The Palmetto Freedom Forum by Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) seemed designed for Tea Party candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. But in the Labor Day forum, it was Bachmann who tripped up at the end of questioning. Bachmann was asked by panelist and Princeton Professor Robert George why she believes a government mandate to buy healthcare insurance is unconstitutional. She simply said it's "inherent" in the Constitution, but couldn't cite any particular provision of the Constitution. In point of fact, the federal government is a government of few and defined powers, and the specified powers do not include the power to force Americans to buy healthcare insurance. Bachmann's ignorance of the Constitution was highlighted by subsequent candidate interviews, especially those of Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, who were able to hold detailed discussions of the 14th amendment with Professor George. The American Principles Project that Professor George founded formally sponsored "Palmetto Freedom Forum," but Tea Party favorite Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) brought the star-power as a panelist, along with fellow panelist U.S. Congressman Steven King (R-Iowa).
An appeals court has ruled in favor of a South Dakota pro-life statute requiring abortionists to inform a woman 24 hours before an abortion that she has “an existing relationship” with her unborn baby, and that the procedure will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” In the same decision, however, reported Reuters News Service, the “8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a provision in the 2005 law that would require the doctor to tell the woman about an increased risk of suicide after an abortion — with the court saying the link was unproven and may not exist.” One dissenting judge, Raymond Gruender, argued that the “risk of suicide” provision should have been upheld, writing that “even the evidence relied upon by Planned Parenthood acknowledges a significant, known statistical correlation between abortion and suicide.” Noting that Planned Parenthood had not challenged the suicide findings, Gruender wrote that the “well-documented statistical correlation is sufficient to support the required disclosure that abortion presents an ‘increased risk’ of suicide, as that term is used in the relevant medical literature.”
“Gulags, concentration camps, torture centers — indeed, wars of aggression and domination — are not simply the creation of a few leaders at the top,” observes Chris Floyd. “They require the willing participation of multitudes of people, at every level.” The easiest way to secure such “willing participation,” of course, is to make it pay — something the Central Intelligence Agency, with the unwilling participation of American taxpayers, did to great effect in its program of prisoner renditions. Detainees picked up anywhere in the world were, for the modest price of $4,900 an hour, flown to countries ruled by brutal regimes to be tortured until they confessed to crimes or provided evidence against others. Those who have tried to challenge their treatment in court have been denied justice because the government always invokes “state secrets.” The Washington Post estimates that the CIA “paid tens of millions of dollars to use private planes in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks to transport detainees and its own personnel.” Now, however, an obscure billing dispute between aircraft companies has revealed the details, including the $4,900-an-hour price tag, of the rendition flights; and the picture it paints is not at all flattering to anyone involved.
The Central Intelligence Agency continues to rapidly expand its global extrajudicial assassination program under the Obama administration, secretly murdering people with drones from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Somalia and Yemen. Even American citizens are fair game, according to the President. The dramatic evolution of the agency’s priorities and operations has become so extreme that a former senior intelligence official told the Washington Post the CIA had been turned into “one hell of a killing machine.” The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the paramilitary transformation was “nothing short of a wonderment.” But the dramatic metamorphosis, detailed in a recent exposé by the Post, entitled “CIA shifts focus to killing targets,” is hardly without critics. Some experts have even warned Congress that the illegal killings may constitute war crimes.
Access to Scripture has gotten easier for millions of people all over the world with the introduction of a “smart phone” application with Bible translations in more than 500 languages. An organization called Faith Comes by Hearing released the app for iPhones and other mobile devices a little over a year ago, and in late August announced that the number of languages available on the app as well as the group’s website increased from around 200 languages to over 550. The goal of the Christian ministry, part of the Digital Bible Project, is to extend the influence of the Christian Scriptures — in both text and audio format — to every corner of the earth. The group’s website noted that the Digital Bible Project is “the world’s largest, standardized, digital resource of Bible text and audio,b” explaining that it currently holds word-for-word Audio New Testaments in 565 languages, “with a goal of having 2,000 such recordings by 2016. Current estimates show this will represent a potential outreach to 97% of the world’s population.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination, according to a Gallup poll taken from August 17–21, has reiterated his opposition to a fence along the American border with Mexico. He commented on the fence at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, a crucial primary state. Perry, who served as the chairman of leftist Al Gore’s Democratic presidential campaign in Texas in 1988, has a confirmed liberal history on immigration, as The New American has reported, although he now campaigns as a conservative. In New Hampshire, Perry repeated the idea that building a fence would merely boost the ladder business. Perry’s Remarks The former Gore booster was speaking to potential supporters at a private reception, The Associated Press reported, when someone asked about his support for a border fence.
Mitt Romney was the keynote speaker when the Tea Party Express rolled into Concord, New Hampshire, and staged a rally at Rollins Park Sunday evening. But the former Massachusetts Governor and current presidential candidate had plenty of competition when it came to informing and entertaining the crowd of about 200 people who turned out to hear about the battles to be fought and the issues at stake in the 20012 elections. The crowd heard from Tea Party organizers, lesser known presidential candidates, and singers voicing patriotic lyrics to country and rap beats. "Limited government's the only solution/ Our only foundation should be our Constitution, " a rap singer insisted. "Our children and our grandchildren, they never will forget," lamented a country singer, "how we sold out for a little change and left them all in debt." But through most of the evening singing the blues gave way to shouts of optimism and predictions of another change at the polls in November.
At least three White House officials received email updates on "Operation Fast and Furious," a gun-walker scandal that saw the transfer of some 2,000 weapons into the hands of the Mexican-based Sinaloa drug cartel. CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson reported September 2 that "three White House officials were briefed on gun trafficking efforts that included Fast and Furious. The officials are Kevin O'Reilly, then-director of North American Affairs, now assigned to the State Department; Dan Restrepo, senior Latin American advisory; and Greg Gatjanis, a national security official." The three White House officials being advised on the progress of the botched transfer were in addition to the top leadership of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Both Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Kenneth Melson and U.S. District Attorney for Phoenix Dennis K. Burke resigned their positions over "Operation Fast and Furious" August 30. The operation was not merely responsible for the transfer of more than 2,000 guns to the Mexican-based Sinaloa drug cartel, but many of the weapons were high-powered weapons such as AK-47s, AR-15s and two different models of .50 caliber armor-piercing sniper weapons with a kill range of over a mile.
Rank-and-file U.S. Border Patrol agents were furious with then-chief David Aguilar’s open support for “comprehensive immigration reform” and other controversial policies, footage obtained exclusively by Liberty News Network correspondent Andy Ramirez revealed. Throughout the video, which shows part of a 2007 town hall-type meeting between agents and their boss marketed as an opportunity for them to speak candidly, officers accuse Aguilar of having expressed support for amnesty. He denied it, of course, but the agents clearly didn’t buy it. One officer in the audience proceeds to read a quote from Aguilar’s congressional testimony where he called for “comprehensive immigration reform,” a term which is often considered synonymous with amnesty. Aguilar also advocated a “temporary workers program” and a measure to “bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows without providing amnesty.”
As media attention intensifies about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s run for the presidential nomination, an activist in Tyler, Texas, was prompted to say "More checking under the hood needed before we buy the car," according to the Dallas Morning News (DMN). The article focused on Perry’s comments at a Border Summit speech in south Texas (8-22-01), days before the 9-11 attacks, about bi-national health insurance — Texas-funded coverage for both U.S. and Mexican border residents. The governor’s statement favored a study, required by the Legislature, about "the feasibility of bi-national health insurance.” The DMN continued, "Katherine Cesinger, spokeswoman for Perry’s campaign, downplayed the topic of bi-national health insurance. 'A bill was passed by the Legislature that authorized a study to look into this issue, which ultimately concluded there were numerous barriers to accomplishing that idea, and the Legislature took no further action on this concept,' she said." However, in spite of the Legislature’s failure to act, Perry made clear his willingness to funnel Texas’s assets to Mexico. He stated in his Summit speech,