Team Arabia! Maaaaatt Daaaaamon joins Arab royals in attack on US economy

Matt Damon’s portrayal in “Team America” as a dim-witted tool of anti-American interests appears to have been more fact than fiction.

“A new film starring Matt Damon presents American oil and natural gas producers as money-grubbing villains purportedly poisoning rural American towns. It is therefore of particular note that it is financed in part by the royal family of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates,” The Heritage Foundation’s Lachlan Markey reveals.

“While left-leaning Hollywood often targets supposed environmental evildoers, Promised Land was also produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media, according to the preview’s list of credits. A spokesperson with DDA Public Relations, which runs PR for Participant Media, the company that developed the film fund backing Promised Land, confirmed that AD Media is a financier. The company is wholly owned by the government of the UAE.”

The movie presents numerous fictionalized, debunked attacks on fracking.  It was produced with the intention to cripple the United States’ fast-growing natural gas economy.

That would be a financial windfall for Arab nations, as it would leave a weaker United States dependent on foreign oil and natural gas.

The fact is Matt Damon took Arab money with the intent to make the United States weaker and subservient to the Middle East.

Man in googly cheese hat and Hawaiian shirt describes accident with man with 0.52 BAC

Incomes worse under Obama than during recession

"New figures from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, compiled by Sentier Research, show that the typical American household’s real (inflation-adjusted) income has actually dropped 5.7 percent during the Obama 'recovery,'" The Weekly Standard reports.

"Using constant 2012 dollars (to adjust for inflation), the median annual income of American households was $53,718 as of June 2009, the last month of the recession.  Now, after 38 months of this 'recovery,' it has fallen to $50,678 — a drop of $3,040 per household."

How bad is the Obama economy? 

Family incomes are falling more than twice as fast under Obama than they did during the recession.

"From the start to the end of the recession, the real median income of American households fell $1,413, or 2.6 percent.  From the end of the recession to the present day, it has dropped $3,040, or 5.7 percent," the Standard reports.

Bullock slammed for opposing 4,300 new jobs, $92 million a year for schools

"Gubernatorial hopefuls Steve Bullock and Rick Hill clashed Thursday night over who would do a better job developing Montana’s natural resources and bolstering education, sharpening their tone in their second debate of the campaign season," Helena Independent Record reporter Mike Dennison reports.

"'I am a strong advocate for natural-resource development in Montana, and the reason I am is that we are second-to-last in this country in terms of what we earn in salaries and wages,' Hill told an overflow crowd at the Montana Tech auditorium in Butte. 'There is no reason, with all the wealth we have in this state, that we’re next-to-last in take-home pay.'"

The University of Montana’s Bureau of Business & Economic Research reports Montana's $1.4 trillion Otter Creek coal tracts would provide 4,300 jobs and $92 million a year in tax revenue for schools and other services.  Bullock pandered to the wealthy Sierra Club by voting against developing them.

"Hill used his question to attack Bullock’s record on coal development, asking why Bullock failed to join 24 state attorneys general from coal-producing states this year when they challenged new Environmental Protection Agency rules Hill said would harm coal-fired power plants."

Obama shuts down two Okla. power plants, forces 11% rate increase

"AEP-PSO will spend $350 million to satisfy federal air quality rules in a plan that includes shutting down two coal-fired generation units and upgrading emission controls on three natural gas-fired plants in the next 14 years," The Tulsa World reports.

" officials estimated that base utility rates may eventually need to rise about 11 percent to recover the compliance costs."

Other Oklahoma utilities have been forced to sue Obama to try and stay afloat.

"Oklahoma Gas and Electric, the state's largest utility, is continuing its legal battle against the EPA over the rules.  In April, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed suit against the new EPA rules on behalf of OG&E. Utilities argued that the EPA was too aggressive in its timeline to enforce the regional haze rules."

Rangers will learn League Cup foe on Thursday

Rangers will discover who they will face in the last eight of the Scottish League Cup when the draw is made on Thursday, October 4 at 1:30 p.m. local time, the club's Andrew Dickson reports.

The remaining seven clubs are Premier League sides Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee United, Hearts, Inverness, St Johnstone and St Mirren.  Rangers are the first Third Division side in the quarter-finals since Ross County in 1998.

Oddsmakers have Rangers as second favorites to win the League Cup.  Rangers have won the league cup 27 times, in 1947, 1949, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2011.

"The draw for the next stage of the Scottish Cup, meanwhile, will take place this coming Monday morning (October 1) at Hamilton Racecourse," the club reports.

"Rangers will hope to be in the hat after their second round trip north to face Highland League champions Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park this weekend."

Texas Attorney General defends Kountze free speech

September 27, 2012

Mr. Kevin Weldon
Kountze Independent School District
P.O. Box 460
Kountze, TX 77625

Dear Superintendent Weldon:

I write to offer my assistance and to provide advice about a menacing and misleading letter you recently received from an organization called the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). That organization has a long history of attempting to bully school districts into adopting restrictive religious speech policies that go well beyond what is required by the United States Constitution. Consistent with that history, the letter you received incorrectly claims that allowing Kountze High School cheerleaders to display banners decorated with Bible verses at football games amounts to a “serious and flagrant violation of the First Amendment.” That exaggerated claim is not supported by the Constitution. Instead, it is based solely on FFRF’s distorted, anti-religion view of the First Amendment, a view that is unsupported by court precedent and has recently been rejected by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

It appears that your recent decision to prohibit the cheerleaders at Kountze High from displaying their religious messages at football games—a decision that has since been blocked by a court order—was based on a mistaken belief that FFRF’s letter correctly interprets the law. Unfortunately, that mistaken belief was apparently reinforced by erroneous advice from the Texas Association of School Boards. Contrary to FFRF’s claims, however, the Supreme Court has never held that it is illegal for a public school to “host religious messages at school athletic events.” And the Supreme Court has never ruled that religion must be “kept out” of public schools. Instead, each of the Supreme Court cases cited in FFRF’s letter involve decisions by public officials to promote a religious message or to direct the content of a private citizen’s religious message.

Unlike the cases cited by FFRF, Kountze ISD has neither made the decision to include a religious message on the cheerleaders’ banner, nor provided any direction as to the content of the cheerleaders’ message. Rather, news reports indicate that these decisions were made entirely by students. Those same news reports also indicate that the banners were made by the cheerleaders off of school property and without the use of school funds. That these students chose to express their religious viewpoint at a school function does not violate the Establishment Clause.

When the school district does not join in the students’ religious message or seek to control or direct that message, the cheerleaders’ decision to display their banners cannot constitute promotion or imposition of religion by the school district. Rather, the banners are the religious speech of individual students, which enjoys protection under the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.

In addition to the protections afforded by the First Amendment, Texas law further protects students’ free exercise of religion by requiring school districts to “treat a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint . . . in the same manner the district treats a student’s voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint.” Tex. Educ. Code § 25.151. Moreover, a school district “may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.” Id. To the extent the district seeks to prevent the cheerleaders from displaying their banners because the cheerleaders decided to express a religious—as opposed to a secular—message, it may very well violate section 25.151 of the Texas Education Code.

Think about it: Can a school district or the Freedom From Religion Foundation stop a student from making the sign of the cross before taking a test, or stop football players from pointing toward heaven after scoring a touchdown or kneeling to pray for an injured teammate? Of course not. Just like the cheerleaders’ banners, such public displays of religion are voluntary expressions of the students’ beliefs and are not attributable to the school district.

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently vindicated these legal principles—and rejected FFRF’s restrictive view of the First Amendment—in a case involving Medina Valley ISD in Castroville, Texas. In May 2011, a group called Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit against Medina Valley in an attempt to prevent student speakers from praying as part of their speech at their graduation ceremony. My office supported the school district by arguing that the First Amendment does not require public schools to interfere with students’ right to freely express their religious beliefs. A unanimous panel of three federal appeals judges ruled in favor of the school district and permitted Medina Valley High School seniors to pray at their graduation ceremony. The appeals court explained that there was no showing that the “prayers or other remarks to be given by students at graduation are, in fact, school-sponsored.” The same is true here: The cheerleaders are expressing their own beliefs, not those of the school district. Just as Americans United for Separation of Church and State was wrong in Castroville, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is wrong in Kountze.

As the United States Supreme Court has observed, “[w]e are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 313 (1952). And as the Fifth Circuit’s Medina Valley ruling demonstrates, school districts that allow students to speak freely about their religious beliefs have the Constitution on their side. A school district’s policies regarding student expressions of religious belief should be guided by the educational goals of the district and an appropriate respect for students’ freedoms of speech and religion—not by threatening letters that misstate the law and distort the First Amendment.

If you decide to allow the cheerleaders of Kountze High to freely display their chosen message on their banners at football games, and if the Freedom From Religion Foundation or any other group sues Kountze ISD as a result, my office stands ready to file a brief with the court protecting the cheerleaders' religious liberties.


Greg Abbott

Attorney General of Texas

NAGR: Holder's whitewash

Dear patriot,

Seventeen years ago, current U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said government must “brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

Fast forward to 2009 when he was nominated and confirmed as President Obama’s Attorney General, Holder was unleashed, setting out on a path to do just what he suggested . . .

. . . brainwash the American people into supporting gun control.

In February of that year, after taking over as Attorney General, Holder said the Obama Administration supported a new so-called “assault weapons ban.” Hillary Clinton also publicly stated the administration would “work hard” to pass the UN “Small Arms Treaty.”

At that time, Holder blamed American gun laws for violence occurring in Mexico.

Shortly thereafter, the ATF’s gun-smuggling operation, “Fast & Furious,” began in earnest.

“Fast & Furious” was exactly what Holder needed to convince the American people that gun control laws should be passed and signed into law.

By placing hundreds of weapons into the hands of members of Mexican drug cartels, who would then commit murder with these weapons, Holder had just the evidence to sway public opinion to support gun control.

But when at least two American border agents and hundreds of Mexican civilians ended up brutally murdered with the ATF’s smuggled weapons, Holder’s “Fast & Furious” charade was exposed.

For nearly two years, the members and supporters of the National Association for Gun Rights have led the charge to hold Eric Holder accountable for his role in “Fast & Furious.”

The 1.4-million members and supporters of NAGR made their voices heard on Capitol Hill using email, hand-written letters, petitions and phone calls.

Make no mistake about it, Congress was forced to take action due to grassroots pressure applied by NAGR gun rights activists.

For months, Holder bobbed and weaved his way through Congressional hearings, refusing to turn over papers and correspondence on the issue, even getting caught on at least one occasion with inconsistent statements about his knowledge of “Fast & Furious.”

Ultimately, Holder’s refusal to turn over all relevant documents led to his censure by the U.S. Congress.

Without your consistent application of grassroots pressure, it’s very likely “Fast & Furious” would be nothing more than a blip on the radar of Washington history.

With that said, a new report is out from the Department of Justice’s Inspector General indicating that at least one White House official refused to talk and the White House released ZERO communications related to “Fast & Furious.”

And just this past week, one of Holder’s high-ranking Justice Department officials resigned and one retired, in addition to the head of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, resigning in recent months.

Holder’s “inner circle” was intimately aware of “Fast & Furious,” and, quite clearly, a number of them have become the fall-men.

The fact is, despite your enormous grassroots pressure to investigate and fire Eric Holder, the whitewash of his involvement in this deadly scandal is in full effect.

Not only has Mr. Holder managed to stay in office as Attorney General but he and the Obama Administration will be emboldened -- win or lose on November 6 -- to seek a new so-called “assault weapons ban,” ammo ban, magazine ban and other direct attacks on our gun rights.

The gun control threat will become even more dangerous when Congress reconvenes after the election.

Your continued involvement and activism is vital to protecting our right to keep and bear arms.

I’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on any new gun rights developments.

For Freedom,

Dudley Brown
Executive Vice President

P.S. If you are passionate about protecting our right to keep and bear arms, please consider chipping in $10 or $20 today.

No warming: NASA admits Arctic ice loss due to storms, Antarctic ice sets record

"In a September 18 video posted by NASA on its website, they admit that the Arctic cyclone, which began on August 1, “wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover” by “breaking up sea ice,” Marc Moreno reports.  (NASA story here)

"Global warming activists have been giddy in their hyping of the satellite era record low Arctic sea ice extent while ignoring the satellite record sea ice expansion in the Antarctic."

"Reuters news service filed a September 21 report based on NASA’s video admission titled: “NASA says Arctic cyclone played ‘key role’ in record ice melt.” The news segment details how the Arctic sea ice was reduced due to “a powerful cyclone that scientists say ‘wreaked havoc’ on ice cover during the month of August.” (Reuters on “Arctic Cyclone” — 0:47 second long segment — Rob Muir reporting.)"

Meanwhile, the Antarctic ice is growing rapidly, something that doesn't happen in "global warming."

So rapidly, in fact, it's the most sea ice ever recorded at either pole. 

Generally the planet averages between 15 and 23 million square kilometers of sea ice.  Right now we have 18 million, which is 1 million more than the seasonal average.

67% of job creators will not hire under Obama

“Fifty-five percent of small business owners and manufacturers would not have started their businesses in today’s economy, according to a new poll,” The Washington Examiner’s Joel Gehrke writes.

The survey of job creators, conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, also finds:
  • 67 percent say there is too much uncertainty in the market today to expand, grow or hire new workers.
  • 69 percent of small business owners and manufacturers say President Obama’s Executive Branch and regulatory policies have hurt American small businesses and manufacturers.
  • 55 percent say they would not start a business today given what they know now and in the current environment.
  • 54 percent say other countries like China and India are more supportive of their small businesses and manufacturers than the United States.
“There is far too much uncertainty, too many burdensome regulations and too few policymakers willing to put aside their egos and fulfill their responsibilities to the American people,” said NAM president Jay Thomas.

“To fix this problem, we need immediate action on pro-growth tax and regulatory policies that put manufacturers in the United States in a position to compete and succeed in an ever-more competitive global economy.”

Czech president slams enviromentalist 'alarmism'

From today's Washington Times interview between Brett Decker and Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus.

Decker: Rare among world leaders, you have challenged the radical green agenda on global warming. What about the climate-change ideology is so dangerous?

Klaus: You rightly call it “ideology” because the global-warming alarmism is not about science. This is a collectivistic ideology with a very particular political agenda which restricts our freedom and prosperity. The attempts to command the climate and decide about the temperature on our planet are wrong and arrogant. I wrote a book about it which was published in English under the title “Blue Planet in Green Shackles.”

Americans say too many regulations on employers

• 47 percent of Americans say there is “too much” government regulation of business and industry.
• 77 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents agree.
• 26 percent say there is “too little” regulation of business and industry.
• 9 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of independents agree.
• 24 percent say there is “the right amount” of regulation.
• 12 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of independents agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,017 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 6-9 and released Monday.

ATI statement on illegal EPA human medical tests

Statement of ATI’s Lead Counsel on American Tradition Institute v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

(US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia No. 1:12-cv-1066)

There are few occasions in life that emerge directly from the core of an individual and almost never are those memorialized in a law suit. On Friday, September 21, 2012, I took five copies of a complaint to the Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, filing one of them with the court and having each of the rest stamped and then sent to four senior government officials, Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and EPA General Counsel Scott Fulton. I sent them summons to appear and defend themselves in part because of my first name.

I was named after David Steiner, a man who died of starvation in Buchenwald concentration camp on May 3, 1945. Tattooed on his body was the number 59059. He was witness to horrors that, today, we have a hard time even contemplating, something that I thought would never exist on this planet again – the abhorrent practice of giving human subjects poisons in order to determine what subsequently happens to them.

I have always been deeply affected by the circumstances of my great-uncle’s death. It is a heavy burden to carry the name of such a victim. As I matured, I committed my life to giving to our civilization that which David Steiner was never able to give himself. I have given 37 years of service to the United States, most of that in an effort to protect human health and the environment as a professional at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

I was able to secure a position of responsibility and trust at EPA in large part because the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offered me the opportunity to obtain graduate degrees and prepare myself for a career in public service. Until a few weeks ago, I had been a strong supporter of each.

Then Steven Milloy asked me to represent him and other members of the American Tradition Institute who have stories much like mine, or otherwise cannot countenance such human experimentation.

Steve’s story is worse than death. His uncle, Zoran Galkanovic, was incarcerated at the Mauthausen concentration camp. Upon threat of death, Mr. Galkanovic was forced to rise each morning and identify those individuals at the concentration camp too ill to work, knowing they would subsequently be executed that very day. Because of the inhumanity forced on Mr. Galkanovic, Mr. Milloy has accepted as a family responsibility the fight against any government who subjects its citizens to inhumane treatment. Who knew it would be our government? Who knew it would be the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? Who knew that human experimentation would be done on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill? Who knew it would be an official body of that University that approved this research?

On first blush, I simply could not believe Mr. Milloy. Then I looked carefully at the facts and at the law. This case involves the intentional exposure of human subjects to “fine particulate” matter, also known as PM2.5. EPA obtained their PM2.5 from a diesel truck. It is difficult to overstate the atrocity of this research. EPA parked a truck’s exhaust pipe directly beneath an intake pipe on the side of a building. The exhaust was sucked into the pipe, mixed with some additional air and then piped directly into the lungs of the human subjects. EPA actually has pictures of this gas chamber, a clear plastic pipe stuck into the mouth of a subject, his lips sealing it to his face, diesel fumes inhaled straight into his lungs.

Unbelievable as that may seem, consider the additional fact that EPA has officially concluded that this gas is a genotoxic carcinogen and that there is no exposure level below which it can be considered safe. In fact, EPA Administrator Jackson testified to Congress that of all deaths occurring in the United States, 1 in 4 “is attributable to PM2.5.” She told them “Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.”

Under the law, under EPA regulations and under EPA policy, this human experimentation is strictly prohibited. To conduct human experimentation, the human subjects must be properly informed of the risks they face and these risks must be less than the potential benefit of the experiment. My family knows how that works too.

Few today know the ravages of Polio, but some of us are old enough to remember it too well. Susan Paidar was a childhood neighbor, the same age as one of my brothers. She died in an iron lung. And, she was one of the last victims of this terrible disease, in small part because of the courage of one of my brothers. In 1952, at age 6, my brother Rick was selected to be in the first human test group for the Salk vaccine. He was offered the possibility of never having to worry about polio again. He was a human subject and there was a real benefit from that human experimentation.

In the section describing the mandatory benefit that must be offered to the human subjects, EPA’s PM2.5 “informed consent” baldly states “there is no benefit.” Worse, the form never informs the subjects that they will be inhaling diesel fumes, never tells them the gas is a carcinogen, never tells them about all the other toxic substances in diesel exhaust pouring into their lungs, never tells them that because PM2.5 is genotoxic, it might cause disease in children they might wish to have.

Medical ethicist, Professor John D. Dunn, MD, JD, called EPA’s human experimentation “scandalously unethical and immoral” and said “There can be no further tolerance of this misconduct.” This is not the EPA I knew. This is not the University of North Carolina I knew. This is not the American Tradition of our nation. But, this is why I travelled to the U.S. Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia – to put a stop to it.

David W. Schnare, Esq., MSPH, PhD.
Environmental Law Center
American Tradition Institute.

Read the complaint and declarations here.
For additional details see here.

EPA sued over illegal human medical experiments

WASHINGTON — American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center filed a federal lawsuit Friday seeking to stop illegal human medical experiments conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The suit, filed in United States District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, describes in detail how six EPA employees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical School intentionally pumped what they termed “lethal” amounts of diesel exhaust, specifically small particulate matter termed “PM2.5,” directly into the lungs of human volunteers who were not properly advised of the risks.

“It is difficult to overstate the atrocity of this research. EPA parked a truck’s exhaust pipe directly beneath an intake pipe on the side of a building. The exhaust was sucked into the pipe, mixed with some additional air and then piped directly into the lungs of the human subjects,” said ATI Environmental Law Center Director Dr. David Schnare.

Dr. Schnare was previously a 34-year EPA attorney and holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Management from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Master of Science in Public Health-Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina, where the experiments were conducted.

 “EPA actually has pictures of this gas chamber, a clear plastic pipe stuck into the mouth of a subject, his lips sealing it to his face, diesel fumes inhaled straight into his lungs.”

Scientific assessments of PM2.5 conducted in 2004 and 2009 by the EPA determined there is no safe level of exposure.  Nevertheless, the EPA pumped it directly into the lungs of humans, including an obese volunteer and a volunteer with chronic asthma.

The EPA violated numerous federal laws by failing to properly inform volunteers of the risks or that the EPA has previously determined their level of exposure to PM2.5 was potentially lethal. 

Additionally, the experiments violate federal laws requiring the potential benefits to the subjects outweigh the risks to the subjects.

Also, federal law requires volunteers in medical studies to be fully informed of any “reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts to the subjects. [45 CFR 46.116 and 40 CFR 26.116 (a)(2)]

A review of the consent forms by Dr. John Dale Dunn, a policy advisor to the American Council on Science and Health, confirms subjects were not properly informed of the risks or that their exposure was potentially lethal.

Additionally, federal law prohibits medical experiments on humans imposing risks that are not reasonable in relation to the anticipated benefits. [45 CFR 46.111 and 40 CFR 26.111(a)(2)]  Those laws prohibit including possible long-range effects of applying knowledge gained the research when weighing risks and benefits.

The EPA admits there is no potential benefit to directly inhaling diesel fumes.

 Dr. Dunn called EPA’s human experimentation “scandalously unethical and immoral” and said “There can be no further tolerance of this misconduct.”

The suit, ATI v. EPA, names EPA, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson as defendants.  It seeks to immediately halt the experiments, halt any similar experiments, to declare the EPA did not provide sufficient information to victims, to halt expenditures for the study, to suspend use of the UNC Medical IRB unit, to prohibit the EPA from using information from the study and to suspend implantation of any rules under the Clean Air Act to control fine particulate matter until it is ensured they are not based on information gathered from illegal medical experiments.

Roll call vote on Rand Paul's foreign aid bill

Below are the results of the roll call vote on passage of Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Kent.) bill, S. 3576, making foreign aid from the United States conditional on the recipient cooperating in investigating attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities.

30 Senate Republicans voted to give taxpayer money to nations that refuse to investigate terrorist attacks on the United States.

Voting YES (10)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Lee (R-UT)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Shelby (R-AL)
Toomey (R-PA)

Voting NO (81)
Akaka (D-HI)
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)

Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Brown (D-OH)
Brown (R-MA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)

Conrad (D-ND)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)

Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)

Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)

Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)                       

Not Voting (9)
Boozman (R-AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Burr (R-NC)
Heller (R-NV)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Kirk (R-IL)
Murray (D-WA)
Rubio (R-FL)
Vitter (R-LA)

Senate to vote on Rand Paul's foreign aid cutoff

Today, after months of championing the issue of cutting aid to Pakistan and other actions against the interests of the United States, Sen. Rand Paul succeeded in his filibuster mission to bring his legislation to a vote.

Sen. Paul's bill, S. 3576, calls for a prohibition of U.S. aid funds to the governments of Egypt, Libya and Pakistan contingent upon the release to U.S. authorities the aggressors who attacked our embassy and consulate in Egypt and Libya, respectively, and the release of Dr. Shakil Afridi, currently held by the Pakistani government.

"In no way should the United States government be sending money to governments who are not our ally, who blatantly do not respect our country, and who work to compromise the safety of our allies and citizens abroad. I am pleased that the Senate leadership has listened to my pleas for an end to this and have agreed to debate and vote on this pressing issue," Sen. Paul said.

In a series of Dear Colleague letters and direct correspondence to Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) over the past few weeks, Sen. Paul has indicated his intention to hold up all pending legislation before the Senate in a filibuster until his legislation was brought before the Senate to deliberate and vote. 

Press release from Senator Rand Paul

Obama admin forces Idaho to buy unwanted wind

"The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says Idaho Power's long-term purchase agreement with wind farms means that it must buy electricity from the farms even when demand for power is low," The Associated Press reports.

"Idaho Power officials have contended that they should be allowed to stop contractually required electricity purchases during periods of light load. The company says the requirement forces them to back down other energy generators like coal-fired plants to balance the power system, increasing costs in the long run."

American Tradition Partnership has been the lead advocate for reforms allowing states to get out of Expensive Energy Mandates forcing them to buy higher-priced, experimental energy from politically-connected firms.  Orders like today's from the Obama administration send utility bills higher, hurting families and putting people out of business.

Studies also show wind power increases air pollution by forcing coal-powered plants to ramp up and down production to accommodate the unpredictable amount of electricity wind adds to the power grid.  Like a diesel engine in stop-and-go traffic, coal plants that had been burning cleanly are forced to burn dirtier, making the atmosphere more polluted than it would be without wind power.

Stockman: 1st Amendment protects Kountze students

An anonymous blogger, who refuses to write under his real name and hides behind the screen name ‘gator’, has attacked me for standing up for the religious rights of Christian students at Kountze High School.  Normally I would not respond to anonymous bloggers, but this blog is posted at the ‘Beaumont Enterprise’ website, the largest circulation newspaper in the Kountze area.

While his post is difficult to read due to its poor grammar and name-calling, the general gist of it is to claim that I am wrong to oppose the banning of religious messages on banners created by students and displayed at football games.  In another blog post, the blogger lists three Supreme Court cases he claims support his theory that the school district can ban religious messages displayed by students at football games.  The court cases actually say that the government may neither advance nor inhibit religion, and the one court case he listed involving schools was an incident where school officials were leading a prayer.  At Kountze High School, the students were creating their own banners after school, on their own initiative.

Our Supreme Court told us in 1969 in the case of ‘Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District’ that “In order for the State in the person of school officials to justify prohibition of a particular expression of opinion, it must be able to show that its action was caused by something more than a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint.”  This means that just because someone complains to the school superintendent that Christian messages displayed by students might make someone ‘uncomfortable’, he is not allowed to ban the messages.

Another complaint I received is a claim that school boards are not bound by federal laws, including the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, because of the 10th Amendment.   The Supreme Court ruled in 1943 specifically that local boards of education must respect the First Amendment rights of students.  In the case of ‘West Virginia v. Barnette’ the Supreme Court told us “The Fourteenth Amendment, as now applied to the States, protects the citizen against the State itself and all of its creatures-Boards of Education not excepted. These have, of course, important, delicate, and highly discretionary functions, but none that they may not perform within the limits of the Bill of Rights."
The only instance in which school officials were allowed by the Supreme Court to restrict student banners was when a school principal forbade a banner viewed as promoting illegal drug use in violation of a school to deter drug use by schoolchildren.  In the 2007 case of ‘Morse v, Frederick’, our Chief Justice John Roberts only allowed the banners to be banned because they did not convey “any sort of political or religious message.”  It’s clear to everyone that the messages displayed by Kountze High School not only have a religious message, but were banned by the school district precisely because they contain a Christian religious message.

On January 4, 1995 I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  When I see a government official violating the Constitutional rights of students, I am going to speak up for their rights.  Government school boards have no right to forbid religious messages voluntarily displayed by students, and a complaint by someone who feels ‘uncomfortable’ about student-created Christian messages does not enable them to do so.

Kountze Superintendent Kevin Weldon needs to respect the First Amendment rights of his students, and allow them to display their Christian messages.

Bipartisan House opposes Obama's war on coal

Today, the House of Representatives, by a bipartisan vote of 233-175 approved H.R. 3409, the Stop the War on Coal Act, a package of five bills that will help end the Obama Administration’s war on coal that threatens thousands of American jobs and could increase the price of energy on millions of American families and small businesses. The legislation prevents the Obama Administration from shutting down coal-fired power plants and American coal mines with government red-tape, which will raise unemployment, slow economic growth and increase energy costs.

Yesterday, the House Natural Resources Committee released a report, “President Obama's Covert and Unorthodox Efforts to Impose New Regulation on Coal Mining and Destroy American Jobs,” detailing information uncovered in its more than 18-month ongoing investigation into the Obama Administration’s rewrite of a coal production regulation, the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule. The Stop the War on Coal Act includes Rep. Bill Johnson’s (OH-06) bipartisan, Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act, which prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new rules or regulations that will adversely impact mining jobs and our economy.

“President Obama has spent his entire term waging a regulatory war of red-tape and government mandates on coal miners, coal jobs and the millions of people who rely on low-cost coal-fired electricity. Just one of this Administration’s most egregious regulatory attacks on American coal production will destroy thousands of jobs and inflict economic harm on over twenty other states.” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).  

“Without the passage of the Stop the War on Coal Act, those job losses and thousands of others will become reality for hardworking coal miners and their families across the country as a record number of coal plants will be forced to close over the coming years.”

“Today, with bipartisan support, the House of Representatives took an important step forward in stopping one of President Obama’s most economically destructive policies with the passage of the Stop the War on Coal Act. President Obama’s war on coal is real and it is already costing jobs. Just this week, Alpha Natural Resources announced that it is laying off 1,200 workers in three states. These layoffs come just weeks after Murray Energy announced that it would be closing its mine in Brilliant, Ohio putting more hardworking miners in the unemployment lines. Both companies cite excessive government overregulation as the main reason for these layoffs.” said Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06).  

“The Stop the War on Coal Act is common sense legislation that protects coal jobs from these destructive regulations that have put the heavy boot of an out of control federal regulatory bureaucracy on the neck of the coal industry. Protecting America’s coal industry and the jobs that go with it is part of the a true ‘all of the above’ approach to energy production that creates jobs, lowers energy prices, and takes America one step closer to energy independence. Coal is critical to powering America, and I will always fight to END President Obama’s assault on hardworking Americans who work in the coal industry and the many businesses that depend upon the reliable, cost effective energy that coal provides."

The Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 includes the following bills:
  • H.R. 3409, the Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act
  • H.R. 910, Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011
  • H.R. 2401, Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act of 2011
  • H.R. 2273, Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act
  • H.R. 2018, Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011
Press release from the House Natural Resources Committee

Why is Obama subsidizing Chinese coal use?

Congressmen Ed Whitfield (R-Kent.) and Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) write in today's Washington Examiner on Obama's efforts to shut down coal use in the United States while subsidizing China's coal-powered energy industry.

They write, in part:
Last week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing on the Accountability in Grants Act, which would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from awarding grants under Section 103 of the Clean Air Act for foreign projects. Since 2001, the EPA has awarded grants to foreign recipients totaling more than $100 million. In many instances, these taxpayer-funded grants help foreign companies at the expense of domestic ones.
On the list of recently awarded grants, one is especially troubling to us -- EPA's grant to the China Coal Information Institute for a "Technical Assessment of Coal Mine Gas Recovery and Utilization in China."
Taxpayers may wonder why the EPA is funding coal projects abroad, and in China no less, while simultaneously spewing regulations that are helping to destroy coal mining here at home.
Go here to read the full column.

"There's A Spirit" 2012

Texas A&M's new pregame video is narrated by Brent Musburger

Obama introduces 'Our Stripes,' 'O' replaces stars

The official Barack Obama campaign is selling a new American flag print, with the Obama campaign logo replacing the field of stars representing the United States.

Designed by artists Ross Bruggink and Dan Olson, the Obama campaign calls it "Our Stripes."

It took two people to design that?

Give Hugo Chavez some credit.  When he redesigned the Venezuelan flag to represent his socialist views, even he wasn't narcissistic enough to put himself on it.

Urban Outfitters hawks shirt honoring mass murderer

An Open Letter to Urban Outfitters Regarding their Che Guevara Merchandise

September 19, 2012

Ted Marlow
CEO, Urban Outfitters
30 Industrial Park Blvd.
Trenton, SC 29847

Dear Mr. Marlow,

The Human Rights Foundation recently became aware of the sale of merchandise at Urban Outfitters emblazoned with the image of communist leader Che Guevara, at times accompanied by the word "revoluciĆ³n." As a nonprofit organization dedicated to the defense of human rights, we would like to bring your attention to Guevara's bloody and anti-democratic legacy.

Although Guevara's image has appeared on countless items for purchase over the last few decades as a symbol of change for the better, Guevara's actual record is that of a brutal tyrant who suppressed individual freedom in Cuba and murdered those who challenged his worldview.

Che Guevara
A romanticized poster of Che Guevara currently for sale on the Urban Outfitters website
Guevara undoubtedly played a key role in the overthrow of the dictatorial Batista regime in January of 1959. However, despite promises of a new democratic government, within a few months he and Fidel Castro had designed and installed a full-blown police state that deprived the overwhelming majority of Cuban citizens of democracy and human rights.

From 1959 to 1960, the new government carried out summary executions of at least 1,118 people by firing squad. Guevara himself presided over the notorious La CabaƱa prison, where hundreds of the executions took place. For comparison's sake, the Batista regime was responsible for 747 noncombatant deaths between 1952 and 1959. The Cuban revolution under the direction of Guevara also saw the rise of forced labor camps which gave way a few years later to full-scale concentration camps. These were filled with dissidents, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Afro-Cuban priests, and anyone else who had committed "crimes" against the new moral revolution.

Despite the mountain of evidence for these abuses, much of which comes directly from Guevara's own meticulous journals, popular culture still largely views him as a revolutionary of the people. Urban Outfitters is certainly not the only company to take advantage of Guevara's fame to sell merchandise.

We urge you to consider that the image of Guevara represents tyranny and repression for the millions of people who have suffered under communism. Fifty-three years after Guevara's rise to power, Cuba is still ruled by the Communist party, while all alternative political parties and dissenting civil society groups are outlawed. Any expression of dissent is considered a subversive act, a free press does not exist, and the government regularly imprisons those who speak out. Mr. Marlow, the Cuban government of today, a legacy of Guevara, is the most repressive regime in the Western hemisphere.

These facts forced Polish lawmakers to recently propose a ban on t-shirts with Guevara's image, as part of a previous law banning fascist and totalitarian propaganda. HRF does not advocate the banning of an image--no matter how offensive. Freedom of expression is a human right, and of course Urban Outfitters is free to choose how to design its merchandise.

However, HRF does question the motives of Urban Outfitters in lionizing a murderer who did not even make an attempt to hide his bloody ideology. In a speech in front of the United Nations in 1964, Guevara proudly admitted that "yes, we have executed, we are executing, we will continue to execute." He boasted of murdering Eutimio Guerra, bragging in his diary how he "ended the problem with a .32 caliber pistol, in the right side of his brain." He believed in doing anything it took to achieve "the greater good" he envisioned for Cuba--including nuclear annihilation of the United States.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Guevara favored engaging in nuclear war to "build a better world." After the crisis was averted he lamented Soviet inaction, stating that if the missiles had been under Cuban control, he would have fired them. There is evidence that Guevara was involved in a November 1962 terrorist plot to use 1,200 pounds of TNT to blow up Macy's, Gimbels, Bloomingdale's, and Grand Central Station on the day after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year. "At every stage of his adult life," one historian noted of Guevara, "his megalomania manifested itself in the predatory urge to take over other people's lives and property, and to abolish their free will."

Is this really someone that Urban Outfitters wants to emblazon and celebrate on its products?
For the sake of the 1.47 billion people still living under the yoke of communist rule, for the sake of the thousands who perished in the Cuban revolution, and for the sake of the 11 million Cubans who still endure a totalitarian system, we hope Urban Outfitters will reconsider its marketing strategy and set a moral example for the apparel industry.

Sincerely yours,

Thor Halvorssen
Human Rights Foundation

Stockman warns Kountze ISD to stop banning religion

Former U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman, the Republican nominee for the U.S. House in the 36th District, warned the Kountze Independent School District Wednesday to listen to citizens and restore the right of religious expression at school events.  Stockman is organizing citizen opposition to the ban on religion.

“I will not allow school officials to ban religion like we’re in San Francisco or something.  The First Amendment is clear.  Government officials cannot legally ban religion.  Kountze ISD is setting itself up for an expensive courtroom loss,” warned Stockman.

“I am consulting with constitutional experts to see what legal action may be taken against Kountze ISD.  Banning religion is a direct assault on our founding principles.  This is East Texas, not San Francisco.  The superintendent can either overturn his ban on religion, or pack his bags,” said Stockman.

School administrators banned run-through banners at football games that display religious messages, after receiving one complaint about a banner that paraphrased the Bible.

While government-directed religious expression is legally troublesome, religious expression by students themselves is protected by the First Amendment.

“We can’t allow one bully to strip thousands of citizens of a constitutionally-protected right to engage in religious expression,” said Stockman.  “The superintendent cowered to the East Coast ACLU liberals.”

Stockman is urging citizens, specially those in the Kountze ISD, to contact the school board at 409-246-3352 and to urge administrators to overturn the speech ban.  Kountze is in the 36th Congressional District.

“Congress’ job is to protect citizens from abuse by government officials. If school administrators will not repeal the ban, we will repeal the administrators,” said Stockman.

Obama foreign policy approval drops 12% among independents

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll find Obama's job approval rating on foreign policy has dropped 12 points in four weeks among the independent voters who will decide the Nov. 6 election.

Last month 53 percent of independents approved of Obama's handling of foreign policy.  This month Obama's approval on foreign policy has dropped to 41 percent among independents.

The drop comes after terrorist attacks on an unprotected Libyan consulate despite receiving prior warnings, Obama's decision to blow off intelligence briefings so he could attend celebrity parties, the storming of embassies in Egypt and other countries and the administration's initial response of sympathy to terrorists.

The drop likely would have been larger had the mainstream media not aggressively campaigned for Obama, covered up damaging stories and focused more attention on criticizing Republican Mitt Romney instead of the terrorists responsible.

Among the total electorate, Obama's foreign policy approval has dropped five points since last month, to 49 percent.

Rand Paul pushes Senate to cut foreign aid

Sen. Rand Paul today issued a Dear Colleague letter to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, in which he urged them to pass a bill cutting all foreign aid to any country that fails to secure our embassies, as well as, demanding accountability from the countries of Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya, that were recently involved in the violence directed at our embassies. He issued a similar letter to his colleagues in the Senate, underlining his intention to filibuster any pending legislation until the Senate addresses these matters.


September 18, 2012

Dear Colleague:

As this is expected to be the final week of legislative session for both the House and Senate before an extended recess, I urge you to take immediate action to pass a much-needed bill demanding cooperation and accountability from the countries involved in the recent violence directed at our embassies and consulates.  The bill should send a strong clear message to these entities: You do not get foreign aid unless you are an unwavering ally of the United States.

This week is likely our last chance to address the ongoing violence, to promote security at our diplomatic facilities, and to take appropriate steps to ensure cooperation from the governments of Pakistan, Egypt and Libya.

First, we must demand accountability from the government of Pakistan, which receives over $3 billion from us every year, yet routinely plays both sides of some of the most important issues while openly thwarting our objectives in the region.  They should be subject to the same conditions applied to Egypt, Libya, and the others, and they should also release Dr. Shakil Afridi, the doctor who bravely stepped forward to help us in our efforts to identify the hiding place of Osama bin Laden.  Dr. Afridi remains under arrest for his role in finding bin Laden, and no country that arrests a man for helping to find bin Laden is an ally of the United States.  If Pakistan wants to be our ally-and receive foreign aid for being one-then they should act like it, and they must start by releasing Dr. Afridi.

At the same time, we must take steps to cut foreign aid to Egypt and Libya-or any other country which fails to secure our embassies-and we must make it clear that, unless there is full cooperation in bringing these attackers to justice, no foreign aid will be provided in the future.  A full investigation is necessary to determine who is responsible for these murders, and simply identifying the persons responsible is not enough.  We must insist that any country which expects assistance dollars from the United States cannot permit the growth and influence of violent ideologies within their borders-especially when the practitioners of these ideologies are intent on murdering our diplomatic personnel abroad.  All of these actions must be verified and certified before Congress considers resuming aid. 

While I believe the most effective tactic is to demand a full stop to the flow of foreign aid money to these countries until those responsible for the attacks on our diplomats are found, there are other options which can be considered.  For example, significant cuts that are less than the full amount of foreign aid could be considered, coupled with redirecting a portion of the money into the improvement of security at our diplomatic facilities.   If these countries cannot secure American lives and property, our increased cost of doing so must come out of the money set aside for aid.

The timing of this action by Congress is crucial.  There is no better time than now to send a clear message to the world that we will not send good money after bad any longer.  I have insisted on floor consideration and votes on these issues in the Senate, and will be engaged in a filibuster of the Continuing Resolution and any recess for adjournment until the Senate allows action on these vital matters.

I hope you will join me in this effort by passing a bill in the House of Representatives to address this ongoing crisis.


Rand Paul, M.D.
United States Senator

Newspaper ad revenues plunge to 1950 levels

That is a stunning graph.  Breitbart's John Nolte has the story.

Household income worse under Obama than during recession

“A new report put out by the Pew Research Center finds that the median income is worse now than it was during the Great Recession,” CBS reports.

“According to Pew, the Census Bureau showed that the median income for American households in 2009 – the official end of the Great Recession – was $52,195 (in 2011 dollars), while the median income dipped to $50,054 last year, falling 4.1 percent over two years,” CBS reports.

“The decrease in household income from 2009 to 2011 almost exactly equaled the decrease in income in the two years of the recession,” the Pew report stated. “During the Great Recession, the median U.S. household income (in 2011 dollars) dropped from $54,489 in 2007 to $52,195 in 2009, a loss of 4.2 percent. By this yardstick, the recovery from the Great Recession is bypassing the nation’s households.”

The report also finds the poverty rate and median household wealth are worse under Obama’s policies than they were under the recession.

Explosion in food stamps under Obama worries economists

A record number of Americans are on food stamps under Obama, and that has economists worried.  Three years after the recession officially ended “47 million people each month are using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),” Manhattan Institute economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth reports.

“Food stamp participation has always increased during a recession and in the initial stages of a recovery…levels seen since the end of this recession are far higher than in prior recoveries. While the 36 month periods following the recessions of the early 1980s saw decreases in food stamp usage, the recessions of the early 1990s and in 2001 saw increases between 1 and 2 percent over the same period, in comparison with an increase of 3.5 percent following the recession ending in 2009,” the report finds.

The difference appears to be the result of changes by politicians to incentivize welfare enrollment.  ” In addition to the difficult job market, this is because of changes in the program that began in October 2008, including expansion of benefits and elimination of the cap for child care expenses.”

“The increase in participation in 2008 was caused by a combination of widened benefit eligibility, the recession, and a concerted effort to expand access to benefits. The 2008 Farm Bill changed the name of the program from the Food Stamp Program to SNAP, in an effort to reduce the social stigma associated with receiving benefits. As of October 1, 2008, the minimum benefit and standard deduction for households were increased. The cap for child care expenses was also eliminated. There were also changes aimed at combating fraud, including disqualification of people who sold benefits or food obtained with SNAP benefits for cash, and the bill allowed the USDA more flexibility in setting consequences including fines and disqualification periods for retailers who engaged in food stamp fraud.”

Boehner: Obama's War on Coal claims 1,200 jobs

Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources announced today that it is “eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, including 400 with the immediate closing of eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania,” The Associated Press reports. Company officials cite “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal” for the closures, adding to the growing list of American energy producers who say the Obama administration’s excessive red tape has contributed to thousands of recent layoffs.  Here’s more:
  • “Murray Energy's Ohio Valley Coal Subsidiary Lays Off 29 Hourly Workers” “Ohio Valley Coal Co., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. in Pepper Pike, said it has laid off 29 hourly workers at its Powhatan No. 6 Mine in Belmont County, Ohio — a move it blames on ‘the excessive and unnecessary regulatory actions of the Obama administration.’ … He [Ronald Koontz, general manager of Ohio Valley Coal] continued…‘The failed energy policies of the Obama administration and the ‘war on coal’ that the president and his Democrat supporters have unleashed are the direct cause of this layoff.’” (Crain’s Cleveland Business, 7/20/12)
  • “Two Coal Companies Downsize” “Two area coal companies announced layoffs Friday, saying weakened coal demand and an aggressive regulatory structure forced the idling of several mines. … ‘[T]he escalating costs and uncertainty generated by recently advanced [energy] regulations and interpretations have created a challenging business climate for the entire coal industry,’ he [PBS President and CEO D. Lynn Shanks] said in the statement.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/20/12)
  • “Coal Jobs Cut; Consol, Others Scaling Back” “[C]ompany officials are laying off 318 West Virginia coal miners, citing pressure from federal environmental regulators. Consol is not alone in reducing its coal operations in West Virginia, as Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources also announced recently plans to cut back their work forces throughout the Mountain State. All three companies blame [federal regulations] for causing a downturn in coal demand, citing this as the reason for reducing their coal operations.” (The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register, 7/8/12)
  • “Coal Industry Sheds Jobs, Leaving Eastern Kentucky Economy in Tatters” “The impact of an estimated 2,000 mining layoffs this year is hitting home across the mountainous coal counties of Eastern Kentucky. … Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, said whether the rules are in place or coming, ‘the uncertainty they have created in the industry and the reduction they will cause in our power generation market have already begun to take their toll.’ Utilities are deciding to retire coal-burning power plants because of the costs they would face to keep them in service under pending emissions rules, Popovich said.” (Lexington Herald-Leader, 7/29/12)
  • “Arch Coal to Cut 750 Jobs” “Arch Coal announced it is idling several operations and reducing production at others. The company said these and other recent changes will result in a total workforce reduction of about 750 full-time employees. … That, combined with what coal officials say is an uncertain regulatory environment…is a driving force behind the recent job cuts.” (Charleston Daily Mail, 6/21/12)
The Obama administration’s war on coal is costing jobs and forcing American energy producers to shift “their attention to markets overseas, where coal-fired power plants are being built faster than they are being abandoned in the United States,” says The New York Times.  House Republicans are taking action on the Stop the War on Coal Act this week to protect American jobs by blocking some of the Obama administration’s most damaging new regulations and holding the administration accountable for the economic impact of several others.  The House has already passed numerous bills aimed at eliminating the excessive regulations that are blocking American energy production and costing jobs. It is up to Senate Democrats to act on these and the more than 30 other bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills they are stalling.

From the office of the Speaker of the House

Rand Paul: Obama just banned 1 million firearms

Dear fellow Patriot,

Nearly 1 million American firearms.

Banned by a stroke of Barack Obama’s pen.

In a move unprecedented in American history, the Obama Administration quietly banned the re-importation of 600,000 American made M1 Carbine rifles.

And I've just discovered Obama may be blocking as many 300,000 1911 Colts too!

That's nearly one million pieces of American history denied to the American people.

The M1 rifle, developed in the late 1930’s, carried the United States through World War II seeing action in every major battle.

General Patton at the time called the M1 “the greatest battle implement ever devised.”

The rifle is largely credited with giving American soldiers the advantage and securing victory for the allies.

During the Korean War, nearly one million of these rifles were brought to South Korea and left with the South Korean government afterward.

Now, South Korea wants to give American gun collectors the chance to get their hands on this unique piece of history.

A piece of American history that Barack Obama would like to see go down the memory hole.

That’s why I want as many Americans as possible to put themselves on record opposing this gun ban by signing the Official Firearms Freedom Survey the National Association for Gun Rights has prepared for you.

Will you please join me?

After World War II, the United States government sent millions of these rifles overseas to our allies and friends.

That includes 950,000 M1 Garands, 1.2 million M1 Carbines, and 300,000 1911 Pistols.

Over the past 50 years, many of the countries we lent them to returned them to America to be bought and sold by firearms collectors.

This is nothing new.

Make no mistake; these firearms were made in America, by Americans, for Americans, to defend freedom on foreign shores.

As a part of our history, they are greatly sought after by American shooters and collectors.

But according to Hillary Clinton’s State Department there is a danger they might “fall into the wrong hands.”

That they might, possibly, one day be used in a crime.

No mention of the hundreds of thousands of gun owners deprived of the opportunity to own an integral part of American history.

The State Department’s outrageous claims are nothing more than a thinly veiled ploy to distract from the real issue:

President Obama’s deep seated hatred for gun rights.

While his gun-grabbing base is giddy with praise at this back-door gun ban, law-abiding citizens across the United States are crying foul.

Let me be clear: at no time in U.S. history has the ownership of these firearms -- or any part of these firearms -- been illegal, restricted or banned.

Americans have collected World War II M1 rifles for decades.

Now they are sold through the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

You can even purchase a newly manufactured model from Springfield Armory that was made just a month or two ago.

And the M1’s caliber or capacity is no more dangerous than the millions of modern firearms owned by Americans across the country today.

As you can see, there is absolutely no justification for this unconstitutional gun ban.

This is just the latest in a series of anti-gun schemes from the Obama Administration:
*** A new so-called “Assaults Weapon Ban" -- targeting ALL semi-automatic rifles and shotguns -- which, unlike the Clinton ban, would NEVER expire;
*** An outright BAN on “high capacity” magazines -- banning the sale and manufacture of magazines holding more than just a handful of rounds;
*** A National Concealed Carry “Standard” -- designed to make it even more difficult for law-abiding citizens to carry a gun to protect themselves and their families from assault;
*** Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Catch-All Gun Control Scheme” -- to create a national “cannot buy registry,” allowing citizens to be stripped of their Second Amendment rights on a Justice Department whim, effectively banning all private gun sales.
That’s why it is essential that Americans like you and I take a stand against the M1 rifle and 1911 gun ban!

It has been common practice since the end of World War II to re-import these American made rifles from the foreign allies they were lent to during the war.

But the Obama Administration departs radically from the American tradition.

In fact, on top of banning American citizens from owning these historic firearms, Obama’s State Department is arranging for the destruction of nearly one million of them -- ironically, at a time of ballooning federal deficits.

It’s an outrage!

These firearms -- truly pieces of American history -- rightly belong in the hands of U.S. citizens.

That’s why I was glad to hear that the National Association for Gun Rights is helping fight this power grab in the U.S. Senate.

Do you believe the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment are the supreme law of the land?

Do you believe that President Obama banning the re-importation of these historic firearms is an unprecedented and unconstitutional power grab?

Do you support Congress forcing President Obama to reverse his ban and save these American made firearms from destruction?

If you said “Yes” to these questions, please sign the Firearms Freedom Survey the National Association for Gun Rights has prepared for you.

Your survey will put you squarely on the record AGAINST Barack Obama’s Gun Ban.

And along with your signed survey, I hope you’ll send a generous contribution of $250, $100, $50 or even just $35 to help finance this battle.

With your generous contribution, the National Association for Gun Rights will continue contacting Second Amendment supporters to turn up the heat on targeted U.S. Senators.

Not only that, but they’re preparing a massive program to launch the designed to force President Obama to reverse this ban.

Direct mail.  Phones.  E-mail.  Blogs.  Guest editorials.  Press conferences.  Hard-hitting internet, newspaper, radio and even TV ads if funding permits.  The whole nine yards.

Of course, a program of this scale is only possible if the National Association for Gun Rights can raise the money.

But that’s not easy.

So please put yourself on record AGAINST Barack Obama’s Rifle Ban by signing NAGR’s Firearms Freedom Survey.

But along with your survey, please agree to make a generous contribution of $250, $100, $50 or even just $35.

And every dollar counts in this fight so even if you can only chip in $10 or $20, your help will still make a difference.

Thank you in advance for your time and money devoted to defending our Second Amendment rights.

For Freedom,

Rand Paul
United States Senator

P.S. In a move unprecedented in American history, Barack Obama secretly banned the re-importation of nearly a million American made M1 Carbine rifles and 1911 pistols.

The M1 rifle, developed in the 1930’s, carried the U.S. through World War II seeing action in every major battle.

So please put yourself on record AGAINST the Barack Obama’s Gun Ban by signing NAGR’s Firearms Freedom Survey.

But along with your survey, please agree to make a generous contribution to the National Association for Gun Rights of $250, $100, $50 or even just $35.

And every dollar counts in this fight so even if you can only chip in $10 or $20, your help will still make a difference.