Saturday, January 31, 2015

US Constitution Event Feb 12

Restore and Preserve the Constitution presents a public forum to discuss the topic of Congress calling a Constitutional Convention.
Former Congressman Dr. Paul Broun and Attorney Publius Huldah are the featured speakers at an event on Thursday evening in Cartersville at Taylor Farm Pavillion, 201 Lucas Road Southwest, Cartersville GA 30120.  The event begins at 6:30 pm.  Refreshments and Vendor Booths will be open and you will get to visit with Dr. Broun.  Presentations beginning at 7:00pm.
Publius Huldah is a retired attorney who has gained a national following for her insights on how the states and citizens can peacefully restore federalism, the rule of law, and their rights. She will speak on concerns about calling for an Article V Convention and the many reasons it is not advisable at this time.
Paul Broun will share his plan for how Americans can work together to restore Constitutional Principles.
Attendees will leave with more understanding of the dangers of a Convention called by Congress but also the safe solutions the states can undertake to rein in the federal government.
This event is sponsored by the coalition to Restore and Preserve the Constitution.  For more information or to get involved contact: Shirley, 770-435-4558 or Jane, 770-815-5599
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader, Restore and Preserve Coalition Member

American Communist Party Plan

Top Communist Admits: Communist Party ‘Utilizes’ the Democratic Party – a Lesson for Constitutionalists
Communist Party to stick with the Democrats until a viable third party is feasible
New national chair of the Communist Party USA, Chicago man John Bachtell, has admitted that his Party “utilizes” the Democratic Party “to advance its agenda.”
Writing on the People’s World website, Bachtell explains that much of the left wants to abandon the Democratic Party (as much of the “right” wants to abandon the GOP) to form a radical third party.
In an article entitled A radical third party? I agree! Bachtell explains:
Certainly, there’s widespread disillusionment with both the Democratic and Republican parties. That’s reflected in the latest Pew Research poll: 38 percent of voters describe themselves as independent, 32 percent as Democrats, and 25 percent as Republicans. In 1991, the three were approximately equal.
While acknowledging that both major parties are heavily influenced by Wall Street, Bachtell sees a big difference:
However, it’s not enough to make sweeping generalizations about the Democratic and Republican parties. It’s true both parties are dominated by Wall Street interests, but it’s also necessary to see how each party differs, particularly their social bases and how this affects their policies.
While the Republican Party is led by the most reactionary sections of Wall Street capital including the energy extractive sector and military industrial complex, it also consists of extreme right-wing elements including the Tea Party, white supremacists, social conservatives, right-wing evangelicals, climate deniers, anti-reproductive rights groups, etc.
Meanwhile the Democratic Party is also home to labor, African Americans, Latinos, other communities of color, women, most union members, young people, and a wide range of social and democratic movements. These constituencies exert influence on party leadership and hold positions at all levels.
Therefore, it makes sense, according to Bachtell, for the Communist Party to stick with the Democrats until a viable third party is feasible. To Bachtell, progress towards socialism is possible only after the “right” is soundly defeated.
The Communist Party’s tactics for political independence rest on several interrelated elements. First, they occur within the constraints of the two-party system. We don’t operate in a parliamentary system which allows proportional voting. Instead, winner takes all, and during the general election it usually comes down to voting for one of two candidates most likely to win.
That means candidates are backed by coalitions. Under these circumstances voting based on purity of positions is not a viable tactic. Coalition forces may disagree with a candidate on one or another issue, but find they must support candidates for strategic reasons – to advance issues and create a more favorable terrain of struggle.
Our tactics also occur within the framework of our strategic policy of building a broad coalition to defeat the extreme right, which we see as the main danger to democracy and social progress, embodied within today’s Republican Party. There are voting constituencies that presently support the GOP that have to be won over. Such an approach sees the need to actively challenge right-wing and GOP ideas that influence sections of the people, especially working-class whites, for example, through hate talk radio. This includes racism and intolerance which are key issues dividing the working class.
We see this as one of the stages in the long struggle for advanced democracy and socialism. Without decisively defeating the most reactionary sections of monopoly capital, disintegrating Republican Party support at every level, it’s hard to see winning more radical and advanced programs and policies and waging a fight against the monopoly class as a whole.
We envision a prolonged process toward political independence, with many turns, advances and defeats, utilizing many forms, resulting in a radical third party based in labor, working-class neighborhoods, communities of color, and democratic movements. Such a coalition third party must extend its reach beyond urban areas, to suburbs, exurbs, rural areas, and in “red” states and congressional districts.
Until that glorious day arrives, the Communist Party will continue to “utilize” the Democrats:
First, we are part of building the broadest anti-ultra right alliance possible, uniting the widest array of class (including a section of monopoly), social and democratic forces. This necessarily means working with the Democratic Party. This differentiates us from those left groups who underestimate the right danger and overestimate the readiness of key class and social forces to bolt the Democratic Party.
Second, our objective is not to build the Democratic Party. At this stage we are about building the broad people’s movement led by labor that utilizes the vehicle of the Democratic Party to advance its agenda. We are about building the movements around the issues roiling wide sections of people that can help shape election contours and debates.
The Communist Party often upsets less mature Marxist groups because of their refusal to abandon the Democratic Party, despite not always getting every item on their agenda immediately.
As an experienced Communist, John Bachtell understands that in spite of difficulties and disappointments, the Communist Party agenda is far better served by infiltrating the Democrats than by marching in the streets yelling revolutionary slogans.
The Communist Party and their only marginally less radical Democratic Socialists of America allies can point to real achievements under their “friend” Barack Obama. Obamacare, illegal immigrant “amnesty,” the NEW START Treaty with Russia, negotiations with Iran, military budget cuts and recognition of communist Cuba, are all Communist Party policies, implemented through the Democratic Party.
Bachtell understands that to prematurely break with with the Democrats, on some Quixotic adventure of forming a new leftist third party, would almost certainly hand the next few elections to the GOP. He fears that a revitalized GOP, led by Ted Cruz, or some similar figure, would roll back most, or all of the Communist Party’s hard fought gains.
If US Constitutionalist conservatives and Tea Party activists can show similar political discipline and maturity, they will abandon plans for a suicidal third party agenda – for now. Instead they will work through the GOP, as the Communists have through the Democrats. Learn from the opposition. Utilize the GOP machinery and voting base to build a big Constitutionalist base inside the GOP.  Build your strength, do as the Communists have done, primary any vulnerable GOP candidates who will not support your Constitutionalist agenda.
The Communists did that to Senator Joe Lieberman from Connecticut. Now, virtually no senior Democrats will buck the Communist line. They know the price.
So, the Tea Party and their allies need to take back the GOP for Constitutionalism and ensure that someone of the caliber of Ted Cruz or Scott Walker is the GOP Presidential nominee in 2016.
If that happens, Americans can have a second “Reagan Revolution” even better than the first. If it doesn’t, the Communist Party will have theirs.
If Constitutionalists fail and Jeb Bush, or some similar milksop becomes the GOP nominee, they should gather all their forces,   leave the GOP en masse and run against him as a third party. At that point, Constitutionalists have nothing left to lose. They should also make it very clear to the GOP hierarchy and major donors that a third party will inevitably follow any further “dirty tricks,” or other attempts to frustrate the will of the people.
Less than a thousand hardcore Communist Party activists and their few thousand Democratic Socialists of America allies effectively dictate Democratic Party policy.
If the much larger Constitutionalist/Tea Party movement can learn from their opponent’s tactics and maturity, they can have a real shot at restoring the Republic.
The battle for America is not between the Democrats and the Republicans. It is between the Communists and the Constitutionalists. The Constitutionalists must better understand their opposition and borrow some of their tactics, if they want a chance of victory.

Bad GOP Border Bill

Urgent Update: GOP Elites Are Plotting A Major Amnesty Double Cross!

And here's how this bait-and-switch scheme is going to go down... Even though the House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill that defunds Barack Obama's Imperial Amnesty Decree, GOP elites are working behind the scenes to ensure that bill dies an unceremonious death.

And, in the meantime, GOP elites in Congress are advancing another bill (the ill-named Secure Our Border First Act of 2015) that they're deceptively promoting as a "border security bill"... but don't be fooled... this alternate bill does NOTHING to advance a secure border and actually allocates even more taxpayer money to advance amnesty. As a matter of fact, it may very well be the mother of all amnesty bills. Conservatives are warning us to let our representatives know that we are not amused.
Patrick Brennan with National Review Online (NRO) writes: "About a week ago, House Republicans passed a funding bill that aimed to block President Obama’s de facto amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. Already, GOP leadership wants to abandon that bill and replace it with a 'Plan B,' which has the unfortunate flaw of not being a plan to stop the amnesty at all."

Jessica Vaughan with the Center for Immigration Studies says: "They think that by putting forward a fake border security bill, that will satisfy the public and rank-and-file members of the House and dissolve any objections to the other immigration expansion bills that they want to pass... I really think they just want to make a show of passing enforcement bills."

Conservative Gary Bauer recently said: "There are disturbing reports from Capitol Hill that the so-called border security bill currently being drafted by the House Homeland Security Committee represents a step backwards."

But this fake border security bill is much more than a "step backwards." As a matter of fact, you ain't seen nothin' yet:

The Daily Caller reports: "The new border bills drafted by Republican leaders require the actual removal of at least 66 miles of anti-pedestrian border fencing between laborers in Mexico and employers in the United States. The border bills also require the construction of only 27 miles of effective double-layer fencing along the 2,000-mile border."

Kenneth Palinkas, the president of a union representing 12,000 United States Citizenship and Immigration Service officials, says that this bait-and-switch bill "does nothing to preclude anyone in the world from turning themselves in at the U.S. border and obtaining automatic entry and federal benefits. Almost anyone at all can call themselves an asylum-seeker and get in; it's a global joke."

You read that right, what GOP elites are touting as a border security bill actually tears down existing fencing and only requires that 27 miles of additional fencing be built. And moreover, it allows just about anyone to obtain automatic entry and benefits in the United States.

Palinkas calls this betrayal a "global joke," but
we're not laughing, and when we're done blowing out fax machines and crashing phone lines, no one in Washington is going to be laughing either.

Bergdahl charged with Desertion

Reports: Bergdahl to be charged with desertion
Obama traded 5 Gitmo-held terrorists for Army soldier
Seven months after the military began an investigation into the disappearance of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and his capture by the Taliban, which held him for five years, a new report indicates Army officials have determined Bergdahl — for whom the administration traded five top Gitmo-held terrorists — will be charged as a deserter.
Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, made the startling claim during an appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News:
Bergdahl’s attorney has received the charges, according to Shaffer, who claims the Obama administration is withholding the report.
But the Army Times claims the Army says there’s no truth to claims a decision has been made on the Bergdahl case. Paul Boyce, spokesman for Forces Command, told the Army Times there is no charge sheet and the Fox News story “seems to be speculative in nature.”
“What they are reporting is untrue – there has been no update to what we provided in Dec. Investigation is still with [General Mark] Milley who will determine appropriate action – which ranges from no further action to convening a court martial. We cannot discuss or disclose the findings of the investigation while disciplinary decisions are pending before commanders,” the Army said in a statement provided to CNN Tuesday.
Likewise, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby posted the following statement on Twitter: “Contrary to media reporting, no decision made by Army leadership with respect to Sgt. Bergdahl’s case. The process will be respected.”
O’Reilly said the White House has had this information for a while but has been delaying it under the auspices of Ben Rhodes, assistant national security adviser.
“This is shaping up to be a Titanic struggle behind the scenes,” Shaffer said. “Believe me, the Army here wants to do the right thing. Factually, there’s no way they can not do the right thing regarding Bergdahl. And the White House, because of the political narrative, President Obama cozying up to the parents and because he, President Obama, releasing the five Taliban. … The narrative is what the White House does not want to have come out.”
Bergdahl was recovered in Afghanistan by U.S. troops in a controversial swap for five Taliban officials on May 31. He had disappeared from his small patrol base on June 30, 2009, under a cloud of suspicion and fear as it became clear he been captured by militants.
The Army in June launched a new investigation into Bergdahl’s disappearance and capture, amid a raft of accusations from his fellow soldiers that he walked away from his unit on the battlefield and questions about whether the Obama administration handled the prisoner swap legally.
On Jan. 11, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said he anticipated a decision “fairly soon” on whether the Army would court martial Bergdahl for deserting his post.
“In White House terms, not charging Bergdahl means that he was indeed worth the trade for the Taliban Five. But charging him on any level means that releasing the five Taliban was an error of monstrous proportions, one the administration will never be able to explain away satisfactorily,” said retired Lt. Col. Bill Cowen in a commentary written for the Fox News site.
Former Sgt. Matt Vierkant told CNN last year, “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
“I don’t understand,” Vierkant added, “why we’re trading prisoners at Gitmo for somebody who deserted during a time of war, which is an act of treason.”
A full 54 percent of Americans agreed in a June 2014 poll, saying Obama’s swap for Bergdahl amounted to providing aid to terrorists – which violates federal law. And they said impeachment is deserved.
In June, WND reported an explosive charge emerged – that Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers had orders to shoot him on sight as a deserter.
A number of damning charges against Bergdahl came from soldiers who served with him. Some were posted on Facebook.
The soldiers wrote anonymously, saying the Pentagon had them sign nondisclosure statements after Bergdahl disappeared from his post in Afghanistan in 2009. Some said they were still on active duty.
WND also reported a four-year-old claim by a Taliban commander that Bergdahl wasn’t just a deserter but also a traitor who converted to Islam and taught jihadi fighters how to make bombs and ambush convoys.
Afghan intelligence officials believed Bergdahl was “cooperating with the Taliban” and advising fighters at a base in Pakistan.
A comment posted by a soldier who says he served with Bergdahl confirmed the charge.
“What you have is pretty well spot on,” the post says. “All I know is that our orders were kill on contact and then we came back and it was covered up. I’ve personally been threatened a few times that discussing it in half the detail you already have was considered an act of treason.”
Another post made clear the Army considered Berdahl not just a deserter but a defector.
“My battalion took over the AO from 25th. The story of Bergdahl being a defector is exactly what was briefed to us and I also read the debrief report about the situation. The story is 100% correct. I’ve personally been on a few missions following up on Bergdahls location but we never found anything. I currently live an hour away from his family’s location. Hailey, Idaho, is a resort town frequented by movie stars etc. They typically side with the anti-war side of politics in that area and is a perfect spot for him to live in solitude.”
Another post that said Bergdahl deserted came from someone who said he was directly involved in the attempted recovery of Bergdahl.
“Here is what I know, not from hearsay, but because I was there. Bergdahl became a sympathizer, walked off his post to seek out the Taliban in order to join their ranks, to help and live with them. In exchange for his release, the United States released the following 5 known Taliban; Khairullah Khairkhwa, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mohammed Nabi who were immediately welcomed back into the Taliban network. The Taliban are currently seeking the release of additional prisoners, but will not state specifics. Now that they have the blue print on how to accomplish this by simply capturing an American soldier and with the troop number drawing down to 9,800+, I can only hope our service men and women keep their heads on a swivel.”


IRS Busted

Secret emails to finally nail Obama in major scandal? GOP Senate demands all communications with IRS
The new GOP majority in the U.S. Senate is turning up the heat on its investigation of allegations the Internal Revenue Service shared private taxpayer information with President Obama, demanding Obama turn over communications he and his staff had with the agency.

The Washington Times reported it obtained a copy of a letter signed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and the 13 other Republicans on the panel.

Addressed to Obama, the letter asks for his communications with the IRS since 2010 for their investigation into whether the agency has been engaging in illegal distribution of private taxpayer information. Republicans have accused the Obama administration of using the IRS as a political weapon since discovering the agency obstructed the applications for tax-exempt status of conservative organizations critical of Obama’s policies.

The letter said: “We have an obligation to conduct oversight of the federal government’s administration of our tax laws. As part of this oversight, we are seeking to determine the degree to and manner in which the Internal Revenue Service shares taxpayer information with the executive office of the president.”

IRS documents filed by the National Organization for Marriage, for example, were released to a citizen who asked for them, and they ended up in the hands of a homosexual activist who posted the confidential information online.

A judge ruled the IRS simply made a mistake, but the agency agreed to pay the group $50,000.

The documents requested by the Senate panel were also requested by the interest group Cause of Action, which has gone to court to try to compel the IRS inspector general to turn them over, the Times reported. The inspector general says it can’t turn over most of the 2,500 pages of records from its investigation because it would violate the privacy of taxpayers.

Texas-based True the Vote and 42 other groups have filed a lawsuit claiming the IRS targeted them based on their beliefs and politics.

Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote, said the “notion that the IRS can target Americans for years because of their political beliefs is reprehensible.”

The IRS exacerbated the scandal by repeatedly telling disbelieving congressional investigators that it couldn’t provide relevant emails because of hard-drive failures.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton also ordered the agency to find out what happened to the hard drive after IRS Commissioner John Koskinen claimed a computer malfunction had caused the loss of two years of emails belonging to IRS executive Lois Lerner, whose tax-exempt division improperly targeted conservative groups.

Lerner claimed her emails were lost when her hard drive crashed July 13, 2011. She said the crash caused her to lose all her emails sent to recipients outside the IRS from mid-2009 to mid-2011.

David Ferriero, the archivist of the United States for the National Archives and Records Administration, testified the federal agency failed to follow the law in handling Lerner’s emails, raising even more suspicion about their content.

A key House leader addressing the issue, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told IRS officials, at a minimum, “You did not tell the whole truth.

The committee accused the IRS of sending the FBI a database containing more than a million pages of confidential taxpayer information. Officials later said the emails that had been “destroyed” were found, but they were unsorted and details were unavailable.

Robert Wood commented in Forbes: “First, there was no targeting by the IRS. Then there was, but only by those rogue IRS employees down in Cincinnati. … Then, top IRS official Lois Lerner refused to testify. IRS Commissioner Miller seemed defiant too and was sacked. Then, there was a year-long congressional investigation before the IRS finally admitted the 2009 through 2011 Lois Lerner’s emails ‘disappeared.’ Then, the backups … were recycled. Then, the new IRS commissioner said the IRS needs a bigger tech budget.”

Wood said American taxpayers, as well as thousands of dedicated IRS employees, deserve an explanation.

“The vast bulk of them are doing their best and helping not hurting the system. Their position is undermined by the awful bumbling and worse the IRS scandal … has revealed.”

Obama, meanwhile, insisted in an interview there’s “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS.


High Gun Ownership Lower Crime

USA - First in Gun Ownership But Not Even Close in Murder Rate! By Tim Brown / 30 January 2015

Bill Whittle quickly became one of my favorite commentators. In the following monologue, Whittle brilliantly displays something I have pointed out concerning how the socialist and communist gun grabbers in America demonize guns. He exposes their bias to all of the relevant FBI data at their disposal.

Whittle rightly points out that America tops the list of guns per capita. There are 90 guns per every 100 people. Not only does this arsenal among the American people make it a force to be reckoned with against those who would seek to dominate the US population, but these weapons are the means of fighting against tyranny and oppression.

The socialists and communists would have us believe that America, because she has so many guns in the hands of private citizens, that she would have the greatest per capita murder rate as well. Well, that would be a false assumption. The number one country with the highest murder rate is a socialist country, Honduras!

In fact, compare America's per capita murder rate of 4.7 per 100,000 resident to that of a US city like Detroit, Michigan, where socialist and communist Democrats have imposed massive gun control. In Detroit, the murder rate is 54.6 per 100,000. Consider that is Detroit was a country, it would be in second place, just behind Honduras!

Out of 218 countries, "gun culture America" didn't even make it into the top 100 of those countries with the highest murder rates per capita. She came in 111. Imagine that!

Virtually every country ahead of the US in per capita murders have big government, socialist-styled gun control laws.

However, that's not all. Whittle says that America's murder rate, 4.7 per 100,000, is "artificially higher than it should be because it includes so many deadly, murderous, toxic places like… Detroit, Michigan."

But Detroit is not the only socialist infested city in America, whose rigorous gun control laws have borne the fruit of murder. No, other heavily socialist controlled cities in America bear similar fruit. For instance, here's other American cities and their murder rates per year:

  • New Orleans – 53.2 per 100,000
  • St. Louis – 35.5 per 100,000
  • Baltimore – 34.9 per 100,000
  • Newark - 34.4 per 100,000
  • Oakland – 31,8 per 100,000
  • Stockton – 23.7 per 100,000
  • Kansas City – 22.6 per 100,000
  • Philadelphia – 21.5 per 100,000
  • Cleveland – 21.3 per 100,000
  • Memphis – 20.2 per 100,000
  • Atlanta – 19.0 per 100,000
  • Chicago – 18.5 per 100,000

So, consider that 4.7 per 100,000 includes these high crime areas, which have been largely controlled by socialists. Why then is the overall number of murders in America as low as it is? It's because of largely of cities where guns are lawfully carried and used. Here's just a few of the cities cited and their murder rates based on 100,000 per capita:

  • Austin – 3.7
  • Seattle – 3.7
  • San Diego – 3.5
  • El Paso – 3.4
  • Portland – 3.3
  • Santa Ana – 3.3
  • Mesa – 3.1
  • Henderson – 1.5
  • Lincoln – 1.1
  • Plano – 0.4

Whittle points out that in the heart of what liberals would call "gun nut central," Plano, Texas, homes are virtually filled with a variety of guns and other weapons, and yet, the murder rate is 0.4 per 100,000!

Is it any wonder that Texas is seeking to nullify all federal gun laws? Doesn't tens of thousands of citizens in Connecticut refusing to comply with a "law" that requires them to register their guns, knowing full well where that leads to (confiscation)?

What would happen in America, if the governments of the people actually recognized that keeping and bearing arms is not only a right, but it is a duty for the safety and security of the people? What would happen if all gun laws were removed and the government realized that it had no business regulating or restricting arms of any kind? I'm guessing that we would see a safer and freer society abroad.

Whittle theorizes that if that were the case, and America had an overall murder rate as that of Plano, we would not rank 111, but rather 211 out of 218 countries in the world! This would place America below Switzerland and well below half of the murder rates of Germany, Spain, Denmark, New Zealand, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, France, and Australia.

The issue in all of this has nothing to do with the guns themselves. Not one bleeding heart socialist has ever seen a gun stand up on two legs, aim itself at a human being, pull its own trigger and kill that person. Not one! The issue is always the person with the gun, and as has been famously stated before, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

Amen, and amen! from Freedom Outpost


Banks Targeting Gun Dealers

‘DO NOT DISCLOSE’: Obama Admin Tells Banks to Shut Up About Its Targeting of Gun Dealers

 (Daily Caller) - The Obama administration’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is threatening banks to be silent about the administration’s new programs supervising and investigating private bank account holders.

A shocking bulletin that CFPB issued to banks, which was obtained by The Daily Caller, was sent around this week in the midst of controversy regarding the administration’s Operation Choke Point program, by which the administration pressures banks to cut off accounts for supposedly suspicious businesses, including gun dealers. Operation Choke Point’s anti-gun mission was recently confirmed in a series of audiotapes published by the US Consumer Coalition, in which a bank teller explained to a gun dealer why his account was being shut down.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [CFPB] issues this compliance bulletin as a reminder that, with limited exceptions, persons in possession of confidential information, including confidential supervisory information [CSI], may not disclose such information to third parties,” the bulletin states.

 “‘Confidential information’ means ‘confidential consumer complaint information, confidential investigative information, and confidential supervisory information, as well as any other CFPB information that may be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act pursuant,” according to the bulletin.

Even non-disclosure agreements are invalid according to the CFPB’s effort to suppress information.

CFPB states that “private confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements neither alter the legal restrictions on the disclosure of CSI nor impact the CFPB’s authority to obtain information from covered persons and service providers in the exercise of its supervisory authority.”

Good thing President Obama’s Dodd-Frank Act gave CFPB vast powers to enforce this kind of information-suppressing.

“Many supervised financial institutions became subject to federal supervision for the first time under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act [Dodd-Frank Act]. Pursuant to authority granted under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB has issued regulations that govern the use and disclosure of CSI. The CFPB expects all supervised financial institutions to know and comply with the regulations governing CSI.”


Friday, January 30, 2015

GA Gas Tax Questions

If the GA gasoline tax has been 26.5 cents per gallon and the GA Legislature has proposed 29 cents per gallon as an excise tax, what happened to the old 7.5 cents per gallon GA excise tax ?   Is it still in effect ?  There is also a 4% sales tax on gasoline, I assume that goes to the general fund. This doesn’t add up.  Drivers would like all taxes attached to gasoline sales to be used on roads and bridges.

State gasoline taxes are 26.5 cents per gallon and Federal gasoline taxes are 18.4 cents a gallon.  Combined, they total 44.9 cents a gallon.  If we still buy 3 billion gallons a year in Georgia, our total gasoline tax revenue should be $1.35 billion a year. If we add the $805 million ad valorem tax we would have $2.2 billion to use for roads and bridges

If I add the 7.5 cents per gallon excise tax to the 3 billion gallons a year, I get an additional $225 million.  If I add the 4% sales tax and use our current $2 per gallon cost, I get an additional $240 million.  That would bring car related revenue to $2.665 billion.

Federal revenue for transportation is projected to be $1.7 billion in the 2016 GA Transportation Plan. How much of that do we spend on roads and bridges, or is half of it spent on bike lanes, multi-use trails, complete streets, sidewalks trollies, pedestrian bridges, streetscapes and MARTA or GRTA. Does it include the grants to states doled out by DOT for GDOT and ARC slush fund ?  

Sales tax on auto sales could also be thrown in to the road fund.

I also believe we are being “hosed” by engineering firms and road construction companies who have doubled the cost per lane-mile road construction beginning in 2009.  The cost of milling and resurfacing asphalt should be $75,000 per lane mile.  The costs I’ve seen are closer to $150,000 per lane mile.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

Posted on 1/30/15

Muslims urged to Repair their Reputation

Muslim world largely ignores call for 'revolution' in Islam
Western analysts react to Egyptian president's speech with skepticism but hope, by Michael Maloof  
WASHINGTON – It’s been four weeks since Egyptian President Abdel al-Fattah delivered his fiery speech to Islamic clerics at Al-Azhar University calling for a “revolution” in the faith to change its reputation as a violent religion at war with the world. What’s been the reaction in the Muslim world since? Deafening silence.
A request by WND for reaction from Muslim organizations in the United States, including the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim Student Association, was met with nearly total silence. In the case of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, the spokesman hung up when asked for comment.
An exception was Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, a Sufi Muslim leader know for his criticism of fundamentalist Islam, including the Wahabbi stream of Islam promoted by Saudi Arabia, which is highly influential among U.S. Muslim groups.
Schwartz prefaced his comment saying that he was speaking only for himself. “I consider el-Sisi’s rhetoric about Islamic reform to be problematical,” Schwartz said. “I do not think a military ruler can effect changes in Islamic thought. “I am for the separation of the state from religious life, and as an example of that believe el-Sisi should stay out of religious affairs,” he said. “Let him reform the Egyptian state budget, the economy, the educational system and the judiciary.” Schwartz said Sisi “is a dictator and so perceived even by some neoconservatives in the West.” “He cannot impose changes in religion.”
The Dar al-Iftaa, an Egyptian government-sponsored religious institution responsible for issuing fatwas and religious opinions under the direction of Sisi, said it would seek to achieve the “highest degree of effective communication” with Muslims.
The group plans a national project aimed at correcting the image of Islam through social media, foreign visits, publications and the issuance of fatwas. Dar al-Iftaa noted its Facebook page had garnered 1.1 million “likes.”
To press Sisi’s call, Dar al-Iftaa said it had launched an international campaign to introduce the “mercy” of the character of Islam’s founder, Muhammad.
It has hosted an interfaith conference to fight extremism, attended by 700 Islamic and Christian scholars from 120 countries. It said it also has issued several publications rebutting the ideology of ISIS, especially regarding slavery and the treatment of women.
Western reaction, however, was more positive to Sisi’s dramatic call for a revolution to change world attitudes toward the Muslim faith, which the Egyptian president described as “a source of apprehension, danger, murder and destruction in the entire world.”
At the same time, there was skepticism that the Muslim world indeed would rally to Sisi’s appeal, including from Middle East expert Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum.
“Until we know more about Sisi’s personal views and see what he does next,” Pipes said, “I understand his speech not as a stance against all of Islamism but only against its specifically violent form, the kind that is ravaging Nigeria, Somalia, Syria-Iraq and Pakistan; the kind that has placed such cities as Boston, Ottawa, Sydney and Paris under siege.”
The Egyptian president has restored the practice of previous military regimes in Egypt of showing greater religious tolerance. On the Orthodox Christmas Day on Jan. 6, Sisi attended St. Mark’s Cathedral to speak to the congregation.
The reception by the Coptic congregation, numbering in the hundreds, to Sisi’s good wishes to the Christian minority was described as “jubilant.”
“Egypt has brought a humanistic and civilizing message to the world for millennia, and we are here today to confirm that we are capable of doing so again,” Sisi said.
“Yes, a humanistic and civilizing message should once more emanate from Egypt. This is why we must not call ourselves anything other than ‘Egyptians,’” he said.
“This is what we must be – Egyptians, just Egyptians, Egyptians indeed!” Sisi told the Christians. “I just want to tell you that – Allah willing, Allah willing – we shall build our nation together, accommodate each other, make room for each other, and we shall like each other – love each other, love each other in earnest, so that people may see. … So let me tell you once again, Happy New Year, Happy New Year to you all, Happy New Year to all Egyptians!”
Sisi’s New Year’s Day remarks, which didn’t receive much establishment media attention, were nevertheless hailed in the West as an enlightenment, with suggestions that the Egyptian president who forcibly overthrew Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi two years ago should receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Sisi’s action against the militant Muslim Brotherhood received the backing of Saudi Arabia but the condemnation of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now Turkey’s president, Erdogan offered the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas safe haven in Ankara and has shown support for ISIS.
Saudi support of Sisi reflected a regional competition of whether Egypt or Turkey would represent the more “moderate” voice of Islam in the region. The Saudi decision, however, wasn’t difficult, since the kingdom had helped finance Sisi’s overthrow of Morsi.
The Saudis look on Turkey as a threat not only for Erdogan’s more Islamist approach and backing of the Muslim Brotherhood but what they see as a Turkish effort to establish a neo-Ottoman caliphate, which the Saudis historically condemn, having lived under the old Ottoman empire.
‘Take responsibility’
Sisi urged the imams take responsibility to change the world’s outlook on Islam.
“I am referring here to the religious clerics. … It’s “inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire ummah (Islamic community) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of world. Impossible!” Sisi said.
“That thinking – I am not saying ‘religion’ but ‘thinking’ – that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world! … All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective,” the Egyptian president said.
“I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move … because this ummah is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands.”
Pipes said that no matter “how fine” Sisi’s ideas are, “no politician – and especially no strongman – has moved modern Islam.”
He said that reforms brought about by modern Turkey’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, have been reversed, just as King Abdullah of Jordan and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had given similarly “fine speeches” on “the true voice of Islam” and “enlightened moderation” that “immediately disappeared from view.”
“Yes, Sisi’s comments are stronger, but he is not a religious authority and, in all likelihood, they too will disappear without a trace,” Pipes said.
Pipes noted Sisi gave no specifics regarding the revolution he seeks, but he believes that the Egyptian president is look more for a “subtle version of Islamism.”
He said there are “several indications” that point to Sisi being an Islamist.
In one instance, Pipes said the Muslim Brotherhood president, Morsi, even appointed Sisi as his defense minister, “precisely because he saw the then-general as an ally.”
‘Forceful and impassioned’
While Pipe’s reaction has been a wait-and-see approach to Sisi, Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and associate director of the Middle East Forum, called Sisi’s speech “a vocal supporter for a renewed vision of Islam” and made “what must be his most forceful and impassioned plea to date.”
“Although Sisi’s words were directed to Islam’s guardians and articulators, they indirectly lead to several important lessons for Western observers, Ibrahim said.
“First, in just a few words, Sisi delivered a dose of truth and hard-hitting reality concerning the Islamic world’s relationship to the rest of the world – a dose of reality very few Western leaders dare think let alone proclaim,” Ibrahim said.
“As a Muslim, Sisi will not say that Islam, the ‘religion,’ is responsible for ‘antagonizing the entire world,’” Ibrahim added, “but he certainly goes much further than his Western counterparts when he says that this ‘thinking’ is rooted in an Islamic ‘corpus of texts and ideas’ which have become so ‘sacralized.’”
Martin Sherman of the Jerusalem Post said that it is difficult to overstate the potential importance of Sisi’s speech on Islam “and equally important to avoid overly optimistic expectations as to its practical impact.”
Echoing Pipe’s observations, Sherman said that the venue of Sisi’s speech was where President Obama made his 2009 “outreach dpeech” to the Muslim World.
“But the contrast between the two could hardly be more striking,” he said. “As one U.S. analyst deftly noted: ‘Obama began the 2009 speech by praising the same seminary that Sisi reprimanded,’ emphasizing ‘That (Obama’s approach) is different from Sisi, who is trying to suppress the Brotherhood movement and push Al-Azhar’s Islamic leaders toward modernity.’”
Just as Sisi condemned ongoing practices of the Islamic world and was responsible for removing the “ruinous regime of the Muslim Brotherood from power,” Sherman said Obama by contrast “heaped effusive praise on Islam, and insisted on places of honor for senior Brotherhood representatives – to the chagrin of his host, president Hosni Mubarak.”
Sherman added that Obama’s words and gestures in Cairo had provided a “considerable – arguably, crucial – fillip” in sweeping the Brotherhood to power within two years.
Sherman argues that Sisi wasn’t calling for gradual reform but “swift revolution.”
“There does appear to be the beginning of rumbling discontent in the West, and indications that resistance to Islamic-inspired outrages is beginning to emerge – albeit far too timidly and far too slowly,” Sherman said.
“It is still too early to assess whether the savage slaughter in Paris … will prove a tipping-point in the mood toward Islam and shift it from angst to anger,” he said. “There is, however, considerable room for skepticism.”