Thursday, October 13, 2011

Building the Truth about the Federal Reserve (Paul vs Cain):

h/t: The Daily Paul

Growing Concern Over the NYPD's Counterterrorism Methods

Growing Concern Over the NYPD's Counterterrorism Methods is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Scott Stewart

In response to the 9/11 attacks, the New York Police Department (NYPD) established its own Counter-Terrorism Bureau and revamped its Intelligence Division. Since that time, its methods have gone largely unchallenged and have been generally popular with New Yorkers, who expect the department to take measures to prevent future attacks.

Preventing terrorist attacks requires a much different operational model than arresting individuals responsible for such attacks, and the NYPD has served as a leader in developing new, proactive approaches to police counterterrorism. However, it has been more than 10 years since the 9/11 attacks, and the NYPD is now facing growing concern over its counterterrorism activities. There is always an uneasy equilibrium between security and civil rights, and while the balance tilted toward security in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, it now appears to be shifting back.

This shift provides an opportunity to examine the NYPD’s activities, the pressure being brought against the department and the type of official oversight that might be imposed.

Under Pressure

Reports that the NYPD’s Intelligence Division and Counter-Terrorism Bureau engage in aggressive, proactive operations are nothing new. STRATFOR has written about them since 2004, and several books have been published on the topic. Indeed, police agencies from all over the world travel to New York to study the NYPD’s approach, which seems to have been quite effective.

Criticism of the department’s activities is nothing new, either. Civil liberties groups have expressed concern over security methods instituted after 9/11, and Leonard Levitt, who writes a column on New York police activities for the website NYPD Confidential, has long been critical of the NYPD and its commissioner, Ray Kelly. Associated Press reporters Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo have written a series of investigative reports that began on August 24 detailing “covert” NYPD activities, such as mapping the Muslim areas of New York. This was followed by the Aug. 31 publication of what appears to be a leaked NYPD PowerPoint presentation detailing the activities of the Intelligence Division’s Demographics Unit.

In the wake of these reports, criticism of the NYPD’s program has reached a new level. Members of the New York City Council expressed concern that their constituents were being unjustly monitored. Six New York state senators asked the state attorney general to investigate the possibility of “unlawful covert surveillance operations of the Muslim community.” A group of civil rights lawyers also asked a U.S. district judge in Manhattan to force the NYPD to publicize any records of such a program and to issue a court order to prevent their destruction. In response to the AP investigation, two members of Congress, Reps. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., and Rush Holt, D-N.J., asked the Justice Department to investigate. The heat is on.

After an Oct. 7 hearing regarding NYPD intelligence and counterterrorism operations, New York City Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Peter Vallone said, “That portion of the police department’s work should probably be looked at by a federal monitor.”

Following Vallone’s statement, media reports cited Congressional and Obama administration officials saying they have no authority to monitor the NYPD. While Vallone claims the City Council does not have the expertise to oversee the department’s operations, and the federal government says that it lacks the jurisdiction, it is almost certain that the NYPD will eventually face some sort of new oversight mechanisms and judicial review of its counterterrorism activities.

New York City and the Terrorist Threat

While 9/11 had a profound effect on the world and on U.S. foreign policy, it had an overwhelming effect on New York City itself. New Yorkers were willing to do whatever it took to make sure such an attack did not happen again, and when Kelly was appointed police commissioner in 2002, he proclaimed this as his primary duty (his critics attributed the focus to ego and hubris). This meant revamping counterterrorism and moving to an intelligence-based model of prevention rather than one based on prosecution.

The NYPD’s Intelligence Division, which existed prior to 9/11, was known mainly for driving VIPs around New York, one of the most popular destinations for foreign dignitaries and one that becomes very busy during the U.N. General Assembly. Before 9/11, the NYPD also faced certain restrictions contained in a 1985 court order known as the Handschu guidelines, which required the department to submit “specific information” on criminal activity to a panel for approval to monitor any kind of political activity. The Intelligence Division had a very limited mandate. When David Cohen, a former CIA analyst, was brought in to run the division, he went to U.S. District Court in Manhattan to get the guidelines modified. Judge Charles Haight modified them twice in 2002 and 2003, and he could very well review them again. His previous modifications allowed the NYPD Intelligence Division to proactively monitor public activity and look for indications of terrorist or criminal activity without waiting for approval from a review panel.

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau was founded in 2002 with analytical and collection responsibilities similar to those of the Intelligence Division but involving the training, coordination and response of police units. Differences between the two units are mainly bureaucratic and they work closely together.

As the capabilities of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division and Counter-Terrorism Bureau developed, both faced the challenges of any new or revamped intelligence organization. Their officers learned the trade by taking on new monitoring responsibilities, investigating plots and analyzing intelligence from plots in other parts of the United States and abroad. One of their biggest challenges was the lack of access to information from the federal government and other police departments around the United States. The NYPD also believed that the federal government could not protect New York. The most high-profile city in the world for finance, tourism and now terrorism, among other things, decided that it had to protect itself.

The NYPD set about trying to detect plots within New York as they developed, getting information on terrorist tactics and understanding and even deterring plots developing outside the city. In addition to the challenges it also had some key advantages, including a wealth of ethnic backgrounds and language skills to draw on, the budget and drive to develop liaison channels and the agility that comes with being relatively small, which allowed it to adapt to changing threat environments. The department was creating new organizational structures with specific missions and targeted at specific threats. Unlike federal agencies, it had no local competitors, and its large municipal budget was augmented by federal funding that has yet to face cyclical security budget challenges.

Looking for Plots

STRATFOR first wrote about the NYPD’s new proactive approach to counterterrorism in 2004. The NYPD’s focus moved from waiting for an attack to happen and then allowing police and prosecutors to “make the big case” to preventing and disrupting plots long before an attack could occur. This approach often means that operatives plotting attacks are charged with much lower charges than terrorism or homicide, such as document fraud or conspiracy to acquire explosives.

The process of looking for signs of a terrorist plot is not difficult to explain conceptually, but actually preventing an attack is extremely difficult, especially when the investigative agency is trying to balance security and civil liberties. It helps when plotters expose themselves prior to their attack and ordinary citizens are mindful of suspicious behavior. Grassroots defenders, as we call them, can look for signs of pre-operational surveillance, weapons purchasing and bombmaking, and even the expressed intent to conduct an attack. Such activities are seemingly innocuous and often legal — taking photos at a tourist site, purchasing nail-polish remover, exercising the right of free speech — but sometimes these activities are carried out with the purpose of doing harm. The NYPD must figure out how to separate the innocent act from the threatening act, and this requires actionable intelligence.

It is for this reason that the NYPD’s Demographics Unit, which is now apparently called the Zone Assessment Unit, has been carrying out open observation in neighborhoods throughout New York. Understanding local dynamics, down to the block-by-block level, provides the context for any threat reporting and intelligence that the NYPD receives. Also shaping perceptions are the thousands of calls to 911 and 1-888-NYC-SAFE that come in every day, partly due to the city’s “If you see something, say something” campaign. This input, along with observations by so-called “rakers” (undercover police officers) allows NYPD analysts to “connect the dots” and detect plots before an attack occurs. According to the AP reports, these rakers, who go to different neighborhoods, observe and interact with residents and look for signs of criminal or terrorist activity, have been primarily targeting Muslim neighborhoods.

These undercover officers make the same observations that any citizen can make in places where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. Indeed, law enforcement officers from the local to the federal level across the country have been doing this for a long time, looking for indicators of criminal activity in business, religious and public settings without presuming guilt.

Long before the NYPD began looking for jihadists, local police have used the same methods to look for mafia activity in Italian neighborhoods, neo-Nazis at gun shows and music concerts, Crips in black neighborhoods and MS-13 members in Latino neighborhoods. Law enforcement infiltration into white hate groups has disrupted much of this movement in the United States. Location is a factor in any counterterrorism effort because certain targeted groups tend to congregate in certain places, but placing too much emphasis on classifications of people can lead to dangerous generalizations, which is why STRATFOR often writes about looking for the “how” rather than the “who.

Understanding New Threats and Tactics

As the NYPD saw it, the department needed tactical information as soon as possible so it could change the threat posture. The department’s greatest fear was that a coordinated attack would occur on cities throughout the world and police in New York would not be ramped up in time to prevent or mitigate it. For example, an attack on transit networks in Europe at rush hour could be followed by an attack a few hours later in New York, when New Yorkers were on their way to work. This fear was almost realized with the 2004 train attacks in Madrid. Within hours of the attacks, NYPD officers were in Madrid reporting back to New York, but the NYPD claims the report they received from the FBI came 18 months later. There was likely some intelligence sharing prior to this report, but the perceived lack of federal responsiveness explains why the NYPD has embarked on its independent, proactive mission.

NYPD officers reportedly are located in 11 cities around the world, and in addition to facilitating a more rapid exchange of intelligence and insight, these overseas operatives are also charged with developing liaison relationships with other police forces. And instead of being based in the U.S. embassy like the FBI’s legal attache, they work on the ground and in the offices of the local police. The NYPD believes this helps the department better protect New York City, and it is willing to risk the ire of and turf wars with other U.S. agencies such as the FBI, which has a broader mandate to operate abroad.

Managing Oversight and Other Challenges

The New York City Council does not have the same authority to conduct classified hearings that the U.S. Congress does when it oversees national intelligence activity. And the federal government has limited legal authority at the local level. What Public Safety Committee Chairman Vallone and federal government sources are implying is that they are not willing to take on oversight responsibilities in New York. In other words, while there are concerns about the NYPD’s activities, they are happy with the way the department is working and want to let it continue, albeit with more accountability. As oversight exists now, Kelly briefs Vallone on various NYPD operations, and even with more scrutiny from the City Council, any operations are likely be approved.

The NYPD still has to keep civil rights concerns in mind, not only because of a legal or moral responsibility but also to function successfully. As soon as the NYPD is seen as a dangerous presence in a neighborhood rather than a protective asset, it will lose access to the intelligence that is so important in preventing terrorist attacks. The department has plenty of incentive to keep its officers in line.

Threats and Dimwits

One worry is that the NYPD is overly focused on jihadists, rather than other potential threats like white supremacists, anarchists, foreign government agents or less predictable “lone wolves.”

The attack by Anders Breivik in Oslo, Norway, reminded police departments and security services worldwide that tunnel vision focused on jihadists is dangerous. If the NYPD is indeed focusing only on Muslim neighborhoods (which it probably is not), the biggest problem is that it will fail in its security mission, not that it will face prosecution for racial profiling. The department has ample incentive to think about what the next threat could be and look for new and less familiar signs of a pending attack. Simple racial profiling will not achieve that goal.

The modern history of terrorism in New York City goes back to a 1916 attack by German saboteurs on a New Jersey arms depot that damaged buildings in Manhattan. However unlikely, these are the kinds of threats that the NYPD will also need to think about as it tries to keep its citizens safe. The alleged Iranian plot to carry out an assassination in the Washington area underscores the possibility of state-organized sabotage or terrorism.

That there have been no successful terrorist attacks in New York City since 9/11 cannot simply be attributed to NYPD. In the Faisal Shahzad case, the fact that his improvised explosive device did not work was just as important as the quick response of police officers in Times Square. Shahzad’s failure was not a result of preventive intelligence and counterterrorism work. U.S. operations in Afghanistan and other countries that have largely disrupted the al Qaeda network have also severely limited its ability to attack New York again.

The NYPD’s counterterrorism and intelligence efforts are still new and developing. As such, they are unconstrained compared to those of the larger legacy organizations at the federal level. At the same time, the department’s activities are unprecedented at the local level. As its efforts mature, the pendulum of domestic security and civil liberties will remain in motion, and the NYPD will face new scrutiny in the coming year, including judicial oversight, which is an important standard in American law enforcement. The challenge for New York is finding the correct balance between guarding the lives and protecting the rights of its people.

Read more: Growing Concern Over the NYPD's Counterterrorism Methods | STRATFOR

STRATFOR Dispatch: Putin's Visit to China


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What Ron Paul Could Ask Herman Cain

It Is Time For The States To Reclaim Their Lost Rights

As our elected officials continue to fail us and the partisan divide gets evermore bitter I think we should look at the cause. Most of these issues and tension could be solved by simply following our founders vision and the Constitution.

Each state is sovereign and the federal government was only granted extremely limited power. By restoring the Tenth Amendment each state would decided these contentious issues and politicians would be held more accountable. State Sen. Dennis Kruse has written a must read piece named "It’s Time Washington D.C. Heeded the Constitution":

"If Thomas Jefferson could come back and visit the United States for a day, would he recognize the government his wisdom and wordsmithing helped create?

He would likely be confused, or outraged, by the overreaching power of the federal government. He would bristle at the coercive use of matching funding and unfunded federal mandates to make the states submit to the will of the federal system." [read more]

Founding Fathers Quote

Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.

Thomas Jefferson

The Media's Guide to Protestors

Ron Paul Presidential Debate Highlights

h/t: The Daily Paul

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Geopolitical Journey: Riots in Cairo

Geopolitical Journey: Riots in Cairo is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Reva Bhalla

The last time I visited Cairo, prior to the ouster of then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a feeling of helplessness pervaded the streets. Young Egyptian men spent the hot afternoons in shisha cafes complaining about not being able to get married because there were no jobs available. Members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood would shuffle from apartment to apartment in the poorer districts of Cairo trying to dodge arrest while stressing to me in the privacy of their offices that patience was their best weapon against the regime. The Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamist organization, could be seen in places where the government was glaringly absent in providing basic services, consciously using these small openings to build up support among the populace in anticipation of the day that a power vacuum would emerge in Cairo for them to fill. Meanwhile the Copts, comprising some 10 percent of Egypt’s 83 million people, stuck tightly together, proudly brandishing the crosses tattooed on their inner wrists in solidarity against their Muslim countrymen. Each of these fault lines was plainly visible to any outsider willing to venture beyond the many five-star hotels dotting Cairo’s Nile Corniche or the expatriate-filled island of Zamalek, but any prediction on when these would rupture was obscured by the omnipresence and effectiveness of the Egyptian security apparatus.

When I returned to Cairo the weekend of Oct. 9, I caught a firsthand glimpse of the rupture. The feeling of helplessness on the streets that I had witnessed a short time before had been replaced with an aggressive sense of self-entitlement. Scores of political groupings, spread across a wide spectrum of ideologies with wildly different agendas, are desperately clinging to an expectation that elections, scheduled to begin in November, will compensate them for their sacrifices. Many groups also believe that they now have history on their side and the momentum to challenge any obstacles in their way — including Egypt’s still-powerful security apparatus. The sectarian rioting that broke out Oct. 9 was a display of how those assumptions are grinding against reality.

The Sunday Riots

Geopolitical Journey: Riots in Cairo
Anti-regime graffiti seen Oct. 9 in Cairo’s Tahrir Square depicting Egyptian Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces

Sunday, Oct. 9, began calmly in Cairo. Though Egyptian opposition forces are growing more vocal in their discontent with Egypt’s interim military government, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the main demonstrations have been taking place a few hours after Friday prayers — and declining in size with each passing week. People spent Sunday afternoon going about their daily business as remnants of previous demonstrations lay strewn on the sidewalks. I noticed graffiti spray-painted on the walls encircling Tahrir Square that depicted SCAF leader Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi with lines struck across his face. The top-selling items for Tahrir Square sidewalk vendors were Arab Spring memorabilia, from flags to armbands to anti-Mubarak stickers. Frustrated merchants meanwhile looked on from their empty shops, visibly hurting from the drastic reduction in tourist traffic since the demonstrations began in January.

A friend was scheduled to pick me up from my hotel near Tahrir Square on Sunday evening, but he called to tell me he would be late because of a major traffic jam on the October 6 Bridge between my hotel and the Maspero district, northwest of Tahrir Square. I received another call 20 minutes later telling me that Coptic demonstrations at the state television and radio station in Maspero had spiraled out of control and that elements within the demonstration had begun firing at soldiers patrolling the area.

This was highly unusual. While Copts have organized several demonstrations at the Maspero station to express their frustration at the state for allegedly ignoring increasing attacks on their churches, these have been mostly nonviolent. Most alarming, however, was that elements within the demonstrations were targeting army soldiers. It is still unknown whether the armed perpetrators were Copts themselves or elements of some other faction, but the incident escalated a routine Coptic demonstration into full-scale sectarian riots.

I left my hotel and headed for Maspero.

As I made my way out to the October 6 Bridge, at least a dozen armored personnel carriers and buses full of soldiers whizzed past me toward Maspero. By then, word had spread near Tahrir Square that riots had broken out, prompting mostly young men to come out to the square, gather their friends, hang Egyptian flags from the trees and prepare for the unrest to make it to the city center. I convinced a taxi driver to get me close to Maspero and saw, from a mile away, flames and smoke emanating from cars and armored vehicles that demonstrators had set ablaze. As I neared the crowd, scores of mostly young Muslim men pushed their way past me carrying large wooden sticks and whatever rudimentary weapons they could fashion out of household kitchen items. Walking in groups of three or more with a confident swagger, they told everyone along the way that Copts were killing Muslims and soldiers and called on others to take revenge. The reality at this point did not matter; the mere perception that Copts were killing soldiers and Muslims was all that was needed for Muslim mobs to rally. While this was happening, state media was broadcasting messages portraying the Copts as the main perpetrators.
Geopolitical Journey: Riots in Cairo
A military vehicle in Cairo on Oct. 9 at about 9 p.m. (click here to enlarge image)

The crowd in Maspero was only about 1,500 people by my estimation, but a growing Muslim mob was pushing it deeper into downtown toward Tahrir Square. From where I and several other observers were standing, many of the Muslim rioters at first seemed able to pass through the military barricade to confront the Copts without much trouble. After some time had passed and the army reinforcements arrived, the military started playing a more active role in trying to contain the clashes, with some footage showing an armored vehicle plowing through the crowd. Some rioters claimed that Salafists from a nearby district had arrived and were chanting, “Islamiyyah, Islamiyyah,” while others parroted state media claims about “foreign elements” being mixed in with the demonstrators. As the night wore on, the scene of the riots split into roughly three sections: the Muslims on one side, the military in the middle and the Copts on the other.

This was not the best environment for a woman, especially one without an Egyptian ID card. A member of the security forces put a gun to the chest of a young, Egyptian-born female reporter, accusing her of being a foreign spy, before a group of young men came between her and her assailant, pulling her back and insisting she was Egyptian. The Muslim mob badly beat at least two young Coptic women in the crowd, after which throngs of young Coptic men gathered to take revenge. A Copt alone on the wrong side of the army barricade became an immediate target, and I watched as scores of Muslim men carried one Coptic man after another into dark alleyways. These men likely contributed most to the final civilian death count. Cars with crosses hanging from their rearview mirrors were attacked with incendiary devices, their windows smashed.

Geopolitical Journey: Riots in Cairo
(click here to enlarge image)

Not everyone in the area had subscribed to the mob mentality, however. On a number of occasions, I saw groups of young men trying to pull women back from the crowd, warning them of the consequences if they ventured any deeper into the mob. I saw one Coptic woman fighting off a large group of men twice her size that was trying to prevent her from going into the crowd. As she fought them off one by one, the crowd around her gave up; she was determined to join the demonstration at any cost.

The sectarian clashes continued through the night as the army tried to impose a curfew and restore order to the streets. By the end of the night, most reports claimed that three soldiers and 22 civilians had been killed, in addition to scores of injuries.

The next day was eerily quiet in normally bustling downtown Cairo. Many people, fearing a repeat of the previous night’s rioting, stayed home, reducing traffic to a trickle. The frames of burnt cars remained in the streets through the evening. However, all was not quiet; Central Security Forces deployed to predominantly Coptic areas of Cairo to contain clashes that had already begun to break out between Muslims and Copts who were leading processions to transfer the bodies from the hospital to the morgue.

The Military’s Role

What struck me most about the riots was the polarization on the streets when it came to the general perception of the military. On the one hand, I saw crowds along the street cheering in support of the army as armored vehicles and buses filled with soldiers made their way to the scene of the conflict. For many in Egypt, the army is still viewed as the guarantor of stability and the most promising path toward the level of calm needed in the streets to bring the country back to health after months of upheaval. However, various opposition groups in Cairo, increasingly disillusioned with the military’s crackdowns since Mubarak’s ouster, have been vocally accusing the SCAF of impeding Egypt’s so-called democratic transition. Even the waiter at my hotel that night was complaining to me that Egypt is the “only country in the world that doesn’t protect its people.” The rhetoric against the military has been increasing, but it was not until the night of Oct. 9 that the military itself became a target of attacks by demonstrators. Oct. 9 was also the first time there had been reports of firearms used by demonstrators against the military. Regardless of the identity of the shooters in the crowd, what sect they belonged to and on whose behalf they were working, the riots revealed how the military was being stripped of its image as a neutral arbiter in Egypt’s political crisis.

What most of the media have failed to discern in covering the Egyptian uprising is the centrality of the military in the conflict. With or without Mubarak in the picture, the military in Egypt has long been the true mainstay and vanguard of the regime. When Egyptians took to the streets at the start of the year, they did so with a common purpose: to oust a leader who symbolized the root of their grievances. What many didn’t realize at the time was that the military elite quietly shared the goal of dislodging the Egyptian leader and in fact used the demonstrations to destroy Mubarak’s succession plans. Throughout the demonstrations, the military took great care to avoid becoming the target of the protesters’ wrath, instead presenting itself as the only real vehicle toward political change and the champion of stability in a post-Mubarak Egypt.

Where the opposition and military diverged was in the expectation that the removal of Mubarak would lead to fundamental changes in how Egypt is run. In the SCAF’s view, the main purpose of the upcoming elections is to merely give the impression of a transition to democracy. While the military regime would prefer to leave the headaches of day-to-day governance to a civilian government, no member of the SCAF is prepared to take orders from a civilian leader. More important, the military is not prepared to hold the door open for political rivals, particularly Islamists, who are hoping to gradually displace the old guard.

The next several weeks therefore will be crucial to watch in Egypt. The military is caught between needing to give the impression that it is willingly transferring power to a democratically elected civilian government while doing everything it can to keep the opposition sufficiently weak and divided. The military is not alone in this objective; there is still a sizable constituency in the country, particularly among the economic elite, that views the opposition with deep disdain and distrust.

At this point, it is unclear whether the military regime is prepared to see the election cycle all the way through. Parliamentary elections are set to begin Nov. 28, but with the security situation as it is, it would not be a surprise if the military decided that a delay was needed. There has been no talk of this yet, but it has only been two days since the violence at Maspero. At this point, one can expect Egypt’s factions to be making serious preparations for their worst-case scenarios. The SCAF is trying to determine the level of violence that would need to take place in the streets to impose emergency rule and suspend the elections. Some segments within the opposition, feeling entitled to a share of Egypt’s political power and distrustful of the army’s intentions, could meanwhile be contemplating the merits of armed revolt against the military regime if they are denied their political opening.

This is why the Oct. 9 riots mattered a great deal. The image of demonstrators shooting at soldiers against a backdrop of sectarian riots is one that will stick in the minds of many Egyptians. If that scenario is repeated enough times, the military could find the justification it needs to put off Egypt’s democratic experiment, perhaps indefinitely. Such a move would not be free of consequences, but then again, the military was prepared to absorb the consequences when it allowed the initial demonstrations in Tahrir Square to gain momentum. The key to knowing what comes next lies in finding out who actually pulled the trigger against those soldiers in Maspero on Sunday.

Read more: Geopolitical Journey: Riots in Cairo | STRATFOR

Update from the House Republican Study Committee (RSC)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

RSC Update: Highlighting Small Business’ Struggle with Overregulation

From the Chairman

Today, we released a new video – "Voices of Recovery: Eric's Story" – highlighting the cost of federal government regulations on Bensenville, Illinois job creator Chicago White Metal Die Casting (CWM). A privately held family small business since 1937, CWM is struggling to remain competitive under the burden of new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations which restrict energy use at manufacturing facilities. CWM supports about 250 jobs, but faces growing challenges from mounting Washington rules and regulations.

The cost of new regulations has grown substantially in recent years. That’s why House Republicans developed, a platform for job creators to communicate directly with members of Congress about government regulations that are denying economic freedom. To date, more than 1,400 American job creators have told us their story.

Remember, jobs don’t come from government. They come from people who see opportunities, take risks, innovate, and earn success. Let’s lift the burden of overregulation, get Washington out of the way, and get this economy moving again. Visit and tell us how government regulations cost your business.

God Bless,

Congressman Jim Jordan

Chairman, Republican Study Committee
RSC Media Activity – RSC members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. Visit our Media Center for more.

· Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06): Set Cap Gains at a Permanent 15%; Investor’s Business Daily, October 4.

· Rep. John Kline (MN-02): Fighting Obama’s Job-Killing Agenda; The Washington Times, October 5.

· Rep. Paul Broun (GA-10): America Needs a Balanced Budget; The Hill, October 5.

· Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-05): What Obama Needed to Hear in Mesquite; The Dallas Morning News, October 5.

RSC Member Activity – RSC members make it a priority to introduce productive, conservative solutions for America’s future.

· Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06) introduced H.R. 3091, which would permanently cap the Capital Gains and Dividend Tax Rates at 15% to avoid an impending tax hike that would particularly affect American businesses, seniors, and investors of all sizes.

· Rep. Tom Graves (GA-09) introduced H.R. 3104, the Hardship Outlays to protect Mortgagee Equity (HOME) Act, which would allow Americans to make withdrawals from their retirement accounts to pay timely mortgage payments.

· Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN-06) introduced H.R. 3130, which would require that abortion providers make the heartbeat of the unborn child visible and audible to its mother as part of her informed consent.
· Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-04) introduced H.R. 3090, the Economic Development Administration Elimination Act, which would eliminate the EDA altogether.

House Floor Activity – The following key legislation came through the House of Representatives recently.

· On Tuesday, the House passed H.R. 2608, the Continuing Appropriations Act, which enacts a continuing resolution (CR) at a total non-emergency spending level equivalent to $1.043 trillion (on an annualized basis) through November 18, 2011.

· On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, which would block the implementation of three EPA proposed regulations on cement manufacturing facilities and requires the EPA Administrator to produce new rules that will be achievable for industry within 15 months of enactment.

Outlook – A quick look at what’s on the horizon.

· Today, the House is continuing consideration of H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act.

· Debate of three Trade Agreements (H.R. 3078 – the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, H.R. 3079 – the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, and H.R. 3080 – the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act) and a GSP/TAA extension (H.R. 2832) is expected to start tonight and continue tomorrow.

· On Thursday, the House is expected to consider H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act.

· On Friday, the House is expected to consider H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act.

· The Senate is expected to hold a cloture vote on President Obama’s stimulus plan and consider the China currency bill later this week.

RSC Reports
· Each week the House is in session, the RSC Budget and Spending Taskforce compiles a weekly report on the latest budget and spending news. Additionally, the RSC Money Monitor tracks how bills passed by the House affect authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.


House Republican Study Committee
Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman

Paul Teller, Executive Director
Brad Watson, Policy Director
Bruce “Fez” Miller, Professional Policy Staff
Joe Murray, Professional Policy Staff
Curtis Rhyne, Professional Policy Staff
Ja’Ron Smith, Professional Policy Staff
Wesley Goodman, Director of Conservative Coalitions and State Outreach
Yong Choe, Director of Business Outreach and Member Services
Brian Straessle, Communications Director
Ben Miller, Deputy Communications Director
Cyrus Artz, Research Assistant

1524 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 226-9717

Ron Paul On Fox Business

Founding Fathers Quote

It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.

John Adams

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Exclusive: Crivitz, WI - Children Lost In The Cracks Of Crivitz School Board Policies

I was informed of a school board meeting in Crivitz, WI, that was going to be addressing some issues pertaining to spending and transparency.  The meeting was requested by a board member who had concerns about unaccounted spending, that was having negative repercussions on the budget.  During this meeting it became apparent, the school board is very dysfunctional, with the majority of the members condoning the unrestrained spending and suspicious actions, and commencing vicious verbal attacks on members who stood up for the parents and students being affected. 

Clerk Ginger Deschane questioned some high dollar spending and the lack of anything being produced by said spending.  Board President Jeanette Sikowski, members Michael Dama and Lyle Cherry, and Superintendent Patrick Mans all took turns verbally attacking Clerk Deshcane, and Vice President Jane Meissner who had concerns of her own, for questioning policy, the lack of spending approval, and for speaking with concerned parents and teachers and bringing those concerns to the board, calling it hearsay and implying it was not policy.  Throwing a verbal bone to the audience they read chapter 120 in a manner supporting their oaffness, but omitting that they are breaking their own bylaws and policies by appearing contentious over two-way communications with citizens (parents, teachers, students, etc.) and the board. 

The intensity of the verbal attack aimed towards these women was shocking, considering the public was present to witness it.  Member Cherry even went so far as to comment that they should only be concerned with the children's best interest when it appeared, from his actions, that keeping the status quo was more his concern.  Member Dama, at one point, arrogantly tried to blame the devastating affects of their spending on Gov. Scott Walker's limited reforms. 

They all deflected any blame of the consequences of their policy to not oversee all special project spending as too time consuming.  They also admitted, when questioned by Vice President Meissner, that they had not been recording or maintaining meeting minutes because it was too time consuming.  It seems, to me, that they feel their (Sikowski, Dama, Mans) positions are so time consuming that they are not able, or are unwilling, to complete some of the simplest duties of said positions.  I am wondering, why then are they serving on the board when their unfulfilled duties are apparently affecting the district, parents, and students in such negative ways? 

It was brought up in the meeting that the funds spent on special projects could have gone to hiring a third 4th grade teacher and would have brought the class sizes down from 33 students in two classes to 22 students in three classes; now that would have been in the students' best interest.  These members who were defending the irresponsible spending even questioned why anyone would have a problem with it.

To top off the evening Vice President Meissner questioned why public input was not allowed during the board meeting since so many parents have concerns they wished to voice.  This way parents would not have to go through her, or others, to have that voice heard, which member Cherry callously referred to as hearsay.  President Sikowski stated that the rules could be suspended at any time to allow public input and then proceeded to close the meeting without allowing any realistic time for a motion for public input.  There were over a dozen concerned parents and citizens whom, by the exchanges in the audience, had plenty they wanted to say.  Their voice was forced to remain in the existence of hearsay by the board's cronyism. 

I want to know what they fear from parent input on their performance and a record of meeting minutes.  This much is clear every parent, with children in any school, better be attending their children's school board meeting routinely and holding them accountable for any liberal spending and policies.  These directly affect their children and from what I have seen, don't always put the students' interest first.

These board members who seem to not like being held accountable by members they deem as rougue maybe don't have any business being on a school board.  It was also reported to me that after the meeting Member Dama and his father confronted Clerk Deschane in the parking lot for her stand; since when is it acceptable for two men to confront a woman in a parking lot at night?  That would have been an intimidating situation for me, and many other women, I suppose.  Something seems amiss in Crivitz, WI.

Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk: A Dangerous Precedent

A Dangerous Precedent  

According to the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, Americans are never to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The Constitution is not some aspirational statement of values, allowing exceptions when convenient, but rather, it is the law of the land. It is the basis of our Republic and our principal bulwark against tyranny.

Last week’s assassination of two American citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, is an outrage and a criminal act carried out by the President and his administration. If the law protecting us against government-sanctioned assassination can be voided when there is a “really bad American”, is there any meaning left to the rule of law in the United States? If, as we learned last week, a secret government committee, not subject to congressional oversight or judicial review, can now target certain Americans for assassination, under what moral authority do we presume to lecture the rest of the world about protecting human rights? Didn’t we just bomb Libya into oblivion under the auspices of protecting the civilians from being targeted by their government? Timothy McVeigh was certainly a threat, as were Nidal Hassan and Jared Lee Loughner. They killed people in front of many witnesses. They took up arms against their government in a literal way, yet were still afforded trials. These constitutional protections are in place because our Founders realized it is a very serious matter to deprive any individual of life or liberty. Our outrage against even the obviously guilty is not worth the sacrifice of the rule of law. Al-Awlaki has been outspoken against the United States and we are told he encouraged violence against Americans. We do not know that he actually committed any acts of violence. Ironically, he was once invited to the Pentagon as part of an outreach to moderate Muslims after 9/11. As the US attacks against Muslims in the Middle East and Central Asia expanded, it is said that he became more fervent and radical in his opposition to US foreign policy.

Many cheer this killing because they believe that in a time of war, due process is not necessary - not even for citizens, and especially not for those overseas. However, there has been no formal declaration of war and certainly not one against Yemen. The post-9/11 authorization for force would not have covered these two Americans because no one is claiming they had any connection to that attack. Al-Awlaki was on a kill list compiled by a secret panel within President Obama’s National Security Council and Justice Department. How many more Americans citizens are on that list? They won’t tell us. What are the criteria? They won’t tell us. Where is the evidence? They won’t tell us.

Al-Awlaki's father tried desperately to get the administration to at least allow his son to have legal representation to challenge the “kill” order. He was denied. Rather than give him his day in court, the administration, behind closed doors, served as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.The most worrisome aspect of this is that any new powers this administration accrues will serve as precedents for future administrations. Even those who completely trust this administration must understand that if this usurpation of power and denial of due process is allowed to stand, these powers will remain to be expanded on by the next administration and then the next. Will you trust them? History shows that once a population gives up its rights, they are not easily won back. Beware.

Columbus Day - History Under Eradication

As part of their agenda, the Left has been actively eradicating the true history of our republic.  They have repainted the canvas that consists our our heritage to reflect a picture they can accept.  In their attempt to rewrite history we have begun to lose it.  It is up to us to renew it and bring it back in full color and meaning.  We must celebrate our heritage and refuse to let it die in the wallows of the liberal Left agenda.  Our republic sprang from the reaches of Europe and we should be proud of our people and our prosperity and not get swallowed up by a tolerance and diversity only policy that is neither tolerant or diverse and is done at our own peril.  Learn what Columbus Day really stands for and celebrate the very thing that Marxists consider the cancer of human history.

Media Puppets, Wake Up

The media and establishment are used to America dancing on their puppet strings and count on you remaining blind to their tactics.  America is waking up, a revolution has begun and they don't know what to do.  The media is lasing out like a dying animal trying to grasp onto anything they think will save it.  They will even tote a Republican version of Obama rather than see liberty, freedom, and the Constitution be revived in America.  Without those things they have power and prestige.  I have been shocked at the levels they will stoop to just to sway the minds of Americans.  Herman Cain?  Give me a break, kiss your future goodbye if this is the best they can produce.  A vote for Herman Cain is like inviting the fed into your bed.

Ron Paul - One More Chance, America

National Ron Paul Sign Bomb!  Get involved.  The revolution has begun.  Do your part and take your future back.

Third World America

Watch this disturbing video of an attack on an autistic boy.  As a parent of an autistic child this is heartwrenching.

How third world is a people who can torture an autistic child.  This is America people.  Wake up.  The people of this republic need to stand up against the tolerance of these type of people, stand against the injustice that is running amuck and upheld by our own government and non existant justice system. 

Where are the hords of people who crusade against child abuse?  Oh yeah, they are the ones commenting that this boy provoked the attack by defending himself against animal like abuse and torture for years, allegedly, judge for yourself.  That is not even acknowledging the fact that autistic children can be painfully sensitive to any touch, let along being beaten with a flyswatter.  How many of you would take swat after swat, kick after kick, and being choked and just sit there in peace and bliss?  I suspect, not too many.

There is no justification, under any circumstance to enslave and torture anyone, let alone this child or those like him.  I think a just punishment would be to convict these women and throw them into a cell with violent criminals; living what they have done to this boy is probably the only thing they would understand.  Are we so PC that an eye for an eye is so far fetched?  Americans will praise Obama for ordering the assasination of American citizens who are innocent until proven guilty in a trial; there are no trials for targets of the government. 

Americans will justify the torture and enslavement of this child because he provoked it?  Government targets and prisoners don't deserve justice because they provoked us?  Victims of police brutality don't deserve justice because they resisted?  The unborn don't deserve life because their mother has no values?  Just how much evil are Americans willing to tolerate.  Maybe those who can justify such animalistic, third world behavior should move to some third world nation and leave first world America alone.

Shocking, Fox News Accurately Covers Ron Paul Victory

Third World America

Another example of third world America.

An arrest has been made in the fight between two women that forced the evacuation of a Walmart Supercenter and sent 19 people to the hospital Saturday morning.  [Read more]

One Hundred Reasons America Is Not Free

Barack Hussein Obama
The Department of Education
The Department of Energy
The Department of Transportation
The Department of Homeland Security
Department of the Interior
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Labor
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Housing and Urban Development
The United Nations
Obama's Czars
The Patriot Act
National Security letter
Janet Napolitano
Illegal Immigration
Open borders
100,000 legal immigrants per month
No-Knock raids
War on drugs
The Endangered Species Act
Environmental extremism
The Dream Act
The Food Modernization Act
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
Hate crimes legislation
Eric Holder
Global warming farce
Carbon credits
Mandatory Recycling
Gun Control
Gun permits and databases
The Federal Reserve
Government regulations
No prayer in school
War on Christianity
War on terrorism
Rewritten and ignored history
The assault on the Constitution
Lazy citizens who don't self educate
Not requiring voter ID
The 17th Amendment to the Constitution
Kelo v. City of New London, eminent domain
Roe v. Wade, abortion
Judicial activism
Frisbie v. Collins, police officers can legally kidnap you to get you to court, without warrant, across state lines
Fraizer v. Cupp, police can coheres you into committing a crime
Police brutality
Beta males, alpha women
Reverse discrimination
Affirmative action
White guilt
Congressional Black Caucus
Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Government reparations to minorities
Social security
Loss of states' rights
Political correctness
Voting Rights Act
The stimulus package
Empire building
Foreign Aid
National databases
The loss of NASA
National debt
Three strikes law, mandatory sentencing
Internal checkpoints
Sobriety checkpoints
Capital punishment, imprisonment of known innocent citizens
Executive orders
Forced volunteerism
Police actions/military bases in foreign countries
Energy dependence
Webcam, cellphone, and vehicle surveillance

There are many more losses of freedoms in America, too many to list them all.  Leave your list in a comment.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Think And Act America Before It Is Too Late

The choices you make today rain down upon you the consequences tomorrow.  If Americans do no wake up, think for themselves, and act in their own behalf before it is too late the price may be too high.  We are now living in a police state, we are not free, except for what little token freedoms our government allows.  If you think you are free you are part of the problem.  Don't wait until the knock comes on your door and you or your child are being dragged away to prison or illegally assassinated by executive order; without trial or proof. 

Stop condoning atrocities committed in the name of national security.  These terror threats are created illusions by a government hell bent on controlling its population.  If these terror threat were not made up to control the American public then ask your self why are Americans the targets, why are Americans on the no-fly lists, why are Americans groped and displayed naked by scanners that cause cancer, why are Americans the scenario the military actively trains to subdue?

Because Americans are the target, not some terrorists in some far away land. 

Herman Cain, The Republican Obama

Being a successful business man did not work out for Mitt Romney and relying on it as a qualification for the presidency will prove politically fatal to Herman Cain's run also. You have to know the most important issues facing the world today, you cannot just jump in and learn on the job. That approach is not working for Obama, it will not work for Cain.  The pendullum swung far left when Obama was elected, a nomination of Cain would only bring it back to the middle, if we are lucky.  Then we have only traded Obama for a Republican version.
How could you expect someone who ran the Kansas City branch of the fed, and does not support auditing the fed, to abolish the fed?  He won't, in fact you can expect the opposite from Cain.  He has already verbally assaulted the victims of Wall Street, and political policy, in favor of big government propaganda.  If Cain thinks that only his ethnicity makes him eligible for the presidency, and voters fall for it, then America has truly become the cesspool of the world where any joker can be king.
Who cares if he knows anything about foreign policy?  Who needs allies?  We can stand up to any enemy with a cretin at the helm, right? Oh right, our bafoom leaders believe we don't need a strong military because we can just talk our enemies to death; they would never attack us, that wouldn't be PC, right? And who cares about education, we'll just keep skip that and live with the impoverished and simpleton society that survives that attack we had no military to thwart off. Who needs smart people anyway? They only bring science, medicine, technology, and capitalism. All of that is just evil that leads to comfortable, healthy lifestyles.  We will be much better off wallowing in the mud like swine, right?
America, don't you get it? What you elect is what you live, if you keep electing the same political failures and expect our republic to suddenly succeed, you are insane. Wake up, stop electing destructive, clueless, imbeciles into leadership or you are certain to live out their folly.