-minded critics: The bill is unnecessarily overbroad and a formula for a host of undesirable and unintended consequences.

ABC News reported last month on the over broad nature of the remedies that would be available:

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, said the bills would overdo it — giving copyright holders and government the power to cut off Web sites unreasonably. They could be shut down, and search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo could be stopped from linking to them.

“The solutions are draconian,” Schmidt said Tuesday at the MIT Sloan School of Management. “There’s a bill that would require ISPs [Internet service providers] to remove URLs from the Web, which is also known as censorship last time I checked.”

Harvard law professor and Supreme Court advocate Laurence Tribe (whom I don’t always agree with but who takes the Bill of Rights quite seriously and was instrumental in developing the jurisprudence that confirmed the Second Amendment is an individual right) has submitted a memo detailing the multiple ways in which SOPA runs afoul of the First Amendment. For example, “SOPA provides that a complaining party can file a notice alleging that it is harmed by the activities occurring on the site ‘or portion thereof .’ Conceivably, an entire website containing tens of thousands of pages could be targeted if only a single page were accused of infringement. Such an approach would create severe practical problems for sites with substantial user-generated content, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and for blogs that allow users to post videos, photos, and other materials.”And likewise: “The notice-and-termination procedure of Section 103(a) runs afoul of the ‘prior restraint’ doctrine, because it delegates to a private party the power to suppress speech without prior notice and a judicial hearing. This provision of the bill would give complaining parties the power to stop online advertisers and credit card processors from doing business with a website,merely by filing a unilateral notice accusing the site of being ‘dedicated to theft of U.S. property’ — even if no court has actually found any infringement. The immunity provisions in the bill create an overwhelming incentive for advertisers and payment processors to comply with such a request immediately upon receipt.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced a competing bill, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (the “Open Act”), which seeks to address legitimate concerns about SOPA/PIPA and focus more specifically on the real problem without knocking down robust, protected speech in an indiscriminate fashion. Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Mozilla, Yahoo!, and Zynga have signed on to support this alternative to SOPA/PIPA.

The Hill recently reported on OPEN: “The draft proposal would instead authorize the International Trade Commission to investigate and issue cease-and-desist orders against foreign websites that provide pirated content or sell counterfeit goods. The ITC would have to find that the site is ‘primarily’ and ‘willfully’ engaged in copyright infringement to issue the order.” Rather than take down entire websites and potentially interfere with perfectly legitimate and protected speech OPEN, would, after a court order, “compel payment providers and online advertising services to cease providing services to the offending website. The approach comports with current copyright law and hews to the ‘follow the money’ approach favored by Google and other tech companies.”

In short, this is not a fight between protectors of copyrights and Internet anarchists. Rather, there is a legitimate policy dispute about how broad and how disruptive government enforcement powers should be when core First Amendment rights are at issue. No doubt the Motion Picture Association of America, headed by disgraced former Connecticut senator Chris Dodd, has spread plenty of money around Congress to try to give the government the bluntest, heaviest weapon to fight piracy. But that doesn’t make it good policy. And it sure doesn’t make for constitutional legislation.

Why People Don’t Trust Government

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What’s in a poll? When the pollsters say that folks like/don’t like the President, Congress, candidates…you tend to look at where the poll comes from, the sample, the poller, etc. What I like to see is when the story makes it to the press on corruption. We see so much opinion, and most of the time it’s wrong…left or right. However, when true journalism hits, it’s hard to argue the point. All of it could be cured with term limits. I admit, I even agree with Rick Perry’s proposal of a part time congress somewhat. This is a story from the Washington Post and it explains exactly why people don’t trust the government:

By Dana Milbank, in the Washington Post

Almost exactly a year ago, members of Congress voted overwhelmingly to censure their colleague Rep. Charlie Rangel for bringing dishonor on the House. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi summoned the New York Democrat to the well and chastised him for his 11 ethics violations, which included improper fundraising.

This week, Rangel again brought the House into disrepute – but this time he had the full support of his colleagues.
“Last night marked a momentous evening in my campaign for re-election,” Rangel wrote in a letter to supporters on Thursday. “At a special event in Washington, Democratic leaders including Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, Sandy Levin, John Conyers, Emmanuel Cleaver, and Steve Israel stood by my side and pledged their unwavering support on my behalf. I am so humbled and grateful for their involvement.”

As further evidence of how he had gone from opprobrium to affirmation, Rangel attached an article from Politico headlined “What Censure? Rangel’s Back.” The article included quotes from Rangel taunting the House ethics committee members and saying his censure was all for show.

It’s hard to quarrel with Rangel’s reasoning. The fete Wednesday night at the upscale Bistro Bis, near Union Station, was a way for House Democrats to demonstrate that their punishment of the defrocked Ways and Means committee chairman was insincere. By attending the up-to-$5,000-per-ticket soiree, they were proclaiming that all was forgiven.

The public is not nearly so forgiving. The Rangel party — where lobbyists and other influence seekers paid to gain access to, and favor among, party leaders — goes a long way toward explaining why Americans’ approval of Congress has dropped to 9 percent.

The speedy rehabilitation of the first member of the House to be censured in nearly three decades is a symptom of what has destroyed trust in government and the ability of that government to function. As Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, an ethics specialist, put it to me this week: “Who would ever trust such a system?” And “how can this government continue to behave like this?”

Lessig, who began his career as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but who now describes himself as a liberal, wrote the just-released book “Republic, Lost,” about how both parties in Washington engage in “a corruption practiced by decent people” that has discredited government.

“The great threat to our republic today comes not from the hidden bribery of the Gilded Age,” he writes, but from “the economy of influence now transparent to all, which has normalized a process that draws our democracy away from the will of the people. . . . We have created instead an engine of influence that seeks simply to make those most connected rich.”

There’s hardly the need for more evidence to support such an obvious thesis, but more presents itself each day. On Thursday, the day after Rangel’s romp at Bistro Bis, lawmakers spent the day grilling Energy Secretary Steven Chu on how the Obama administration allowed a politically well-connected company called Solyndra to squander half a billion of taxpayer dollars when the solar energy company went belly-up. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) quizzed Chu about George Kaiser, an Obama donor and an investor whose venture capital firm had a stake in Solyndra, who “was in and around the White House at least 16 times in the time period that the Solyndra loan program was being reviewed.”

Chu denied this had anything to do with the decision. Maybe so, but in this pay-to-play system, who’s going to believe it?

It’s not as if Republicans are in a solid position to challenge the Democrats’ influence peddling. The Solyndra hearing came just after reports emerged that Newt Gingrich, this week’s surprise front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, had received at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from Freddie Mac. He took the money even as Republicans were trying to abolish the mortgage giant and even though he criticized President Obama for accepting campaign contributions from its executives.

But when it comes to hypocrisy, you have to raise a glass to the Democratic leaders who went for cocktails with Rangel donors paying $500 for individual access and $5,000 to be Political Action Committee “chairs.” “No corporate checks, please,” one solicitation reminded, under Rangel’s name.

The early solicitations promised access to “special guests” such as Hoyer, before the “great news” came out that Pelosi would attend. For lobbyists too busy to join, the campaign “would be willing to set up your own event” with Rangel.

For a man who just 11 months ago was censured for ethics violations, it was particularly brazen. What’s truly scandalous is how routine it was.

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