Friday, June 28, 2013

New York City Mayor Bloomberg Draws Fire For Stating the Facts...

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

Not really a fan of New York Mayor Bloomberg, but when you're right you're right, political correctness aside of course. Speaking the obvious truth is bound to get ya in hot water. The Mayor did just that recently and sure enough he drew plenty of fire. It is absolutely disgusting what the aspiring to power political class will stoop to.

New York Post - Mayor Bloomberg claimed that people of color should be stopped and frisked more -- not less -- while whites are stopped too frequently.

"I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little. It's exactly the reverse of what they say," Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show, in response to the City Council passing two bills aimed at reining in the controversial policing tactic.

"I don't know where they went to school but they certainly didn't take a math course. Or a logic course.”

The mayor was referring to statistics showing that a majority of serious crimes in the city are carried out by young men of color {emphasis mine).

But candidates vying to replace him wasted no time in denouncing the comments. {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Governor Rick Perry Sounding Like "Reverend" Rick Perry...

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

Governor Rick Perry displaying once again his Fundie judgmental attitude as he essentially trashes his adversary, Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D). Whether the Gov realizes it or not his holier than thou attitude gains him more detractors than it does supporters. Well, other than the Fundies that populate the Bible thumping belt. Gov is only a few breaths removed from the fundamentalist Muslims. IMNHO.

Here's the video of Reverend Gov delivering his judgment on Sen. Davis

TPM - Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) responded to Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday, chiding him for using "small words" that tarnished Lone Star state values.

Perry invoked Davis' experience as a teenage mother at the National Right to Life conference in Dallas Thursday, telling attendees that it was "unfortunate" that she "hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."

"They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view," Davis told the Associated Press Thursday. "Our governor should reflect our Texas values. Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test."

She also added that his comment was "without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds."

For more on this story go HERE, and HERE.

Via: Memeorandum


Just out. Following is a very interesting article by Jonathan Chait from The New York Times. She makes many valid points and pretty much defines the debate with accuracy. To her credit the article is relatively balanced.

The teaser...

... The immediate liberal reaction is that Perry was "attack[ing] her motives and her experiences," or "dismissing her as an unwed, teen mother." But Perry is not attacking Davis here. Perry is pointing to her life as a success. His comments are tantamount to a liberal arguing that Ted Cruz's family history shows why we need more immigration.

Now, to be sure, Davis would respond that giving birth was her choice, and ought to remain her choice. I agree. But this merely pushes the debate back to irreconcilable moral premises. The abortion debate, at its root, pits differing ideas on the fundamental question of what is a human life. Perry's side thinks that sperm plus egg equals human life. My side thinks the fertilized egg does not approach human status until much later in the process, which means the mother's prerogative supercedes any rights it has.

There's no real resolution to this dispute. Nobody even makes much of an effort to resolve it. Both sides advance arguments that only make sense if you already accept their premise about what a human life is. That's what Perry's doing here. He's saying we should force women to give birth even when they don't want to, because babies born in bad circumstances can be happy anyway. That isn't an acceptable burden to place on women, in my opinion, but it surely is if you think abortion is murder... {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SCOTUS Rules Favorably On DOMA, Not Going Far Enough the Justices Tossed it Back To the States...

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

But in a move that is sure to deepen tension between the right wing and the House leadership, social conservatives are gearing up to reignite the fight in D.C.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), speaking at a Tuesday meeting between reporters and conservative lawmakers, said he will file a constitutional amendment in Congress late this week to restore DOMA. Huelskamp said he will be joined by other conservatives.

“My response to this [decision] will be later this week to file a federal marriage amendment,” he said.

And so we see yet more republican bigotry and unwillingness to accept that which is ethically and morally right. While many who are fiscally conservative and socially libertarian had hoped reason would ultimately prevail in the republican party, and more specifically it's Fundie faction, such will not be.

The full story from POLITICO...

Congressional Republican leaders are speaking with resounding unity: the same-sex marriage fight is ending on Capitol Hill.

While conservative rank-and-file want to continue the fight that has, in part, defined the Republican Party for much of the last few decades, leadership is eager to shift it to state capitals across the country.

House Speaker John Boehner, whose leadership spent millions to defend DOMA, said he was “disappointed” in the decision, but did not promise action in the Republican House.

“While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances,” Boehner said in a statement. “A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, said he’s “disappointed in this decision, and the marriage debate will continue in the states”

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No 2. Senate Republican, said “like it or not, the Supreme Court is the final word on constitutional matters.”

“It sounds to me that that battle will be moving to the states,” Cornyn said. “The issue is not going away and there are going to be havens of traditional values like Texas where I don’t think the law is going to be changed.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) simply flashed a smile and ignored a reporter’s question about the court’s decision Wednesday.


When asked if leadership is likely to support efforts to restore DOMA, Huelskamp said he was encouraged by the Boehner’s statement after the ruling. “I give tremendous credit to the Speaker of House,” Huelskamp said.

It would be a drastic understatement to say the political dynamics of gay rights and gay marriage are shifting. National Republican politics and policy reflects the changing electorate.

The congressional GOP leadership that spent much of the last few decades trying to write into the Constitution its opposition to gay marriage, now appears to be waving the white flag when it comes to national policy. The party does face a shifting electorate, which is increasingly more comfortable with same-sex marriage, and several congressional Republicans — including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman — have endorsed same-sex marriage.

Unfortunately the "... several congressional Republicans — including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman — have endorsed same-sex marriage" are in the decided minority. Therein lies one the reason the republican party is rapidly losing much of the nation to the Libertarian Party and the Democratic Party.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Justices Say Law Doesn’t Require Child to Be Returned to Her Indian Father But Fails to Consider the Deeper Reality

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

Courtesy of Melanie Capobianco
Veronica in 2011. She should not have been taken from her adoptive parents, the Supreme Court ruled.

A child given up by her natural parents and placed in the home of of responsible white people (who were in the process of adopting her) was returned to the "father" (IE: the sperm donor dude) who had signed his rights as father away at birth, giving full legal rights to the child's mother. Subsequently the "mother" (IE: the egg donor women) gave up her rights and placed the child up for adoption.

The "father", or sperm donor dude, upon hearing the mother, or egg donor women, had signed her rights away suddenly decided he wanted the child back. This of course without regard to the reality that the only family the child had known were the people (real parents) that were attempting to adopt her.

Please read the following text. I have more comments following.

New York Times - An American Indian child being raised by her biological father should not have been taken from her adoptive parents, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, saying that a federal law devised to keep Indian families together did not apply in the case.

The 5-to-4 decision, which reversed a ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court, found that the case represented an exception to the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law that made it more difficult for American Indian children to be removed from their families. That landmark legislation effectively ended the practice of taking Indian children from their homes and placing them in boarding schools and foster care.

The court’s majority held Tuesday that the case, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, No. 12-399, did not involve removing a child from an Indian home because the girl’s father had relinquished his parental rights before the girl’s birth and her biological mother had agreed to allow the South Carolina couple to adopt the girl.

Four months after the child’s birth, the father, Dusten Brown, a member of the Cherokee tribe, changed his mind and sought custody of his daughter. He said he had not realized that his former fiancĂ©e was going to put the child up for adoption.

The girl was in the process of being legally adopted by Matt and Melanie Capobianco, a white couple who raised her for 27 months before South Carolina courts ruled in favor of Mr. Brown. The child, now nearly 4, has been living with Mr. Brown in Oklahoma for the past year and a half. The state courts found that both the Capobianco family and Mr. Brown had provided the girl with safe, loving homes.

The Baby Veronica case, named for the girl at the center of the dispute, has stirred powerful emotional responses from child welfare groups, adoptive parents and Indian tribes, all of whom have sought a clearer legal standard of how the Indian Child Welfare Act should be applied when it appears to conflict with state law. In the Baby Veronica case, for instance, South Carolina law would have allowed the toddler to remain with the Capobiancos, but that state’s courts found that Mr. Brown’s parental rights under the federal law trumped state law.

The Supreme Court ruling however, decided the case along fairly narrow lines.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the court’s majority that the Indian Child Welfare Act “does not apply where the Indian parent never had custody of the Indian child.”

Instead, Justice Alito wrote, the federal law “was designed primarily to counteract the unwarranted removal of Indian children from Indian families,” not as part of a custody dispute in which “an Indian child’s adoption is voluntarily and lawfully initiated by a non-Indian parent with sole custodial rights.”

Justice Alito was joined in the majority opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Stephen G. Breyer. Justices Thomas and Breyer concurred separately.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the principal dissent, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.

Justice Antonin Scalia, who agreed in part with the dissent, wrote that the court’s majority opinion “needlessly demeans the rights of parenthood,” and added: “This father wants to raise his daughter, and the statute amply protects his right to do so. There is no reason in law or policy to dilute that protection.”

Mark D. Fiddler, a lawyer for the Capobianco family, said the adoptive parents burst into “tears of joy” when the ruling was announced. They planned to return to the South Carolina state court system, which Mr. Fiddler said needed to figure out how to ease Veronica’s transition back to the Capobiancos and address a pending adoption.

But when, or even if, Veronica will be sent back to the Capobiancos is far from clear.

“This is his daughter, his whole life,” John Nichols, one of Mr. Brown’s lawyers wrote in an e-mail on Tuesday. “He will fight for her right to stay with her family. He loves her and she loves him, and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep his daughter.”

Mr. Brown said in a statement that he was “very disappointed” with the decision and that his daughter was part of a happy and loving extended family.

“I would not want any other parent to be in this position, having to struggle this hard and this long for the right to raise their own child,” he said. “I have fought for my daughter and will continue to fight for her and her right to be raised by her family.”

Family courts ordinarily base custody decisions on the best interests of the child before them. Joan Heifetz Hollinger, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who filed a brief in support of the child’s interests, said that if the State of South Carolina holds a custody hearing for Baby Veronica that “there would be strong presumption that the child’s best interests are to allow her to remain where she is, absent evidence of abuse or neglect by dad.”

“If, however, the court resumes the original adoption proceeding,” she said, “the outcome is likely to be in favor of a return to the adoptive parents.”

What I find most interesting, or perhaps more accurately stated reprehensible, is that the primary issue here is, or should be the child. Yet is not. Front and center is the legal aspect and a bunch of belated bullshit about the sperm donor dude who belatedly decided, for whatever reason, he wanted the child he gave up over two years prior back.

Having experienced similar circumstances when I was about five years old (when my egg donor women "biological mother" gave up her right's as a mother) I somehow understand how this young Indian girl must feel. Something like a football I imagine. Yet the legalities will keep her in a state of uncertainty and emotional distress while the courts and the state decide what is best for her. Someone should be asking at what cost to this young and tender child who has an adoptive family (pending) who loves her and took care of her for over two years.

SCOTUS got it half right. What the High Court SHOULD have decided is the adoptive couple posses sole and exclusive parental rights, and the "sperm and egg donors" by their actions shouls have none.

By the way, on my MOTHER's 65th birthday my brother and I "adopted" our mother so she was recognized as our "legal" mother as well as the REAL mother that she was for over forty eight years. She passed almost five years ago. I still miss her and always will.

Some have said blood is thicker than water. I can speak with authority when I say often water is can be thicker than blood and occasionally is infinitely SWEETER than blood.

That's my take. What's yours?

Via: New York Times

Monday, June 24, 2013

Supreme Court... Tougher Scrutiny of Affirmative Action Plans

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

A perfectly sensible and right decision by the SCOTUS... Even given the fairly obvious left bias throughout the article.

USA TODAY - WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court drew new limits on colleges' use of affirmative action Monday, saying that although racial preferences remain constitutional, they are permissible only if schools can first show that there are "no workable race-neutral alternatives."

The court's 7-1 decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, suggests that public schools can use affirmative action only as a last resort for creating a diverse student body, and raises the prospect that colleges will face a tougher burden of justifying them in the future.

But the justices stopped short of issuing a broader decision either fully cementing or eliminating schools' ability to take account of an applicant's race.

Kennedy wrote that public universities could adopt affirmative action plans only if they can demonstrate that "no workable race-neutral alternatives would produce the benefits of educational diversity."

The decision came in a closely watched challenge to the University of Texas at Austin's admissions policy that is based, in part, on applicants' race. But the justices declined to decide whether the university's program met that tough new standard.

Instead, they said that a lower federal court had acted too deferentially by, in essence, taking the university's word for the fact that such preferences were necessary. They instructed the lower court to hear the case again, and this time to require the university to prove that it had no other way to assemble a diverse student body.

"Strict scrutiny does not permit a court to accept a school's assertion that its admissions process uses race in a permissible way without a court giving close analysis to the evidence of how the process works in practice," Kennedy wrote. "The university must prove that the means chosen by the university to attain diversity are narrowly tailored to that goal."

Kennedy was joined by the court's conservative justice and two of its liberals, Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the case.


The case hearkened back to 1950, when Heman Sweatt sued the university after being denied admission because he was black. As his attorney, Sweatt chose Thurgood Marshall, who would go on to become the high court's first black justice. He won the case, marking the first time the court had ordered a black student admitted to an all-white institution.

Since then, colleges and universities have become more integrated. In Grutter v. Bollinger, the court's 5-4 decision upholding the Michigan law school's limited use of affirmative action, O'Connor predicted, "The court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today."

That case wasn't a slam dunk for the civil rights movement. At the same time, the court ruled 6-3 against the undergraduate school's more numerical system of racial preferences. And O'Connor's decision upholding the law school's racial preferences included a dissent from Kennedy, now the swing vote on the court.

"Preferment by race, when resorted to by the state, can be the most divisive of all policies, containing within it the potential to destroy confidence in the Constitution and in the idea of equality," Kennedy said then.

Four years later, in a decision that barred voluntary integration programs in the Seattle and Louisville public schools, Chief Justice John Roberts issued one of his most oft-quoted lines: "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

Two members of the court were being watched closely in this case: Justice Thomas, the lone black justice, who has written that his Yale Law School degree was devalued by racial preferences; and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the lone Hispanic, whose recent book, My Beloved World, credits affirmative action for giving her access to Princeton and Yale.

In the end, the ruling was so narrow that both Thomas and Sotomayor signed on.

Kagan recused herself from the case, presumably because she was involved with it during her tenure as solicitor general at the Justice Department in 2009-10. {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

Jimmy Carter Getting One Right...

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

I am not a fan of Jimmy Carter, never have been. He was an inept president and he should, at least for the most part stick to what he does best. Humanitarian issues and his Habitat for Humanity.

Having said the foregoing I must acknowledge when the man is right he is right. His recent remarks on the on religion, most specifically the position of the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and Islam with respect to for equality of women is, IMNHO, spot on. Of course there will continue to be those on the far right that will choose to take Carter's remarks out of context and twist them for political purposes. Fortunately there are more people who can think than there are those who can't.

TIME - Well, religion can be, and I think there’s a slow, very slow, move around the world to give women equal rights in the eyes of God. What has been the case for many centuries is that the great religions, the major religions, have discriminated against women in a very abusive fashion and set an example for the rest of society to treat women as secondary citizens. In a marriage or in the workplace or wherever, they are discriminated against. And I think the great religions have set the example for that, by ordaining, in effect, that women are not equal to men in the eyes of God.

This has been done and still is done by the Catholic Church ever since the third century, when the Catholic Church ordained that a woman cannot be a priest for instance but a man can. A woman can be a nurse or a teacher but she can’t be a priest. This is wrong, I think. As you may or may not know, the Southern Baptist Convention back now about 13 years ago in Orlando, voted that women were inferior and had to be subservient to their husbands, and ordained that a woman could not be a deacon or a pastor or a chaplain or even a teacher in a classroom in some seminaries where men are in the classroom, boys are in the classroom. So my wife and I withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention primarily because of that.

But I now go to a more moderate church in Plains, a small church, it’s part of the Cooperative Baptist fellowship, and we have a male and a female pastor, and we have women and have men who are deacons. My wife happens to be one of the deacons.

So some of the Baptists are making progress, along with Methodists. For instance the other large church in Plains is a Methodist church, and they have a man for the last eight years and the next pastor they get will be a woman. They’ve had a woman pastor before, before the Baptists did. And of course the Episcopalians and other denominations that are Protestant do permit women or encourage women to be bishops, as you know, and pastors.

In the Islamic world that varies widely depending on what the regime is in the capital. Sometimes they try to impose very strict law, misquoting I think the major points of the Qur’an, and they ordain that a woman is inferior inherently. Ten year old girls can be forced to marry against their wishes, and that women can be treated as slaves in a marriage, and that a woman can’t drive an automobile, some countries don’t let women vote, like Saudi Arabia. {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, June 21, 2013

Radical Islam, a Growing Worldwide Threat or Simply More Hype? You Be the Judge...

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

Following is the text of an email that recently found it's way to the inbox of Rational Nation USA. After reading this many times over several days I finally determined to publish it.

While many will disagree with the points made by Dr. Tanya, many others will agree. Certainly at the very least they are worth considering. History often repeats itself becaue good people decide to do nothing in the face of a growing threat of evil.

A German's View on Islam:

This is by far the best explanation of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, and easy to understand. The author of this is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and respected psychiatrist. A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II. His family owned a number of large industries, as well as estates.

When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

Now Islamic prayers have been introduced into Toronto and other public schools in Ontario, and, yes, in Ottawa too while the Lord's Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?) The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.

In Australia, and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft has the halal emblem, just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation’s shores.

In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the
Muslim community in those areas refuses to acknowledge British law.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts -- the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

The solution to this potentially very real threat will not be easily found. Even if it is the implementation will likely face extreme resistance. In the name of political correctness.

In reality the west has themselves to blame for this threat. It has been in the making for several decades. But nobody wanted to recognize or discuss it. The reasons should be self evident.

Consider the future...

Growing the Dream, at Taxpayer's Expense...

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

Perhaps this is the New Democratic Version of nation building?

Hold on to your hats folks. Increased aid isn't far behind.

As the deficit and national debt continues to grow.

Republicans and Democrats differ how?

Yahoo News - President Barack Obama makes the first extended trip to Africa of his presidency next week—but he won't be stopping in his ancestral homeland.

Obama's weeklong trip—June 26-July 3—which he's taking with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Sasha and Malia, as well as with members of his economic and trade team, is to signal America's interest in trade, democracy and economic development in Africa. He will visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

"We see Africa as one of the most important emerging regions in the world," deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call Friday. He added that the administration sees "growing economic opportunities [in the continent] for increased trade and investment" by U.S. businesses.

The trip will also focus on "democracy and democratic institution-building," Rhodes said.

Rhodes acknowledged the president's "deep personal and familial connections" to Kenya and noted that Obama has visited the country as a private citizen and as a senator. But Rhodes said it "wasn’t the best time for the president to travel to Kenya" given the recent election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto, who both face charges of crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court.

The trip has drawn some controversy at home related to its projected costs, which have varied in multiple news reports.

Rhodes said on Friday the White House can't confirm the cost because it's not being determined by the White House.

"We don't have the exact figure on costs—frankly we don't own or control those numbers," he said. "The security requirements, which make up the bulk of the cost, are determined by the Secret Service, and they don't publicly release the breakdown of the costs for these types of trips." Rhodes added that the Secret Service and White House military office determine the security costs for overseas trips of this nature.

Obama will pay tribute to former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela while in Africa, and he has planned a visit to Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned.

But as for a visit with the former president, Rhodes confirmed on Friday that the White House will allow the Mandela family to lead on that front due to Mandela's health issues. He is currently hospitalized with a lung infection.

It is what it is. It will continue to be what it has been. With no end in sight.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Tic Toc...

Via Memeorandum

Why the Conservatives Don't Stand a Chance...

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

Perhaps the most tedious speech head of late. Rep. Louie Gohmert at perhaps his worst. Not that he has ever made a speech that has been noteworthy for its substance or even coherence for that matter.

 Did anyone suffer through the entire ramble. If so did you come away with anything, and I mean anything of merit? What is amazing is conservatives actually elected this guy. Via: Memeorandum

Monday, June 17, 2013

Scandals and Surveillance Taking Their Toll on the Obama Adminstration...

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

It was inevitable.

Sooner or later the mounting scandal allegations, combined with the NSA surveillance program, would take their toll on the administration of President Obama. With his approval ratings in almost free fall it is apparent this has happened.

Ultimately the President is held to account and deemed responsible for the inner workings of the government the people of the USA entrusted him to LEAD.

CNN - President Barack Obama's approval rating dropped eight percentage points over the past month, to 45%, the president's lowest rating in more than a year and a half, according to a new national poll.

The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning comes as the White House has been reacting to controversies over a massive U.S. government surveillance program; the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of tea party and other conservative groups who applied for tax-exempt status; the administration's handling of last September's attack in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead; and the Justice Department's secret collection of journalists' phone records as part of a government investigation into classified leaks.

The poll indicates that for the first time in Obama’s presidency, half of the public says they don't believe he is honest and trustworthy...


The president's approval rating stands at 45%, down from 53% in mid-May. And 54% say they disapprove of how Obama's handling his job, up nine points from last month. It's the first time in CNN polling since November 2011 that a majority of Americans have had a negative view of the president.

"The drop in Obama's support is fueled by a dramatic 17-point decline over the past month among people under 30, who, along with black Americans, had been the most loyal part of the Obama coalition," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The president also dropped 10 points among independent voters, from 47% last month to 37% now, with Obama's disapproval among independents jumping 12 points to 61%.


Six in 10 disapprove of how Obama is handling government surveillance of U.S. citizens, which is higher than the 52% who disapproved of George W. Bush on the same issue in 2006, when government surveillance was also in the headlines.

Obama's approval rating on terrorism, although still above 50%, has taken a 13-point hit since mid-May. By contrast, his approval rating on domestic issues such as the economy, immigration and the deficit only dropped by two to four points, within the poll's sampling error.


The number of Americans who think he is honest has dropped nine points over the past month, to 49%. Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they disagree with the president's views on the size and power of the federal government, and 53% say he cannot manage the government effectively. Fifty-two percent say the president is a strong and decisive leader. That's still a majority, but it's down six points from last month.


Forty-three percent of the public says that the Obama administration has gone too far in restricting civil liberties to fight terrorism, with 38% saying the administration has been about right and 17% saying it has not gone far enough.

"That's roughly the same reaction that the public had to the Bush administration in 2006 when the details of a similar program to gather phone records were made public," says Holland. {Read More}

Indeed the President's luster seems to be dulling, fast.

Note also the Canter interview. The proverbial pot calling the kettle black.

Via: Memeorandum


CNN - ... Even more surprising: The overall decline in his approval rating was partially fueled by a plunge in support from younger Americans, a huge base of Obama's support.

Last month, nearly two-thirds of those in the 18-29 age group gave the president a thumbs up. His approval rating among that bracket fell 17 points in Monday's poll and now stands at 48%.

The CNN/ORC International survey was conducted last Tuesday through Thursday.

It comes as the White House has been dealing with controversies over a government surveillance program; IRS targeting of tea party and other conservative groups; continuing fallout over the deadly terror attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya; and the Justice Department's secret collection of journalists phone records as part of a government investigation into classified leaks.


"Today, there are only minor differences between older and younger Americans on that measure, but a month ago, two-thirds of younger Americans considered Obama honest -- at least 10 points higher than any other age category. So maybe one reason why Obama fell so far with younger Americans is that he had farther to fall," he said. {Read the Full Story}

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Public Servant in the Best Sense of the Word, and Smart Governor...

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

After Hurricane Sandy

There are lots of reasons to like New Jersey Governor Christie. The following is just one of many...

THE HILL - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) raised eyebrows among Republicans last year, when he heartily embraced President Obama in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which hit shore just days before the presidential election.

On Friday, Christie doubled down on his bipartisan outreach, appearing with former President Bill Clinton at a seminar in Chicago for the Clinton Global Initiative.

The appearance came while other top Republicans were gathering in Washington, D.C., for Ralph Reed's annual Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, an illustration of the basic tension facing the New Jersey governor: appeasing both voters in his traditionally Democratic home state while minding the dyed-in-the-wool conservatives who dominate the Republican nominating process.

Clinton and Christie recognized the high-wire political act, with the former president joking that the governor was "consorting with a leper."

But the duo heaped praise on one another, with Clinton applauding the way Christie navigated New Jersey through the aftermath of the storm.

"We need to redefine leadership beyond how you just respond to an emergency to how you keep emergencies from happening, and he's done a good job," Clinton said.

Clinton told Christie that while he got "praise and damnation for ignoring the political differences you had and still have with the president," his efforts to prepare his state for future disasters should win bipartisan support.

"We've got to stop waiting for something horrible to happen and then spend ten times as much," Clinton said.

Christie agreed that disaster preparedness and response could unify Americans across party lines. {Read More}


Via: Memeorandum

Santorum Sounding REASONABLE...

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

Santorum said Republicans must talk to working-class people, not CEOs. | AP Photo

Ex Senator and failed Republican Presidential candidate jockeying to capture the populist platform for 2016. I was brutal on Santorum the Fundie during the 2012 campaign. Having said this I must be fair and balanced. His recent remarks following are ones many can relate to an agree with.

POLITICO - Rick Santorum ripped Mitt Romney’s campaign Thursday for mishandling President Barack Obama’s “you didn’t build that” gaffe last summer.

The former Pennsylvania senator recalled all the business owners who spoke at the Republican National Convention.

“One after another, they talked about the business they had built. But not a single—not a single —factory worker went out there,” Santorum told a few hundred conservative activists at an “after-hours session” of the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington. “Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn’t care about them. You know what? They built that company too! And we should have had them on that stage.”

“One after another, they talked about the business they had built. But not a single—not a single —factory worker went out there,” Santorum told a few hundred conservative activists at an “after-hours session” of the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington. “Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn’t care about them. You know what? They built that company too! And we should have had them on that stage.”

Santorum did not mention Romney, whom he challenged in the primaries, by name during a 21-minute speech in a dim ballroom at the Marriott (a company on whose board Romney sits). But there was no doubt who he was talking about.

“When all you do is talk to people who are owners, talk to folks who are Type A’s who want to succeed economically, we’re talking to a very small group of people,” he said. “No wonder they don’t think we care about them. No wonder they don’t think we understand them. Folks, if we’re going to win, you just need to think about who you talk to in your life.”

Trying to carve out a role as a leading populist in the 2016 field, Santorum insisted that Republicans must “talk to the folks who are worried about the next paycheck,” not the CEOs. {Read More}

Perhaps Santorum actually understands why the concerns of the "common man" is important for the republican party to understand if it is to survive. Now, if only he would temper his frothiness a bit with respect to his fundie religious proclivities.

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Year of Scandals...

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

Yeah, it's true.

2013, the year of the great scandals. We have many. Just ask the "Golly Gee" folks.

Feral government spying on its citizens. Quick, gotta stop that Marxist Commie Black President. You know, the dude that has managed to pretty much follow in the prior dudes footsteps.

We won't talk about that. It doesn't fit the narrative.

IRS, lefties using the powers of a questionably unconstitutional bureaucracy to target conservatives. Damn socialist commies. Plotting to bring American freedom and liberties to a screeching halt. Never been done before.

Richard Milhaus Nixon, the author of the Watergate era. Targeting his lefty opponents. Using the IRS nonetheless.

Benghazi. Four Americans dead because of inept leadership. Cover up by a nefarious and secret Muslim administration in the big house. Never happened before.

1952 - 2012 - 44 attacks on USA embassies or 1.18/year. 2009 - 2012 7 attacks on USA embassies or 1.40/yr/. Is it Obama or a sign of a increasingly violent time in world history? Ask the "Golly Gee" folks for the anticipated answer.

Partisan politics. Has always been and will always be. Something our founding fathers also experienced. Not necessarily a bad thing as the history of that time will bear out. Unless of course one is focused on revisionist history.

Unfortunately the practice of partisan politics has resulted in the pursuit of gaining advantage through the often dishonest pursuit of fabrication and character assassination of ones "opponent." Quite UN-American by standards of rational thought.

America, if it continues on the current trajectory has seen its better days. Those that are paying attention will understand the proceeding statement. For those who aren't? Well, just ask the "golly gee" folks. The internet is replete with them.

Signing off for now. Have a great evening. Remember, you heard it here first...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Senator Rand Paul Front and Center In the Effort to Protect Our Privacy and Civil Liberties...

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

Big Brother Is Watching You by Petr Kratochvil

Senator Rand Paul leading in the effort to protect the civil rights and the privacy of all American's. Like his father before him he is focused on the Constitutional limitations of the Federal Government and limiting its ability to snoop into our private affairs. There is no doubt but what the Classical Liberal thinkers and Founders of our nation are in agreement with the Senator.

THE HILL - Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday said he would examine ways to block the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs before the Supreme Court.

“I'm going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level,” vowed Paul on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I’m going to be asking all the internet providers and all of the phone companies: Ask your customers to join me in a class action lawsuit. If we get 10 million Americans saying we don’t want our phone records looked at then maybe someone will wake up and something will change in Washington,” he said.

A report in the Guardian last week revealed that the NSA had sought information on phone numbers, and the location and duration of calls to help identify potential terror threats. A separate program, PRISM, sought information on foreign Internet users from American tech companies.

The disclosures unleashed a firestorm of criticism at the Obama administration’s record on civil liberties, coming weeks after news that the Justice Department had seized reporter records in leak investigations and after the Internal Revenue Service admitted targeting Tea Party groups.

The administration has defended the programs, with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Saturday saying that Internet companies only provided user data to the National Security Agency after an order from the secret FISA court, and only for information requests tied to a “foreign intelligence purpose.”

Administration officials said Saturday that Congress had been briefed 13 times on efforts to obtain electronic data for national security, as the White House sought to push back against claims from many lawmakers that they were not properly briefed on the measures.

Paul said he was concerned with the scope of the NSA’s surveillance.

“They are looking at a billion phone calls a day, is what I read in the press and that doesn’t sound to me like a modest invasion of privacy, it sounds like an extraordinary invasion of privacy,” said Paul.

Paul said such snooping was “partly what our founding fathers fought the revolution over.”

Asked about reports that the programs had helped thwart a terror attack in New York, Paul said he did not oppose surveillance targeted at a particular individual suspected of wrongdoing.

“I have no problem if you have probable cause and you target people who are terrorists and you go after them and the people they are communicating with…... Read More

Indeed. I'm sure all Americans are okay with targeting terrorists when there is probable cause or significant and justified suspicion of possible terrorist activity. But mining millions or billions of phone records? Obama and his administration are proving it (they) is (are) just as intrusive and statist minded as GWB and his administration were.

American that truly value freedom and civil liberties need to speak up, no, SHOUT OUT writing blogs, letters to the editors, communicate by phone as well as through letters to their congress critters and senators voicing outrage over these invasive and unconstitutional actions by our federal (feral) government.

That's my position. What is yours?

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, June 7, 2013

Big Brother... Watching and... Listening... Thank you GWB for the Patriot Act and Homeland Security

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

We can thank the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security (ie: GWB) for the current and nefarious acts by the NSA. However, what the hey, after all it's all in the name of giving up a bit of freedom in the name of a bit more security.

I imagine good and wise Benjamin Franklin must be rolling over in his resting place right about now.

POLITICO - Several lawmakers said they had not been briefed on the Obama administration’s classified programs to monitor cellphone and Internet traffic.

That’s in direct contradiction to President Barack Obama’s assertion. The president said on Friday that “every member of Congress” has been briefed on the programs led by the National Security Administration.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a telephone interview late Friday that he learned about the two programs after requesting a briefing under “classified circumstances” following urging by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Durbin said congressional leadership and intelligence committees had access to information about the programs, but that the “average member” of Congress likely wouldn’t have been aware of the breadth of the telephone and Internet surveillance.

“They don’t receive this kind of briefing,” Durbin said of the congressional rank-and-file.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who has railed against government intrusion on the Senate floor, told POLITICO that he “hadn’t been briefed on this particular issue,” referring to the NSA collection of phone records. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) also said he learned of phone monitoring through news reports, although he said it “wasn’t a surprise.”

“Not quite!” tweeted Rep. Billy Long (R-La.) in response to a tweet by ABC’s Rick Klein that said “Obama says ‘every member of Congress’ has been briefed on phone program #NSA; suggests only intel comm. knew of PRISM.”

The House and Senate intelligence committees, which oversee agencies like the NSA and Central Intelligence Agency, are routinely briefed on classified intelligence operations.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also get briefed, along with intelligence committee chairs and ranking members. Rank-and-file members of Congress, however, are only periodically briefed on specific incidents — there have been briefings recently on Syria and the Boston bombings.

Certainly BIG BROTHER IS watching and listening to us ALL. One of the saddest aspects of the situation is that BOTH the rEpublican and dEmocratic party are involved.

Destined no doubt to pick up steam given our national paranoia. That is my take on the situation. What's yours?

Good night. Rest soundly as BIG BROTHER is watching over and looking out for us all. Don't you feel so much better?

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Insanity in Two Flavors...

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

Speaking of INSANITY...

A judge on Tuesday accepted James' Holmes plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, setting the stage for a lengthy mental evaluation of the Colorado theater shooting suspect.

Holmes is accused of opening fire in a packed Denver-area movie theater last summer, killing 12 people and injuring 70. He is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The mental evaluation could take months. {Read More}

Sometimes it just seems to make more sense to clean out the defective gene pool. Or does it? You be the judge...

Via: Memeorandum

The Enamored of ObamaCare and the Democratic Party Emerging 2014 Campain Srategy...

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

For sure the healthcare system in America has been in need of serious overhaul for sometime. One should give the President credit for tackling the system that is both expensive for those who's company does not provide health insurance. Which often results in many being uncovered due to the EXCEEDINGLY HIGH cost for private health insurance. Something I know a bit about having had to use COBRA coverage as my company continued on a ten year "rightsizing", which of course was in the name to remain competitive and thereby lose the fewest jobs possible. Net job loss over ten years; 1300 jobs. The wave of the future methinks.

Back to the point of the post. Many are enamored of ObamaCare and have been sold on how it will improve, if not solve our present healthcare nightmare. However, the truth is ObamaCare while having some positive benefits. mostly for the lower economic strata also carries with it some serious negatives. Interesting;y enough the plan was essentially crafted by the health insurance and drug industry lobbyists. That, in and of itself should scare the hell out of people.

Something certainly needs to be done. However, ObamaCare is not the answer as it is nothing more than a juggling of the current system with some added safeguards for the poor or indigent. Many which already exist today and are covered by tax dollars. What we need is a market based healthcare system which allows for open competition and is regulated to the degree that uncontrolled profiteering by insurance companies and big pharmaceuticals are controlled and capped. While profit is a VERY important consideration the pursuit of ever higher profit margins should not trump affordable healthcare for American citizens. Perhaps America ought to collaborate with countries who have a better healthcare system the the USA and adopt what has been shown to work.

Perhaps it is time for the USA to get down from it's lofty perch believing everything American is always the best and start looking at what may really be the best.

POLITICO - Scarred by years of Republican attacks over Obamacare, with more in store next year, Democrats have settled on an unlikely strategy for the 2014 midterms: Bring it on.

Party strategists believe that embracing the polarizing law — especially its more popular elements — is smarter politics than fleeing from it in the House elections. The new tack is a marked shift from 2010, when Republicans pointed to Obamacare as Exhibit A of Big Government run amok on their way to seizing the House from Democrats.

But the Democratic bear hug, reflecting a calculation it’s probably impossible to shed their association with the law even if they wanted to, is still a high-wire public relations act. The White House has consistently struggled with messaging on Obamacare, hoping the public would gain an appreciation for the health care makeover as its benefits became apparent. That never really happened, but Democrats seem to be banking that it finally will.

The strategy will be put to the test as the law kicks in next year and is implemented in the months leading up to the election — with the inevitable snafus and critical media coverage as the public gets its first up-close view of the massive undertaking.

California Rep. Scott Peters, a freshman Democrat who narrowly won election last year, said he doesn’t agree with every part of the law. But he said he’s not afraid of addressing health care — far from it.

“I don’t have any problem talking about it,” Peters, who hails from a San Diego-area swing district, said in an interview. “I think it’s a big issue. I think it’s going to be talked about more than immigration or guns.”

One early sign of the shift: After House Republicans brought a health care repeal measure to the floor last month — the 37th time they’ve tried — Peters joined a cast of other Democratic incumbents from competitive districts to criticize the GOP for the maneuver.

In 2010, Democratic congressional candidates in tough races actively promoted their opposition to the just-passed law, in some cases running ads blasting it. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee privately instructed members and candidates to change the subject if they were asked about the health care law in town hall meetings or on the campaign trail. {Read More}

POLITICO's website naming the top five complaints about ObamaCare.

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, June 3, 2013

Senator Cruz on the IRS Scandal and the Need to Abolish...

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

It ain't going anywhere... But the flat tax? An idea whose time should have come a long time ago. However, in the trenches of class warfare, where the evils of capitalism and rational self interest are the twin evils it is understandable why it hasn't. IMNHO anyway.

Via: Memeorandum