The New York Times reports that last March Henry Chao of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which superintended creation of the HealthCare.gov Web site, told a conference that he had worries: “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.” When such an embarrassing experience occurred, [President] Obama responded like a ruler of a banana republic unfettered by constitutionalism and the rule of law. Although no president has even a line-item veto power (which 44 governors have), this president asserts the power to revise the language of laws by “enforcement discretion,” and suggests no limiting principle.
But even this is a crisis only if Congress makes it so by supine acquiescence. Congressional Democrats are White House poodles. They also are progressives and therefore disposed to favor unfettered executive power.
If you can keep it to a ‘nudge’ maybe it can be beneficial…but nudges can turn into shoves pretty quickly.
Dr. Jerry Ellig, Mercatus Center economist commenting on a new White House program designed at ‘nudging’ people to perform actions or adopt behaviors deemed ‘good’ via Gov’t Knows Best? White House creates ‘nudge squad’ to shape behavior
Because of my background I’ve received a number of questions recently from friends and readers regarding the allegations of improper use of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) capabilities. While I’m an Intelligence Officer by training and began my career as a Signals Intelligence Officer (the NSA is the Department of Defense’s signals intelligence agency) I’ve been out of the game for several years but the rules we follow as intelligence professionals haven’t changed and if properly followed they assure that our Intelligence Services do not become tools of tyranny or lead to the types of abuses we saw during the Vietnam/Antiwar Movement years. I have also been fortunate enough to work with the NSA and a number of other signals intelligence agencies and have been impressed with their professionalism and patriotism. I know that the interpretations of these regulations have loosened somewhat since the 9/11 attacks but if we hold strictly to these regulations we can balance privacy for ‘U.S. persons’ and security for our nation.
Reprinted below are the ’15 Procedures’ of DOD Directive 5240.1-R. This directive applies to 8 of the 17 members of the U.S. Intelligence community including:
The following agencies aren’t covered by DOD Directive 5240.1-R but are covered by Executive Order 12333 which is also referenced below.
DOD Directive 5240.1-R explains which intelligence related activities are allowable and which activities aren’t (human testing for example). As mentioned above, this regulation governs the NSA and the other Intelligence community members within the Department of Defense.
The NSA’s been getting a lot of unwanted press lately and it’s important to know that if followed properly these regulations place restrictions on the NSA that assure that it won’t become a tool of tyranny. A robust intelligence community is essential to a secure nation but in a free society the intelligence community must be focused on external threats and leave internal threats to law enforcement.
Note: this regulation only governs DOD Intelligence activities and not Federal, State or local law enforcement agencies.
The president’s decision to circumvent the American people by installing his appointees at a powerful federal agency while the Senate was continuing to hold sessions [with a recess appointment], and without obtaining the advice and consent of the Senate, is an unprecedented power grab… We will demonstrate to the Court how the president’s unconstitutional actions fundamentally endanger the Congress’s role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell via GOP senators urge Supreme Court to rein in Obama on recess appointments | Fox News
I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t break any laws so I plead the 5th Amendment because if I tell you what I did I might incriminate myself…
IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner… paraphrased while testifying on the IRS’ targeting of the Administration’s political opponents leading up to the election.
So in the span of four days, [there were] three major revelations about the use of government power to intimidate those who are doing things that the government doesn’t like. These are the tactics of the third world. These are the tactics of places that don’t have the freedoms and the independence that we have here in this country. And it is shocking to Americans that this would come to light in the way that it has. I would submit to you, however, that none of this is new. That what we see emerging here is a pattern, a culture, a culture of intimidation, of hardball politics that we saw both on the campaign trail and now through the apparatus of government.
If we don’t want a future U.S. government to become tyrannical we must work every day to limit the creation of government powers, laws, regulations and departments with the potential to be used as tools of tyranny. The tax collector has been an unfortunate but necessary fixture in society for thousands of years and will continue to be so. The power to tax is necessary (but certainly not at the levels we’ve chosen the past few years) but is also ripe for abuse and is definitely a potential tool of tyranny. Let’s not forget that one of the rallying cries that created our nation was tax related… “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
I must admit that when the cries of unfair treatment from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by conservative nonprofits was raised during the election I discounted them as oversensitivity encouraged by election year politics but as it turns out there was preferential treatment for non-profits which espoused views similar to President Obama’s. It seems that organizations ‘friendly’ to the incumbent President weren’t selected for additional scrutiny but organizations with ‘patriot’ or ‘tea party’ in the title were.
We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve gotta have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded [as the U.S. military].
Then Candidate Barack Obama in 2008
I must say, even in my most direst predictions in this [European] parliament over the years over the way the EU bosses were behaving, never did I think that they would, in a completely unprecedented manner, resort to stealing money from people’s bank accounts [referring to the EU proposal that Cyprus seize 6.7 to 9.9% of all deposits in Cypriot banks]… once one country goes, the whole deck of cards will come tumbling down…
The message that sends to people who’ve got savings in banks in those countries, certainly if I was them, is get your money out while you can…
British Politician & Leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage via British Politician’s Warning to Europeans With Cash in the Bank: ‘Get Your Money Out While You Can’ | Video | TheBlaze.com.
Andrew’s Note: This story is rapidly developing and the government of Cyprus has rejected this measure…but the EU’s demand is no less alarming for it’s defeat.
One reason most conservatives are very concerned about universal background checks [for firearms] is that’s the beginning of the end of government controlling every aspect of our lives…
Think mandatory police inspections of firearms in your home aren’t on the table…think again if you live in Washington State.
You: “Who’s there?”
Deputy Sheriff: “Open Up, deputy sheriff here to inspect your firearms!”
You: “Go away unless you have a warrant!”
Deputy Sheriff: “Sir, failure to comply will land you in jail for up to a year! No warrant is required per State law.”
You: “@#$#%$ $@!#%^%”