House Votes To Block DC’s New Anti-Discrimination Abortion Law

The House of Representatives voted Thursday night to block a new law passed by the Washington, D.C., city council which many fear will be used to deny Americans their First Amendment rights.

The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA) makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or their spouses or dependents for obtaining contraception or family planning services, or take action against those who have an abortion.

The House vote against RHNDA, 228-192, fell mostly on party lines, with three Democrats joining Republicans in opposition to the new law, and 13 Republicans joining the Democrats in support of keeping RHNDA in place.

Congresswoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., who introduced the House measure opposing RHNDA, said, “At its core, the Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act is perhaps the most discriminatory ‘nondiscrimination’ law we have seen to date. I am proud that the House took a stand for religious freedom and acted to protect the First Amendment rights of pro-life Washingtonians by passing my resolution to overturn RHNDA.”

Those opposed to RHNDA fear it will be used to force religious organizations and other advocacy groups, such as the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List, to hire employees who do not share their beliefs regarding the sanctity of human life.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who has introduced the companion legislation in the Senate opposing RHNDA, said in a release, “Both the House and Senate have a constitutional duty to protect citizens’ religious liberty, as enshrined in the First Amendment.”

Article I of the Constitution provides that Congress has ultimate legislative authority over the District of Columbia “in all cases whatsoever.” The last time Congress exercised its authority to block a measure passed by the D.C. city government was in 1991, when the council sought to amend a law restricting the height of buildings in the district.

The prospects for RHNDA to ultimately be blocked by congressional action do not look promising. Under the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, Congress has 30 days to weigh in on any laws passed by the D.C. city council, and that deadline is Saturday.

The Senate is notoriously slow to act on new legislation, and the resolution still requires President Obama’s signature to become law. The White House has signaled it supports RHNDA and the president would veto legislation to block it.

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

U.S. Voters Support Agreement With Iran, But Majority Think It Will Not Prevent Iranian Nukes

A new national survey published by the polling institute of Quinnipiac University revealed that a majority of Americans back the interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

American voters support 58 – 33 percent the preliminary agreement with Iran to restrict that country’s nuclear program, according to the poll.

The telephone survey was conducted from April 16 – 21, 2015, throughout the nation. Responses were reported for 1,353 registered voters with a margin of sampling error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.

Here ends the good news for the Obama administration.

This is because at the same time, only 35 percent of voters are “very confident” or “somewhat confident” the agreement would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Sixty-two percent are “not so confident” or “not confident at all,” the poll found.

Supporting the agreement are Democrats, 76 – 15 percent, and independent voters, 60 – 33 percent, with Republicans opposed 56 – 37 percent.

Voters support 65 – 24 percent making any Iran agreement subject to congressional approval

A 52-37 majority of Americans think Obama is mishandling the situation in Iran

About the same majority of American voters (53-39) think Obama is generally mishandling foreign policy.

When asked what they think of the way Obama is handling the situation with Israel and the Palestinians, a 53-31 majority responded that the president is mishandling the situation

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s popularity among American voters increased compared to earlier polls — 38 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Israeli PM. Twenty-two percent answered that they do not view him favorably.

An overwhelming majority (67-20) of Americans think the American president should be a strong supporter of Israel, while 48 percent of the voters think Obama is not a strong supporter of the Jewish state.

The results of the survey will undoubtedly influence the upcoming debate in the Senate over amendments to the Corker-Menendez bill on a nuclear agreement with Iran.

The legislation, as written, would prohibit the president from lifting sanctions on Iran if 60 senators disapprove of an Iran deal, but it would functionally require a supermajority of 67 senators to block the relief, since the president would veto the initial disapproval and then the Senate would have to override.

The debate is now between lawmakers who want to pass the bill without amendments versus lawmakers who want to add teeth to it.

This shows that the debate has shifted. Just two weeks ago, the conversation was about passing or voting down the Corker-Menendez legislation. Now the debate is “pass it without amendments” vs. “strengthen it” The White House’s original position against oversight is not even in the discussion. The strong support among American voters for congressional oversight of any Iran agreement is the reason for this shift.

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

Seriously? Here’s The Outrageous Way This Lib Rep Is Trying To Shut Down Conservative Steve King

Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa — a conservative champion on Capitol Hill and Tea Party favorite for his unyielding support of the Constitution — has come under fire from a colleague in Congress who is purportedly trying to deny King his constitutionally protected powers as a duly elected lawmaker.

Colorado congressman Jared Polis is the liberal Democrat who has targeted the Iowa Republican with what could be a first-of-its-kind bill, one he calls the “Restrain Steve King From Legislating Act.” Polis, who represents Colorado’s Second District, is a very successful entrepreneur who has launched and sold a number of companies, including the online florist ProFlowers. He’s also the first openly gay parent in Congress. And it’s King’s firm stand in favor of traditional marriage that prompted Polis to introduce legislation to, as Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle puts it, “make it illegal for his colleague Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to be a legislator—a position King, like Polis, is elected to under the terms laid out by the U.S. Constitution.”

On his website, Jared Polis attacks Steve King’s proposed legislation that apparently inspired the Polis bill — the King bill is entitled “Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act.” It would, essentially, ensure that the individual states, and not the federal government or the federal courts, determine how to handle the issue of same-sex marriage.

With somewhat contorted wording that many might suggest shows Rep. Polis has a rather distorted view of the Constitution and the legislative process itself, the Democrat congressman writes: “For too long, Steve King has overstepped his constitutionally nonexistent judicial authority. Mr. King has perverted the Constitution to create rights to things such as discrimination, bullying, and disparate treatment.”

The Breitbart report on the Polis bill observes: “Rather than debating King on the merits or what he perceives to be demerits of the legislation, Polis introduced a bill aimed at silencing King and stripping him of his power—something the Constitution wouldn’t allow him to do anyway.”

An article in Huffington Post on the extraordinary action by the far-left Colorado congressman makes a point of calling the stop-Steve-King legislation something Rep. Polis himself never does: “a (satirical) bill.” And to make sure its readers understand that the clever Mr. Polis is only “trolling” his conservative colleague, the HuffPo article adds, “King’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Polis’ joke bill.”

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

Battlefield America: The War On The American People

“A government which will turn its tanks upon its people, for any reason, is a government with a taste of blood and a thirst for power and must either be smartly rebuked, or blindly obeyed in deadly fear.”—John Salter

We have entered into a particularly dismal chapter in the American narrative, one that shifts us from a swashbuckling tale of adventure into a bone-chilling horror story.

As I document in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, “we the people” have now come full circle, from being held captive by the British police state to being held captive by the American police state. In between, we have charted a course from revolutionaries fighting for our independence and a free people establishing a new nation to pioneers and explorers, braving the wilderness and expanding into new territories.

Where we went wrong, however, was in allowing ourselves to become enthralled with and then held hostage by a military empire in bondage to a corporate state (the very definition of fascism). No longer would America hold the moral high ground as a champion of freedom and human rights. Instead, in the pursuit of profit, our overlords succumbed to greed, took pleasure in inflicting pain, exported torture, and imported the machinery of war, transforming the American landscape into a battlefield, complete with military personnel, tactics, and weaponry.

To our dismay, we now find ourselves scrambling for a foothold as our once rock-solid constitutional foundation crumbles beneath us. And no longer can we rely on the president, Congress, the courts, or the police to protect us from wrongdoing.

Indeed, they have come to embody all that is wrong with America.

For instance, how does a man who is relatively healthy when taken into custody by police lapse into a coma and die while under their supervision? What kind of twisted logic allows a police officer to use a police car to run down an American citizen and justify it in the name of permissible deadly force? And what country are we living in where the police can beat, shoot, choke, taser, and tackle American citizens, all with the protection of the courts?

Certainly, the Constitution’s safeguards against police abuse means nothing when government agents can crash through your door, terrorize your children, shoot your dogs, and jail you on any number of trumped of charges–and you have little say in the matter. For instance, San Diego police, responding to a domestic disturbance call on a Sunday morning, showed up at the wrong address, only to shoot the homeowner’s 6-year-old service dog in the head.

Rubbing salt in the wound, it’s often the unlucky victim of excessive police force who ends up being charged with wrongdoing. Although 16-year-old Thai Gurule was charged with resisting arrest and strangling and assaulting police officers, a circuit judge found that it was actually the three officers who unlawfully stopped, tackled, punched, kneed, tasered, and yanked his hair who were at fault. Thankfully, bystander cell phone videos undermined police accounts, which were described as “works of fiction.”

Not even our children are being spared the blowback from a growing police presence. As one juvenile court judge noted in testimony to Congress, although having police on public school campuses did not make the schools any safer, it did result in large numbers of students being arrested for misdemeanors such as school fights and disorderly conduct. One 11-year-old autistic Virginia student was charged with disorderly conduct and felony assault after kicking a trashcan and resisting a police officer’s attempt to handcuff him. A 14-year-old student was tasered by police, suspended, and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and trespassing after he failed to obey a teacher’s order to be the last student to exit the classroom.

There is no end to the government’s unmitigated gall in riding roughshod over the rights of the citizenry, whether in matters of excessive police powers, militarized police, domestic training drills, SWAT team raids, surveillance, property rights, overcriminalization, roadside strip searches, profit-driven fines and prison sentences, etc.

The president can now direct the military to detain, arrest, and secretly execute American citizens. These are the powers of an imperial dictator, not an elected official bound by the rule of law. For the time being, Barack Obama wears the executioner’s robe; but you can rest assured that this mantle will be worn by whomever occupies the Oval Office in the future.

A representative government means nothing when the average citizen has little to no access to their elected officials, while corporate lobbyists enjoy a revolving door relationship with everyone from the President on down. Indeed, while members of Congress hardly work for the taxpayer, they work hard at being wooed by corporations, which spend more to lobby our elected representatives than we spend on their collective salaries. For that matter, getting elected is no longer the high point it used to be. As one congressman noted, for many elected officials, “Congress is no longer a destination but a journey… [to a] more lucrative job as a K Street lobbyist… It’s become routine to see members of Congress drop their seat in Congress like a hot rock when a particularly lush vacancy opens up.”

As for the courts, they have long since ceased being courts of justice. Instead, they have become courts of order, largely marching in lockstep with the government’s dictates, all the while helping to increase the largesse of government coffers. It’s called for-profit justice, and it runs the gamut of all manner of financial incentives in which the courts become cash cows for communities looking to make an extra buck. As journalist Chris Albin-Lackey details, “They deploy a crushing array of fines, court costs, and other fees to harvest revenues from minor offenders that these communities cannot or do not want to raise through taxation.” In this way, says Albin-Lackey, “A resident of Montgomery, Alabama who commits a simple noise violation faces only a $20 fine—but also a whopping $257 in court costs and user fees should they seek to have their day in court.”

As for the rest—the schools, the churches, private businesses, service providers, nonprofits, and your fellow citizens—many are also marching in lockstep with the police state. This is what is commonly referred to as community policing. After all, the police can’t be everywhere. So how do you police a nation when your population outnumbers your army of soldiers? How do you carry out surveillance on a nation when there aren’t enough cameras, let alone viewers, to monitor every square inch of the country 24/7? How do you not only track but analyze the transactions, interactions, and movements of every person within the United States? The answer is simpler than it seems: You persuade the citizenry to be your eyes and ears.

It’s a brilliant ploy, with the added bonus that while the citizenry remains focused on and distrustful of each other, they’re incapable of focusing on more definable threats that fall closer to home—namely, the government and its militarized police. In this way, we’re seeing a rise in the incidence of Americans being reported for growing vegetables in their front yard, keeping chickens in their back yard, letting their kids walk to the playground alone, and voicing anti-government sentiments. For example, after Shona Banda’s son defended the use of medical marijuana during a presentation at school, school officials alerted the police and social services; and the 11-year-old was interrogated, taken into custody by social workers, and had his home raided by police and his mother arrested.

Now it may be that we have nothing to worry about. Perhaps the government really does have our best interests at heart. Perhaps covert domestic military training drills such as Jade Helm really are just benign exercises to make sure our military is prepared for any contingency. As the Washington Post describes the operation:

The mission is vast both geographically and strategically: Elite service members from all four branches of the U.S. military will launch an operation this summer in which they will operate covertly among the U.S. public and travel from state to state in military aircraft. Texas, Utah and a section of southern California are labeled as hostile territory, and New Mexico isn’t much friendlier.

Now I don’t believe in worrying over nothing, but it’s safe to say that the government has not exactly shown itself to be friendly in recent years; nor have its agents shown themselves to be cognizant of the fact that they are civilians who answer to the citizenry, rather than the other way around.

Whether or not the government plans to impose some form of martial law in the future remains to be seen, but there can be no denying that we’re being accustomed to life in a military state. The malls may be open for business, the baseball stadiums may be packed, and the news anchors may be twittering nonsense about the latest celebrity foofa; but those are just distractions from what is really taking place: the transformation of America into a war zone.

Trust me; if it looks like a battlefield (armored tanks on the streets, militarized police in metro stations, surveillance cameras everywhere), sounds like a battlefield (SWAT team raids nightly, sound cannons to break up large assemblies of citizens), and acts like a battlefield (police shooting first and asking questions later, intimidation tactics, and involuntary detentions), it’s a battlefield.

Indeed, what happened in Ocala, Florida, is a good metaphor for what’s happening across the country: Sheriff’s deputies, dressed in special ops uniforms and riding in an armored tank on a public road, pulled a 23-year-old man over and issued a warning violation to him after he gave them the finger. The man, Lucas Jewell, defended his actions as a free speech expression of his distaste for militarized police.

Translation: “We the people” are being hijacked on the highway by government agents with little knowledge of or regard for the Constitution, who are hyped up on the power of their badge, outfitted for war, eager for combat, and taking a joy ride—on taxpayer time and money—in a military tank that has no business being on American soil.

Rest assured, unless we slam on the brakes, this runaway tank will soon be charting a new course through terrain that bears no resemblance to the land of our forefathers, where freedom meant more than just the freedom to exist and consume what the corporate powers dish out.

Rod Serling, one of my longtime heroes and the creator of The Twilight Zone, understood all too well the danger of turning a blind eye to evil in our midst, the “things that scream for a response.” As Serling warned, “if we don’t listen to that scream – and if we don’t respond to it – we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us – or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name.”

If you haven’t managed to read the writing on the wall yet, the war has begun.

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

Obama’s Approval Rating Bounces Back, But There’s More To It…

So, according to CNN’s recent poll, Obama’s approval rating has bounced back. But there’s SOOO much more to the story after you watch the video.

First, notice the immediate bias. They not only provide superfluous, liberally-slanted commentary, but they also make sure to falsely inform viewers that this approval rating is comparable to Ronald Reagan’s. They can technically say that because, at this specific week in their presidencies (when merely comparing chronological approval ratings), they seem comparable. Spanned over the totality of their presidencies however, it’s not even close. Not even close.

But conservatives can’t merely ignore this. I think a big part of the pendulum shift is the generational changeover. The average conservative consumer is very, very old. Younger people who weren’t old enough to vote are now being included in approval polls.

You now have an entire generation of Americans whose votes have been bought with the promises of free crap. Many of these kids who were about to enter adulthood have now been given a free mooch-pass on their parents until 26 for health care. They’ve been promised free education. Despite the echo-chamber of the right, this is very difficult to reverse. Historically, once a generation has accepted entitlements as the norm, it is nigh impossible to correct course.

Approval of the Republican Congress is very, very low right now — 28%.

Now, keep in mind this is CNN, and the host goes out of her way to accentuate the positives of Obama, and over-exaggerate the negatives of Republican Congress. I get that. But still, conservatives need a reality check.

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