Barack Obama’s Issues Are America’s Issues

Because Americans need to know more about the many scandals to which President Barack Obama and members of his administration are connected, I decided to share this slightly-modified version of a believable conversation that’s been floating around the web.  Please read and share!

Barack Obama Caricature by Political GraffitiBob: “Hey Jim, did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?”
Jim: “You Mean the Mexican gun running?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean SEAL Team 6?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama saying ObamaCare would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Forcing business owners to violate their religious beliefs by making them pay for drugs that abort the unborn?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Violating the rights and sanctity of our churches?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Spending $634 million on the ObamaCare website that doesn’t work?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama calling for an increase in the debt ceiling after he lambasted President Bush for the very same thing?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama having NSA spy on 124 billion phone calls in one month?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Saddling our kids with $17 trillion in debt which they can never get out of?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Bailing out Detroit after decades of corrupt Democratic management?”

Justice for ChristopherBob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the State Department lying about Benghazi?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean voter fraud?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Intentionally trying to hurt Americans during the sequester?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Blocking veterans who secured our freedoms from their monuments but giving the ‘green light’ for illegals to use National Mall?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Denying school kids the ability to tour the White House but still spending lavishly on his parties?”

"Healthscare" by Political GraffitiBob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean Obama saying we can keep our doctors and insurance if we want to?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the military not getting their votes counted?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The NSA monitoring foreign diplomats?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the use of drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving A123 Systems $300 million right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?”

Bob: “No the other one.”
Jim: “The IRS targeting conservatives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The DOJ spying on the press?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean Obama spending $3.7 trillion on welfare during the past five years?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving Solyndra $500 million dollars three months before they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought the company?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Millions of Americans losing their health care coverage?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Forcing Americans to include coverage in their insurance policies of items they do not want?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Denying Arizona the right to protect its borders?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Providing weapons to Syrian rebels, many of whom apparently are al-Queda”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate’s advise-and-consent role?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The President using nearly $1 trillion dollars of stimulus money to fund his cronies?”

Judge Fast and Furious Holder 9-30-13Bob: “No, the other one”
Jim: “You mean ‘Fast & Furious?’”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “I give up! … Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don’t pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?”

Bob: “THAT’S THE ONE!”

Hat tip:  2 Million Bikers to DC on Facebook

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Constitutional Rights Under Seige — Not Just Guns!

While many Americans are rightfully concerned about preserving their Constitutional right to bear arms, other vital Constitutional rights are being threatened.  Case in point:  A Chicago-area woman was arrested for merely videotaping her neighbor’s arrest!

When CBS2 Chicago reported the news earlier this week on their website, they used a slightly-inaccurate headline, Two Naperville Women Arrested for Trying to Block Smart Meters.  In reality, one of the women, Kim Bendis, was arrested for merely videotaping officers as they arrested the other women, neighbor Jenn Stahl, as she was arrested for trying to block utility workers from installing a controversial “smart meter” at her home.

This isn’t the first time a citizen has been arrested for exercising a First Amendment right.

Since May 27, 2011, when I published a post about photographers’ rights, I’ve shared news of two other arrests under similar, but not identical, circumstances.

In a post Aug. 24, 2011, I highlighted an event during which U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, an Ohio Republican who somehow went on to win re-election, had police officers seize cameras from constituents attending one of his town hall meetings.  See video below:

One week later, I shared the incredible story of a Robinson, Ill., man facing up to 75 years in prison for filming police officers.  See video below:

If you’re a citizen journalist or simply someone who wants to gain a better understanding of his Constitutional rights, watch the video below and be sure to read about your rights.

"Three Days In August" Promotional PhotoBob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, a nonfiction book that’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com. His second book, The CLAPPER MEMO, is coming soon was released May 2013.

Labor Department to Smother Press Freedom

This afternoon, I received an email from my friends at the Online News Association about a letter sent by the head of the Sunshine In Government Initiative to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.  In short, the letter implores Solis to reconsider the implications of her agency’s new “Press Lock-Ups Policy, which could inhibit the quality, accuracy and independence of news reporting,” before it goes into effect June 15.

Read the text of the letter (below) and see if you think anything remotely worthwhile can come from this soon-to-be-implemented policy of restraining the press:

May 8, 2012

The Honorable Hilda Solis
US Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Secretary Solis:

As a coalition of media organizations promoting the free flow of information, we write to express our serious concerns regarding the new “U.S. Department of Labor Press Lock-ups Policy Statement and News Organization Agreement” that was issued on April 10, 2012. The new policy threatens to undermine the accurate, complete and timely dissemination of independently produced news. We urge the Labor Department (DOL) to reconsider and delay implementing this new policy, better explain the problem the Department is attempting to address, and engage affected parties and the public before implementing any changes to current practice.

Specifically, we would like to meet with Department representatives to better understand the Department’s concerns with current practice, discuss our concerns with the Department’s new approach, and explore reasonable alternatives that avoid unnecessarily infringing on journalists’ ability to independently report timely, accurate information to the public.

Formed in 2005, the Sunshine in Government Initiative is a coalition of media groups committed to promoting policies that ensure the government is accessible, accountable and open. Members include the American Society of News Editors, The Associated Press, Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, National Newspaper Association, Newspaper Association of America, Online News Association, Radio-Television Digital News Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Society of Professional Journalists.

For many years, media organizations have supported procedures to facilitate simultaneous release of sensitive government data that affect markets, and pre-embargo access is essential for media to disseminate information in a timely, accurate and independent manner. The public has benefited enormously from the process the Department currently uses. The practice used to this point ensures the simultaneous release of information while also providing time that enables reporters to place the new data in meaningful context. Distribution occurs through redundant, dedicated lines, assuring security and the timely release of information. This combination of simultaneous release, data placed in accurate context, and security is why other agencies of the U.S. Government which manage the release of market moving news use processes very similar to those currently used by DOL.

Under DOL’s new policy, however, participants would be required to remove their software, hardware, and dedicated lines from the DOL by June 15, 2012. Reporters would be required to use only government owned software and hardware. The use of modern news-producing software would be prohibited. All transmission would be via the internet, not via secure, redundant line. The DOL would own and operate the data lines, internet access and internet connections. As the government grows more concerned about cybersecurity, the proposed policy would create a single point of failure.

This new policy also would have the practical impact of inhibiting the quality, accuracy and independence of news reporting. Unpublished newsgathering information is privileged and protected from compelled disclosure under the First Amendment. Requiring news organizations to draft news articles on government-owned and government-operated computers would give the government unfettered access to unpublished draft news stories and will necessarily inhibit journalists from producing thorough, timely and accurate reporting based on market-moving information.

While the Department has alluded to alleged security breaches, the Labor Department has yet to explain its specific concerns this new policy proposes to address. The parties directly affected and the public cannot evaluate whether any change in procedure, including the new approach the Department announced, is appropriate to address the underlying problem.

We are committed to working with you to better understand any concerns about the current practice and explore reasonable, mutually acceptable solutions, and we would welcome a dialogue to better understand this problem and explore less drastic alternatives. Most immediately, we urge you to delay this policy change and meet with interested media representatives to discuss our concerns.

We thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Rick Blum, Coordinator
Sunshine in Government Initiative

Copied: Senator Michael Enzi, Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Jay Rockefeller, Congressman John Conyers, Congressman John Kline, Congressman George Miller, Congressman Lamar Smith, Congressman Fred Upton and Congressman Henry Waxman

I suspect this effort by the Obama Administration, via the Labor Department, is a dry run for efforts that will follow if little public outcry is heard.  And if you think the news media is doing a bad enough job already, just wait until the government has its thumb press down even harder.

Check out my new book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.

Charges to be Dropped Against Petition Circulators

In response to pressure from two freedom-loving attorneys representing them, charges against two petition circulators who were cited last weekend for gathering signatures on the public sidewalks of St. Charles, Mo., will be dropped, according to an announcement this morning by the city’s attorney, Mike Valenti.

What kind of petition were the two unnamed individuals circulating?  A news release received this morning from Dave and Jenifer Roland, the Freedom Center of Missouri attorneys who represented the duo, offered the following details:

This controversy was sparked in the early hours of January 15, when two volunteers with the Show-Me Cannabis Regulation campaign were gathering signatures on North Main Street in St. Charles.  The ballot initiative seeks to legalize the production, sale, and use of marijuana under Missouri law and to regulate it in a manner similar to tobacco or alcohol.  Two police officers approached the petition circulators, issued them citations for “soliciting without a permit,” and confiscated some of the petitions, which included approximately fifty signatures.  Acting on behalf of the volunteers, the Freedom Center of Missouri insisted that the First Amendment required the City to drop the charges, return the seized petitions, and to destroy any copies the police had made of those petitions.  The City has agreed to comply.

While I’m not an advocate of legalizing marijuana, this outcome is important as it safeguards the freedoms of all, including those of us outside of the “Cheech and Chong crowd,” to circulate petitions on matters near and dear to us.

Good job, Dave and Jenifer!

Couple Fights $500 Fines for Home Bible Studies

On May 29, 2009, I shared news about a situation involving what appeared to be a crackdown on people holding Bible studies at their San Diego home.  This week, the same thing appears to be happening in another Orange County, Calif., community, according to a CBS Los Angeles report.

The city of San Juan Capistrano is demanding that a small home Bible study group stop meeting unless they obtain a cost-prohibitive permit, according to officials at the Pacific Legal Institute who are representing the couple who hosted the gathering in their home and offer more details below:

The homeowners, Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, were fined $300 for holding the Bible study. Mr. Fromm appealed the ruling to the City of San Juan Capistrano, which was founded as a mission in the late 1700’s and is home to California’s oldest building still in use, a chapel where Father Junipero Serra celebrated mass. Fromm was told by a hearing officer that regular gatherings of more than three people require a conditional use permit. Officials also stated that further religious gatherings in the home would be subject to a $500 fine per meeting. The City eventually rejected the appeal and Pacific Justice Institute has taken the next step by appealing the decision to the California Superior Court in Orange County.

The Bible study group, which met on Sunday mornings, until the City threatened further fines, was perfectly suited for his home, said Chuck Fromm. There was no noise beyond normal conversation and quiet music on the home stereo system. They met inside their family room and patio area. Many neighbors have written letters of support, denying they were disturbed by the presence of the Bible study. The group is not affiliated with any particular church, nor is it seeking to establish a church in the home.

The City of San Juan Capistrano is insisting the home Bible study is not allowed because it is a “church,” and churches require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in residential areas. Pacific Justice Institute represents the Bible study participants and will fight the city’s decision. In other cases, PJI has represented larger churches that have been required to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of the CUP process, such as engineering and traffic studies, architectural designs and seismic retrofits. CUP’s require public hearings and can be denied outright or granted with numerous limitations.

“Imposing a heavy-handed permit requirement on a home Bible study is outrageous,” said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute. “In a city so rich with religious history and tradition, this is particularly egregious. An informal gathering in a home cannot be treated with suspicion by the government, or worse than any other gathering of friends, just because it is religious. We cannot allow this to happen in America, and we will fight as long and as hard as it takes to restore this group’s religious freedom.”

If officials in San Juan Capistrano have any sense of right and wrong, they’ll follow the lead of Walt Ekard, who was serving as San Diego County’s chief administrative officer at the time of his city’s wrong move.  He issued an apology and promised an investigation and, eventually, the county withdrew it’s citation against the couple.

Regardless of the outcome of this case, it stands as evidence that persecution of Christians isn’t something that only happens overseas.

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First Amendment Under Siege: Illinois Man Faces Up to 75 Years in Prison for Filming Police Officers (Update)

The First Amendment appears to be under siege in the United States.

Only one week ago, I shared a report about an Ohio congressman — a Republican, to boot — who had cops seize cameras from constituents attending a town hall meeting at which he was speaking.  Below, I share a rather-lengthy video — more than 14 minutes long — about the case of 41-year-old Michael Allison of Robinson, Ill., who is facing the possibility of spending 75 years in prison because he filmed on-duty police officers.

This disturbing news comes barely six weeks after I shared news about the Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling that makes it illegal for someone to give someone else a referral on an apartment without government approval, barely a year after I reported on the First Amendment being suspended on the Gulf Coast and 27 months after a Tea Party organizer was muzzled at a city council meeting in Quincy, Ill.  [FYI:  The Quincy thing backfired.  For details, See Quincy Tea Party Turns Table on City Council].

See also Photographers’ Rights for Citizen Journalists.

Hat tip:  Alex Jones

UPDATE 9/01/11 at 10:53 p.m. Central:  Appeals Court Rules It Is Not Illegal to Film Police.

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Ohio Republican Congressman Has Cops Seize Cameras From Constituents at Town Hall Meeting

Apparently, U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot and members of his staff failed to read my May 27 post, Photographers’ Rights for Citizen Journalists.  If they had, they would never have tried to scam constituents in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District by having a police officer confiscate their video cameras for trying to record a public meeting with an elected official in a public place.  The videos below tell the sad story of this establishment Republican’s latest town hall meeting.

Regardless of whether the people filming were Democrats or Republicans matters none when it comes to the freedom of photographing public officials in public places. Here’s the second video:

Hat tip:  InfoWars via Drudge Report.

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