President Barack Obama said in his weekly address last Saturday that we can “get our deficits under control and move from recovery to prosperity” by getting rid of “dozens of government programs shown to be wasteful or ineffective” and, in general, making government more “efficient” and “accountable.” He also said that he has “assembled a team of management, technology, and budget experts to guide us in this work.”
The New York Times has reported that the Obama administration has stepped up federal surveillance of law-abiding Americans since taking office: “The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews.”
President Barack Obama said in a written statement released on April 16 that CIA and other intelligence officials who conducted felony torture during the Bush administration shouldn’t be prosecuted. The White House provided the statement on the occasion of the public release of four Bush administration-era memos that attempted to paint a veneer of legality on torture techniques. According to Obama:
Fox News online has found an attorney who says the Bush administration did not engage in torture. David B. Rivkin, whom FoxNews.com describes as “constitutional lawyer and member of the Council on Foreign Relations,” concludes that the Bush administration’s claims that “the specific interrogation techniques used by the CIA did not constitute torture — are eminently reasonable.”
Speaking to reporters while standing alongside Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon in Mexico City on April 16, President Barack Obama said he would push the U.S. Senate to ratify a treaty called the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials. The convention, known by Spanish acronym CIFTA, was by inter-American countries including the United States in 1997 and then submitted the following year to the U.S. Senate for ratification. Like all treaties, it would require a two-thirds majority (67 votes) in the upper house to secure ratification.
Gun control is off the agenda for now, according to Newsweek. Although the Obama administration is packed with anti-gun stalwarts, from White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Attorney General Eric Holder to President Obama himself, the political will has dwindled to revisit the misnamed “assault weapons ban,” which expired in 2004, or close the so-called “gun show loophole,” whereby firearms can be bought and sold between private individuals without the transaction being registered, to name just two long-standing agenda items of the gun confiscation lobby.
Well, the Tax Man has cometh, and he has goneth. And one thing is certain, according to a report (pdf) authored by economist and former Forbes magazine editor Edwin Rubenstein: the Tax Man has been ripped off by millions of illegal aliens, who have applied for, and who will receive a federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) this year. This, of course, is fraud because, by law, illegals are not entitled to an EITC. In fact, some of these "tax collectors" use stolen or otherwise ill-gotten Social Security numbers to file income tax forms and receive EITC benefits.
Is there another alternative to paying tribute to Somali pirates, other than sending a huge naval expedition force to route the pirates out of their lairs? Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) believes the Constitution’s long-neglected “marque and reprisal” provision may offer a viable option. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states: “The Congress shall have power … To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas,… To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.”
The nation’s two largest labor union federations, the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win, announced on April 13 unanimous support for planned legislation that will achieve a wholesale overhaul of the official American stance on immigration. Specifically, the plan would legalize the status of illegal immigrants already in the United States, establish a “worker verification program” (national ID card?), and erect significant barriers to those businesses attempting to bring in foreign-born temporary workers. All three planks of this platform represent compromises among the various supporters, anxious to get something done quickly.
On April 7, when President Barack Obama was winding up an overseas tour that included bowing to Saudi King Abdullah and expressing mea culpas for America’s past sins, his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was unleashing the dogs of war against his political opposition at home: Americans alarmed by his radical policies on gun control, abortion, illegal aliens, nationalizing the economy, and more. A secret 10-page DHS document sent to law-enforcement agencies nationwide is stirring up a political firestorm. Entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” the DHS report (pdf), dated April 7, sloppily (or cleverly and maliciously) demonizes millions of law-abiding Americans, conflating them with violent, criminal groups such as Neo-Nazis and “white supremacists” simply because they adhere to political beliefs at variance with those of the administration.
Six days before Richard Poplawski, 22, was arrested on April 4 after a shootout in Pittsburgh that left three police officers dead, he posted this message on the Infowars website: “For being such huge players in the endgame, too many ‘infowarriors’ are surprisingly unfamiliar with the Zionists.” Among others, Poplawski blamed Jews and government for America's travails, and he took it upon himself to try to destroy those he vilified. But as Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” Poplawski tread the dark path by narrow-mindedly despising, hating, and accusing those different from himself, nurturing a poisonous ill will until it led to irrationality.