It’s as if we’re getting a preview of what Second Amendment rights would look like in Hillary Clinton’s America. Recently, California all but banned rifles and imposed background checks for ammunition. Now, Hawaii may become the first state that enters its gun-owning residents into a federal database (via AP):
Hawaii could become the first state in the United States to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.
Most people entered in the "Rap Back" database elsewhere in the U.S. are those in "positions of trust," such as school teachers and bus drivers, said Stephen Fischer of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Hawaii could be the first state to add gun owners.
"I don't like the idea of us being entered into a database. It basically tells us that they know where the guns are, they can go grab them" said Jerry Ilo, a firearm and hunting instructor for the state. "We get the feeling that Big Brother is watching us."
Sen. Will Espero, who introduced the bill, and the Honolulu Police Department said Hawaii could serve as a model for other states if it becomes the first to enact the law.
Yet others say gun owners shouldn't have to be entered in a database to practice a constitutional right.
"You're curtailing that right by requiring that a name be entered into a database without doing anything wrong," said Kenneth Lawson, faculty at the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law.
"This is an extremely dangerous bill. Exercising a constitutional right is not inherently suspicious," said Amy Hunter for the National Rifle Association. "Hawaii will now be treating firearms as suspect and subject to constant monitoring."
We can look forward to this if Clinton and the Democrats retain control of the White House and possibly take back Congress. In Hawaii, it’s possible that in the future, your name would be added into a federal database because you’ve exercised a constitutionally protected right to own a firearm. That’s ridiculous. Moreover, it does set up an avenue for government to confiscate your guns. Clinton has said that Australia’s gun control laws serve as a “good example,” though we all know that the Land Down Under implemented a draconian system of gun registration, bans, and, yes, confiscation. Oh, and it created a rather violent black market for firearms. This isn’t crazy talk. Government will always overstep its bounds. Wayne LaPierre said at CPAC in 2013 that the only reason anti-gunners want a gun registry is to either tax our firearms or to take them.
Former Red Sox pitcher Bill "The Spaceman" Lee is making a run for governor of Vermont as a member of the Liberty Union party. His platform includes legalizing marijuana, instituting a paid family leave, single-payer healthcare, and bringing the Expos back to Montreal.
While he certainly draws similarities to current presidential candidate (and fellow Vermonter) Sen. Bernie Sanders, Lee rejects the comparison, calling himself "Bernie-heavy," not "Bernie-lite." He also describes himself as a "pragmatic, conservative, forward thinker."
"You get what you pay for, if you want change, you vote for Sanders or me. I'm Bernie-heavy, I'm not Bernie-lite. My ideas were before Bernie," Lee told WCAX. "If you want to see money come down from the 2 percent, we're going to need umbrellas when I'm elected, because it's going to be raining dollars,"
During his time in the majors, Lee was known for eccentrically entertaining interviews and his "Leephus" pitch, a slow, arching junkball. He feuded with Sox manager Don Zimmer, and famously declared that he sprinkled marijuana on his pancakes to battle Boston's bus fumes.
Lee also promised that if he were elected and Donald Trump were elected, he will remove Vermont from the United States.
Lee was inducted into the Red Sox Ball of Fame in 2008. This is his second run-in with politics; in 1988, he ran for president on the Canadian Rhinoceros Party ticket.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe does not plan on visiting Hawaii's Pearl Harbor after Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Hiroshima.
Abe said he visited the United States last year, marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the war in Japan. His trip included a speech to Congress and a visit to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. where he laid a wreath.
The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor took the lives of over 2,000 American service members and civilians. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed over 150,000 Japanese civilians and military personnel. However, the two events should not be paralleled as one was preemptive and the other was retaliatory.
As things between GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump and Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton continue to get heated on the campaign trail, the issue of Trump's hidden tax returns isn't going away.
For months Trump has maintained he cannot release his tax returns because he's being audited by the IRS. He said he will release them once the audits are over. A timeline for when that will be hasn't been specified. The IRS has publicly stated there are no rules or regulations preventing Trump from releasing his tax returns while under audit. In fact, former President Richard Nixon released his tax returns int he middle of the Watergate scandal and while under audit. Hillary Clinton has years of tax returns posted on her campaign website.
But a new Morning Consult poll shows Americans aren't buying Trump's excuses and believe all presidential candidates should release their returns.
Donald Trump’s campaign claims his federal tax returns are not of interest to American voters, but that’s actually not true, according to a new Morning Consult poll.
“This is an issue the media is interested in. This isn’t an issue that middle America is interested in,” Trump aide Paul Manafort said on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier this month.
But a new national survey by Morning Consult of 2,001 registered voters found that 67 percent – and 60 percent of Republicans – think presidential candidates should have to disclose their returns. Just one in five voters (21 percent) said they don’t think the financial documents should have to be released.
Last week Trump was on ABC explaining why he's waiting to release his returns:
There seems to be confusion between liberal media and the facts behind protesters at Donald Trump rallies. On Wednesday, Republican presumptive nominee held a rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico and was met by an angry crowd of thousands outside the public arena. MSNBC host Chris Matthews made it clear to his viewers that he did not "see any violence yet."
"I did see that police car with the windshield smashed. I’ve heard about other incidents of violence, low-key violence so far," he went on to say.
As the protestors continued to throw rocks, light fires, and throw shirts that had been lit on fire, Matthews was still not impressed. “Well, I don’t see anybody with a face bloodied yet, or I don’t see any danger to anybody yet," he said.
But, Matthews and his guest made sure not to put too much blame on the protesters. “This is Trump. It’s intentional and it’s from the candidate himself,” said Washington Post National Political Reporter Robert Costa.
Matthews went on to question why Trump "is igniting these kinds of things."
The State Department Inspector General released a new report Wednesday detailing how former Secretary Hillary Clinton violated the Federal Records Act by deleting thousands of emails, stored on her private server, that she deemed personal before turning remaining emails over the the Department for review and preservation. Details from POLITICO:
The State Department inspector general concluded that Hillary Clinton did not comply with the agency’s policies on records, according to a report released to lawmakers on Wednesday that also revealed that Clinton and her top aides chose not to cooperate with the review.
While the report concludes that the agency suffers from "longstanding, systemic weaknesses" with records that "go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State,” it specifically dings Clinton for her exclusive use of private email.
“Therefore, Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” the report states. “At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."
Clinton maintains that she did nothing wrong.
This report comes as the FBI is reportedly wrapping up its criminal investigation of Clinton, which is centered around her mishandling and storing of top secret, classified information on her personal, unsecured email server.
"Long-standing weaknesses with the preservation of federal email records clearly exist within the Office of the Secretary of State. Over time, those weaknesses may have been exploited by Department officials for self-serving purposes," Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said in response to the report. "The State Department should immediately undertake the IG's recommendations to ensure both proper compliance with the Federal Records Act and adoption of a far more robust cybersecurity protocol."
This post has been updated with additional information.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was a guest on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show for the umpteenth time this week. In past appearances, she has attempted (and failed) to relate to millennials by doing the “Nae Nae.” This time, she was tasked with making some tough decisions on her 2016 running mate.
In a game called "Who Would You Rather," DeGeneres presented Clinton with several sets of pictures – some actors, some politicians, some musicians – and she had to choose between sets of two. A few of her choices were Vice President Joe Biden, “Shark Tank” businessman Mark Cuban, George Clooney and Beyoncé. One of her most interesting choices, however, was between “Scandal” actor Tony Goldwyn, who has campaigned for her, and her primary opponent Bernie Sanders.
“Gotta go with Tony!” Clinton said, before breaking into laughter.
This segment may have been presented as all fun and games, but Clinton’s pick underscores the bad blood between her campaign and Sanders.’ For weeks now, Clinton has bullied the Vermont senator to exit the race so she can focus on the general election. Sanders, however, has proven his presence in the primary, winning several contests and drawing thousands of passionate supporters to his rallies, eager to hear his progressive message.
Sanders has not been afraid to call out Clinton's Wall Street hypocrisy and her waffling on issues important to liberal voters, suggesting he too would be more apt to choose a television star over her as VP.
Considering Clinton's own long list of scandals, it's perhaps not surprising she chose a star from the ABC show.
Clinton’s pre-recorded “Ellen” interview will air Wednesday at 3 p.m.
The revelation is quite serious: National Public Radio, a supposedly neutral broadcast entity funded by taxpayers, was paid six figures by an advocacy group with an obvious agenda to assist in efforts by the Obama administration and its allies to market the dangerous and unpopular Iran nuclear agreement to the American public. Details, via the Associated Press' Friday report:
A group the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in selling the Iran nuclear deal gave National Public Radio $100,000 last year to help it report on the pact and related issues, according to the group's annual report. It also funded reporters and partnerships with other news outlets. The Ploughshares Fund's mission is to "build a safe, secure world by developing and investing in initiatives to reduce and ultimately eliminate the world's nuclear stockpiles," one that dovetails with President Barack Obama's arms control efforts. But its behind-the-scenes role advocating for the Iran agreement got more attention this month after a candid profile of Ben Rhodes, one of the president's top foreign policy aides. In The New York Times Magazine article, Rhodes explained how the administration worked with nongovernmental organizations, proliferation experts and even friendly reporters to build support for the seven-nation accord that curtailed Iran's nuclear activity and softened international financial penalties on Tehran. "We created an echo chamber," said Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, adding that "outside groups like Ploughshares" helped carry out the administration's message effectively...Ploughshares has funded NPR's coverage of national security since 2005, the radio network said. Ploughshares reports show at least $700,000 in funding over that time. All grant descriptions since 2010 specifically mention Iran.
This arrangement begs all sorts of questions pertaining to journalistic ethics and the proper relationship between "independent" media outlets and government interests -- some of which may even trouble NPR's notoriously liberal listenership. Meanwhile, Bloomberg's Eli Lake has been leaked internal documents and emails that reveal key elements and tactics of Ploughshares' spin campaign on Iran, which dates back to at least 2011:
The messaging work from Ploughshares on Iran began long before there was any Iran deal and long before Rhodes convened his regular meetings with progressive groups on shaping the Iran narrative. Beginning in August 2011, Ploughshares and its grantees formed the Iran Strategy Group. Over time this group created a sophisticated campaign to reshape the national narrative on Iran. That campaign sought to portray skeptics of diplomacy as "pro-war," and to play down the dangers of the Iranian nuclear program before formal negotiations started in 2013 only to emphasize those dangers after there was an agreement in 2015.
That demagogic messaging and demonization of critics also emanated directly from the Oval Office. Read Lake's important report in its entirety here. Meanwhile, back on the NPR front, it appears the public radio network may have gone above and beyond the call of duty when it came to shilling for the Iran deal. NPR declined to interview Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), a veteran and leading critic of the controversial accord -- and when they were confronted with this editorial decision, for which there could be any number of explanations, they lied:
The publicly funded National Public Radio declined interviews with Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a leading critic of the Iran nuclear deal. NPR had received funding from the liberal Ploughshares Fund, which has been exposed as being a core part of a White House-backed campaign to push lobbyists, policy analysts, and journalists in favor of the deal. When asked by reporters last week about refusing the interviews, NPR suggested that Pompeo’s office had never reached out to the station. However, multiple emails viewed by the Free Beacon demonstrate that Pompeo’s office had been in two separate talks with NPR producers about scheduling an interview.
When the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo pressed the radio giant "to explain the initial statement to the Associated Press, denying it had been in contact with Rep. Pompeo, NPR stopped responding," writes John Sexton. NPR appears to be taking its honesty and transparency cues from Ben Rhodes and friends, in addition to its foreign affairs agenda. Before you go, be sure to read the Congressional testimony of AEI's Michael Rubin, who spells out how the Obama administration misled the American people and misrepresented the facts in its zeal to seal the accord (which was heavily opposed by voters, and a hefty bipartisan majority in Congress). He shared this analysis at the hearing at which Ben Rhodes refused to appear to defend himself, as the White House gave their lackey cover by lashing out at their domestic political opponents. For what it's worth, National Public Radio's ombudsman says she's actively digging into the matter of her network's financial relationship with Ploughshares, and its subsequent Iran deal reportage. They were, after all, a key player in the White House-created and Obama ally-funded "echo chamber:"
For those asking, yes, I'm looking into NPR/Ploughshares arrangement. Hope to report something by endweek https://t.co/RQ2svalZbx— Elizabeth Jensen (@ejensenNYC) May 23, 2016
Parting thought: What isn't for sale in Obama's Washington? Alas, both major party nominees are enthusiastic and promiscuous participants in the slimy business of transactional power politics.
The House Oversight Committee released a report Wednesday detailing extreme misconduct surrounding Oregon's failed $305 million taxpayer funded Obamacare exchange and is calling on the Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation.
“The documents and testimony show Oregon State officials misused $305 million of federal funds and improperly coordinated with former Governor John Kitzhaber’s campaign advisers. Official decisions were made primarily for political purposes. Cover Oregon was established as an independent organization by the legislature, and was not intended to be a wholly controlled subsidiary of the Governor’s political apparatus," House Oversight Committee Chairman wrote in a letter sent to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. "Evidence obtained by the Committee shows, however, close coordination between Governor Kitzhaber, his official staff, his campaign advisers, and the supposedly independent Cover Oregon. The evidence we have uncovered implicates violations of state laws that restrict political activity by public employees.”
The report shows that despite multiple warnings the Oregon Obamacare exchange wasn't ready to launch on October 1, 2013, Democrat Governor Kitzhaber and his staff pushed through the launch (and $305 million in funding), anyway for political and ideological reasons, resulting in failure and an ultimate change over to the federal exchange.
"The Governor’s office mixed campaign business and official business. Kitzhaber’s Chief of Staff, Michael Bonetto, coordinated his re-election campaign team and the Governor’s official work on behalf of the state. The Governor’s office used campaign funds to support the Governor in his official capacity," the report found. "Kitzhaber’s re-election campaign was concerned about the media coverage surrounding Cover Oregon and wanted to change the narrative in the media. Kitzhaber’s political advisers made decisions about Cover Oregon with the Governor’s reelection campaign in mind."
The Oregon exchange isn't the only one that failed. Massachusetts, Maryland and Nevada were also epic failures in addition to Oregon, costing taxpayers nearly $500 million on top of the billions spent on Healthcare.gov. According to Americans for Tax Reform, the remaining 8 of 11 co-op exchanges are likely to collapse within the year. In total, more than $5.5 billion in federal tax dollars has been spent on failed, state-based exchanges.
You can read the entire report about the Oregon exchange and the need for a criminal investigation, here.
David Daleiden, the man behind the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, has been the target of pro-abortion activists and lawmakers ever since his organization released an undercover video investigation last summer capturing Planned Parenthood employees negotiating the sale of aborted baby parts. The exposé shocked Americans and moved Congress to launch investigations into Planned Parenthood and demand we cancel its federal funding.
In January, however, a Houston grand jury excused Planned Parenthood from wrongdoing and instead chose to indict Daleiden for violating the state's “prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs." Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson gladly accepted their decision.
As the case got underway, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton forbid Anderson from sharing evidential material with Planned Parenthood. Yet, new reports reveal he blatantly ignored those rules. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast attorney Josh Schaffer admitted such in a sworn declaration.
Under oath, Schaffer admitted that he and Assistant District Attorney Sunni Mitchell attempted to do an end-run around the Texas Attorney General’s directive to Mitchell to not share raw video footage with Planned Parenthood: “I was told that the Attorney General’s office agreed to give it to the Harris County District Attorney’s office on the condition that they not give it to Planned Parenthood. Mitchell told me that she would try to obtain the footage by other means.”
Since reporting on Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts, Daleiden has faced threats from just about every leading abortion activist. Liberal lawmakers dismissed his group’s videos, calling them misleading and “highly edited.” Then, California Attorney General Kamala Harris ordered the raid of his home to find the Planned Parenthood tapes. Protesters demanded she resign as a result of her breach of authority.
These groups can collude against the right to life all they want, but nothing can erase the content of those stomach-churning videos. Hopefully the Houston DA and Planned Parenthood face justice for their illegal action.
NPR: Couric's 'Manipulation' Of Audio During Gun Owners' Interview 'Would Not Pass Muster' Here | Matt Vespa