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Friday, March 8, 2013

Obama Does Not Back Israel Poll Says

Hill Poll: Growing Numbers Feel Obama Doesn't Back Israel Enough

Unknown - Unknown,  March 5th, 2013

A growing number of people believe the Obama administration is not doing enough to support Israel, according to a recent survey commissioned by The Hill newspaper.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted Feb. 28 found that three times more voters think the White House is not supportive enough than those who believe it is too supportive.
The new numbers for those who said President Barack Obama does not back Israel as much as he should are higher than they were in three similar Hill surveys conducted since May 2011.
The February poll found 39 percent of respondents said Obama does not support Israel enough compared to 13 percent who said his policies are too supportive.
A slightly larger percentage, 30 percent compared to 28 percent, said Obama is more anti-Israel than pro-Israel. But the percentage of people labeling Obama as being pro-Israel is up slightly from a September 2011 poll.
Obama's policies on Israel are being watched closely, while concerns rise about Iran's nuclear program. Israel says Iran must be stopped from obtaining a nuclear weapon, even if it involves a military strike. The Obama administration favors a diplomatic solution instead.
The White House is renewing its focus on Israel this month, with Vice President Joe Biden to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference Monday, and Obama to make his first presidential visit to Israel later this month.
The Hill poll, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, also found that most voters think Obama should be somewhat or very involved in helping broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. However, a third of voters said he should not be involved.
The survey also revealed that fewer voters think Obama is improving the U.S. standing worldwide. Thirty-seven percent said the United States is more respected internationally than it was before Obama took office, and 43 percent said the country is less respected

Do You Agree With Farrakhan?

Sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut and so is it with Louis Farrakhan. No he did not find a nut, his interest in improving lives of  the black members of our society is admirable and should be encouraged.  For example, black on black crime is something that the media does not talk about, yet, most blacks deaths are at the hands of other members of the same race.

However, some of Farrakhan's ideas are wrong such as his extreme antisemitism. So what is your opinion of him?

Conservative Tom

Farrakhan Says White Americans Using Birth Control To Outnumber Blacks

March 5, 2013 by  
Farrakhan Says White Americans Using Birth Control To Outnumber Blacks
At times, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan can sound like something of a social engineer.
Last month, he encouraged gang members to learn military tactics and then go serve as resident security guards for rural property the Nation of Islam is buying in Georgia.
In a Michigan speech over the weekend, hecriticized white Americans for manipulating society in the hope of continuing as the Nation’s majority racial demographic.
How? Birth control for black women. Apparently, black women knew nothing of birth control until whites decided it was time to introduce it to them, “because they don’t want no more black babies.” By his calculation, blacks will outnumber whites in the United States by 2050, in part because the Nation of Islam plans to revolutionize the role blacks play in American society.
Farrakhan said black people face a defeatist culture in American public schools and universities, one that conditions them only to remain malleable and expendable to what he characterized as the white-controlled status quo.
“Do you think they are really educating and training you to do something with yourself, or are they training you to be subservient?” he admonished.
Like any good ideologue, not all of Farrakhan’s remarks were inflammatory, nor aimed at easy targets. He continued his ongoing general criticism of black Americans for making what he said are bad choices with their diets, relationships and spending habits.
He followed up those exhortations with tweets Sunday urging black people to consider farming their own land as a starting point for economic self-sufficiency.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

DHS Buys Ammo, Armored Vehicles and Now Assault Weapons

The American government  thinks that we are stupid country bumpkins who are only interested in  our "guns and bibles" as they go about assembling an arsenal of guns and ammo along with vehicles that are made for war.  My friends, this is very scary.

Only when a government is afraid of its citizens does it arm itself to resist the efforts of the populace to protect their rights. We have seen this in Egypt, Libya, Syria and now here in the good ole' USA. 

It would not be irresponsible to assert that there is something wrong here in America. There are too many warning signals that cannot be dismissed. We have a department of government on a buying spree without regard to  current economic doldrums and no one  calls them on it. It makes one ask a simple question. "What in the heck is going on?

Yesterday, our chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Holder,  had to be badgered by Senators to admit that an American sitting in a cafe drinking coffee does not present a clear and present danger and therefore should not be killed in a drone attack. He had to be asked four or five times to make that admission. Most Americans would think it was a no-brainer. Why would he hesitate?

As a reminder, this is the same Attorney General who found nothing wrong with the Fast and Furious Operation which forced law abiding gun dealers to sell illegal weapons to Mexican drug lords.  One of our border guards paid with his life for the government's malfeasance.

This is an Administration that professes to be open and is one of the most secretive; who gives money to their friends without regard to the viability of their enterprises; who says they want to protect us by taking away our guns; who takes over private companies in order "to save them"; who says they support our strongest allies while cozying up to our enemies; and who has shown their lack of fiscal honesty by forcing agencies to make "things hard on the public" while doling out millions to Egypt. In addition, we see them building a domestic army out of the Department of Homeland Services.  There is something wrong in River City and it is not pool!

Something is about to happen and unfortunately, it probably will occur this summer. The pieces are coming together for the Administration and all they need is the precipitating event. What might occur is all conjecture, however, it will be frightening and large (like the Reichtag Fire in Germany) which will make Americans plead for the leadership to take control. (We are always looking for Daddy to take care of our problems, right!) At that point, the strands will be pulled together to make a terrible rug. It will come clear why the government was buying the guns, ammo and armored vehicles; why they were de-sensitizing us to drone strikes; and why they were marginalizing Congress and expanding Presidential power. It will happen whether it is this summer or next, but we are very close.

Conservative Tom

DHS buys 7000 full-auto assault rifles, calls them ‘personal defense weapons’

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Mike AdamsNatural News
Jan 28, 2013
In yet another huge blow to the rhetoric and narrative of the Obama administration and its desire to disarm the American public, a DHS bid has been uncovered (see documents below) showing that the Department of Homeland Security recently put out an offer to purchase 7,000 full-auto “assault weapons” to be used domestically, inside the USA.
Keep in mind that President Obama is on the record saying, “AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals; that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”
But it seems he really means they don’t belong on the streets of our cities unless they are in the hands of homeland security enforcers, in which case they can be FULL-AUTO assault weapons.
The DHS bid for 7,000 full-auto assault weapons is found by clicking here. The original credit for discovering this goes, to my best knowledge, to Awr Hawkins at
In the hands of the government, they’re called “Personal Defense Weapons”
The juiciest part of this bid is the use of the phrase “Personal Defense Weapons” to describe the full-auto AR-15s being purchased by DHS.
Apparently, when YOU hold an AR-15, it’s an “assault rifle.” But magically, if you hand that same rifle to an armed government homeland security enforcer, it instantly transforms itself into a “personal defense weapon.”
  • A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The request for bid actually says:
DHS and its components have a requirement for a 5.56x45mm NATO, select-fire firearm suitable for personal defense use in close quarters and / or when maximum concealment is required.
So there it is, right in black and white: DHS enforcers need full-auto AR-15s which are “suitable for personal defense in close quarters” and for “maximum concealment.”
But if you or I make the same claim, suddenly we are branded lunatics by the fringe left and all the gun grabbers across America who apparently have no clue that their own government is arming up like never before.
Senator Feinstein, the gun-grabbing Senator from California, says she wants to take all the guns from all Americans. “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in,” she says on the record. But while Mr. and Mrs. America are turning in their guns, ‘roid-head DHS goons are arming to the teeth with full-auto assault rifles.
This is all on top of the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition the U.S. government has already stockpiled, as was discovered last year. What kind of government wants to domestically stockpile ammo and full-auto weapons, putting them in the hands of domestic agents who have nothing whatsoever to do with overseas wars? Well, the kind of government that plans to NEED 1.6 billion rounds of ammo and full-auto assault weapons, of course.
Read some language from the contract bid: Pistol grips, full-auto and more
Here’s some selected text from the bid:
ICE/Mission Support-DC
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Office of Acquisition Management
801 I Street NW, Suite 980
Washington DC 20536

Troy Teachey,
Delivery Location Code: ICE/AS/NFTTU
ICE Natl Firearm Tactical Trng Unit
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
500 12th ST SW, Washington DC 20536
5.56X45mm NATO Personal Defense Weapon

During the base period and four option periods of this contract the maximum ceiling is $9,800,000.

Click here for the PDF document containing the following text:
The scope of this contract is to provide a total of up to 7,000 5.56x45mm North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) personal defense weapons (PDW) throughout the life of this contract to numerous Department of Homeland Security components.

The action shall be select-fire (capable of semi-automatic and automatic fire).
The action shall be capable of accepting all standard NATO STANAG 20 and 30 round M16 magazines (NSN 1005-00-921-5004) and Magpul 30 round PMAG (NSN 1005-01-576-5159). The magazine shall have a capacity to hold thirty (30) 5.56x45mm NATO rounds.
The receiver top shall be equipped with an integral MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail for mounting sights and other accessories.
The fire control selector shall have three positions; safe, semi-automatic, and automatic.

The pistol grip shall be a fixed, vertical pistol grip constructed of a durable material.

DHS admits AR-15 with 30-round magazine is “suitable for personal defense use in close quarters”
This government document openly admits that AR-15s with 30-round magazines and capable of fully automatic fire are “suitable for personal defense” in close quarters (i.e. your home).
CNN, of course, doesn’t want you to ever hear that. Nor does Feinstein, Cuomo, Schumer, Obama, Eric Holder or any other gun grabbers. Even while their own government is arming up with 1.6 billion rounds of ammo and 7,000 full-auto “assault rifles” (plus lots more in other bids), they are trying to completely disarm the American citizenry through new gun registration and confiscation legislation.
The whole point of all this, of course, is to create firepower disparity between the government and the citizenry… To disarm the People while arming up the government agents who operate domestically. That way, the people can be forced at gunpoint into doing almost anything the oppressive government demands! (Taking vaccine shots, giving up private property, turning over farms and businesses, etc.)
What’s really hard-hitting about this is that the radical left keeps claiming things like “no one needs an assault rifle for personal defense.” Okay, if that true, then the Department of Homeland Security should abandon all such rifles first! Let’s see DHS turn in all its rifles and ammo, thereby setting an example of the “fact” that “nobody needs an assault rifle” for self defense.
In truth, a full-auto AR-15 is an outstanding weapon for self defense, which is exactly why DHS is buying thousands of them. Nothing stops bad guys faster than a barrage of high-velocity lead aimed in their direction. Again, that’s why DHS wants these rifles in the first place. One of these rifles in the hands of a citizen could have stopped the Sandy Hook shooting in seconds.
Pay attention to the word games (which are really mind games)
As you observe the highly manipulated gun control argument, pay special attention to the word games you’re being subjected to:
An AR-15 in the hands of a citizen is an “assault rifle.”
But an AR-15 in the hands of a DHS agent is a “Personal Defense Weapon.”
A full-auto-capable rifle in the hands of a citizen is called a “machine gun.”
A full-auto-capable rifle in the hands of a DHS agent is called a “select-fire rifle.”
According to the media, all government agents with assault rifles are presumed innocent and assumed to be stopping crime.
But all private citizens with assault rifles are presumed guilty and assumed to be causing crime.
When one citizen goes crazy and murders a bunch of people, the call goes out for ALL citizens to be stripped of their firearms.
But when one government agent goes crazy and murders a bunch of people, the calls goes out for MORE guns to be placed in the hands of MORE government agents!
Thank you, DHS, for admitting the truth
In summary, it looks like we actually need to thank the DHS for admitting the truth that Obama won’t: AR-15s are personal defense weapons, suitable for use in close quarters, especially when equipped with 30-round magazines.
That’s why I own one, and it’s why DHS wants thousands more (but theirs are full-auto, while mine is only semi-auto).
As a general rule, all freedom-loving Americans should want the same firepower their domestic government possesses. That’s the whole point behind the Second Amendment, and it represents the distribution of power in a free society.
But instead of firepower being equal in America today, DHS is using our taxpayer dollars to purchase thousands of full-auto weapons for their own agents. This is apparently being done under ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
This brings up the question for another entire article, and here’s the question: Why does immigration need 7,000 full-auto assault rifles? Is there a friggin’ Mexican invasion planned that nobody told me about? Is ICE going to invade Mexico and start a shooting war with the Mexican drug cartels?
Seriously: Why does ICE need 7,000 full-auto assault rifles? And why does DHS need 1.6 billion rounds of ammo?

An AR-15 Teaches A Thief A Lesson

Be careful not to upset an AR-15 otherwise you might be on the receiving end of its wrath!  We have always felt that guns need human intervention to make them lethal. No more do we believe that. In the following story you will read about an AR-15 that was so upset by being stolen that it took out the robber!  Now that is retribution!

Enjoy the story.

Conservative Tom 


Thief Shot and Killed After Burglarizing at Least Two Oregon Homes    But You Wont Believe How It Happened
MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 18: In this photo illustration a Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle is seen on December 18, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Credit: Getty Images
Police in Polk County, Ore. found a suspected burglar dead inside a stolen truck Sunday morning. They say he burglarized a home twice the night before, stealing several items, including two guns.
In a statement, investigators said 19-year-old Genaro Hernandez Mendoza of West Salem, Ore. was heading to his family’s farm when he broke into a home on Independence Highway and stole several items. He then returned to the farm and hid the stolen items behind a barn.
Police say he then stole a pickup truck and returned to the same home he had already burglarized to steal more items, including a shotgun and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
Detective John Williams says investigators found a shotgun and the rifle Sunday morning, side by side on the passenger-side floorboard of a stolen farm truck, barrels pointed at the driver.
Williams says it appears that a lever on the shotgun got into the trigger guard of the rifle. When the truck hit a bump in the road, the rifle fired once, striking and killing Mendoza in a freak accident.
However, Sheriff Bob Wolfe said police are still investigating the incident to make sure no other parties were involved in the burglary. He added that it seemed clear that Mendoza’s death was accidental and the result of failing to safely store the weapons he stole.

Would US Respond To N. Korea Nuke Strike?

Is the boy dictator stretching his wings or is this more bluster from an impoverished nation trying to pump up its citizens? The prior is concerning, the latter just more of the same.

What is your opinion?

Conservative Tom

N. Korea threatens US with preemptive nuke strike

Reuters - The Jerusalem Post,  March 7th, 2013

A South Korean man in Seoul watches reports of a nuclear test in North Korea, February 12, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
SEOUL – North Korea threatened the United States on Thursday with a preemptive nuclear strike, raising the level of rhetoric while the UN Security Council considers new sanctions against the reclusive country.
North Korea has accused the United States of using military drills in South Korea as a launch pad for a nuclear war and said it will scrap the armistice with Washington that ended hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War.
“Since the United States is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exercising our right to preemptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest,” the North's foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
North Korea conducted a third nuclear test on February 12, in defiance of UN resolutions, and declared it had achieved progress in securing a functioning atomic arsenal. It is widely believed the North does not have the capacity to deliver a nuclear strike on the mainland United States.
The North's unnamed foreign ministry spokesman also said it would be entitled to take military action as of March 11 when US-South Korea military drills move into a full-scale phase as it had declared the truce as invalid.
It is the latest in an escalation of tough words from both sides of the armed Korean border this week as the UN Security Council deliberates a resolution to tighten financial sanctions and a naval blockade against the North.
North Korea has protested against the UN censures of its rocket launches, which it says are part of peaceful space program, as an exercise of double standard masterminded by the United States.
But North Korea's shrill rhetoric rarely goes beyond just that. Its latest armed aggression against the South in 2010 came unannounced, bombing a South Korean island killing two civilians. It is widely accused of sinking a South Korean navy ship earlier in the year, killing 46 sailors.
North Korea is conducting a series of military drills and is getting ready for state-wide war practice of an unusual scale, South Korea's defense ministry said earlier on Thursday.
South Korea and the United States, which are conducting annual military drills until the end of April, are watching the North's activities for signs they turn from an exercise to an actual attack, a South Korean official said.
“It hasn't been frequent that the North conducted military exercise at the state level,” South Korea's defense ministry spokesman, Kim Min-seok, said. “The North is currently conducting various drills on land, at sea and aerially.
“We are watching the North's activities and stepping up readiness under the assumption that these drills can lead to provocation at any time.”
Kim declined to confirm news reports that the North has imposed no-fly zones off its coasts in a possible move to fire missiles, but he said any flight ban limited to near the coast would not be for weapons with meaningful ranges.
In the latest threat coming under its new young leader, Kim Jong-un, a top North Korean general on Tuesday said Pyongyang was scrapping the armistice. But the two sides remain technically at war as the civil war did not end with a treaty.
South Korea's military said in a rare warning on Wednesday that it would strike back at the North and target its leadership if Pyongyang launched an attack.

Egyptian Military's Growing Influence?

Into this mess, Obama send F16s and millions of dollars.  Is our country nuts or just its leaders?

Conservative Tom

Morsi and the General

Daniel Nisman - Wall Street Journal,  February 28th, 2013

In August 2012, it seemed as though Egypt’s once-omnipotent military generals had been all but neutered. After a devastating militant attack killed dozens of troops in the Sinai Peninsula, a newly-elected President Mohammed Morsi seized the opportunity to fire Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and a number of other generals. President Morsi was empowered by popular anger following 17 months of incompetent military rule over post-revolution Egypt. But now, six months later, the generals of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) have returned to challenge an increasingly loathed President Morsi—quite possibly laying the groundwork to bring Egypt back under military rule.
General Abdel Fattah El Sissi, whom Mr. Morsi chose to replace Field Marshal Tantawi, was originally presumed to be sympathetic to Egypt’s popularly elected Islamist leadership. Perhaps it was the notable opposition to U.S. foreign policy exhibited in his past writing, or the traditional Muslim headscarf worn by his wife. To suggest however, that a Brotherhood-sympathizer could have risen to the rank of general under Hosni Mubarak is to ignore the former dictator’s unrelenting, decades-long rivalry with political Islam. Gen. Sissi’s first move after being appointed was to make a tactical retreat, pulling the military back from the political sphere and restoring the prestige it lost during Egypt’s tumultuous transition period. From there, Gen. Sissi has had a comfortable vantage point from which to observe the decline of the headstrong Muslim Brotherhood.
It didn’t take long for the show to start. Last November, President Morsi plunged the country into violence after issuing a decree to help push an Islamist-backed draft constitution to referendum. During that month-long period of unrest, the fissure between Gen. Sissi’s military and the Brotherhood had already begun to reopen. Amid ongoing military attacks against Islamist compounds across the country, President Morsi and his cohorts fumed at the military’s refusal to send troops to protect their installations. The Brotherhood’s leadership reportedly pressured President Morsi to reject a SCAF offer to mediate dialogue with the political opposition.
In January came more civil unrest, ignited by the anniversary of the 2011 uprising, particularly violent in Cairo. By then, relations between the Brotherhood and the military had gone from bad to worse. The Suez Canal region also saw particularly ugly clashes after a court issued death sentences against dozens of Port Said residents for their involvement in a deadly soccer riot last year. The Interior Ministry’s failure to restore order to the country’s most strategic region forced a hesitant President Morsi to make a request from the military to impose martial law.
Ironically, this handed Gen. Sissi a perfect opportunity to side with the people of the Suez Canal cities against President Morsi. Gen. Sissi agreed to deploy to the Canal, but ordered his troops to protect the waterway itself rather than submit to President Morsi’s bidding by cracking down on a restive populace. The ensuing scenes of Port Said residents marching in the streets, side-by-side with military troops in defiance of President’s Morsi’s curfew, bore semblance to those of the 2011 uprising, when military officers were received in Tahrir Square by cheering revolutionaries. Those images emanating from Port Said soon led to whispers of support for a military coup in Cairo.
In the Sinai meanwhile, Gen. Sissi has gone ahead and strengthened his position with Washington at President Morsi’s expense. The military’s unprecedented crackdown on smuggling to the Gaza Strip most recently culminated in a campaign to destroy hundreds of tunnels on the Rafah border by flooding them with water. The military has made sure to publicize each of their seizures in a direct affront to President Morsi’s pledges of support for Gaza’s ruling Hamas regime.
Gen. Sissi has continued to publicly deny any intentions to seize power unless he is “called upon by the people” to do so—a hazy notion which has sparked fears of a coup within the Brotherhood leadership. On Feb. 20, the Egyptian press reported that the SCAF had been holding meetings behind closed doors in the president’s absence on matters relating to security and stability. Since then, Egyptian media has been awash with rumours over a possible scheme by the president to sack Gen. Sissi as he did Field Marshal Tantawi…
Currently, neither President Morsi nor Gen. Sissi looks to be in a position to overpower the other. But the Machiavellian discipline displayed by the general may just be enough to outlast the Islamist politician. Egypt’s secular opposition remains in disarray, unable to prove its worth as a viable alternative to President Morsi’s floundering leadership. That leaves Gen. Sissi’s increasingly trusted military as the only entity with the influence and organization needed to bring Egypt back from the brink of collapse.
Mr. Nisman is the Middle East and North Africa section intelligence director at Max Security Solutions, a geopolitical risk consulting firm.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Coming to the US--Drone Strikes

OK, maybe the headline is a bit over the top but then again, we are dealing with the Obama Regime.  Attorney General Holder has said that he would not use drones except in an "emergency" like December 7, 1941 or September 11, 2001!  Although those events were important neither involved an invasion by a foreign army or effected more than a small area of the country. Why would those events be examples that would trigger the use of drones?

We could not shoot down planes with drones. We could watch in "real-time" the destruction the enemy planes were causing, so we do not get the idea that these aircraft would benefit us in his idea of an "emergency."

 Holder's idea is very scary. He is telling us that at the drop of a hat, he and/or the President could say this is an "emergency" and start using surveillance as well as killer drones on the American people. Could 10 people having a rally against ObamaCrapCare be enough to put drones in the air or one million protesting gun control on the Washington Mall  be enough to bring out the flying guns?

Also what about posse comititus, does that no longer apply? These are military weapons and they are controlled by military personnel, should the concept not apply? Oh, we forgot, the Obama Regime does not follow those laws it does not agree with. Forgive us!

Someone asked us several weeks ago about our attitude toward drones and so we will tell  you.  We think they are great surveillance vehicles which give troops on the ground significant advantages, however, when they are armed and used to kill combatants, our support wanes.  In a war zone, these are not surgical weapons, they  end up killing non-combatants along with those targeted. It is a dangerous weapon that must be used with strict controls.

In the US or overseas when American citizens are involved (even if they are enemy combatants), we should not be using drones as killing machines. American citizens deserve to have their rights protected even if they are fighting us. Who knows whom the regime might call an "enemy of the state" which would allow the weapon to be used on them. Are gun rights protesters fair game? What about patriots who decide that it is time for another revolution, could they become a target?

Regarding surveillance in the US, this also comes with the need for us to be very circumspect when using this technology.  Where do the rights of the citizen end and the rights of the state to protect us start? We are going to side against the government in most situations. If we need to know what is going on inside a house, officials MUST obtain a search warrant before entering and the same should be true for airborne snooping.

Drones are not going away, it is the government's new toy and all strata of politicians and law enforcement are going want to have their own.  We need to have rules put in place to make sure that violations of our rights do not occur and time is short. 

Conservative Tom


Eric Holder Letter to Rand Paul Leaves Open Possibility of Drone Strikes on U.S. Soil
Credit: AP
This morning, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Glenn Beck’s radio team that he had some new information about the U.S. government’s drone program — information that some individuals might find troubling. Later in the day, TheBlaze obtained letters that were sent to the senator by Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama’s chief counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan.
It is select contents in Holder’s letter that citizens and political experts, alike, might find most problematic. After Paul sent an inquiry to learn more about the government’s drone program and to ask whether “the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial,” he received a response that is sure to be scrutinized.
The senator’s inquiry was certainly specific, however the government’s response was not so concise — or at least not pointed enough to put critics like Paul at ease.
Eric Holder Letter to Rand Paul Leaves Open Possibility of Drone Strikes on U.S. Soil
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., testifies before a state legislative committee on the legalization of growing hemp at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort, Ky., Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Credit: AP 
In a response dated March 4, 2013, Holder wrote that the U.S. government “has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so.” The attorney general went on to note that federal officials believe that in areas where there is “well-established law enforcement,” these officials serve as the preferred mode of handling terrorist threats; military options inside U.S. borders are, thus, “rejected.”
“We have a long history of using the criminal justice system to incapacitate individuals located in our country who pose a threat to the United States and its interests abroad,” the letter reads. “Hundreds of individuals have been arrested and convicted of terrorism-related offenses in our federal courts.”
While this would likely set at ease anyone worried about the potential use of drones on U.S. land, Holder doesn’t conclude there. It is the next section of the letter that is the most contentious, as it leaves the door open for potential action in the event of large-scale terror attacks or other monumental disturbances.
“The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront,” the letter continues. “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”
Holder said that the president could be faced with such a situation (“to authorize the military to use such force”) if the need to protect the nation arose during an attack similar to Pearl Harbor or 9/11.
“Were such an emergency to arise, I would examine the particular facts and circumstances before advising the President on the scope of his authority,” he concludes.
View the document, below:
Eric Holder Letter to Rand Paul Leaves Open Possibility of Drone Strikes on U.S. Soil
Photo Credit: U.S. Government
In a separate letter dated March 5, 2013, Brennan responded to Paul’s request for the same information, taking a more conclusive stance — one that affirmed that the CIA would not have the power to conduct attacks on American soil.
In his note, Brennan wrote that the Justice Department would respond to legal questions surrounding the president’s authority, but he made it clear that the agency he has been nominated to lead does not have the authority to conduct these drone attacks (the Senate Intelligence Committee voted this afternoon to approve Brennan’s nomination).
“I can, however, state unequivocally that the agency I have been nominated to lead, the CIA, does not conduct lethal operations inside the United States — not does it have any authority to do so,” he wrote. “Thus, if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as CIA Director, I would have no ‘power’ to authorize such operations.”
Read Brennan’s letter to Paul in its entirety, below:
Eric Holder Letter to Rand Paul Leaves Open Possibility of Drone Strikes on U.S. Soil
Photo Credit: U.S. Government
In the past, Brennan has been a staunch defender of drone strikes, as highlighted earlier today by TheBlaze. While he noted that they are used only as a “last resort,” he also said during his confirmation hearing that he had no qualms with the administration’s decision to use the tactic against U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both of these men, killed in Yemen in Sept. 2011, were U.S. citizens.
Paul appeared this afternoon on Sean Hannity’s radio show, where the congressman discussed the letters. The two spoke candidly about Holder’s and Brennan’s responses to his questions. He characterized the attorney general’s answer as a “maybe” when asked about whether drone strikes would be acceptable on U.S. land.
“In that letter, he refuses to rule out using drone stikes on Americans, on American soil,” Paul told Hannity. “The reason this is troubling is that we’re not talking about someone holding a weapon, we’re not taking about someone with a grenade launcher. Many of these drone strikes are against people who are walking and talking, sitting and eating or sleeping in their house.”
Rather than attacking citizens who are suspected of terrorism or terror ties, Paul said that Americans ”need to be charged with something and get our day in court.”

Health Insurance Ouija Board

For those of you who think the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is all knowing, all understanding, all seeing final answer on ObamaCrapCare, you should read this article.  They have no idea what is going to be the outcome, the costs or the potential problems. It is such a mess and all of us will end up paying dearly for this disaster we call legislation. We are not the only ones that see problems. Here is an article on just some of the issues.

Ever since the CBO tried to decipher this convoluted illegal law, it has continually underestimated its costs and overestimated its benefits. Our suggestion is that you take anything that this organization comes up with in regard to ObamaCrapCare, with a grain of sand. It will be wrong. 

Conservative Tom

Avik Roy, Contributor
The Apothecary is a blog about health-care and entitlement reform.
3/05/2013 @ 12:01AM |8,610 views

Obamacare's Exchange-Based Health Insurance Will Be Better Than Medicaid. But How Much Costlier?

Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarret...
Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett (R) sits in on the bilateral meeting between her boss, US President Barack Obama and Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan on September 23, 2010 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, New York. (Image credit: AFP via @daylife)
So far in 2013, the most significant—and least appreciated—development in health reform is the news that the Obama administration is allowing Arkansas to apply Obamacare’s subsidized insurance exchanges to the low-income population that was supposed to receive Medicaid. As Inoted last week, this development has the potential to completely reshape the landmark 2010 health-care law, in a way that provides higher-quality, but more expensive, private insurance to the poor. But there’s a key question to which we don’t know the answer: how much more expensive will exchange-based coverage be?
The estimate from the Congressional Budget Office is that average per-capita spending on a new Medicaid enrollee, via Obamacare, will be about $6,000 per year. For an enrollee on the Obamacare exchange, per-capita federal spending will approximate $9,000 per year. But how did the CBO arrive at those figures?
CBO can’t know what rates the exchanges will pay, yet
It’s quite possible that the CBO assumed that insurance plans on the exchanges would pay hospitals and doctors at rates that were comparable to traditional, commercial employer-sponsored insurance plans. However, as Anna Wilde Mathew and Jon Kamp note in a recent article for the Wall Street Journal, it appears as though exchange-based plans will be cheaper than commercial plans.
Tenet Healthcare, for one, has offered Blue Cross Blue Shield a discount of 10 percent off of its standard commercial rates. Aetna stated on its third-quarter 2012 earnings call that it was “contracting…at a rate normally between Medicareand Medicaid for the exchange population,” though Mathew and Kamp report that Aetna now believes that rates will settle somewhere between Medicare and commercial. They also report that WellPoint is looking at rates “somewhere between Medicaid and Medicare…[with] talks trending toward rates close to Medicare.”
For primary care services in 2011, Medicaid on average paid about 35 percent less than Medicare, which in turn pays about 20 percent less than commercial. If exchange-based plans end up offering a 20 percent discount to commercial rates, then the average per-person government subsidy of an exchange plan could be closer to $7,500, not $9,000. $7,500 is “only” 25 percent higher than Medicaid’s $6,000 per-person rate: a much less alarming figure than the CBO’s 50 percent.
Adding up all of these data points, it appears as though rates on the exchanges are likely to end up somewhere around where Medicare rates are, at least in the beginning. As plans compete for consumers’ business, there can be little doubt that the lowest-priced plans will gain the largest market share. Mathew and Kamp describe the efforts of Stonegate Advisors, a market-research firm, that has found that “premiums are the most important factor in consumers’ choices…with more than half typically opting for a [product with a narrow selection of doctors and hospitals] if it cost them at least 10% less than equivalent with broader choice.”
CBO doesn’t ‘have the tools’ to model managed competition
It makes perfect sense. When we shop for airline tickets on Travelocity, we don’t worry about what kind of food the airline is serving, or what movies they’re showing in-flight. We care about the price, and little else. The same will be true on the health insurance exchanges.
The CBO has previously conceded that its analysts “don’t have the tools” to project the efficiencies that consumer choice bring to health insurance under an exchange or premium support model. “We are not applying any additional effects of competition on this growth rate [of premium support subsidies] over time in our analysis of your proposal,” CBO director Doug Elmendorf told Paul Ryan in 2011. “And again, we don’t have the tools, the analysis we would need to do a quantitative evaluation of the importance of these factors.” (Obamacare’s exchanges and Paul Ryan’s premium-support plan for Medicare are structured in very similar ways.)
The bottom line is that because exchange reimbursement rates are likely to be lower than those of commercial plans, and because consumer-driven competition will place pressure on the prices of exchange-based coverage, it’s quite likely that the CBO has overestimated the cost difference between Medicaid and exchange-based coverage. There may be other countervailing factors, such as the adverse selection associated with community rating and other cost-increasing provisions of Obamacare.
The White House is likely directly involved in the Arkansas deal
We have heard nothing—yet—from the Obama administration as to exactly how the Arkansas agreement is set to proceed. The impression we have from Arkansas officials like Gov. Mike Beebe (D.) is that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is allowing Arkansas to go ahead and spend exchange-style money on the population that was intended for the cheaper, but inferior, Medicaid program.
I had previously expressed concern about whether or not HHS had the legal authority to allow Arkansas to pursue this path. HHS has long had the power to issue waivers to state-based Medicaid programs, but has usually applied the condition that any changes to the state program were fiscally neutral. My understanding is that HHS is now waiving the need for states to modify their Medicaid programs in a fiscally-neutral manner, and it appears that this policy change comes directly from the White House.
When Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced his decision to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, he said, “I want to thank [Obama senior advisor] Valerie Jarrett today, for being willing to work with us…We don’t know what the cost is going to be for buying into the exchange [for a portion of the Medicaid population], although it appears as though they’re willing to waive budget neutrality in this case.” In other words, the White House is willing to let Ohio, and other states, spend more money through the exchanges, so long as the end result is that the coverage expansion gets done.
Will other states go the way of Arkansas?
What remains to be seen is whether the Arkansas deal is a one-time thing, or whether other states will adopt the same approach, expanding Obamacare’s exchanges instead of the Medicaid program. Red states like Texas and Louisiana, which have been opposed to the Medicaid expansion thus far, may be more open to expanding the exchanges. States on the fence about the expansion, like Florida and Virginia, are also sure to be attracted to the Arkansas model. However, while the exchanges will provide better health care than Medicaid will, it’s important for Congress—and its nonpartisan Budget Office—to have a good handle on how much extra this will cost taxpayers, and how best to pay for it.
Follow Avik on Facebook and on Twitter at @aviksaroy.
UPDATE: Adrianna McIntyre and Karan Chhabra have further thoughts on the legality of expanding the exchanges instead of Medicaid.
INVESTORS’ NOTE: Hospital chains like Tenet Healthcare (THC) andHCA Holdings (HCA) are certain to be affected by trends in exchange reimbursement. Aetna (AET), WellPoint (WLP), and Humana (HUM) are the key insurance companies that are planning to provide exchange-based insurance plans.