WATCH: This Angry Governor Has Just Taken A Bold, Defiant Stand Over ObamaCare ‘Extortion’

Decrying the Obama administration for using strong-arm, “coercion tactics” in an effort to force his state to expand ObamaCare coverage, Florida Governor Rick Scott says he’s suing the president.

In an interview Thursday night with Fox News’ Kimberly Guilfoyle, the Republican governor of the Sunshine State lashed out at the administration for threatening to cut back funding on an assistance program for low-income families unless Florida officials comply with Washington’s demands. Guilfoyle, substituting for Greta Van Susteren in On the Record, said, “That sounds like extortion.” Gov. Scott replied, “Oh, absolutely.”

By clicking on the video above, you can watch the interview in which a defiant Gov. Rick Scott vowed to take the administration to court, saying, “We’re going to stand up for all 20 million people in our state.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Report: Virginia Voting Machines Could Have Been Easily Hacked For Over A Decade

A new report found that voting machines in Virginia used in three presidential elections were susceptible to hacking. They had passwords as penetrable as ‘abcde’ and ‘admin.’

As The Guardian reported Wednesday, the AVS WinVote machines, in service between 2002 and 2014, would receive an “F-minus,” according to a study prepared by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

According to the executive summary of the report entitled “Security Assessment of WInVote Voting Equipment for Department of Elections,” security protocols on the machines “would not be able to prevent a malicious third party from modifying the votes recorded by the WINVote devices.”

The primary contributor to these findings is a combination of weak security controls used by the devices: namely, the use of encryption protocols that are not secure, weak passwords, and insufficient system hardening.

Jeremy Epstein, of Menlo Park, California-based SRI International, served on a commission investigating the machines in 2008. He has been working to have them decertified since then.

“I got to question a guy by the name of Brit Williams, who’d certified them, and I said, ‘How did you do a penetration test?’” he told The Guardian. “And he said, ‘I don’t know how to do something like that’.”

Williams, now retired, referred The Guardian to former colleagues at Kennesaw State University who have taken over the reigns of certification duties since his departure.

“You could have broken into one of these with a very small amount of technical assistance,” Epstein told the publication. “I could teach you how to do it over the phone. It might require an administrator password, but that’s okay, the password is ‘admin’.”

The most recent commission found the software had not been updated since 2004, found that it was possible to “create and execute mallicious code,”and offered the following in conclusion:

  • Passwords were less than seven characters and did not meet best practices for complexity (i.e. they consisted of only lowercase letters). Cracking these passwords required minimal effort using freely available toolsets.
  • Passwords were consistent across all systems tested and appear to be part of the default configuration. All passwords identified were simple and easily guessed, consisting of either a common pattern (i.e., abcde), a common default password (i.e., admin), or a phrase directly related to the system manufacturer (shoup).
  • The scope of testing did not include the impact of changing the default password. But it does not appear possible to change the wireless password directly on the WINVote device. In addition, the impact to the WINVote application once the passwords were changed is unclear. Possible impacts range from lost communication between systems to the inability to record votes properly.

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

House Votes To Kill The ‘Death Tax’

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to repeal the “death tax.” The vote fell mostly along party lines with a passage of 240-179, with seven Democrats joining the Republicans.

“Can you imagine working your whole life to build up a family-owned business or a farm, and then upon your death, Uncle Sam swoops in and takes nearly half of what you spent a lifetime building up for your children and grandchildren?” said Rep. Kevin Brady (pictured above), R-Texas, the bill’s sponsor.

The last time the House voted for an estate tax repeal was in 2005; it passed 272-162, with 42 Democrats joining.

Less than one percent of federal revenue is generated by the tax. The Hill reports:

Under current law, individuals with estates of under $5.43 million this year, and couples with $10.86 million estates, are exempt from paying the tax. Estates pay a maximum rate of 40 percent on the amount of assets above those levels. The Joint Committee on Taxation projects that the estate tax will hit 5,400 estates in 2015, or roughly 0.2 percent of the 2.6 million deaths expected in the U.S. this year.

Forbes identified some arguments for repeal versus keeping the tax. Repealing the tax “would spur the economy and lift burdens on owners of small businesses and farms. Karen Madonia, chief financial officer of Illco, a Chicago-area HVAC supplies distributor, testified on Capitol Hill last month how an estate tax on her father’s death would mean selling parts of the company (shutting down branches, laying off workers or liquidating inventory) to pay it.”

Keeping the tax “helps reduce concentrations of wealth and produces additional revenue. Repealing the tax would cost the Treasury $270 billion over 10 years.”

Senator John Thune, R-S.D., has introduced legislation in the Senate to eliminate the tax; but there does not appear to be a filibuster-proof majority to allow it passage. The measure faces a veto threat from President Obama.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Shocker: Christians Avoiding Military Due To ‘Hostile Work Environment’

As in other institutions, including education, the U.S. military has attracted scrutiny in recent years for attempting to silence or relegate servicemen and women who openly profess their Christian faith. As a result, some advocacy groups are now reporting an exodus of sorts within the armed forces as Christians find life in uniform increasingly inhospitable.

The Liberty Institute’s Michael Berry, for example, predicted recruiters will have a hard time selling the benefits of enlisting to individuals who believe their values will be trashed by commanding officers.

“People of faith are going to stay away from the military,” he speculated, recalling conversations he has had in the past with Christian families upset over the recent trend.

“I can’t tell you how many moms and dads I’ve spoken to who say, ‘My son or daughter wants to join the military, [but] in light of what you’ve described, I’m not sure I want to let them join the military anymore,’” he explained, “and I don’t blame them. I would have serious reservations about my own kids joining.”

He described life within today’s military a “hostile work environment” for Christians.

Just weeks after Navy Chaplain Wes Modder was issued a written complaint and threatened with further punishment for expressing his Bible-based view of marriage, Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty President Douglas Lee echoed Berry’s concerns.

“I know people who get out,” he said, “officers and chaplains who’ve said, ‘I can’t serve the way I want to in this environment. People who’ve said, ‘Because of the religious liberty challenges I see, I think I’ll serve somewhere else.’”

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Breaking: Saddam’s ‘King Of Clubs’ Killed

In the deck of playing cards given to U.S. troops to help identify key members of Saddam Hussein’s regime, he was known as the “king of clubs.” Now, according to reports from officials in Iraq, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri — the highest-ranking member of Saddam’s inner circle to evade capture — has been killed in a security operation in that country.

Fox News reports that al-Douri — a top aide to the former Iraqi dictator — allied himself with the Islamic State in recent years and is suspected of being “the mastermind of the insurgency against the current Shiite-led government of Iraq.”

By clicking on the video above, you can see a Fox News report on the reported death of the military commander who was effectively Saddam Hussein’s #2 man.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth