Members of the Department of Homeland Security spoke yesterday at a congressional hearing on monitoring social media and news websites. The DHS representatives failed to give a straightforward answer regarding who ordered them to look for reports or comments that “reflect adversely on the U.S. government and the DHS.”
The hearing of the Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence was prompted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) obtaining 3,000 documents through a Freedom of Information Act request. The FOIA request revealed that the DHS hired an outside contractor, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, to monitor social media sites, in addition to other websites, on a “24/7/365” basis in order to discover “any media reports that reflect adversely on the U.S. Government and the Department of Homeland Security.”
The New Jersey state Assembly passed a same-sex marriage bill February 16 on a 42-33 vote, following the state Senate’s earlier 24-16 approval of the legislation, setting up what Gov. Chris Christie (left) has vowed will be a veto of the measure.
While no Republicans joined with Democrats in the Assembly to pass the legislation, on the Senate side two GOP lawmakers did vote in favor of homosexual marriage, and two Democrats voted against it. According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, political observers predict that homosexual activists will have a difficult time garnering the nearly dozen additional votes they need to override Christie’s veto. They have until January 2014, when the legislative session ends, to do so.
Attorney Van Irion of the Liberty Legal Foundation (LLF) filed an appeal to a Georgia superior court to review and overturn the decision by Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp (left) to keep Barack Obama’s name on the state’s 2012 primary ballot. Irion claimed that Kemp’s decision was based on a faulty ruling by administration law Judge Michael Mahili who threw out testimonies presented by Irion and two other attorneys in a hearing on January 26th.
Attorneys for churches meeting in New York City public school buildings have won a court order barring the city from evicting the congregations for at least 10 days. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a conservative legal advocacy group representing the churches in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York, said that it had succeeded in getting the restraining order while a U.S. District Court considers the constitutional arguments in the case. As reported earlier in The New American, the city’s school board had banned the longtime practice of allowing churches to rent space on weekends in school buildings that would otherwise sit vacant.
The Heritage Foundation reports that 20 percent of Americans receive some form of subsidy from the federal government. That means nearly 70 million Americans are on the dole, receiving housing, food, medical, or other assistance from the taxpayers, and well more than half the federal budget goes to direct assistance to individuals.
Hundreds of families in the state of Maryland have just seen their source of fresh, raw milk dry up thanks to the U.S. government. The Justice Department, at the urging of the Food and Drug Administration, convinced a federal judge to impose a permanent injunction on Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer prohibiting him from selling his milk to willing customers on the other side of the Mason-Dixon Line.
In a move that is fated to incite political mutiny, Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla., left) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) unveiled a bold Medicare reform proposal on Thursday that would expedite a transition to private health insurance, increase the eligibility age for oncoming seniors, and enact higher premiums for middle- to upper-class retirees.
Alaska State Representative Sharon Cissna (left) has introduced a bill to criminalize TSA pat-downs and naked-body scans, adding The Last Frontier to a growing list of states battling the intrusive screening procedures of the Transportation Security Administration.
Cissna has suffered her own negative experience with the federal agency. Last year at the Seattle-area Sea-Tac International Airport, after a naked-body scan revealed her breast-cancer surgery scars, the TSA insisted on putting her through an intrusive pat-down. She refused.
Speaking in Milwaukee on February 15, President Obama, re-ignited a controversy on "global taxation" set off by his top economic adviser during comments on the administration’s budget on Monday.
Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of President Obama’s National Economic Council (NEC), caused a commotion this week with his statement that the Obama administration favors “a global minimum tax.” Sperling’s comment, captured by C-SPAN cameras, was soon spread across the blogosphere in numerous YouTube postings (watch below).
Will Mitt Romney's "victory" in the February 11 Maine presidential caucuses be taken away like his phony victory in Iowa? That now seems quite possible. The Maine GOP declared the former Massachusetts Governor the narrow winner of the state's presidential caucus February 11, but Romney's 194-vote margin of victory over Texas Congressman Ron Paul is being whittled away as more results have been reported.
Late in 2011, U.S. funding for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was cut off because the agency had conferred legitimacy on Palestine as a nation. Two U.S. laws, one passed in 1990 and another in 1994, mandated that such funding could not be directed to UNESCO or to any UN agency that recognized statehood for the region controlled by the Palestine Liberation Organization. This action delivered a heavy blow to the UN agency that receives 22 percent of its budget from the United States. But the Obama administration has stated its intention to have America's taxpayers again be forced to pay tens of millions each year to the organization.