Friday, December 27, 2013

As the Police State Continues To Grow In America...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth



William H. Pauley III, a federal judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled "... that protections under the Fourth Amendment do not apply to records held by third parties, like phone companies." This of course means that all phone records essentially become the property of the federal government and can be used for any reason whatsoever Big Brother deems appropriate. It certainly seems America is rapidly approaching the government described in George Orwell's epic novel 1984. Big brother will not be content until it can listen to and see everything its citizens are doing.

Nominated by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1998 to the federal bench Judge Pauley's decision is somewhat befuddling. Especially in light of Judge Richard J. Leon of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruling that "... the program most likely violated the Fourth Amendment. As part of that ruling, Judge Leon ordered the government to stop collecting data on two plaintiffs who brought the case against the government." Judge Leon, nominated by President George W. Bush in 2002 clearly understands the dangers to Americans right to privacy and the concept of unlawful search and seizure. Essentially data mining of private phone records by the NSA of United States Citizens is an unconstitutional act and Jfge Leon has it exactly right.

What befuddles me even more is that the current "President of the People", Barrack Hussein Obama, apparently is solidly behind the decision handed down by Judge Pauley. An Obama Justice Department spokesman had this to say following Judge Pauley's decision, " “We are pleased the court found the N.S.A.'s bulk telephony metadata collection program to be lawful.” The spokesman refused further comment. Welcome Big Bother Surveillance State of America.

The ACLU, of whom former Republican President George Hebert Walker Bush as a proud card carrying member of, intends to appeal the decision. In a statement following the decision Jameel Jaffer, the A.C.L.U. deputy legal director made the following statement, "... We are extremely disappointed with this decision, which misinterprets the relevant statutes, understates the privacy implications of the government’s surveillance and misapplies a narrow and outdated precedent to read away core constitutional protections.” This is most certainly one issue that ALL Americans should be highly concerned with.

For the full story please see The New York Times article below the fold.

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Karl Rove on His 2013 Predictions and More...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


I am so pleased this afternoon. Following a very enjoyable luncheon with none other than my ever engaging and intuitive as well as highly intelligent better half I came home to find Karl Rove's report on his 2013 predictions. A real treat if 1)you're a republican or 2) you happen to be in the mood for a chuckle. Something the "White Chalk Board Man" never fails to provide.

Mr. Rove, the dude that has successfully built and or maintained the current GOP box the faithful find themselves locked into gave a brief but informative who-ah for himself on 2013 and as well as his 2014 predictions. A veritable treat if ya have some time to waste.

Read Karl Rove's "My Fearless Political Predictions For 2014" below the fold.


Pope Francis and the GOP Jitters...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


It seems Pope Francis has the GOP is a twist. I can understand this because the Pontiff, being the head Theologian steeped in education and the pursuit of Mysticism really hasn't a clue when it comes to economics, business, or how to run anything other than the Church. Supposedly a purely altruistic and spiritual pursuit.

On the other hand we have the ex Randian (for political reasons he later denounced Objectivism) Representative Paul Ryan talking about capitalism and how the Pope, who hails from Argentina, doesn't understand capitalism because all Argentinians have known is crony capitalism. Fair enough. Let us take a look at the definition of crony capitalism and see how it all plays out shall we?

Crony Capitalism - An economy that is nominally free-market, but allows for preferential regulation and other favorable government intervention based on personal relationships. In such a system, the false appearance of "pure" capitalism is publicly maintained to preserve the exclusive influence of well-connected individuals. (Source)

Oops! Looks as though a future (well connected) potential Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States of America has just described, here it is... the U.S. economy and its crony "Capitalists."

Read the Article below the fold.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Who Is Responsible For Inequality?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Government is neither benign or benevolent. In fact, as the following article correctly points out, the government, in conjunction with the corporations it continues to subsidize and offer corporate welfare to is in fact complicit in helping to create the inequality we see today.

Don Baker's article Inequality: Government Is a Perp, Not a Bystander is as interesting as it is informative. President Obama, Congress, and American business should seek his council and consider his words as they determine national policy. Oh yeah, I forgot we don't have a cohesive national economic policy that benefits America at large.

Excerpt from CEPR - In his speech on inequality earlier this month President Obama proclaimed that the government could not be a bystander in the effort to reduce inequality, which he described as the defining moral issue of our time. This left millions convinced that Obama would do nothing to lessen inequality. The problem is that President Obama wants the public to believe that inequality is something that just happened. It turns out that the forces of technology, globalization, and whatever else simply made some people very rich and left others working for low wages or out of work altogether. The president and other like-minded people feel a moral compulsion to reverse the resulting inequality. This story is 180 degrees at odds with the reality. Inequality did not just happen, it was deliberately engineered through a whole range of policies intended to redistribute income upward.

Trade is probably the best place to start just because it is so obvious. Trade deals like NAFTA were quite explicitly designed to place our manufacturing workers in direct competition with the lowest paid workers in the world. The text was written after consulting with top executives at major companies like General Electric. Our negotiators asked these executives what changes in Mexico’s law would make it easier for them to set up factories in Mexico. The text was written accordingly.

When we saw factory workers losing their jobs to imports from Mexico and other developing countries, this was not an accident. In economic theory, the gains from these trade deals are the result of getting lower priced products due to lower cost labor. The loss of jobs in the United States and the downward pressure on the jobs that remain is a predicted outcome of the deal.

There is nothing about the globalization process that necessitated this result. Doctors work for much less money in Mexico and elsewhere in the developing world than in the United States. In fact, they work for much less money in Europe and Canada than in the United States. If we had structured the trade deals to facilitate the entry of qualified foreign doctors into the country it would have placed downward pressure on the wages of doctors (many of whom are in the top one percent of the income distribution), while saving consumers tens of billions a year in health care costs.
More under the fold.

Via: Memeorandum

ObamaCare, aka ACA, Continuing To Lose Support...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Washington (CNN) - The Affordable Care Act, which is the signature domestic achievement for President Barack Obama, was passed along party lines in 2010, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. Since that passage, Republicans have fought to either repeal, defund, or severely restrict the law. A push by congressional conservatives to defund the law was the catalyst for October's 16-day long partial federal government shutdown, the first in nearly two decades.

As Americans began to better understand the flaws in the ACA and struggle through perhaps the most customer unfriendly sign up experience in human history, as well as more and more people now realizing the Affordable Care Act is really the Unaffordable Care Act for many, support for ObamaCare continues its descent.

CNN, a slightly left leaning cable news network has just released a nationwide CNN/ORC International poll indicating ObamaCare is decidedly more in disfavor than in favor with the American people. Where the rubber meets the road ObamaCare has just hit its record low. More below the fold.



Via: Memeorandum

Friday, December 20, 2013

Canada Court Ditches Anti-Prostitution Laws...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny



With debates in Canada and Europe happening now can the USA be far behind? Unquestionably the oldest profession in the world (you know as long as there is a demand the will always be supply) it sorta makes sense to legalize and license making it a legitimate business, get rid of the pimps, likely reduce the drug addition among prostitutes, and raise additional tax revenue. Almost seems like a win all the way around. Then there is the moral issues and the church.

TORONTO (AP) — Canada's highest court struck down the country's anti-prostitution laws Friday, a victory for sex workers who had argued that a ban on brothels and other measures made their profession more dangerous. The ruling drew criticism from the conservative government and religious leaders.

The court, ruling in a case brought by three women in the sex trade, struck down all three of Canada's prostitution-related laws: bans on keeping a brothel, making a living from prostitution, and street soliciting. The ruling won't take effect immediately, however, because the court gave Parliament a year to respond with new legislation, and said the existing laws would remain in place until then.

The decision threw the door open for a wide and complex debate on how Canada should regulate prostitution, which isn't in itself illegal in the country.

Robert Leckey, a law professor at McGill University, said the court found that the law did nothing to increase safety, but suggested in its ruling that more finely tailored rules might pass constitutional scrutiny in the future.

"Some of the (current) provisions actually limit sex workers' ability to protect themselves," Leckey said.

The court found that Canada's prostitution laws violated the guarantee to life, liberty and security of the person. For instance, it said the law prohibiting people from making a living from prostitution is too broad.

It is intended "to target pimps and the parasitic, exploitative conduct in which they engage," the ruling said. "The law, however, punishes everyone who lives on the avails of prostitution without distinguishing between those who exploit prostitutes and those who could increase the safety and security of prostitutes, for example, legitimate drivers, managers, or bodyguards."

Other countries around the world, particularly in Europe, are having similar debates... {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

Ya Just Can't Make This Stuff Up!

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Below is a statement made by Ian Baynes, Congressman from the 11th district of Illinois. I guess to the muddled minds of some floating on the fringes the comparison makes perfect sense.

Yep, for some the best thing to do when in a hole is to keep digging, I guess.

BUCK DYNASTY STAR IS ROSA PARK OF OUR GENERATION


Friday, December 20th, 2013 @ 4:23PM

Today, Ian Bayne called Phil Robertson, star of the A&E series “Duck Dynasty,” the ‘Rosa Parks’ of our generation.

“In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians,” said Bayne.

Parks, famous for refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white person, as was the rule of her day, provided inspiration for a movement of equality of black people and white people in America.

“What Parks did was courageous,” said Bayne. “What Mr. Robertson did was courageous too.”

Bayne believes that the Duck Dynasty star knew that going on GQ would result in the current controversy going on surrounding his suspension, as well as his suspension.

Bayne added that this exposure of Robertson’s situation is an eye opener for many who may have been previously in disbelief that the bible is fast becoming considered “hate speech” by the media and society.

Posted by admin
Categories: Uncategorized

Via: Memeorandum


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Duck Dynasty's Robertson and Momma Moose Palin...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


,Momma Moose Palin and Homespun Idiocy

It is astounding to many that this country, given all it's really important issues and problems (the national dept, deficits, the (Un)Affordable Care Act, crony capitalism, off-shoring of business activity, the shrinking middle class, etc.), still finds time to fixate on Duck Dynasty's outspoken bigot Phil Robertson and Momma Moose Sarah Palin's support of Robertson's bigotry.

However one may view it there is no question it diverts attention from real issues of importance. Driven by the the now dying old guard relics that yearn for a return to the era they grew up in Mamma Moose Sarah Palin is trying to equate the suspension of a bigot by a private business entity as suppression of free speech. Apparently what she hopes is all of us are as ignorant of the 1'st amendment as she is.

Free speech as enshrined in our Constitution was meant to insure the right of free and uncensored political speech could not be infringed by the government. Its purpose was to prevent the government from censoring opposing political viewpoints.

Certainly people are entitled to their opinions and have the right to make them verbally and or in writing. Hopefully there are few if any Americans who wold dispute this. Robertson and Momma Moose Sarah Palin certainly have the right to express their views no matter how bigoted and offensive they may be to others so long as they can find an outlet willing to give them an audience.

The decision to suspend Robertson was made by a private business concern based solely on what it believed the ramification could be to its legitimate business interests. The decision had nothing to do with hate or the desire to stop free speech. It was a business decision made by executives that are acutely aware that the opinions expressed by Robertson could have a negative effect on viewership of A&E and thus negatively impact their bottom line. In a free capitalist market that us libertarians all profess to want this is adecidedly desirous thing. Were it the government taking police action to silence Robertson then the concern expressed by Momma Moose Palin would indeed be valid and I would be penning an entirely different viewpoint.

POLIICO - Sarah Palin says the suspension of one of the stars of the show “Duck Dynasty” over recent anti-gay comments he made is an attack on free speech.

Palin re-posted a picture of her meeting with the stars of the A&E show on her Facebook page Wednesday night, writing that “intolerants” were behind the suspension of the show’s patriarch, Phil Robertson.

“Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us,” Palin wrote.

Earlier this month, Palin met the cast of the show when she was in Monroe, La., on her book tour and posted several photos of their time together to her Facebook page.

Robertson was suspended on Wednesday by A&E after comments he made in an interview with GQ.

“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty,” A&E said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.” {Read More}

That's my take, what say you?

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lemon Gets His Comeuppance on CNN..;.

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Politico - Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman got into an argument on CNN with host Don Lemon and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin when he was brought on to discuss his victory this week in a lawsuit challenging NSA surveillance, resulting in Lemon cutting him off the screen and Klayman comparing Lemon to disgraced former MSNBC host Martin Bashir.

Wow, what a smack-down! One that was certainly appropriate and well deserved. One of the great problems with the media, both right leaning and left leaning, is their tendency to control discussion and debate to favor their own biases. I must admit I did enjoy this smack-down of the left leaning Lemon on CNN. Read the entire article HERE. Via: Memeorandum

As the White House Embarks on Damage Control...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


President Obama is watching his approval ratings hit their lowest point of his presidency. Concern has caused President Obama's Chief of Staff to approach John Podesta to accept the position of White House Counselor. Looks like damage control is preparing to into high gear.

Barbara Walters, the soon to retire co-host of morning program The View, confirmed what many suspected all along. That the left, or at least many of them, viewed Barrack Husein Obama as the second Messiah.



Of course the right has opposed nearly everything Obama has put forth, ObamaCare, or the ACA (affordable care act, if you can call it that)has crawn almost non stop fire from conservatives since 2009. Now, even some in his own party are beginning to have concern over the cracks in the President's veneer.

2014 could well be shaping up as the year republicans increase strength in the House and gain a majority in the Senate. Should they succeed in this the prospects for a republican presidential candidate winning the White House in 2016 is certainly enhanced. That is if conservatives and the republican party are smart enough to find and nominate a candidate with broad national appeal and an agenda most Americans can live with.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Privacy Invaded... (Update 2/17/13 Below Original Post)

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Francisco Seco/AP - In this October 2013 file photo, a man looks at his cellphone as he walks on the street in downtown Madrid. The NSA’s ability to crack cellphone encryption used by the majority of cellphones in the world offers it wide-ranging powers to listen in on private conversations.

Big Brother is Watching You. Now Big Brother is soon to be able to be Listening to You as well, via your cell phone.

As America approaches the Land of the UN-Free.

Thanking the insidious fascist element in politics and government.

The Washington Post - The cellphone encryption technology used most widely across the world can be easily defeated by the National Security Agency, an internal document shows, giving the agency the means to decode most of the billions of calls and texts that travel over public airwaves every day.

While the military and law enforcement agencies long have been able to hack into individual cellphones, the NSA’s capability appears to be far more sweeping because of the agency’s global signals collection operation. The agency’s ability to crack encryption used by the majority of cellphones in the world offers it wide-ranging powers to listen in on private conversations.

U.S. law prohibits the NSA from collecting the content of conversations between Americans without a court order. But experts say that if the NSA has developed the capacity to easily decode encrypted cellphone conversations, then other nations likely can do the same through their own intelligence services, potentially to Americans’ calls, as well.

Encryption experts have complained for years that the most commonly used technology, known as A5/1, is vulnerable and have urged providers to upgrade to newer systems that are much harder to crack. Most companies worldwide have not done so, even as controversy has intensified in recent months over NSA collection of cellphone traffic, including of such world leaders as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The extent of the NSA’s collection of cellphone signals and its use of tools to decode encryption are not clear from a top-secret document provided by former contractor Edward Snowden. But it states that the agency “can process encrypted A5/1” even when the agency has not acquired an encryption key, which unscrambles communications so that they are readable.

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The NSA has repeatedly stressed that its data collection efforts are aimed at overseas targets, whose legal protections are much lower than U.S. citizens’. When questioned for this story, the agency issued a statement, saying: “Throughout history nations have used encryption to protect their secrets, and today terrorists, cyber criminals, human traffickers and others also use technology to hide their activities. The Intelligence Community tries to counter that in order to understand the intent of foreign adversaries and prevent them from bringing harm to Americans and allies.”

German news magazine Der Spiegel reported in October that a listening station atop the U.S. Embassy in Berlin allowed the NSA to spy on Merkel’s cellphone calls. It also reported that the NSA’s Special Collection Service runs similar operations from 80 U.S. embassies and other government facilities worldwide. These revelations — and especially reports about eavesdropping on the calls of friendly foreign leaders — have caused serious diplomatic fallouts for the Obama administration.

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Collecting cellphone signals has become such a common tactic for intelligence, military and law enforcement work worldwide that several companies market devices specifically for that purpose.

Some are capable of mimicking cell towers to trick individual phones into directing all communications to the interception devices in a way that automatically defeats encryption. USA Today reported Monday that at least 25 police departments in the United States own such devices, the most popular of which go by the brand name Harris StingRay. Experts say they are in widespread use by governments overseas, as well.

Even more common, however, are what experts call “passive” collection devices, in which cell signals are secretly gathered by antennas that do not mimic cellphone towers or connect directly with individual phones. These systems collect signals that are then decoded in order for the content of the calls or texts to be understood by analysts.

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Even with strong encryption, the protection exists only from a phone to the cell tower, after which point the communications are decrypted for transmission on a company’s internal data network. Interception is possible on those internal links, as The Washington Post reported last week. Leading technology companies, including Google and Microsoft, have announced plans in recent months to encrypt the links between their data centers to better protect their users from government surveillance and criminal hackers.

While the larger focus of this article is actually to do with increased surveillance opportunities to spy on companies and nations the question for me is... Can we really trust OUR government to respect OUR privacy and NOT LISTEN IN ON our personal conversations. I am a skeptic and the affliction seems to only be growing stronger. I for one decidedly DO NOT trust our government.

Via: Memeorandum

Update December 17,2013

From the The New York Times opinion pages. Spot on and a word of warning for ALL Americans concerned with privacy rights.

For the first time since the revelation of the National Security Agency’s vast dragnet of all Americans’ telephone records, a federal court has ruled that such surveillance is “significantly likely” to be unconstitutional.

In a scathing 68-page opinion peppered with exclamations of incredulity, United States District Judge Richard Leon, of the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia, found that the seven-year-old phone-data collection program — which was established under the Patriot Act and has been repeatedly reauthorized by a secret intelligence court — “almost certainly” violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches.

Reaching into the 18th century from the 21st, the judge wrote that James Madison “would be aghast” at the degree of privacy invasion the data sweep represents.

The ruling by Judge Leon, who was nominated to the bench by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, was remarkable for many reasons, but mainly because there were real people sitting in open court challenging the government’s lawyers over the program’s constitutionality.

The plaintiffs, led by Larry Klayman, a conservative legal activist, sued the government after the program came to light. A similar suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union is in a federal court in New York.

Judge Leon’s opinion took issue with the government’s reliance on a 1979 Supreme Court case, Smith v. Maryland, which upheld the police’s warrantless capture of phone numbers dialed from the home of a robbery suspect on grounds that the suspect had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the numbers he dialed.

But the N.S.A.’s phone-surveillance program is “a far cry” from what the court considered in 1979, Judge Leon wrote.[Continue Reading]

Great news for all concerned with privacy rights. Government indeed has a reasonable and proper role in our lives. Such role includes, but is not limited to, insuring the enforcement of laws that insure a citizens right to safety as well as the right to the civil right to privacy.

I am heartened by the news that it is conservatives that are taking this action in court. What concerns me, given recent prior realities is this; Is this going to be a long term all inclusive effort or is it simply targeted to short term goals that are intended to have a positive impaction the republican party in the near term. Only time wil tell, and time i something us humans have a limited supply of.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

As the GOP Appears Willing To Cinch Defeat From the Jaws Of Potential Victory...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Principle is important. Vigorously pursuing the goal of achieving fiscal sanity again in America a noble and necessary endeavor. Finding the right mix that both allows government to function and at the same time control the natural human urges for excess is a challenge to say the least. A challenge our leadership in the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate have, in my never humble opinion, failed at miserably.

Now, when two congressional leaders from heretofore inept opposing sides have managed to piece together a deal that while far from perfect is a step in the right direction certain "principled" republicans seem only too willing to play the role of obstructionist yet again.

Reasonable people, who use reason as they think through what all this means will at the end of the day question the sanity of the party apparently bent on proving a point point that sold well and worked well a an era long since past.

Perhaps when those who taut fiscal responsibility and fiscal restraint actually start practicing what they preach people will once again listen.


POLITICO - Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will oppose the bipartisan budget proposal that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) released last night.

“Sen. Paul will oppose the reported cap busting deal,” Doug Stafford, Paul’s senior adviser, told POLITICO on Wednesday. “He opposes increasing spending and undoing the minimal sequester cuts in current law, which weren’t even close to enough to begin with.”

The potential 2016 presidential contender’s opposition could signal trouble that Ryan and Murray will have convincing members of the right to get on board with the two-year budget agreement that cuts deficits by $23 billion. Some conservatives say Ryan gave up too much ground.

“I cannot support a budget that raises taxes and never balances, nor can I support a deal that does nothing to reduce our nation’s $17.3 trillion debt,” Paul said in a statement released later Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said earlier Tuesday he will “likely” oppose the deal, too.

“It doesn’t appear to be something I will likely support,” Crapo said. “It’s pretty light on entitlement reform and the entitlement reform that’s done is not structural. It doesn’t do anything to actually change or fix that. We’re looking now to see if it can pass the Congress.”

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Paul and Crapo join an increasing number of GOPers who are opposing the bill. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Wednesday on MSNBC that he also opposes it.

Conservative groups are also opposing the plan. The powerful Club for Growth PAC President Chris Chocola said in a statement that they are opposing the plan and would include it on their annual Congressional scorecard.

“Apparently, there are some Republicans who don’t have the stomach for even relatively small spending reductions that are devoid of budgetary smoke and mirrors,” Chocola said in a statement.

Time to consider DOD budget cuts and ending taxpayer subsidized corporate welfare for starters GOP. When that happens many real fiscal conservatives and libertarians who now view the GOP as a laughing stock just might come home to the party.

Mot going to hold my breath.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Life Of a Transformational Leader Remembered and Honored...

Has the Lunatic Right Nothing Better To Focus On?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny




Oh no, President Obama shook hands with Raul Castro. Everyone should know the frigging sky is now going to fall in and American capitalism is going to be destroyed by this single handshake.

The delusional and idiot extreme right wing has nothing more important to focus on? Like fiscal mismanagement? Corporate welfare? Excessive unneeded DOD spending? The list goes on...

Media outlets, and most specifically the furthest right in the media is increasingly becoming a joke and as a result making itself more irrelevant.

From none other than Breitbart:

For those who believe in human rights and liberty, the sight of our president bounding up some stairs to energetically shake hands with Raul Castro, dictator of Cuba, was more than a little unsettling -- regardless of the circumstance. But that's what President Obama seemed to go out of his way to do at Nelson Mandela's memorial service Tuesday. Although Castro has imprisoned American Alan Gross for four years now, CNN alternately applauded and made excuses for the handshake.

Obviously worried that shaking hands with a dictator might hurt Obama politically, the media were quick to play goalie. CNN's Chris Cuomo went so far as to read Obama's mind and report on the president's true intent:

And that handshake obviously was a huge moment. But not to be misunderstood, the handshake with Raul Castro, the president of Cuba, we believe was President Obama showing respect to Nelson Mandela and the occasion of today, the spirit of reconciliation. Of course, it will be dissected politically. …

No matter the ongoing political disputes, on this day, it was about something bigger. It was about forgiveness and reconciliation, because it was about a man who was bigger: Nelson Mandela. And that is what the tribute has been all about today.

Cuomo never bothered to mention that Castro is a dictator.

Like that realty matters in the big picture of what's actually important John Nolte.

Why is it the current political and media landscape so populated with wing nuts? The right, (and to a lesser degree the left) is out of its frigging mind.

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What Would You Have Done?... Newt Gingrich On Conservative's Response To Nelson Mandela's Passing

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Newt Gingrich, while not my favorite Republican does a great job of honoring a great man and transformational leader, Nelson Mandela. His question to conservatives, "What would you have done?" is one that I, and probably thousands, it not millions of other thinking people would like you to answer.

You know who you are. Be honest with yourselves, answer the question truthfully. If you cannot see the rightness and wisdom in the words of a former conservative Republican leader of the House of Representatives then you have, IMNHO, lost the right to call yourselves Patriots.

GINGRICH PRODUCTIONS - Yesterday I issued a heartfelt and personal statement about the passing of President Nelson Mandela. I said that his family and his country would be in my prayers and Callista’s prayers.

I was surprised by the hostility and vehemence of some of the people who reacted to me saying a kind word about a unique historic figure.

So let me say to those conservatives who don’t want to honor Nelson Mandela, what would you have done?

Mandela was faced with a vicious apartheid regime that eliminated all rights for blacks and gave them no hope for the future. This was a regime which used secret police, prisons and military force to crush all efforts at seeking freedom by blacks.

What would you have done faced with that crushing government?

What would you do here in America if you had that kind of oppression?

Some of the people who are most opposed to oppression from Washington attack Mandela when he was opposed to oppression in his own country.

After years of preaching non-violence, using the political system, making his case as a defendant in court, Mandela resorted to violence against a government that was ruthless and violent in its suppression of free speech.

As Americans we celebrate the farmers at Lexington and Concord who used force to oppose British tyranny. We praise George Washington for spending eight years in the field fighting the British Army’s dictatorial assault on our freedom.

Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote and the Continental Congress adopted that “all men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Doesn’t this apply to Nelson Mandela and his people?

Some conservatives say, ah, but he was a communist.

Actually Mandela was raised in a Methodist school, was a devout Christian, turned to communism in desperation only after South Africa was taken over by an extraordinarily racist government determined to eliminate all rights for blacks.

I would ask of his critics: where were some of these conservatives as allies against tyranny? Where were the masses of conservatives opposing Apartheid? In a desperate struggle against an overpowering government, you accept the allies you have just as Washington was grateful for a French monarchy helping him defeat the British.

Finally, if you had been imprisoned for 27 years, 18 of them in a cell eight foot by seven foot, how do you think you would have emerged? Would you have been angry? Would you have been bitter?

Nelson Mandela emerged from 27 years in prison as an astonishingly wise, patient, and compassionate person.

He called for reconciliation among the races. He invited his prison guard to sit in the front row at his inauguration as President. In effect he said to the entire country, “If I can forgive the man who imprisoned me, surely you can forgive your neighbors.”

Far from behaving like a communist, President Mandela reassured businesses that they could invest in South Africa and grow in South Africa. He had learned that jobs come from job creators.

I was very privileged to be able to meet with President Mandela and present the Congressional Medal of Freedom. As much as any person in our lifetime he had earned our respect and our recognition.

Before you criticize him, ask yourself, what would you have done in his circumstances?

Here is my statement from yesterday on President Nelson Mandela:
President Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest leaders of our lifetime.

He emerged from 27 long years in prison with a wisdom, a compassion, and a commitment to help other people that was astonishing. His life was a triumph of the human spirit.

When he visited the Congress I was deeply impressed with the charisma and the calmness with which he could dominate a room. It was as if the rest of us grew smaller and he grew stronger and more dominant the longer the meeting continued.

His thoughtful disciplined but friendly and warm personality made him a leader who could define the right policies and the right behaviors.

Nelson Mandela was truly the father of an integrated, democratic South Africa.

He will be an inspiration for generations to come and an historic leader worth studying for as long as people want to learn about greatness in serving others.

Callista and I extend our condolences and our prayers to the Mandela family and to the people of South Africa.



Via: Memeorandum

Friday, December 6, 2013

When should the flag be flown at half-staff?

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Nelson Mandela died yesterday at age 95. He was a man of immense integrity who possessed a remarkable character and a great capacity for forgiveness. Wrongfully imprisoned for 27 years by the Apartheid South African government for his opposition to, and activism to end the governments oppression of his people, he later went on to become the first democratically elected black president of South Africa.

President Obama has ordered the American flag to be flown at half mast in honor of Nelson Mandela. A fitting tribute to a man instrumental in ending the oppression of his people. In so doing he left his mark on the world stage and became a inspiration for others who remain oppressed by their government. Nelson Mandela example is one to emulate and the President's decision is one all liberty loving individuals should support. Unfortunately many, and it is mostly republicans, have a problem with the Presidents decision.

TPM - Rick Clark, the sheriff of Pickens County, S.C., vowed on Friday to defy President Obama's order that U.S. flags be lowered to half staff in honor of deceased South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Clark made his promise in a Facebook post to keep flying the flag at the Pickens County Sheriff's Office at full height.

"I usually don't post political items, but today is different. I received this notification today, 'As a mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela, the President orders that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff effective immediately until sunset, December 9, 2013,'" Clark wrote. "Nelson Mandela did great things for his country and was a brave man but he was not an AMERICAN!!! The flag should be lowered at our Embassy in S. Africa, but not here."

Clark said the flags at the Sheriff's Office were at half staff Friday to mourn a deceased deputy. Clark said the flag would remain at half mast Saturday to mark Pearl Harbor Day. After that, he said, he "ordered that the flag here at my office back up" (sic).

View Clark's full Facebook post below.


For those who might share Sheriff Rick Clark's views find below the reasons for which the American Flag may be flown half mast. Note particularly the italicized red type near the end.

An easy way to remember when to fly the United States flag at half-staff is to consider when the whole nation is in mourning. These periods of mourning are proclaimed either by the president of the United States, for national remembrance, or the governor of a state or territory, for local remembrance, in the event of a death of a member or former member of the federal, state or territorial government or judiciary. The heads of departments and
agencies of the federal government may also order that the flag be flown at half-staff on buildings, grounds and naval
vessels under their jurisdiction.

On Memorial Day the flag should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes.

In the early days of our country, no regulations existed for flying the flag at half-staff and, as a result, there were many conflicting policies. But on March 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower issued a proclamation on the proper times.

The flag should fly at half-staff for 30 days at all federal buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and its territories and possessions after the death of the president or a former president. It is to
fly 10 days at half-staff after the death of the vice president, the chief justice or a retired chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, or the speaker of the House of Representatives. For an associate justice of the Supreme Court, a member of the Cabinet, a former vice president, the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader of the Senate, the minority leader of the Senate, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, or the minority leader of the House of Representatives the flag is to be displayed at half-staff from the day of death until interment.

The flag is to be flown at half-staff at all federal buildings, grounds and naval vessels in the Washington, D.C., area on the day and day after the death of a United States senator, representative, territorial delegate, or the resident commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It should also be flown at half-staff on all federal
facilities in the state, congressional district, territory, or commonwealth of these officials.

Upon the death of the governor of a state, territory or possession, the flag should be flown at half-staff on all federal facilities in that governor’s state, territory or possession from the day of death until interment.

The president may order the flag to be flown at half-staff to mark the death of other officials, former officials, or foreign dignitaries. In addition to these occasions, the president may order half-staff display of the flag after other tragic events.

The flag should be briskly run up to the top of the staff before being lowered slowly to the half-staff position.

Rest in Peace Mr. Nelson Mandela. Your legacy will live on.

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

As America's Youth Mature, Bad News for ObamaCare... Good News For the Nation!

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Oops! Time for more re-education/indoctrination I suppose. The very crowd that the ACA (OBAMAFART) needs to successfully foist the government mandated health insurance law on the individual and independent American people are balking. GREAT NEWS for liberty and the proper role of government. Since the two lunkheaded sides of the political spectrum are INCAPABLE of working to find consensus this is the next best thing. Independent, intelligent individuals, and the future of the nation making their voices heard, loud and clear.

NationalJournal - Young Americans are turning against Barack Obama and Obamacare, according to a new survey of millennials, people between the ages of 18 and 29 who are vital to the fortunes of the president and his signature health care law.

The most startling finding of Harvard University's Institute of Politics: A majority of Americans under age 25--the youngest millennials--would favor throwing Obama out of office.

The survey, part of a unique 13-year study of the attitudes of young adults, finds that America's rising generation is worried about its future, disillusioned with the U.S. political system, strongly opposed to the government's domestic surveillance apparatus, and drifting away from both major parties. "Young Americans hold the president, Congress and the federal government in less esteem almost by the day, and the level of engagement they are having in politics are also on the decline," reads the IOP's analysis of its poll. "Millennials are losing touch with government and its programs because they believe government is losing touch with them."

The results blow a gaping hole in the belief among many Democrats that Obama's two elections signaled a durable grip on the youth vote.

Indeed, millennials are not so hot on their president.

Obama's approval rating among young Americans is just 41 percent, down 11 points from a year ago, and now tracking with all adults. While 55 percent said they voted for Obama in 2012, only 46 percent said they would do so again.

When asked if they would want to recall various elected officials, 45 percent of millennials said they would oust their member of Congress; 52 percent replied "all members of Congress" should go; and 47 percent said they would recall Obama. The recall-Obama figure was even higher among the youngest millennials, ages 18 to 24, at 52 percent.

While there is no provision for a public recall of U.S. presidents, the poll question revealed just how far Obama has fallen in the eyes of young Americans.

IOP director Trey Grayson called the results a "sea change" attributable to the generation's outsized and unmet expectations for Obama, as well as their concerns about the economy, Obamacare and government surveillance.

The survey of 2,089 young adults, conducted Oct. 30 through Nov. 11, spells trouble for the Affordable Care Act. The fragile economics underpinning the law hinge on the willingness of healthy, young Americans to forgo penalties and buy health insurance. {Read More}

There is hope for America yet!

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Obama Administration Declares That It Has Met Its Goal Of ObamaCare Site Improvement...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


I guess the one good thing about being really really bad is any improvement is hailed as success.

Forgive me if you will, but after the three years plus it apparently required to create a broken website (ACA of course), expecting us to believe that after only a month the myriad of problematical issues have been resolved and the ObamaCare website has now achieved the administrations goals is a bit much.

Right. We believed if we liked out healthcare we could keep our health care. Turns out such such was not true. Like I said, forgive me for being the skeptic. Maybe after six months without the site crashing and millions of positive reports have poured, then, and only then, it will be time to become "a believer." Not that I will ever believe ObamaCare is necessarily a good or even adequate healthcare system. Forget about affordable, unless you qualify for the low income government subsidies.

BUSINESS INSIDER - The Obama administration is out with a progress report on HealthCare.gov, the federal health care website that it pledged in late October would be fixed for the "vast majority" of users by Nov. 30.

The report declares that it has "met" that goal, two months after the disastrous launch of the website.

"While we strive to innovate and improve our outreach and systems for reaching consumers, we believe we have met the goal of having a system that will work smoothly for the vast majority of users," the progress report says.

Some key points from the report:

  • The site will now be able to support a maximum of 800,000 visitors per day, including a target of 50,000 concurrent visits.
  • The site is now online 90% of the time, according to the The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • The "tech surge" that came to the site in late October has helped to fix 400-plus bugs and glitches on a "punch list."
  • The average response time of the site is now less than one second, an improvement from about 8 seconds in late October.

View the progress charts.


Truth will be in the report(s) yet to be made down the road a ways. Months, years, and even decades down the road.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Is It Too Late For the Republican Party To Save Itself?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Food for thought. At least for those republicans that have retained the ability to think outside the box their party has sculpted for them or they created for themselves.

In recent decades, the Republicans have usually been the more nationalist of the two major parties. Whereas Democratic foreign policy experts have been more at home among global elites, and more enthusiastic about pursuing altruistic humanitarian goals, Republican experts have been less comfortable at conferences abroad, and more concerned about the safety of the American homeland and its traditional allies than about trying to improve the lot of the rest of the world. As one might expect, defense budgets have usually fared better under Republican than Democratic presidents.

The problem for Republicans is that there are various kinds of nationalism. There is, for instance, the aggressive Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld brand of nationalism, in which you proactively seek out enemies and destroy them, with relatively little concern for what the outside world thinks. Especially in a post-9/11 world, you can't take chances! This is a nationalism in which high defense budgets are encouraged, even as humanitarianism is de-emphasized. It is not that such nationalists are necessarily hardhearted. Rather, it is that they genuinely feel the world overall will be a more humane place with preponderant American power.

To one side of these Republican nationalists are Republican isolationists. Now isolationists are nationalists, too. They also believe that the most important thing in the world is a safe and secure American homeland. It is just that they feel this can be better achieved by staying out of foreign wars and other such entanglements, particularly in the Eastern Hemisphere. In their minds, American human and material treasure is simply too precious to be wasted abroad. Tried-and-true isolationists are actually rare in the Republican Party: just because you are against this or that military intervention certainly does not make you an isolationist. Rather, there are isolationist-trending Republicans of varying degrees who seek to do the minimum abroad, while concentrating on protecting and improving the homeland. They seek a perfectionism within the American continent only, with some concern for contiguous parts of the Western Hemisphere as well. The world overseas will just have to fend for itself.

Continue reading and enjoy the complete article...

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!



As we gather with family and friends to celebrate our National Holiday Rational Nation USA wishes all it's readership, whether they be liberal, conservative, libertarian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist or whatever the very best of Thanksgivings and humbly asks that all remember how truly fortunate we are to live in a land where freedom of political and religious speech is allowed.

It is I think appropriate on this day to post George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. Whether one is religious and believes in one supreme being or not Thanksgiving personifies the importance of being thankful for all we have achieved as a nation and if the USA returns to, and holds true to the principles of The Age of Reason and the Enlightenment we will be fine for another 224 years.

To all you extreme partisans and zealots I say, THINK ABOUT IT.

Happy Thanksgiving All!!!

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

Game Change 2014?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


One of these guys is going to be very happy on Election Night 2014 (Photo: EPA/Aude Guerrucci)

As the tumble from lofty heights and the expectations that accompanies such heights continues Peresident Obaba and his fellow Democrats have reason to be concerned. VERY concerned.

With the horrendously botched ACA roll out and the huge credibility gap created by the Presidents misleading statement that "If you like your health insurance keep you can keep your health insurance plan, PERIOD" the opportunity for the Republican party to retain the House and retake the Senate in 2014 is becoming increasingly possible.

With the tide turning against the Presidents party the enthusiasm within the ranks of Republican and Libertarian activists will build and grow exponentially. Not unlike the "Hope and Change" of 2008 and 2012.

From The Washington Post no less.

President Obama’s poll numbers are at record lows. The health care law that serves as the cornerstone of his domestic policy legacy is even more unpopular. And there are few chances to change the conversation among a skeptical public that isn’t happy with Washington.

Sound familiar? It should: The national political climate today is starting to resemble 2010, when Republicans won control of the House of Representatives by riding a wave of voter anger.

Wave elections are rare. Only a handful of times in the previous century has one party racked up big wins. Democrats won big handfuls of House seats in 1930, 1932, 1948, 1958, 1974, 2006 and 2008. Republicans won back more than 40 seats in 1938, 1942, 1946, 1966, 1994 and 2010. And with nearly a year to go before Election Day, voters’ moods can change dramatically.

But the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s crumbling support suggests another wave might be building. While voters usually punish a president’s party in at least one midterm election, they may be winding up to deliver another smack to President Obama’s allies on Capitol Hill.

Voter dislike of ObamaCare cost Democrats the House in 2010. It could cost them the Senate in 2014.

The poll numbers hint at the toll the Affordable Care Act has taken on the Democratic Party. A CNN/ORC International poll conducted November 18-20 shows 49 percent of registered voters favored a generic Republican candidate for Congress, compared with 47 percent who favored a Democratic candidate. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted November 6-11 shows the generic ballot tied, at 39 percent each. {Read the Full Report}

Keep the popcorn and the beer close at hand, it's going to be VERY interesting.

Via: Memeorandum

Microsoft Suspects the NSA Of Spying...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Brave New World and Big Brother continuing to grow in the Land of the Free, the United States of America. Government is simply growing too effing big for its britches. Thank you GWB, BHO, and all your henchmen.

A very disturbing trend, one the government is very likely to accelerate in the coming months and years.

The Washington Post - Microsoft is moving toward a major new effort to encrypt its Internet traffic amid fears that the National Security Agency may have broken into its global communications links, said people familiar with the emerging plans.

Suspicions at Microsoft, while building for several months, sharpened in October when it was reported that the NSA was intercepting traffic inside the private networks of Google and Yahoo, two industry rivals with similar global infrastructures, said people with direct knowledge of the company’s deliberations. They said top Microsoft executives are meeting this week to decide what encryption initiatives to deploy and how quickly.

Documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggest — but do not prove — that the company is right to be concerned. Two previously unreleased slides that describe operations against Google and Yahoo include references to Microsoft’s Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger services. A separate NSA e-mail mentions Microsoft Passport, a Web-based service formerly offered by Microsoft, as a possible target of that same surveillance project, called MUSCULAR, which was first disclosed by The Washington Post last month.

Though Microsoft officials said they had no independent verification of the NSA targeting the company in this way, general counsel Brad Smith said Tuesday that it would be “very disturbing” and a possible constitutional breach if true.

Microsoft’s move to expand encryption would allow it to join Google , Yahoo , Facebook and other major technology firms in hardening its defenses in response to news reports about once-secret NSA programs. The resulting new investments in encryption technology stand to complicate surveillance efforts — by governments, private companies and criminals — for years, experts say.

Though several legislative efforts are underway to curb the NSA’s surveillance powers, the wholesale move by private companies to expand the use of encryption technology may prove to be the most tangible outcome of months of revelations based on documents that Snowden provided to The Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper. In another major shift, the companies also are explicitly building defenses against U.S. government surveillance programs (emphasis mine) in addition to combating hackers, criminals or foreign intelligence services.

Certainly this should be a very big concern for those in the liberty camp that understand too much of a good thing is dangerous to your well being. Including and especially Government.

Via: Memeorandum

Obama and the Air Brush Of History?...

Is it possible? As Dana Milbank, Washington Post opinion writer points out most likely for the birthers, those, who like Donald Trump believe President Obama forged his birth certificate, is not a USA born citizen, and therefore an illegitimate president. So much for the loonies.

However, the Obama Administration and its practice of excluding photo journalist in favor of in house photographers to record official events is troublesome, at least IMO it is.

From the Washington Post opinion pages.

Is the Obama White House airbrushing history?

It was a hallmark of the Stalin era: Fallen Soviet leaders vanished from official photographs. Nobody accuses President Obama of such subterfuge (well, nobody except for those who believe he forged his birth certificate), but a change in longtime practice in the White House has raised questions about the integrity of images Americans see of their president.

The White House has increasingly excluded news photographers from Obama’s official events and is instead releasing images taken by in-house photographers, who are government employees. These photos often appear online and in newspapers, even though they lack the same standards of authenticity that govern those taken by photojournalists.

“As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the executive branch of government,” the White House Correspondents’ Association, joined by the Associated Press and other news organizations, wrote in a letter to White House press secretary Jay Carney last week. “You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases.”

New York Times photographer Doug Mills likens the administration’s actions to Tass, the Soviet Union’s news agency.

The most famous of the photo press releases was the image from the White House Situation Room on the day U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden; the image was digitally altered so that material on the table in front of the secretary of state could not be seen.

Maybe that alteration was an exception. And photojournalists don’t expect to be granted access to the Situation Room. But the doctored image raises the question of whether other photo releases are altered, too; in the age of Photoshop, it’s easy — at the start of the year, Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s staff (clumsily) altered a group photo of Democratic women in Congress to add four absent members. And often, it’s undetectable. {Read More}

What say you?

Via: Memorandum

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Iran Rejects the White House Accounting of "The Deal"...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs-Tyranny


For some strange reason I'm getting the sense "the deal" may very well turn out quite unfortunately to be a dude. This from FARS News Agency.

“What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action (the title of the Iran-powers deal), and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Tuesday.

She said that the four-page text under the name of the Joint Plan of Action (which has been released by the Iranian foreign ministry) was the result of the agreement reached during the Geneva talks and all of its sentences and words were chosen based on the considerations of all parties to the talks. In fact one of the reasons why negotiations between Iran and the G5+1 took so long pertained to the accuracy which was needed for choosing the words for the text of the agreement, Afkham said, explaining that the Iranian delegation was much rigid and laid much emphasis on the need for this accuracy.

Afkham said that the text of the Joint Plan of Action was provided to the media a few hours after the two sides agreed on it.

After the White House released a modified version of the deal struck by Iran and the six world powers in Geneva early Sunday morning, the Iranian Foreign Ministry released the text of the agreement.

Read the full text of "the deal."

Via: Memeorandum

ObamaCare and Rationing, Fact or Fiction?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs-Tyranny


As the floodgates of bad news for ObamaCare and President Obama seem to continue to widen. Or, is it just more anti Obama nutter talk fueled by the wacko right wing extreme obstructionists of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party?

According to Mark Halperin health care rationing and "death panels" are going to be a reality of the ACA. This from TPM

One of the Beltway's best-known pundits gave credence this week to perhaps the fringiest of all Obamacare conspiracy theories.

In an interview on Monday with the conservative Newsmax, Time's Mark Halperin said that so-called "death panels" are enshrined in the Affordable Care Act.

"It's going to be a huge issue," Halperin said. "And that's something else about which the President was not fully forthcoming or straight-forward."

"So, you believe there will be rationing, a.k.a 'death panels'?" host Steve Malzberg asked Halperin, the co-author of the 2012 election chronicle "Double Down."

"It's built into the plan. It's not like a guess or like a judgment. That's going to be part of how costs are controlled," Halperin said before arguing that it's necessary to ration care. {Read More}



Well there you have it. You, the loyal readers be the judge because I haven't an idea who to believe anymore. I guess it's time for more popcorn and beer because this ObamaCare thing is becoming almost as interesting and exciting as any Sunday NFL game.

Via: Memeorandum

ObamaCare and the Difficulties It Has Presented the Obama Adminstration, All of Their Own Making...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Is it all scare tactics? Right wing hyperbole orchestrated to bring down the hated ACA and deny President Obama's hoped for legacy? A bunch of nutters as the left not so fondly refers to those who have opposed the ACA since the start just being obstructionists?

Certainly the ACA roll out has been riddled with difficulty, including security concerns. President Obama's credibilty has unquestionably been damaged, a result of promises broken with respect to oe being able to keep there insurance if they liked it. And now this... From Fox News.

Almost 80 million people with employer health plans could find their coverage canceled because they are not compliant with ObamaCare, several experts predicted.

Their losses would be in addition to the millions who found their individual coverage cancelled for the same reason.

Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute said that in addition to the individual cancellations, "at least half the people on employer plans would by 2014 start losing plans as well." There are approximately 157 million employer health care policy holders.

Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute added, "the administration estimated that approximately 78 million Americans with employer sponsored insurance would lose their existing coverage due to the Affordable Care Act."

Last week, an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, showed the administration anticipates half to two-thirds of small businesses would have policies canceled or be compelled to send workers onto the ObamaCare exchanges. They predicted up to 100 million small and large business policies could be canceled next year. {Read More}

Related reading, Democrats Fear Obamacare Will Cost Them The Senate

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, November 25, 2013

Iran Nuclear Deal, Concern Expressed From Both Sides Of the Aisle...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


With many lawmakers wary over the Iran nuclear deal its looks like the right and the left may have rediscovered bipartisanship



Top lawmakers on both side of the aisle on Sunday voiced skepticism about the newly struck agreement with Iran, and vowed to keep up the pressure with sanctions.

Senior members in both chambers said that, at first glance, Iran got the better end of the deal with western powers, China and Russia – effectively exchanging looser sanctions for very little progress in impeding Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

Some powerful lawmakers have said they’re willing to seek new sanctions now, but delay their implementation until after the six months covered by the current deal. But others weren’t even willing to go that far.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), the No. 3 Democrat in the chamber, called the deal disproportionately good for Iran, and that it was only strong sanctions that gave the United States and its allies any leverage over Tehran.

“This disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December,” Schumer said in a Sunday statement.

In fact, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office pointed out Sunday that the Virginia Republican and Schumer – rarely allies on any issue – had sounded similar concerns about the deal, and the impact sanctions have had on Iran.

President Obama and top members of his administration, like Secretary of State John Kerry, have stressed that the pressure has been successful – but that pressing ahead with further sanctions could “derail” the new deal.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are among the lawmakers to say they’d be open to putting sanctions in place for six months down the line.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had vowed last week to move ahead with sanctions legislation, but has yet to comment on the agreement finalized this weekend in Geneva.

Menendez added Sunday that he expected any Senate deal on sanctions to allow the U.S. to immediately restart sanctions if Iran fails to live up to its part of the deal.

“Given Iran's history of duplicity, it will demand ongoing, on-the-ground verification,” Menendez said. “Until Iran has verifiably terminated its illicit nuclear program, we should vigorously enforce existing sanctions.”

“Given Iran's history of duplicity, it will demand ongoing, on-the-ground verification,” Menendez said. “Until Iran has verifiably terminated its illicit nuclear program, we should vigorously enforce existing sanctions.”

Under the deal announced Sunday, the U.S. and its allies will loosen temporarily loosen sanctions on Iran’s sale of crude oil, its automotive sector and other parts of the economy.

Iran, on the other hand, agreed to tougher outside inspections and to cap its nuclear stockpile. Tehran will also halt work at a heavy water reactor at its Arak site and suspend the installation of new centrifuges. The two sides disagree on whether the agreement allows Iran to enrich its uranium, and whether it takes any military action against the country off the table.

The initial agreement does not cover the construction of new centrifuges or the reversal of progress Iran has made in its nuclear program. {Read More}

I like the idea of developing additional sanctions now to be used only if Iran over the next six months fails to conduct itself in accordance with "the deal."

Via: Memeorandum