Senate Democrats Not Even Showing Up for Budget Meetings

Shown here is a view of a Senate Budget Committee meeting held last week, at which Chairman Kent Conrad conducted a faux “markup” of his party’s FY 2013 budget resolution. The near side of the table is where Democrats were supposed to sit.

Throughout much of the session, all 11 Republican members were present to, you know, do their jobs. Of the 12 committee Democrats, no more than 3 or 4 were in attendance at any given time, according to sources inside the meeting.

Since the year 2009, not one single Democrat or Democrat-aligned member of the United States Senate has voted “yes” on any budget. They’ve refused to present their own ideas, of course, but they’ve also unanimously voted down every last alternative.

Think about that.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has fulfilled its budgetary obligations each of the last two years, ever since Republicans won control of the lower chamber. (Nancy Pelosi’s House intentionally failed to pass a fiscal blueprint in 2010).

These GOP budgets have been relentlessly lied about, demagogued, and attacked. President Obama’s alternatives have been so irresponsible that they’ve failed to garner a single vote in either house, but Senate Democrats have scrupulously avoided putting forth any ideas of their own.

I hope the self-anointed “party of ideas” is proud of itself. They’ll no doubt turn around and decry Republicans as the “party of no” at every opportunity.

Multiple U.S. Government Agencies Have Ordered Over 750 Million Rounds of Ammunition

In the last three years numerous domestic US government agencies have ordered a total of over 750 million rounds of .40 caliber ammunition.

Multiple government agencies that specifically operate primary inside the United States have gone on a literal ammunition spending spree in preparation for what they must believe will be some sort of violent event.

In 2009, Winchester Ammunition was awarded a contract to supply the Department of Homeland Security with 200 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point ammunition.

This huge ammunition order was apparently only the beginning.

In early March 2012 ATK won an indefinite delivery contract to supply DHS with a whooping 450 million more .40 caliber hollow point rounds.

The Department of Homeland Security is not the only US agency openly stocking up on .40 caliber ammo.

In November 2011 the FBI posted a request to the FBO.gov website for up to 1 million rounds of hollow point ammunition.

Not to be left out of the ammunition stocking spree, the US Forest Service recently purchased 320,000 rounds of ammo and, for their part, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking an additional 13,500 rounds.

DHS also apparently has an open bid for a stockpile of rifle ammo. Listed on the federal business opportunities network, they’re looking for up to 175 million rounds of .223 caliber ammunition to be exact.

Why is the US government buying millions of rounds of bullets specifically for use in what can only be assumed to be future “domestic operations.”

Hillary Clinton and Obama Administration Working To Pass UN Small Arms Treaty

A “Small Arms Treaty” being considered by the United Nations could end up infringing on American Second Amendment rights. While the measure must first pass the U.N. and then manage to secure U.S. Senate ratification, it could result in firearms licensing and confiscation

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the Obama Administration will be working hand in glove with the United Nations to pass a new global, “Small Arms Treaty.”

Disguised as an “International Arms Control Treaty” to fight against “terrorism,” “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates,” the UN Small Arms Treaty is in fact a massive, global gun control scheme.

The U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes a person’s “right” to “rest and leisure,” “to enjoy the arts,” and “to . . . cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality,” but doesn’t recognize the right of individuals to possess the means to defend themselves. For protection, the declaration says, people should rely instead upon “international order” and the declaration’s proclamation that people “should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” And lest there be any confusion about who these folks believe should be in charge of deciding what constitutes a “right,” the declaration includes the warning that “rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

Citizens of the United States, in fact citizens around the world, deserve to know what this treaty, if ratified by the Senate, would most certainly force the United States to:

  • Require tougher licensing requirements, making law-abiding Americans cut through even more bureaucratic red tape just to own a firearm legally.
  • Confiscate and destroy all “UNAUTHORIZED” (a word not defined in the document) civilian firearms.
  • Ban the sale, transportation and trade of all semi-automatic guns that have been in use since the 1890s.
  • Require the establishment of a national data bank (federal) of all gun owners.
  • Require a federal license for the purchase and ownership of any gun.

The fact is that if this treaty were to be ratified it would fundamentally change America, giving it the appearance of Australia and England where gun ownership is restricted and crime statistically has risen drastically since their gun bans.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kans.) has introduced legislation to prevent any arms treaty from infringing the right to keep and bear arms in this country. The Second Amendment Sovereignty Act,  S. 2205, would prohibit the administration from using “the voice, vote, and influence of the United States, in connection with negotiations for a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, to restrict in any way the rights of United States citizens under the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or to otherwise regulate domestic manufacture, assembly, possession, use, transfer, or purchase of firearms, ammunition, or related items, including small arms, light weapons, or related materials.”

Last year, Sen. Moran and 57 other U.S. senators signed a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reminding them that the Senate has final say on treaties, and stating their unequivocal opposition to any treaty that would affect civilian ownership of firearms, or challenge the authority of Congress to regulate firearms within the United States, or call for an international gun registry.

Civilian firearms must never be a part of any treaty to which our nation subscribes. On this, there can be no compromise.  American gun owners will never surrender their Second Amendment freedom.

I urge you to contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to support the Second Amendment Sovereignty Act, S.2205 and to never support any treaty that surrenders any American rights to the United Nations or any other body.

Dept of Homeland Security Monitors Social Networks

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” program to monitor the top blogs, forums and social networks online for at least the past 18-24 months.  Among the sites under surveillance? Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, YouTube, and more.

A DHS official said that under the program’s rules, the department would not keep permanent copies of the internet traffic it monitors. However, the document outlining the monitoring program does say that the operations center “will retain information for no more than five years” under the National Operations Center’s Media Monitoring Initiative.

Not much detail has been provided as to why they would need to monitor and collect personal information except for saying  that it was intended purely to enable command center officials to keep in touch with various Internet-era media so that they were aware of major, developing events to which the Department or its agencies might have to respond.

The document says that all the websites which the command center will be monitoring were “publicly available and… all use of data published via social media sites was solely to provide more accurate situational awareness, a more complete common operating pictures, and more timely information for decision makers…”

This story is disturbing because once a federal program is initiated, it is a nightmare to eliminate.  While they may give us reasons for monitoring these sites, there is always a good chance that the reasons can expand in the future.  That will be the story not reported…until it is too late.

Discussing the National Defense Authorization Act

On December 31, 2011, with the President’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the writ of habeas corpus — a civil right so fundamental to Anglo-American common law history that it predates the Magna Carta — is voidable upon the command of the President of the United States.

The Bill of Rights has no exemption for “really bad people” or terrorists or even non-citizens. It is a key check on government power against any person. That is not a weakness in our legal system; it is the very strength of our legal system. The NDAA attempts to justify abridging the Bill of Rights on the theory that rights are suspended in a time of war, and the entire Unites States is a battlefield in the War on Terror.

The NDAA absolves the President of the requirement of gathering and presenting to an impartial judge evidence probative of such evil associations. The mere suspicion of such suffices as a justification for the indefinite imprisonment of those so suspected.

The NDAA places the American military at the disposal of the President for the apprehension, arrest, and detention of those suspected of posing a danger to the homeland (whether inside or outside the borders of the United States and whether the suspect be a citizen or foreigner). The endowment of such a power to the President by the Congress is nothing less than a de facto legislative repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the law forbidding the use of the military in domestic law enforcement.

This is a very dangerous development indeed.  All these things should make Americans – and not just Americans – very nervous about the preservation of their civil liberties.

Daniel Hannan Warns, “Don’t Repeat Our Mistakes”

Daniel Hannan is a writer and journalist, and has been a Conservative Member of the European Parliament  for South East England since 1999. Having been born in Peru, he speaks Spanish, as well as  French, fluently.  He loves Europe, but believes that the European Union is making its constituent nations poorer, less democratic and less free.

He warns Americans not to follow the same path Europe has taken, and urges Americans to “make your rulers remember they are not rulers but representatives.”

“Don’t repeat our mistakes… Europe is a grizzly image of the future towards which your present rulers are intent on taking you… Stick to the principles on which the republic was founded.” — Daniel Hannan

Daniel Hannan gave a rousing speech at CPAC earlier this year. Hannan not only seems to understand the importance of America as a beacon of freedom and opportunity more than many of our politicians, but he articulates it better than many of them as well. Watch his full CPAC speech below.  

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Senate Bill Gives IRS New Powers To Revoke Passports

In yet another slash at American liberty, there is a new bill making its way through Congress which could allow the federal government to prevent Americans who owe back taxes from leaving the country.

The provision is part of Senate Bill 1813, which was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in November and passed by the Senate on March 14 “to reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes.”

Those “other purposes” include a little-known amendment recently introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that would allow the State Department to revoke, deny or limit passports for anyone the Internal Revenue Service certifies as having “a seriously delinquent tax debt in an amount in excess of $50,000.”

A US citizen generally has the right to have a passport and to travel freely. It’s not clear that the inability to pay his tax bills can be used to deny him this right.

The provision does make exceptions if the debt “is being paid in a timely manner” or “in emergency circumstances or for humanitarian reasons,” it DOES NOT require that a person be charged with tax evasion before having their passport revoked — only that the IRS has filed a notice of lien or levy against them.

While on the surface it may appear as though the government is merely trying to find a new means of collecting revenue, perhaps they are planning ahead to prevent an exodus? Surely there must be constitutional issues here… Oh that’s right, they don’t worry about the Constitution in Washington?

While I do not endorse the non-payment of legally required taxes, I am very skeptical of any government actions taken which apparently undermine the U.S. Constitution and the rights granted within.