Sunday, December 30, 2012

Israel arms teachers


Americans intent on ensuring a school massacre like the one in Newtown, Conn., never happens again could learn a lot from Israel, where the long menu of precautions includes armed teachers.
The Jewish state, which has long faced threats of terrorist strikes in crowded locations including schools, takes an all-of-the-above approach to safety in the classroom. Fences, metal detectors and armed private guards are part of a strategy overseen by the country’s national police. And the idea of armed teachers in the classroom, which stirred much controversy in the wake of the U.S. attack, has long been in practice in Israel, though a minority of them carry weapons today.
Oren Shemtov, CEO of Israel’s Academy of Security and Investigation, noted that attacks typically happen in a matter of minutes, and said gun-toting teachers could, at the very least, buy time for kids to escape while police race to the scene.
“Two (armed) teachers would have kept (the Newtown shooter) occupied for 45 seconds each,” said Shemtov, who is one of 16 people in Israel authorized to train those who instruct school guards.
Shemtov, a veteran of Israel’s security services who has been teaching security methods for 22 years, praised the Newtown teachers who gave their lives trying to protect children, but lamented the fact that they weren’t able to shoot back when gunman Adam Lanza opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults before shooting himself in the head as police converged on Sand Hook Elementary School.
“We need to give them the tools to be heroes,” Shemtov said. “No one wants to be a hero. They did what they had to do.”
Security consultant Dov Zwerling, an Israeli counter-terror police veteran, believes armed guards are crucial for school security.
“From what I know of almost all of the active shooter events in the U.S., almost all of them conclude with the shooter taking his own life the moment he is challenged by the first officer on the scene,” Zwerling said. “Why not challenge him earlier?”
Shemtov said the two most critical keys to protecting schools are armed guards and armed teacher response teams. But, as in the U.S., the idea of teachers carrying guns raised some objections in Israel, he said.
“At one point the Interior Ministry mandated that a certain percentage of teachers be armed but because, over time, fewer teachers carried weapons, for a number of reasons, including philosophical objections, and due to increased terror attacks, private guards were mandated at all schools," he said.
School security in Israel is an extension of the comprehensive approach authorities there take to protecting all public places. According to National Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, police work with the Israeli Defense Force and the private security companies that protect such places as malls, bus stations, schools and universities. A centralized command system allows for quick dissemination of intelligence to every police officer and private guard in the field, he said.
A collective effort among police, private guards and teachers requires that the civilians involved in armed security receive rigorous training. Private guards undergo at least three weeks of advanced training with a 9mm weapon and guards employed for school protection must pass criminal, mental and physical checks.
“A long course, at a minimum of 40-60 hours, is needed so that the instructor can feel out the student,” said Shemtov, noting that not all teachers or guards are suited for school protection. “Course candidates should be a certain age, emotionally mature, of a certain mentality, physically healthy - and from there move to training.”
In order to station armed guards in U.S. schools, an idea advocated by the National Rifle Association, America could tap a ready pool of qualified candidates, Shemtov said. U.S. soldiers returning from overseas are well suited for school protection, he said, and “instead of returning with nothing to do there’s a sea of work” as school guards.
“They’re the elite of the American people,” Shemtov said. “You have people obligated, morally and ethically to the state, to the flag - this is a soldier. It’s a person who went out to do this. All you have to do is give him the appropriate training to do this in the private sector....This is the best of the American people, like they’re the best of the Israeli people. They’re people who took it upon themselves to help others.”
Greg Tepper is a freelance journalist based in Jerusalem


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/12/30/armed-teachers-guards-key-to-school-security-in-israel/?test=latestnews#ixzz2GaBE2HpZ

Chuck Woolery on Assault Weapons


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kwanza Komedy

Kwanza Komedy

‘Twas the night before Kwanzaa
And all through the ‘hood,
Maulana Karenga was up to no good.
He’d tortured a woman and spent time in jail.
He needed a new scam that just wouldn’t fail.
(“So what if I stuck some chick’s toe in a vice?
Nobody said revolution was nice!”)
The Sixties were over. Now what would he do?
Why, he went back to school — so that’s “Dr.” to you!
He once ordered shootouts at UCLA
Now he teaches Black Studies just miles away.
Then to top it all off, the good Doctor’s new plan
Was to get rid of Christmas and piss off The Man.
Karenga invented a fake holiday.
He called the thing Kwanza. “Hey, what’s that you say?
“You don’t get what’s ‘black’ about Maoist baloney?
You say that my festival’s totally phony?
“Who cares if corn isn’t an African crop?
Who cares if our harvest’s a month or two off?
Who cares if Swahili’s not our mother tongue?
A lie for The Cause never hurt anyone!
Umoja! Ujima! Kujichagulia, too!
Collectivist crap never sounded so cool!
Those guilty white liberals — easy to fool.
Your kids will now celebrate Kwanzaa in school!
And we heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight:
“Happy Kwanzaa to all, except if you’re white!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

RIP General Norman Schwarzkopf, Great Leader.

A U.S. official says retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991, has died. He was 78.
The official tells The Associated Press that Schwarzkopf died Thursday in Tampa, Fla. The official wasn't authorized to release the information publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
A much-decorated combat soldier in Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was known popularly as "Stormin' Norman" for a notoriously explosive temper.
He lived in retirement in Tampa, where he had served in his last military assignment as commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command. That is the headquarters responsible for U.S. military and security concerns in nearly 20 countries from the eastern Mediterranean and Africa to Pakistan.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/27/gen-norman-schwarzkopf-who-led-coalition-forces-in-persian-gulf-war-dies/#ixzz2GIr0grWD

Ted Nugent vs Piers Morgan


How Obama Vacationed

How Obama Vacationed

Monday, December 24, 2012

Product of Gun Control

by AWR Hawkins24 Dec 2012, 9:47 AM PDT43post a comment

Chicago has been a shining city on a hill for gun-grabbers for decades. In fact, so extreme is the gun control in the Windy City that prior to the 2010 Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago, you couldn't even have a gun in your own house with which to defend yourself or your family.

In other words, a Chicago home owner was like a public school teacher -- he had to sit defenseless with his fingers crossed and simply hope the criminals didn't target his house on a given day or night.
Even now, after the McDonald decision, you have jump through myriad hoops to get a gun. And, although they are working on it, concealed carry has yet to be legalized.
So in a gun-control-utopia such as this, you'd expect school-age children to be safe from all harm, if you buy into the theories of Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Yet the truth is more than 440 school-age children have been shot in Chicago in 2012. This is not to say that 440 school-age children died, simply that more than 440 school-age children were at least wounded. The number of school-age children killed is reported at approximately 60.
These numbers are well above those for the 2011-2012 school year, in which 319 Chicago students were wounded and another 24 were killed.
The bottom line: It seems that denying the free exercise of the right to keep and bear arms to law-abiding citizens not only does not curtail the actions of criminals, but actually emboldens them.

Christmas, New Years

video

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Employment in the New Reality

It Is Five Time More Difficult To Get An Attendant Job At Delta Airlines Than Enter Harvard

With Fiscal Cliff Looming – Obama Goes Golfing

With Fiscal Cliff Looming – Obama Goes Golfing

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Obama Uses Funeral Service to Talk About Himself

Obama Uses Funeral Service to Talk About Himself

WMD, Hezbollah, Terrorists

The Battle for Syria

Back to Page One

Destroyed Hezbollah Weapons Depot Reportedly Held Chemical Missiles

December 20th 2012
Syrian Chemical Weapons

Two days after a mysterious explosion at a Hezbollah weapons depot in southern Lebanon, the Kuwaiti website Al Jarida is reporting that Israel bombed the site because Syria had transferred missiles there that were capable of being equipped with chemical warheads. The missiles had been moved into Lebanon from Syria in the last several months and were being held inside warehouses owned by farmers in the area.
The report also claimed that Hezbollah has many additional warehouses across Lebanon that are used for the same purpose. In October another weapons storage facility in the town of Baalbek was destroyed after an explosion. The AFP said that four Syrians were killed in the blast.
The prospect of Syria using chemical weapons has become a major issue in the country’s nearly two year-old civil war. Israel has held meetings with several European countries and is also reportedly operating within Syria to track weapons movement. Reports earlier this month had it that Syria had already moved weapons into Lebanon. U.S. President Barack Obama has also stated that use of chemical weapons by Assad would be a “red line.”
In the Washington Post Tuesday, David Ignatius wrote of a conversation he had with a source close to Syrian defectors who had ties to the chemical weapons program in Syria.
“According to the defector’s account, two senior Syrian officers moved about 100 kilograms of chemical weapons materials from a secret military base in January. The base was in a village called Nasiriyah, about 50 to 60 kilometers northeast of Damascus,” Ignatius writes.
“The Syrian source also described construction of special trucks, which could transport and mix the weapons, at a workshop in the Damascus suburb of Dummar. This workshop was part of a network of secret research facilities known in Arabic as the ‘Bohous.’”
Ignatius arrives at the same conclusion so many in the West have: Bashar al-Assad and chemical weapons are a major threat to the region.
“What should we make of these reports? First, the Syrian chemical-warfare capability may be even more dangerous than people had thought, because the weapons can be moved to other locations and mixed en route. And, second, there’s a significant risk of proliferation to other groups, such as Hezbollah, which could pose a global terrorist threat.”
Zach Pontz writes for Algemeiner, from where this article was adapted.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rush Limbaugh-Low Information Voters


Obama Warns Congress About Fiscal Cliff …Then Jets Off to Hawaii

Obama Warns Congress About Fiscal Cliff …Then Jets Off to Hawaii

Congress Abandons 5th Amendment

Scandal Alert: Congress Is Quietly Abandoning the 5th Amendment

By Conor Friedersdorf
Meet the prominent legislators who think it's okay to throw Americans in jail forever without charges or trial.

gitmo full r.jpg
Reuters
What everyone must understand is that American politics doesn't work the way you'd think it would. Most people presume that government officials would never willfully withhold penicillin from men with syphilis just to see what would happen if the disease went untreated. It seems unlikely that officers would coerce enlisted men into exposing themselves to debilitating nerve gas. Few expected that President Obama would preside over the persecution of an NSA whistle-blower, or presume the guilt of all military-aged males killed by U.S. drone strikes. But it all happened.

Really thinking about all that may make it easier to believe what I'm about to tell you.

It may seem like imprisoning an American citizen without charges or trial transgresses against the United States Constitution and basic norms of Western justice dating back to the Magna Carta.

It may seem like reiterating the right to due process contained in the 5th Amendment would be uncontroversial.

It may seem like a United States senator would be widely ridiculed for suggesting that American citizens can be imprisoned indefinitely without chargers or trial, and that if numerous U.S. senators took that position, the press would treat the issue with at least as much urgency as "the fiscal cliff" or the possibility of a new assault weapons bill or likely nominees for Cabinet posts.

It may seem like the American citizens who vocally fret about the importance of adhering to the text of the Constitution would object as loudly as anyone to the prospect of indefinite detention.

But it isn't so.

The casual news consumer cannot rely on those seemingly reasonable heuristics to signal that very old norms are giving way, that important protections are being undermined, perhaps decisively.

We've lost the courage of our convictions -- we're that scared of terrorism (or of seeming soft on it).

News junkies likely know that I'm alluding to a specific law that has passed both the Senate and the House, and is presently in a conference committee, where lawmakers reconcile the two versions. Observers once worried that the law would permit the indefinite detention of American citizens, or at least force them to rely on uncertain court challenges if unjustly imprisoned. In response, Senator Dianne Feinstein tried to allay these concerns with an amendment:

An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.
You'd think the part about American citizens being protected from indefinite detention would be uncontroversial. It wasn't. But the amendment did manage to pass in the United States Senate.

Afterward everyone forgot about it pretty quickly. But not Charlie Savage. He's a journalist at The New York Times. If every journalist were more like him the United States government would be far less able to radically expand the president's unchecked authority without many people noticing.

Here is his scoop:

Lawmakers charged with merging the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act decided on Tuesday to drop a provision that would have explicitly barred the military from holding American citizens and permanent residents in indefinite detention without trial as terrorism suspects, according to Congressional staff members familiar with the negotiations.
Says Adam Serwer, another journalist who treats these issues with the urgency that they deserve:

Of the four main negotiators on the defense bill, only one of the Democrats, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), opposes domestic indefinite detention of Americans. The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), believes detaining Americans without charge or trial is constitutional, and only voted for the Feinstein amendment because he and some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate convinced themselves through a convoluted legal rationale that Feinstein's proposal didn't actually ban the practice. Both of the main Republican negotiators, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif) and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) believe it's constitutional to lock up American citizens suspected of terrorism without ever proving they're guilty.
There is a complication, as he notes: Civil liberties groups "aren't shedding any tears over the demise of the Feinstein-Lee amendment," because they objected to the fact that it protected only U.S. citizens and permanent residents, rather than all persons present in the United States. While I respect that principled stand, the more important thing is that this outcome puts us all at greater risk of having a core liberty violated, and that Senators McCain, Levin, and many other legislators suffer no consequences for failing to protect and defend the United States Constitution.

As Serwer puts it, "The demise of the Feinstein-Lee proposal doesn't necessarily mean that Americans suspected of terrorism in the US can be locked up forever without a trial. But it ensures that the next time a president tries to lock up an American citizen without trial -- as President George W. Bush previously tried -- it will be left up to the courts to decide whether or not it's legal."

Don't let the dearth of attention fool you -- this is a scandal. Congress has turned its back on safeguarding a core Constitutional protection and a centuries old requirement of Western justice.

Rage, rage against the dying of the 5th.
This article available online at:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/12/scandal-alert-congress-is-quietly-abandoning-the-5th-amendment/266498/

Michael Moore: Americans Desire Guns Because They’re Racist

Michael Moore: Americans Desire Guns Because They’re Racist
What an Idiot!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Martina McBride-O Holy Night


Facts abut mass shootings

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE www.nationalreview.com PRINT
A few things you won’t hear about from the saturation coverage of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre:
Mass shootings are no more common than they have been in past decades, despite the impression given by the media.
In fact, the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century.
The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning.
Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.
Almost all of the public-policy discussion about Newtown has focused on a debate over the need for more gun control. In reality, gun control in a country that already has 200 million privately owned firearms is likely to do little to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. We would be better off debating two taboo subjects — the laws that make it difficult to control people with mental illness and the growing body of evidence that “gun-free” zones, which ban the carrying of firearms by law-abiding individuals, don’t work.
First, the mental-health issue. A lengthy study by Mother Jones magazine found that at least 38 of the 61 mass shooters in the past three decades “displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings.” New York Times columnist David Brooks and Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson have both suggested that the ACLU-inspired laws that make it so difficult to intervene and identify potentially dangerous people should be loosened. “Will we address mental-health and educational-privacy laws, which instill fear of legal liability for reporting potentially violent mentally ill people to law enforcement?” asks Professor Jacobson. “I doubt it.”
Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.
Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999, and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools.
I spoke with Lott after the Newtown shooting, and he confirmed that nothing has changed to alter his findings. He noted that the Aurora shooter, who killed twelve people earlier this year, had a choice of seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. All were within a 20-minute drive of his home. The Cinemark Theater the killer ultimately chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that posted signs saying it banned concealed handguns carried by law-abiding individuals. All of the other theaters allowed the approximately 4 percent of Colorado adults who have a concealed-handgun permit to enter with their weapons.
“Disarming law-abiding citizens leaves them as sitting ducks,” Lott told me. “A couple hundred people were in the Cinemark Theater when the killer arrived. There is an extremely high probability that one or more of them would have had a legal concealed handgun with him if they had not been banned.”
Lott offers a final damning statistic: “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”
There is no evidence that private holders of concealed-carry permits (which are either easy to obtain or not even required in more than 40 states) are any more irresponsible with firearms than the police. According to a 2005 to 2007 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Bowling Green State University, police nationwide were convicted of firearms violations at least at a 0.002 percent annual rate. That’s about the same rate as holders of carry permits in the states with “shall issue” laws.
Despite all of this evidence, the magical thinking behind gun-free zones is unlikely to be questioned in the wake of the Newtown killings. Having such zones gives people a false sense of security, and woe to the politician or business owner who now suggests that a “gun-free zone” revert back to what critics would characterize as “a wild, wild West” status. Indeed, shortly after the Cinemark attack in Colorado, the manager of the nearby Northfield Theaters changed its policy and began banning concealed handguns.
In all of the fevered commentary over the Newtown killings, you will hear little discussion of the fact that we may be making our families and neighbors less safe by expanding the places where guns aren’t allowed. But that is precisely what we may be doing. Both criminals and the criminally insane have shown time and time again that those laws are the least of the problems they face as they carry out their evil deeds.
— John Fund is a national-affairs columnist for NRO.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gun Crime Soars in England by 35% Where Guns Are Banned

Gun Crime Soars in England by 35% Where Guns Are Banned

Molson Ice, ID

I bought this at a WalMart in West Toledo, Ohio today.  The young lady wanted to see my ID!  I think the last time I was carded, she wasn't born yet.
 

Hillary, Bold lie.


EXCLUSIVE: Clinton will not testify before Congress on Libya, concussion cited


Published December 15, 2012
| FoxNews.com
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not be able to testify before House and Senate panels on the Benghazi issue due to concussion, Fox News learned Saturday.
Clinton was a scheduled to testify Thursday on the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three other Americans were killed.
The State Department said Saturday that Clinton is suffering from a stomach virus, fainted and hit her head, which caused the concussion.
However, the agency did not say when the incident occurred.
Both congressional panels announced earlier this week that Clinton would testify Thursday. However State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday a related report has yet to be completed and no date has been set.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/15/exclusive-clinton-will-not-testify-before-congress-on-libya-concussion-cited/print#ixzz2F9Qt1nTy

This is too hard to believe.  What a coincidence.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Do as I say, not as I do.

The one and only.
This is your regular reminder that the best taxers aren’t always the best taxees:
A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama’s executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes.
This per the IRS. Federal employees as a group owe a whopping $3.4 billion in unpaid taxes, including 1,181 employees of the Treasury Department delinquent on a total of $9.3 million in taxes. (But do you recall the most famous delinquent of all? Tim Geithner had to pay $42,000 in back taxes before his confirmation as Treasury Secretary.)
Minus departments with relatively small workforces (e.g. “The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation” and its 53 employees), which make for bad samples, some of the federal bodies with the highest tax delinquency rates are: The Government Printing Office (6.81%), he Small Business Administration (5.37%), the Smithsonian Institution (5.03%), the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (4.63% — also, the what now?), and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (4.86%!).
And just for the sweet, sweet irony, I’ll note that among the worst of the small department offenders, with 77 employees and a 6.49% delinquency rate? The U.S Office of Government Ethics.

Union Thugs, Goons

'We'll Be At Your Daughter's Soccer Game!'

Union protest speaker tells governor that union members will 'visit you' everywhere over right-to-work bill

LANSING — A speaker at a union protest against right-to-work legislation said if Gov. Rick Snyder signed the bill he would get "no rest" and that protesters would be at his "daughter's soccer game." (Video below).
The Rev. Charles Williams II made the comments Tuesday to loud cheers before a group of thousands of union workers. After his promises to harass Gov. Snyder, he introduced Rep. Richard Hammel, D-Mt. Morris Township, and House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills. Williams is a Detroit-area pastor and left-wing activist.
Gov. Snyder later that day signed a bill into law making Michigan a right-to-work state. One of his daughters is a 16-year-old high school student.
"Just know one thing, Rick Snyder: You sign that bill, you won't get no rest," Williams said. "We'll meet you on Geddes Road. We'll be at your daughter's soccer game. We'll visit you at your church. We'll be at your office.
"Because Michigan workers will not take it laying down — by any means necessary!" he said.
Geddes Road is where the Snyder residence is located.
After Williams' introduction, both representatives gave short speeches with Rep. Greimel ending by leading the crowd in a chant of, "No Justice, No Peace!"
It appears that union protesters would have little luck finding the governor at the soccer field. According to a player profile on AnnArbor.com, his daughter participates only in softball and volleyball.

Stoners: Great News

Marijuana Not High Obama Priority
abcnews.go.com

ABC News

Obama Downplays Personal History With Pot, Discourages Drug Use
President Obama says recreational users of marijuana in states that have legalized the substance should not be a "top priority" of federal law enforcement officials prosecuting the war on drugs.
"We've got bigger fish to fry," Obama said of pot users in Colorado and Washington during an exclusive interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters.
"It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal," he said, invoking the same approach taken toward users of medicinal marijuana in 18 states where it's legal.
More of Barbara Walters' exclusive first joint, post-election interview with President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama airs tonight on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET on ABC stations.
Obama's comments on marijuana are his first following Colorado and Washington voters' approval of Nov. 7 ballot measures that legalize the recreational use and sale of pot in defiance of federal law.
Marijuana, or cannabis, remains classified under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I narcotic whose cultivation, distribution, possession and use are criminal acts. It's in the same category as heroin, LSD and "Ecstasy," all deemed to have high potential for abuse.
Obama told Walters he does not – "at this point" – support widespread legalization of marijuana. But he cited shifting public opinion and limited government resources as reasons to find a middle ground on punishing use of the drug. "This is a tough problem, because Congress has not yet changed the law," Obama said. "I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we're going to need to have is a conversation about, How do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal?"
The president said he has asked Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to examine the legal questions surrounding conflicting state and federal laws on drugs.
"There are a number of issues that have to be considered, among them the impact that drug usage has on young people, [and] we have treaty obligations with nations outside the United States," Holder said Wednesday of the review underway.
As a politician, Obama has always opposed legalizing marijuana and downplayed his personal history with the substance.
Obama wrote in his 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father," that he would smoke pot regularly with his high school buddies who formed a "club of disaffection." The group was known as the "Choom Gang," says Obama biographer David Maraniss.
"There are a bunch of things I did that I regret when I was a kid," Obama told Walters. "My attitude is, substance abuse generally is not good for our kids, not good for our society.
"I want to discourage drug use," he added.
While the administration has not prioritized prosecutions of marijuana users and small-scale distributors in states where it's legal, it has not ceased prosecutions altogether. The Justice Department has continued raids on pot providers – including in states where they are legal – in an approach that experts say is more aggressive than Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush.
"I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana – and the reason is, because it's against federal law," Obama told "Rolling Stone" in an interview earlier this year.
It "is a murky area," Obama told the magazine, "where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users, but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users. In that situation, we put the Justice Department in a very difficult place if we're telling them, 'This is supposed to be against the law, but we want you to turn the other way.' That's not something we're going to do."
Obama and the Office of National Drug Control Policy say the negative impacts of widespread marijuana legalization loom large.
Legalization would lower the price of "weed," thereby fueling its use and triggering more widespread negative health effects and subsequent costs of care, the administration says in its official policy position. Officials also say legalization would do little to curb drug violence or eliminate cartels.
"When you're talking about drug kingpins, folks involved in violence, people who are peddling hard drugs to our kids and our neighborhoods that are devastated, there is no doubt we need to go after those folks hard," said Obama.
"It makes sense for us to look at how we can make sure that our kids are discouraged from using drugs and engaging in substance abuse generally," he said. "There's more work we can do on the public health side and the treatment side."
More of Barbara Walters' exclusive first joint, post-election interview with President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama airs tonight on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET on ABC stations.
Colorado and Washington are the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana, presenting a fresh challenge for the Obama Justice Department to navigate in a second term.
While public opinion has shifted toward legalization over the past few years, Americans remain divided about the personal use of pot. Fifty percent of American adults oppose legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, while 48 percent would support such a measure, according to a November ABC News/Washington Post poll. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who personally opposed legalization, on Monday formally approved the voter-backed amendment to the state constitution legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
The measure will allow individuals to possess one ounce of pot and up to six marijuana plants and licensed stores to sell marijuana starting next year.
Washington State last week officially became the first to allow recreational use of marijuana when a voter-approved ballot measure took effect.
In both states, pot use remains illegal in public. Eighteen states have approved the use of marijuana for medicinal use with a doctor's order. Federal law still prohibits all use and sale of marijuana.
ABC News' Jason Ryan contributed to this report.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Obamacare raises health care premiums

Aetna CEO Sees Obama Health Law Doubling Some Premiums

Health insurance premiums may as much as double for some small businesses and individual buyers in the U.S. when the Affordable Care Act’s major provisions start in 2014, Aetna Inc. (AET)’s chief executive officer said.
While subsidies in the law will shield some people, other consumers who make too much for assistance are in for “premium rate shock,” Mark Bertolini, who runs the third-biggest U.S. health-insurance company, told analysts yesterday at a conference in New York. The prospect has spurred discussion of having Congress delay or phase in parts of the law, he said.
“We’ve shared it all with the people in Washington and I think it’s a big concern,” the CEO said. “We’re going to see some markets go up as much as as 100 percent.”
Bertolini’s prediction is at odds with Congressional Budget Office estimates that the law will have little effect on small and large-employer plans and the Obama administration’s projections that middle-class families will actually save money. The 2010 law is expected to extend health care to about 30 million people who otherwise couldn’t get insurance, paid for by new taxes and fees on companies and wealthier individuals.
Those taxes will make coverage more expensive for insurers, as will other provisions such as a ban on discriminating against people with pre-existing medical conditions, Bertolini said. Premiums are likely to increase 25 percent to 50 percent on average in the small-group and individual markets, he said, citing projections by his Hartford, Connecticut-based company.

High Estimate

The one-time jump in rates also includes increases in costs that would come even without the law, Bertolini said.
“That just seems silly,” said Gary Claxton, a vice president at Kaiser Family Foundation, a Menlo Park, California-based nonprofit that studies health issues. “I can’t imagine anything going on in the small-group market that would change the average premium that much. On the individual market, there’s arguments for things changing, but those magnitudes seem high.”
The Obama administration said last year that “middle-class families” buying insurance through the law’s new online exchanges may save as much as $2,300 a year starting in 2014. Nick Papas, a White House spokesman, declined to comment on Bertolini’s predictions.
The CBO estimated in 2009 that the law will increase premiums 10 percent to 13 percent for individuals and have little effect on small and large-employer plans. After the subsidies are factored in, individual bills will go down by about 60 percent, the agency predicted.
About 43 percent of people who buy on the exchanges, or individual markets outside of them, won’t be eligible for subsidies, according to the report. They would see premium increases “somewhat less” than 10 percent to 13 percent, CBO predicted.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Nussbaum in New York at anussbaum1@bloomberg.net

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Culture of Corruption?

Senate intern, a sex offender, faces deportation

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Senate intern, a sex offender, faces deportation
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Robert Menendez employed as an unpaid intern in his Senate office an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender, now under arrest by immigration authorities, The Associated Press has learned. The Homeland Security Department instructed federal agents not to arrest him until after Election Day, a U.S. official involved in the case told the AP.
A Homeland Security spokesman, Peter Boogaard, said Wednesday that it was "categorically false" that the department delayed the arrest of Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, 18, until after the election.
Sanchez, an immigrant from Peru, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in front of his home in New Jersey on Dec. 6, two federal officials said. Sanchez, who entered the country on a now-expired visitor visa from Peru, is facing deportation and remains in custody. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of Sanchez's immigration case.
Boogaard said in a statement that ICE followed standard procedures working with local prosecutors before taking what he described as appropriate enforcement action.
Menendez, D-N.J., who advocates aggressively for pro-immigration policies, was re-elected in November with 58 percent of the vote. He said his staff was notified about the case Monday, he personally learned about the case from AP's reporting and knew nothing about whether DHS delayed the arrest. The senator said his staff asks interns whether they are in the country legally but cannot check to be sure.
"We certainly wouldn't have known through any background checks since he is a minor about any sex offender status," Menendez said in an interview Wednesday with MSNBC. "Once it came to our attention, our New Jersey staff director let the young man go."
Online jail records did not indicate whether Sanchez has an attorney. Sanchez declined to be interviewed from jail.
The prosecutor's office in Hudson County, N.J., said Sanchez was found to have violated the law in 2010 and subsequently required to register as a sex offender. The exact charge was unclear because Sanchez was prosecuted as a juvenile and those court records are not publicly accessible. The prosecutor's office confirmed to AP that Sanchez registered as a sex offender, although his name does not appear on the public registry. The acting county prosecutor, Gaetano Gregory, is a Republican.
Authorities in Hudson County notified ICE agents in early October that they suspected Sanchez was an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender and who may be eligible to be deported. ICE agents in New Jersey notified superiors at the Homeland Security Department because they considered it a potentially high profile arrest, and DHS instructed them not to arrest Sanchez until after the November election, one U.S. official told the AP. ICE officials complained that the delay was inappropriate, but DHS directed them several times not to act, the official said.
It was not immediately clear why federal immigration authorities would not have been notified sooner about Sanchez's status.
During discussions about when and where to arrest Sanchez, the U.S. reviewed Sanchez's application for permission to stay in the country as part of President Barack Obama's policy to allow up to 1.7 million young illegal immigrants avoid deportation and get permission to work for up to two years. As a sex offender, he would not have been eligible. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which oversees the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, notified Sanchez of that shortly before his arrest, one official said.
Menendez said the arrest spoke to the need for comprehensive immigration reform that brings illegal immigrants out of the shadows.
"It does speak volumes about why we need comprehensive immigration reform," the senator said. "I can't know who is here to pursue the American dream versus who is here to do it damage if I cannot get people to come forth out of the shadows, go through criminal background checks and then determine who is here to pursue the dream and make sure that those who are here and have criminal backgrounds ultimately get deported."
During the final weeks of President George W. Bush's administration, ICE was criticized for delaying the arrest of President Barack Obama's aunt, who had ignored an immigration judge's order to leave the country several years earlier after her asylum claim was denied. She subsequently won the right to stay in the United States after an earlier deportation order, and there was no evidence of involvement by the White House.
In that case, the Homeland Security Department had imposed an unusual directive days before the 2008 election requiring high-level approval before federal agents nationwide could arrest fugitive immigrants including Zeituni Onyango, the half-sister of Obama's late father. The directive from ICE expressed concerns about "negative media or congressional interest," according to a copy of that directive obtained by AP. The department lifted the immigration order weeks later.

Michigan Union Goons Destroy Hotdog Vendor’s Cart While Hurling Racist Epithats at Him (Video)

Michigan Union Goons Destroy Hotdog Vendor’s Cart While Hurling Racist Epithats at Him (Video)

Ann Coulter Tears Into Michigan Union Goons: “This is Mob Violence… It Looks Like the Arab Street” (Video)

Ann Coulter Tears Into Michigan Union Goons: “This is Mob Violence… It Looks Like the Arab Street” (Video)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unions at work, thugs


Obama Jobs Council Chairman Jeffrey Immelt: State Run Communist China ‘Works’ (Video)

Obama Jobs Council Chairman Jeffrey Immelt: State Run Communist China ‘Works’ (Video)

Right to Work, Michigan

A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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The Union ‘Free-Rider Problem’ Myth in Right-to-Work Debate

The union is the one truly taking advantage of the collective bargaining arrangement

With Michigan on track to become a right-to-work state, which would make it illegal to fire an employee for refusing to pay union dues or agency fees, some opponents of the law maintain that this is unfair because those who don't pay will still be covered by the union contract.
They refer to those workers as "free riders." This argument is a distortion to shift attention from the benefits of worker freedom.
"No one is forced to join a union," said House Democratic Caucus Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills. "They're asked to pay their fair share of the collective bargaining process. [RTW] gives them the chance to freeload and free ride."
This argument has been brought up repeatedly by unions and their supporters.
When continually focusing in the media on being “forced” to represent people who don’t pay dues under a right-to-work law, union heads are implying that they spend the vast majority of their money on contract negotiations, representation or other non-political work. That is a myth.
For example, according to the most recent federal filings, the Michigan Education Association — the state’s largest labor union — received $122 million and spent $134 million in 2012. They averaged about $800 from each of their 152,000 members.
According to union documents, "representational activities" (money spent on bargaining contracts for members) made up only 11 percent of total spending for the union. Meanwhile, spending on “general overhead” (union administration and employee benefits) comprised of 61 percent of the total spending.
So MEA members who disagree with the leadership of the union are paying up to 90 percent of their dues, but the union is only spending about a tenth of the dues money representing them.
The argument maintains that “nobody is forced to be in a union,” which is technically true, but a distinction without a difference — employees who work for the government or a unionized private company don't have to belong to the union; they just have to pay the “association fees.” Association fees, or agency fees, vary, but can represent up to 90 percent of the dues of full union members.
This is established by U.S. Supreme Court case Communication Workers v. Beck, which held that an employee can opt out of the political portion of union dues. That is, employees should not have to be forced to pay for union lobbying or political work. Unfortunately, the types of activities workers can opt out of are very small. Even if workers resign their union membership because they do not want to pay for union politics they still must pay for things like “internal communications,” attempts to persuade members to vote a certain way, food for workers rallying outside the capitol and get-out-the-vote drives aimed only at the union’s members. These expenses can be much higher and are harder to track.
It should be noted that most employee unions fought against the “Beck rights” established by the case — and still do to this day.
While the MEA spent a relatively small amount on direct political activities and lobbying ($4.84 million), it is hard to separate union administrators and political activity — especially when they spend 89 percent of their funds on things other than local representation.
As the Mackinac Center explains on our “Right-to-Work Policy” page, “Even in exercising Beck rights, an employee is still obligated to pay a union for services that the employee does not want. In addition, Beck rights have proven difficult to secure, as the union controls all the records needed to determine what employees should pay. Getting an accurate accounting often requires lengthy litigation.”
A look at other groups yields similar results, and no major union spends the majority of its funds on local representation. The UAW spent about 41 percent of its receipts on “representational activities.” The Michigan branch of the SEIU got most of its money by forcibly unionizing home caregivers the past few years and used it to try and lock that into the state Constitution. Search for any major union with the United State Department of Labor here.
In the meantime, unions spent $4.4 billion from 2005-2011 on electing candidates and other political spending and twelve of the top 20 political donors going back to 1989 are unions. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, only 3 percent of union political spending goes to Republicans – while 40 percent of union members typically vote Republican. Here in Michigan, an MEA survey of its membership found that 45 percent of teachers under 30 classify themselves as “conservative” while 63 percent aged 40-49 say the same. At the same time, the union endorsed 97 percent Democrats.
In Wisconsin, allowing union members to have a choice in paying their dues has led to a shift in emphasis and positive changes. After the state’s largest union lost membership, the amount they spent on politics was refocused to “a potential shift to a much more grassroots model of advocacy and support for educators.”
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “That could mean becoming better advocates for different practices in teaching or for methods that recruit, train and retain high-quality educators … That could mean organizing teachers to champion what's working best in the classroom by bringing new ideas to the school board, or working to get the community to support specific practices. It means working more collaboratively, and offering solutions.”
If members are not able to be fired for not paying dues, public employee unions are forced to be more accountable, less partisan and more responsive to their membership. And a lot of unions do that: States like Nevada and Iowa have relatively high unionization rates, despite having longtime right-to-work laws.
There are 23 right-to-work states in this country: It is nothing new, and certainly not a fringe idea. Lately, those states have faster job growth (particularly for young people), increasing wages, lower unemployment and higher “business-friendly” rankings.
When unions spend the vast majority of their employee dues on activities other then representing their members at the bargaining table, the true “free-rider” is the union on the backs of its members who disagree with the group’s activities outside of true representation. And the only way to solve that problem in Michigan is by becoming a right-to-work state.