April 16th, 2012
BLS Note: And he invented the internet...from his garage...before his boyfriend started the prostitution ring, also from his garage.....By the way, I thoughtfully included one of Frank's moments, from Youtube, in trying to correct the President on Obamacare
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he advised President Obama against taking up health care reform following a special election in 2010 that changed Democrats' fortunes in the Senate, saying that he should have instead turned his focus to financial reform.
Frank referenced former President Bill Clinton and his failed health care plan from the 1990s. “Obama made the same mistake Clinton made,” Frank said in a wide-ranging interview with New York magazine. “When you try to extend health care to people who don’t have it, people who have it and are on the whole satisfied with it get nervous.”
The outgoing representative from Massachusetts added that after Republican Scott Brown won former Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s seat, breaking Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority, Obama should have backed down: “I think we paid a terrible price for health care. I would not have pushed it as hard. As a matter of fact, after Scott Brown won, I suggested going back. I would have started with financial reform but certainly not health care," Frank said.
He said that if the president had followed his advice, “you could have gotten some pieces of it.”
More from The National Journal
Want to stay ahead of the curve? Sign up for National Journal’s AM & PM Must Reads. News and analysis to ensure you don’t miss a thing.
April 16th, 2012
From Conservideo and YouTube:
April 16th, 2012
CBS News / By Rebecca Kaplan
(CBS News) Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Monday sounded no closer to endorsing Mitt Romney than when he dropped out of the presidential race last week, telling supporters on a conference call that he hasn't even had a chance to speak to his onetime rival.
Santorum said he has talked with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. "I haven't had a chance yet to talk to Governor Romney, but we'll be talking to both of them and we're going to go out and do what we believe is in the best interest of our country," Santorum said in the call, which had at least 4,000 participants at its peak, according to host and Santorum aide Mark Rodgers.
To crystallize the point that he isn't going to make an endorsement in the immediate future, Santorum told his supporters that it was entirely up to them who to vote for in next week's Pennsylvania primary. "I haven't supported any candidate at this point," he said.
When Rodgers, acting as the call's host, asked him in jest whether he would un-suspend his campaign if enough people voted for him in Pennsylvania, Santorum offered little in the way of advice. "I would just say this: the best thing that they can do is stay tuned, and we really are serious about making sure that the issues that we brought up during this campaign are continued going forward," he said.
Throughout the call, the former Pennsylvania senator alluded to having plans to build a conservative movement outside of the framework of the presidential election in order to make sure his message is still heard.
He said he was working through ideas for a "structure to promote these ideas" and promised an announcement in the next week or two. As for delegates, those may not be released even if he does back another GOP candidate.
"We still have delegates, many of them committed, and we want to make sure that our delegates get a chance to go to the convention and have a say," Santorum said.
Reflecting once again on the reasons he exited the race, Santorum tried to downplay the importance of his financial troubles - a "very, very small piece of the story," he said - but suggested for the first time that his campaign had actively, and unsuccessfully, tried to convince other candidates to drop out and support him.
"We sought to get a coalition of the rest of the conservatives in the race to join in, the other candidates who were still in the race; we solicited them to see whether they might be willing to join our team and help us be successful in a coalition of conservatives," Santorum said. It was almost certainly a reference to Gingrich, the other candidate considered to be a more conservative alternative to Romney.
Santorum's commitment to his cause comes amid warnings from the likes of Iowa conservative leader Bob Vander Plaats, who recently told the Sioux City Journal that the base of the Republican Party may stay home on Election Day.
But that doesn't seem to worry Santorum. In the meantime, he's been spending time with his family. He was joined on the call by his wife, Karen, and his three-year-old daughter Bella - who was hospitalized shortly before he dropped out -- could be heard in the background as she ate dinner. And like so many Americans, Santorum spent the weekend finishing his taxes.
Most Popular on CBS News
April 16th, 2012
TIME U.S. /By SP / LARRY MARGASAK
(WASHINGTON) — The General Services Administration investigator who revealed a wild agency spending spree said Monday he's investigating possible bribery and kickbacks, and has already recommended criminal charges to the Justice Department. The key figure in the scandal invoked his right to remain silent at the House hearing.
Inspector General Brian Miller made clear that he's not done investigating GSA current and former officials, following his lengthy report April 2 on an October 2010 Las Vegas conference that cost taxpayers $823,000.
The regional executive who hosted the Western Regions Conference, Jeffrey Neely, invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and his chair remained empty the rest of the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing. He could face a criminal investigation.
"We do have other ongoing investigations including all sorts of improprieties, including bribes, possibly kickbacks but I'd have to check on precisely kickbacks," Miller told the committee.
He added later, "We have recommended criminal charges."
Toward the end of the three-and-a-half hour hearing, GSA chief of staff Michael Robertson said he had informed the White House of the inspector general's preliminary findings last year. Robertson testified that he told a White House lawyer, Kim Harris, about the report shortly after May 2011 "when I became aware that the IG had briefed (then-GSA administrator Martha) Johnson."
After the hearing, Robertson said in a statement, "To clarify the point I made in my testimony today, I only mentioned in passing the existence of an IG investigation as I bumped into a White House staffer that I regularly worked with on GSA issues."
Committee members from both parties could barely restrain themselves as they sometimes shouted their outrage over the spending. They not only raged on about the overall figure, but at specific taxpayer expenditures for a mind-reader, over-priced commemorative coins, bicycles for a team-building exercise and trips by GSA employees and their family members to the Las Vegas strip.
Lawmakers said they couldn't understand why Johnson, the agency head who resigned after Miller's findings became public, waited for months to take action after receiving a preliminary report almost a year earlier. And demanded to know why Johnson granted Neely a $9,000 bonus after learning of the conference.
"I gave that $9,000 bonus because I was focused on performance and because I, the recommendation came from the buildings commissioner," Johnson said.
Johnson, who said she resigned to allow the GSA to fix its problems under new leadership, said she was "extremely aggrieved by the gall of a handful of people to misuse federal tax dollars, twist contracting rules and defile the great name of the General Services Administration."
She said she learned after taking office that the Western Regions Conference "had evolved into a raucous, extravagant, arrogant, self-congratulatory event."
Before she resigned, Johnson fired two top deputies. Since then, Neely and seven others were placed on administrative leave.
She was not the only GSA executive to apologize. David Foley, deputy commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, said he was sorry that he participated in an awards ceremony at the conference, which became a viral video on social media.
He made a joking reference at the ceremony to Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia congressional delegate, and presented an award to a GSA staff member who made a rap video making fun of the conference spending.
Meanwhile, the GSA has ramped up its disciplinary review. Ten officials are now on administrative leave, two more than previously reported.
On Monday, the agency released letters to one fired GSA executive, Robert Peck, and two on administrative leave — Neely and Robert Shepard, a regional executive — demanding they pay back some of the taxpayers' money for parties held in their rooms at the Las Vegas conference.
The amounts were $922 for Shepard, $1,960 for Peck and $2,717 for Neely.
Previously, Neely had told investigators that the $2,717 party he threw in his Las Vegas hotel suite was an employee-awards event, according to a transcript of the interview.
"This is an award recognition ceremony ...." Neely told an internal investigator. "That's what this was. That's...not a Neely party right. I actually ... it was in a suite that wasn't even mine."
The investigator then confronted Neely with his email saying that he and his wife "are hosting a party in our loft room. There will be wine and beer and some munchies...." There was no mention of awards.
When Neely insisted again it was an awards event, the skeptical investigator told him, "You realize how this looks?"
"I get it that it looks funny," Neely said.
April 16th, 2012
New York Liberty Report
Could Obama really be on the verge of making our worst conspiracy theory nightmares about a “new world order” come true, under the radar, while most people are focused on the primaries? Dick Morris is sounding the alarm about four utterly heinous UN treaties that are currently under consideration by the Obama administration that would surrender our sovereignty, cede power to go to war to the UN, enact gun control, and tell us how to raise our children, if ratified by the Senate. These are treaties that the Bush administration and even Clinton administration would never have considered, but as the most radical administration in American history enters it’s last year, all stars are in alignment for it to happen.
Here is some additional information about the treaties under consideration:
The International Criminal Court:
In a series of articles (see here, here, and here, The New American revealed the campaign for the ICC as a colossal bait and switch scam. While proponents were selling the ICC as the institution that would haul the Hitlers and Stalins of the world before the bar of justice, what they were actually building is a global judicial monster that violates all the major principles of separation of powers, checks and balances, and accountability. In spite of their incessant prattling about dedication to “transparency,” the globalists have been obdurately opaque about key features of the ICC, such as:
No right to a trial by a jury of one’s peers; No right to habeas corpus; No right to bail; No right to a speedy trial; No protection against indefinite pre-trial detention; No protection against being transported to foreign lands
America’s top constitutional champions have rightly denounced the ICC. As we reported in 1998: Dr. Charles Rice, professor of law at Notre Dame University, has termed the ICC “a monster,” both in concept and reality, noting that it effectively “repudiates the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence and cancels the 4th of July.” “In our system,” Professor Rice explains, “law is supposed to be a rule of reason which, in a sense, controls the state and compels the state to operate under the law.” But the super-jurisdictional ICC, he points out, has no legitimate basis for its claimed authority, no protections against abuses, no accountability, and virtually no limits to its jurisdiction. “What are the limits on the ICC?” he asks, and then answers, “There are none. It’s insane!” As news of this ICC criminal insanity became more widely known, the U.S. Congress was deluged with letters, e-mails, faxes, phone calls, and petitions opposing it. It was obvious that the Senate would not ratify the Rome Statute. The Clinton administration, which, only months previously had been so confident of ratification, did not even send the treaty to the Senate.
The Law of the Sea Treaty:
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Law of the Sea: UNCLOS—sometimes called the “Law of the Sea Treaty” (or LOST)—established a comprehensive legal regime for navigation and international management of oceanic resources, including the deep seabed. President Reagan Refused to Sign: President Ronald Reagan announced that he would not sign UNCLOS shortly after it was adopted in 1982. Reagan stated several objections to it, most of which dealt with its provisions on deep seabed mining. Reagan did, however, support the navigational provisions of UNCLOS, which reflected the customary international law of the sea. The U.S. Has Much to Lose … Another Unaccountable International Bureaucracy: UNCLOS establishes the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a new U.N.-style bureaucracy located in Kingston, Jamaica. As only one of more than 160 countries in the ISA, the U.S. would have limited authority over its decisions regarding the deep seabed. Just like the U.N. General Assembly, proceedings at the ISA would be dominated by anti-U.S. interests. Redistribution of U.S. Wealth to the “Developing World”: The U.S. currently enjoys full sovereignty over its entire continental shelf. It can claim all its mineral resources (e.g., oil and gas) and can collect royalty revenue from oil and gas companies for exploitation. If the U.S. joined UNCLOS, Article 82 would require the U.S. to transfer a significant portion of any such royalties to the ISA for “redistribution” to the so-called developing world, including corrupt and despotic regimes. Mandatory Dispute Resolution: Under Part XV, the U.S. would be required to engage in mandatory dispute resolution for any claim brought against it by another member of UNCLOS. This may open the U.S. to any number of specious allegations brought by opportunistic nations, including allegations of environmental degradation or polluting the ocean environment with carbon emissions or even from land-based sources. U.S. Economic Interests at Risk: UNCLOS claims the deep seabed resources of the oceans as “the common heritage of mankind” and forbids mining unless permission is first received by the ISA, which, of course, takes into account the interests of “developing states” regarding the exploitation of those resources. UNCLOS encourages technology transfers from advanced mining companies to support the mining activities by developing states, which is likely to discourage U.S. companies from participating in such activities. The Convention Was Not “Fixed” in 1994: During the early 1990s the deep seabed mining provisions of UNCLOS were renegotiated in the “1994 Agreement.” This addendum to the convention was signed by the Clinton Administration in July 1994. While the 1994 Agreement improved many provisions of the convention, it did not secure “veto” power for the U.S. over the decisions of the ISA. Small Arms Treaty: While the terms have yet to be made public, if passed by the U.N. and ratified by our Senate, it will almost certainly force the U.S. to: Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership. Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms (exempting those owned by our government of course). Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons (any that have magazines even though they still operate in the same one trigger pull – one single “bang” manner as revolvers, a simple fact the ant-gun media never seem to grasp). Create an international gun registry, clearly setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation. In short, overriding our national sovereignty, and in the process, providing license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights. U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC): The UNCRC is an international treaty focused on promoting the rights of children and seeking to give children priority in the implementation of governmental measures. The Convention claims to offer a road map that will guide government officials in the improvement of laws and policies, by defining which rights the government should give to children.
A VEILED THREAT
Since its introduction in 1989, the Convention has been ratified by every nation in the world except for the United States and Somalia. The CRC was signed by President Clinton in 1995, but early opposition in the Senate persuaded Clinton not to submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification. The Senators who opposed the CRC in 1995 believed that the Convention marked a significant departure from the American concept of the relationship between state and child, and was incompatible with the right of parents to raise their children. These concerns stem from the CRC’s repeated emphasis on two principles that should guide all decisions affecting children: consideration of the “best interests of the child” and the child’s “evolving capacities.” These two principles are the “umbrella principles underlining the exercise of all the rights in the Convention.”
The following sections explain why these two principles will, if implemented, jeopardize the vital role of parents within the American family.
WHAT IS REALLY “BEST FOR THE CHILD”?
The “Best Interests of the Child” Article 3 of the CRC states that “in all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” Thus, policies affecting children at all levels of society and government should have the child’s best interest as the primary concern. The problem for families occurs when this principle surfaces as a guiding principle for parents. Article 18(1) of the CRC states that “Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.”
A DEPARTURE FROM AMERICAN LAW
But the Convention’s emphasis on the “best interests” principle is a sharp break from American law. In the 1993 case of Reno v. Flores, the U.S. Supreme Court held that “the ‘best interests of the child’ is not the legal standard that governs parents’ or guardians’ exercise of their custody.” In the 2000 case of Troxel v. Granville, the Court struck down a grandparent visitation statute because decisions about the child were made “solely on the judge’s determination of the child’s best interests,” without regard to the wishes of the parent. The Court’s decisions in Reno and Troxel reflect a fundamental tenet of American family law, which recognizes that parents typically act in the best interests of their children. Indeed, “United States case law is replete with examples of parents fighting for the best interests of their children,” ranging from a child’s right to an education to the right of personal injury compensation. Thus, except in cases where a parent has been proven to be “unfit,” American law presumes that the parent is acting in the best interests of the child, and defers to that parent’s decision. The Convention, in contrast, supplants this traditional presumption in favor of parents with a new presumption in favor of the state. People need to start raising a ruckus over this or as Dick Morris noted, the United States may not be able to survive another ten months of this regime.