Democrats: Free speech for me, not for thee

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., co-wrote the DISCLOSE Act which, according to its backers, will ensure transparency in campaign ad funding. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP file)

In March, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision struck down campaign finance limits on political expression by individuals working through corporations and unions as a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. A cry ensued among liberal Democrats predicting doom if they and their special interest allies were required to follow the Constitution. Big Labor’s bosses promised to spend millions to protect the Democratic majority if it would speedily pass legislation to circumvent the decision (and thus the Constitution), but restore limits on their corporate foes.

The resulting DISCLOSE Act, according to its backers, will ensure transparency in campaign ad funding. Thursday, the House of Representatives approved the bill 219-206, with 36 Democrats and 170 Republicans in opposition to the measure, which was written by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Maryland Democrat who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year, and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who led the Senate Democrats’ campaign panel in 2008.

The bill is full of draconian restrictions on individual political speech expressed via corporations, but gives privileged status to the Democrats’ union masters. A provision pushed by Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Bob Brady, for example, allows unions to transfer unlimited funds among affiliated groups to pay for political ads with no disclosure whatever. That makes campaign funding more transparent?

Then there’s the ban on advocacy for or against a candidate by any company that received Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. That silences General Motors’ white-collar workers, but not the United Auto Workers union, which, oh by the way, got, among other things, $6.5 billion in preferred GM stock, paying a government-guaranteed 9 percent cash dividend. Could the fact the UAW gave more than $2 million to Democrats in 2008 explain why Democratic leaders pushed a proposal that so blatantly favors the union?

Similarly, DISCLOSE curbs political speech for employees of companies receiving more than $7 million in government contracts. Public sector unions that spend millions of recycled tax dollars electing Democrats have no such restrictions. By thus outlawing business funding for or against candidates, DISCLOSE will encourage more funding for corporate lobbyists and marketers targeting government contracts and earmarks.

As usual, DISCLOSE was rammed through the House after being introduced with only a few hours’ notice and too little debate allowed. Because Democrats have abandoned doing a federal budget for the year, couldn’t they find a little more time to allow Congress and the people it is supposed to represent to read and discuss this measure at greater length? Next we will see if Senate Democrats are as determined to throw out the First Amendment as were most of their House colleagues.

Judge Faces Death Threats After BP Gulf Oil Drilling Moratorium Ruling

New Orleans–While many Americans undoubtedly agree with the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman to overturn the Obama administration’s moratorium on deep water drilling, not everyone is happy. In fact, the Judge is now receiving death threats in the aftermath of his bold ruling.

Last night, Feldman served as a celebrity judge at a cooking contest at a school gymnasium in Uptown New Orleans. Due to the threats, Feldman was accompanied by a federal marshal security team.

It is a sad indictment of our society today that a judge with such a sterling record of integrity and service to his country would be subject to such threats. Feldman was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan in 1983. Today, he is in the eye of a political hurricane unlike anything he has ever experienced.

In issuing his ruling, Feldman said that the moratorium was faulty because there was no “rational connection between the facts found and the choice made.” While there is often debate about the merits of judicial decisions, seldom does the criticism focus on the integrity of the judge. Right after he issued the ruling, Feldman came under attack as a tool of the oil industry. Media outlets reporters noted that the Judge held stock in oil and gas companies and implied that his decision was based on his own personal financial considerations. Such a personal attack is unfair and completely unwarranted, especially for Feldman, a distinguished judge known for his commitment to the law and a jurist who has earned the praise of people throughout the legal community.

Much of the sensational reporting on Feldman’s investments was based on outdated information. The Judge was blasted for owning stock in Transocean, Ltd and Halliburton, two of the major companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Feldman owned those stocks in 2008; however, he sold those shares long before issuing his ruling this week. In fact, this updated information will be released in the next report on his stock holdings.

If Feldman held financial interests in any of companies involved in the lawsuit or the Deepwater Horizon rig, he would not have been allowed the take the case. The 5th District Court uses a sophisticated computer system to check whether judges have a conflict of interest in any legal proceeding. This system automatically determines whether a judge needs to be recused from a particular case. In this lawsuit, Feldman was allowed to take the case because he did not own any stock related to the parties involved.

The attack was not based on facts, but it was a character assassination as a way to mitigate the influence of the scathing decision. If anyone should be questioned, it is the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who disregarded the advice of his own scientific experts in declaring the deep water drilling moratorium. In the wake of the Judge’s ruling, Salazar said he would issue a “refined” moratorium, ask for a stay of the ruling and appeal the decision. Some legal experts predicted the preliminary injunction would lead the government to compromise on the moratorium. In fact, Salazar decided to be confrontational instead of working with business interests in Louisiana to find common ground.

The lawsuit was filed against the Department of Interior by more than a dozen companies involved in offshore drilling operations, led by Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC. Feldman found that the Obama administration did not base the moratorium on solid facts and made a sweeping decision that was not justified. The Judge noted that just because the BP well was beset with problems and resulted in a massive oil spill, there is no reason to believe other wells would have similar problems. “If some drilling equipment parts are flawed, is it rational to say all are? Are all airplanes a danger because one was? All oil tankers like Exxon Valdez? All trains? All mines? That sort of thinking seems heavy-handed, and rather overbearing,” Feldman wrote.

Feldman is right on target with his ruling, which is why a constant stream of people thanked him last night for his decision. The final outcome remains in doubt, but Feldman exposed the faulty reasoning that the Obama administration used in banning deepwater drilling. The suspension of drilling in the 33 wells 500 feet or more below the surface could have a major impact on Louisiana’s economy. According to some estimates, the ban could cost the state of Louisiana 50,000 jobs or more. In a horrible economy, these are good paying jobs that no state can afford to lose.

Arizona Dem: Federal Agencies Nixing Conventions Over State’s Immigration Law

Demonstrators gather in front of the White House June 3 during a protest against the Arizona immigration law. (AP Photo)

Two federal agencies have joined the “boycott Arizona” trend and nixed conferences there out of concern over the state’s immigration law, a Democratic Arizona congresswoman said, calling the development “very troubling.”

The cancellations by the Department of Education and the U.S. Border Patrol may have been more out of a desire to steer clear of controversy than outright protest of the law. But Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who has written to dozens of cities and groups in a campaign to persuade them to end their boycotts, said it was disturbing to learn that the federal government would withdraw from the state over the issue.

“It is very troubling when the federal government becomes involved in a boycott against our state,” Giffords said in a written statement. “Although I personally disagree with the immigration law, it came about because of growing frustration over the federal government’s unwillingness to secure the border. The federal government’s participation in this boycott only adds to that frustration.”

FoxNews.com is awaiting response from both agencies. Giffords’ office said the cancellations were confirmed by the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association.

According to Giffords, the Education Department canceled a convention set for October at a Tucson resort after the Mexican government said it would not send any representatives to the meeting. The department then moved the event to Minnesota.

Further, her office said the Border Patrol canceled a conference set for May at a resort in Prescott after an official asked that it be moved out of concern over the immigration law debate. The Border Patrol — which has more than 4,000 agents in Arizona, representing nearly a quarter of its force — had booked 40 rooms for the event before canceling.

Giffords is among a number of Arizona officials who argue that the boycotts imposed by cities across the country do nothing to change the law and only punish workers and businesses there. The boycotts would hit the hospitality industry, which is made up in large part of Hispanic workers, particularly hard.

In the letter she has been sending to cities and groups that have imposed boycotts, Giffords wrote that the punitive measures have “unfairly targeted” her state’s businesses.

The Obama administration is planning to file suit against the Arizona law, citing its sustained concern about the move to subject some residents to routine checks on their immigration status.

So far, a couple of cities have written Giffords back defending their actions against her state.

El Paso Mayor John Cook wrote in a letter to the congresswoman June 10 that his city was not “condoning” illegal immigration by passing a resolution that prohibits city officials from attending conferences in Arizona. He said his city’s measure, though not a full-fledged boycott, emphasizes the importance of passing a comprehensive immigration overhaul and “expresses our concerns with the possibility of law enforcement racially profiling people.”

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell also wrote this month that its ban on employee travel to the state — and a reconsideration of city contracts there — was imposed out of concern for racial profiling.

Lawmakers Warn of Administration Plan to Grant Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants

Eight Republican senators and an independent group that supports tighter limits on immigration are warning that the Obama administration is drafting a plan to “unilaterally” issue blanket amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants as it struggles to win support in Congress for an overhaul of immigration laws.

The senators who wrote the White House on Monday say they are concerned that the administration is readying a “Plan B” in case a comprehensive reform bill cannot win enough support to clear Congress.

“It seems more real than just bullying (Republicans) into a bill — that it’s a plan that they can actually put forward … circumventing Congress,” an aide told FoxNews.com on Wednesday.

In their letter, the senators — Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; David Vitter, R-La.; Jim Bunning, R-Ky.; Saxby Chambliss, Ga.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; James Inhofe, R-Okla.; and Thad Cochran, R-Miss. — urge the president to “abandon” what they say is a move to “unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens in the United States.”

“Such a move would further erode the American public’s confidence in the federal government and its commitment to securing the borders and enforcing the laws already on the books,” they wrote.

Deferred action and parole, which give illegal immigrants the ability to seek a work permit and temporary legal status, are normally granted on a case-by-case basis. But the aide said the lawmakers have learned from “sources” that the administration is considering flexing its authority to grant the status on a mass basis.

Numbers USA, an organization that presses for lower immigration levels along with humanitarian treatment of illegal immigrants, has started a petition to the president expressing “outrage” at the alleged plan.

Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations with Numbers USA, said she’s been hearing for weeks from “sources close to the Democratic leadership” in both chambers that administration officials are discussing whether the Department of Homeland Security could direct staff to grant “amnesty” for all illegal immigrants in the country.

“They’re trying to figure out ways around a vote,” she said.

“Any attempt to force an amnesty on the American people using this underhanded method smacks of despotism,” reads the fax the group is urging supporters to sign.

The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

The Department of Homeland Security estimated last year that 10.8 million undocumented residents live in the United States; other estimates have ranged higher. Any move to grant blanket legal status, even temporary, would raise questions about how Homeland Security would be able to handle the caseload. Jenks said Congress certainly wouldn’t grant the administration the funding for more caseworkers.

The purported discussions of a blanket amnesty come in the middle of several concurrent and heated debates over illegal immigration. The recently signed immigration law in Arizona has divided the country, with some states trying to replicate the state’s tough legislation and other jurisdictions boycotting the state in protest. The Obama administration plans to file a court challenge.

Democrats, meanwhile, have been trying to round up support for an overhaul bill in Congress, and the Interior Department is facing renewed criticism from Republican lawmakers over restrictions it places on Border Patrol officers policing the border on federal lands. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., shocked several Arizona residents last week when he told them that Obama had said he would not beef up border security because it would leave Republicans without an incentive to pass broader immigration reforms.

Jenks said the talks about Homeland Security allowing illegal immigrants to stay are “serious.”

Under the law, immigration officials can grant deferred action to temporarily postpone removing an illegal immigrant from the country. That status does not offer a guarantee that they won’t face deportation, but Jenks said illegal immigrants granted parole are often allowed to seek permanent legal status.

If a “Plan B” is being discussed, it’s unclear how far along the talks might be. Another GOP Senate aide said the discussions started after Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., called on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in April to stop deportations of undocumented students who could earn legal status under a bill they introduced.

A Senate Democratic aide said the Obama administration never responded to the April letter.

Obama to give Executive Order to give Amnesty???

“Several Senators have learned of a possible plan by the Obama Administration that would provide a mass Amnesty for the nation’s 11-18 million illegal aliens. Led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), eight Senators addressed a letter to the President asking for answers to questions about a plan that would allow DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to provide an amnesty if they can’t secure enough votes for a bill in the Senate.”

———————————————————————————————————–

Several radio stations and conservative radio shows have been talking about this. You cannot put anything past this regime.

Obama Risks a Domestic Military Intervention

Here is the full text of John L. Perry’s column on Newsmax which suggests that a military coup to “resolve the Obama problem” is becoming more possible and is not “unrealistic.” Perry also writes that a coup, while not “ideal,” may be preferable to “Obama’s radical ideal” — and would “restore and defend the Constitution.” Newsmax has since removed the column from its website.

Obama Risks a Domestic Military Intervention

By: John L. Perry

There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America’s military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the “Obama problem.” Don’t dismiss it as unrealistic.

America isn’t the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn’t mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it. So, view the following through military eyes:

# Officers swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Unlike enlisted personnel, they do not swear to “obey the orders of the president of the United States.”

# Top military officers can see the Constitution they are sworn to defend being trampled as American institutions and enterprises are nationalized.

# They can see that Americans are increasingly alarmed that this nation, under President Barack Obama, may not even be recognizable as America by the 2012 election, in which he will surely seek continuation in office.

# They can see that the economy — ravaged by deficits, taxes, unemployment, and impending inflation — is financially reliant on foreign lender governments.

# They can see this president waging undeclared war on the intelligence community, without whose rigorous and independent functions the armed services are rendered blind in an ever-more hostile world overseas and at home.

# They can see the dismantling of defenses against missiles targeted at this nation by avowed enemies, even as America’s troop strength is allowed to sag.

# They can see the horror of major warfare erupting simultaneously in two, and possibly three, far-flung theaters before America can react in time.

# They can see the nation’s safety and their own military establishments and honor placed in jeopardy as never before.

So, if you are one of those observant military professionals, what do you do?

Wait until this president bungles into losing the war in Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s arsenal of nuclear bombs falls into the hands of militant Islam?

Wait until Israel is forced to launch air strikes on Iran’s nuclear-bomb plants, and the Middle East explodes, destabilizing or subjugating the Free World?

What happens if the generals Obama sent to win the Afghan war are told by this president (who now says, “I’m not interested in victory”) that they will be denied troops they must have to win? Do they follow orders they cannot carry out, consistent with their oath of duty? Do they resign en masse?

Or do they soldier on, hoping the 2010 congressional elections will reverse the situation? Do they dare gamble the national survival on such political whims?

Anyone who imagines that those thoughts are not weighing heavily on the intellect and conscience of America’s military leadership is lost in a fool’s fog.

Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a “family intervention,” with some form of limited, shared responsibility?

Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama’s exponentially accelerating agenda for “fundamental change” toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama’s radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem. Just don’t shrug and say, “We can always worry about that later.”

In the 2008 election, that was the wistful, self-indulgent, indifferent reliance on abnegation of personal responsibility that has sunk the nation into this morass.

White Supremacist Groups Behind Arizona Immigration Law/WTF???

Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif. views a older NFL football helmet during a hearing entitled "Legal Issues Relating to Football Head Injuries, Part II" in Detroit, Monday, Jan. 4, 2010. (AP)

A California congresswoman is pointing the finger at white supremacist groups, who she says have inspired Arizona’s new law cracking down on illegal immigrants.

Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., told a Democratic Club on Tuesday that white supremacist groups are influencing lawmakers to adopt laws that will lead to discrimination.

“There’s a concerted effort behind promoting these kinds of laws on a state-by-state basis by people who have ties to white supremacy groups,” said the lawmaker, who is of Mexican descent. “It’s been documented. It’s not mainstream politics.”

Click here to listen to the audio tape.

Sanchez said front organizations for white supremacist groups are approaching lawmakers to propose the language to the bills and urging them to push them through state legislatures in an effort to legalize discrimination.

“It creates a Jim Crow system where based on the color of your skin you could be treated as a second-class citizen or harassed based on how you look,” she said.

The Arizona law, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, requires police enforcing any other law to question people about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are in the country illegally.

Supporters of the law say it will save taxpayer money and reduce crime by pressuring illegal immigrants to self-deport. But critics say the law is unconstitutional and promotes racial profiling.

Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., told the Whittier Daily News, which first reported the story, that Sanchez’s comments are “an outrageous accusation.”

“It’s trying to find somebody somewhere you can accuse of something,” Miller told the newspaper. “It’s red herring. (She’s) trying to change the debate from what the law says.”

A spokesman for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who will meet with President Obama Thursday to discuss immigration and border security, also criticized Sanchez’s comments.

“Gov. Brewer signed S.B. 1070 because it mirrors what is already federal law and because our federal government has failed to secure our international border, leading to Arizona become a super highway of illegal drug and human trafficking,” Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said in an e-mail to the newspaper.

Sanchez told the newspaper after her speech that she based her accusation on online stories, particularly a blog written by Andrea Nill, an immigration researcher for ThinkProgress, an offshoot of the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Nill wrote that the Immigration Law Reform Institute, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), helped write the law. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled FAIR a hate group, a designation that the organization disputes.