NSA Empowered by USA Freedom Act

The USA Freedom Act was lauded as a great first step in trying to stop the abuses of the NSA. However, to even pass out of committee many changes altered the initial text of the bill. These changes didn’t improve privacy. And, unfortunately that’s just half of it. The amended bill which passed the House…

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Banging the Drum for Default

Originally published at American Thinker

There’s been so much malarkey meted out by the media about the budget C.R., the government shutdown, and the debt ceiling that the average American can easily lose sight of the real issue, which is the federal debt. Even certain honest, trusted members of the media trot out “default” as though it were synonymous with not raising the debt ceiling by Oct. 17.

Actually, default is not paying the interest/principle on what one has borrowed. Current federal revenue is way more than enough to easily pay what we owe on federal notes, bills and bonds.

If the feds do indeed have enough revenue pouring in to meet their obligations, then actual default would be an act of volition, a decision by the president. The president would have decided to squander the full faith and credit of the nation. Such an action would be an impeachable offense.

The president tells us that the deficit has been cut in half. He’s right, but that’s only because it’s come down from astronomical levels. Despite having fallen, the deficit for fiscal 2013 is still far higher than any pre-Obama deficit. Indeed, the six deficits since the Democrats took over Congress in Jan. 2007 are by far the largest in history.

Two big reasons for the smaller deficit for the fiscal year that just ended are tax hikes and spending cuts; specifically, the income tax rate hikes on the wealthy, the end of the payroll tax holiday, and sequestration. But the Democrats want to end sequestration. If that were to happen with no off-setting cuts elsewhere, the deficit would be that much worse next year. (It may be worse anyway, due to the rollout of ObamaCare.) 

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What Government Shutdown? Stop the hysteria!

The fear with respect to our latest “government shutdown” is amazing. The hysteria peddlers using this terminology, and the media that purposely play to it, must know these two words emit such an extreme emotional response. It appears designed to frighten the least informed either for or against the other political party, thus the terminology and subsequent blame game.

So what does a government shut down look like? Do the president and vice president resign now that the government ends? No, they stay on the job and receive full pay as before. Does Congress fly out of Washington D. C. the following day and cease to draw their pay, and the Supreme Court cease to deliberate on constitutional questions? Does the army come home and cease to protect us? NO! No, No! Do states, counties, and cities no longer function? No again, they have their own tax base and cops, prisons, and teachers remain in place. Will I still get my mail? Yes. The U.S. Postal Service functions as an independent business unit. Will I still get Social Security benefits? Yes! And food stamps? Yes. And unemployment compensation? Yes. And veterans’ benefits? Yes, at least until late October. And will there still be a functioning federal school lunch program? Yes, at least through October. (66 questions and answers about the government shutdown, by Gregory Korte, USA Today Oct. 1, 2013)

If this is so then why the hysteria? My point exactly!! Because these two words, “government shutdown,” and the possibility of missed food stamps send the largely uninformed into frenzy, they finally awake from their stupor. They largely know nothing, although they should, of the wrangling of government to protect them from themselves and oppose any proposed government diet that might reduce their daily feed. They worshipfully listen to the party and political leaders that are least likely to disturb this base, like defunding Obamacare.

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In a Constitutional System, the Shutdown Wouldn’t Matter

usdaA few thoughts on the so-called government shutdown.

First, let’s just call it what it is. Political theater with bad actors!

What we have does not constitute a shutdown. If you go to the airport, TSA agents will still grope you. The IRS will collect taxes from American paychecks during the duration of the shutdown. The NSA will continue spying on Americans. Yemeni’s remain under the threat of droning. Heck, Obamacare even went live on the first day of the shutdown. Well, sort of.

This shutdown sucks.

Instead of a real suspension of government activities, a huge number of which violate the Constitution, we have barricades at national parks and shuttered websites like www.usda.gov.

Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available.

As if it costs money or takes manpower for a website to continue floating in cyberspace.flotus

Apparently the furlough took out Michelle Obama’s social media person. Her last tweet declares updates will be limited during the shutdown.

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A Grand Bargain for Liberty?

by Ron Paul

As I write this, it appears that the federal government is about to shut down because the House and Senate cannot agree on whether to add language defunding or delaying Obamacare to the “Continuing Resolution”. Despite all the hand-wringing heard in DC, a short-term government shut down (which doesn’t actually shut down the government) will not cause the country to collapse.

And the American people would benefit if Obamacare was defeated or even delayed.

Obamacare saddles the American health care system with new spending and mandates which will raise the price and lower the quality of health care. Denying funds to this program may give Congress time to replace this bill with free-market reforms that put patients and physicians back in charge of health care. Defunding the bill before it becomes implemented can spare the American people from falling under the worst effects of this law.

As heartened as we should be by the fight against Obamacare, we should be equally disheartened by the fact that so few in DC are talking about making real cuts in federal spending. Even fewer are talking about reductions in the most logical place to reduce spending: the military-industrial complex.  The US military budget constitutes almost 50 percent of the total worldwide military spending.  Yet to listen to some in Congress, one would think that America was one canceled multi-million dollar helicopter contract away from being left totally defenseless.

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