CAN YOU SAY “CONFLICT OF INTEREST”?

I knew you could!


Here is the latest “Porker of the Month” from CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE.

Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky)
Washington Office:
Phone:
202-225-4601
Fax: 202-225-0940
CAGW Names Rep. Hal Rogers August Porker of the Month
(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) August Porker of the Month for sponsoring legislation that could give federal funding to his daughter’s nonprofit organization, which promotes overseas wildlife protection for cheetahs.
According to a July 26, 2010 article in the Lexington Herald-Leader, “U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, is sponsoring a bill to give $5 million a year to conservation groups that work overseas on behalf of endangered ‘great cats and rare canids,’ such as cheetahs, lions and Ethiopian wolves.  One group interested in applying, should Rogers’ bill become law, is the Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund.  Its grants administrator, Allison Rogers, is the congressman’s daughter.”
“Americans are being forced to tighten their belts while the economy is limping along, but that doesn’t deter porkers in Congress, like Rep. Rogers, who think nothing of using the hard-earned tax dollars of the U.S. Treasury to subsidize family members,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.  “Members of Congress should go out of their way to ensure that their actions in Congress never appear to be nepotistic.  Rep. Rogers and members like him continue to behave as though the U.S. Treasury is their own personal piggy bank.”
Rep. Rogers has claimed there is no conflict of interest.  Unfortunately, the bill that Rep. Rogers’ is sponsoring is narrow enough in scope that his support seems more than coincidental.
“Taxpayers are smarter than members of Congress think,” continued Schatz.  “They can spot a ‘cheetah’ from a mile away.”
CAGW’s Porker of the Month can also be viewed on video which is co-produced with reason.tv, the video website of Reason Magazine.  CAGW’s Porker of the Month is available on both CAGW’s homepage and atreason.tv.
For promoting nepotism by attempting to steer taxpayer money to his daughter’s nonprofit, CAGW names Rep. Hal Rogers its August 2010 Porker of the Month.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

####

For more information, contact:          Leslie K. Paige
202-467-5334
media@cagw.org
He says there’s no conflict of interest.  Just sheer coincidence that his daughter’s organization just so happens to be in line to benefit, I’m sure. Just sheer coincidence Representative Rogers started sponsoring this bill in 2007 which just so happens to be the year his daughter became the grants administrator of the Namibia based Cheetah Conservation Fund.





Ironically, Representative Rogers represents one of the poorest Congressional districts in the nation.



THAT PESKY FIRST AMENDMENT THING AGAIN!


by Katie Walker : Aug 17, 2010 : American Life League
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/9248014686.html

“We are so grateful to Tiffany for her courage in the face of injustice.”

Washington, DC)—American Life League celebrated a free speech victory after a federal court entered a judgment this past Thursday that a California elementary school and three school officials violated the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of a sixth-grade student who participated in ALL’s National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day (NPLTD) in 2008.

School officials barred Tiffany Amador from wearing her American Life League T-shirt at McSwain Union Elementary School in Merced, California. NPLTD (now a week-long event) was organized to increase awareness of the personhood of the child in the womb and the tragedy of abortion.

“So often, pro-life students learn that free speech is a constitutional right that, in practice at least, doesn’t apply to them,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “For too long, pro-abortion demagogues have had a stranglehold on the country’s educational institutions and have sought to stifle dissenting opinions—by force, if necessary, as seen in this case. We are so grateful to Tiffany for her courage in the face of injustice—both the bloody injustice of abortion and the tyrannical injustice of government institutions violating free speech rights.”

Abortion t-shirtThe shirt featured the word “ABORTION” over a series of panels, two of which depicted pictures of a developing preborn child and the third filled in with black. The caption read, “Growing…growing…gone.”

According to William J. Becker Jr. of the Becker Law Firm, representing Amador, the school claimed the images were “disruptive” because of their “graphic nature” but could not explain what made them so graphic that they would have caused any disruption, much less a substantial one, which the U.S. Supreme Court has held is a requirement for a school infringing upon a student’s expressive rights.

In addition to claiming that her First Amendment right of expression was violated, Amador, who has since graduated from the eighth grade, alleged in the lawsuit that her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure was violated when the school’s secretary forcefully pulled her into the principal’s office because of her shirt.

“Public school employees work for the government,” Becker said. “Any time a school official uses physical force to suppress non-disruptive student expression; the government has gone way too far in enforcing its own political views.”

Did you notice something? This elementary school girl was “forcefully pulled into the principal’s office because of her shirt.” So-called adults “forcefully pulling” a young girl who was not being physically disruptive. This shows just how angry the liberal left becomes when someone other than leftists express a viewpoint protected by the First Amendment. What’s more, the U. S. Supreme Court had already ruled that a school could not infringe on a student’s right to freedom of expression unless it caused a substantial disruption. The school violated many of Amador’s rights, and I think they knew it at the time. School officials at the very least should have known anyway.


If you have children in school, and if at any time you believe the school is infringing on your child’s Constitutional rights, then do some research and find out. Do not just take their word for it. Schools, just like any other governmental entity, oftentimes depend on the public’s lack of knowledge to run roughshod over our rights guaranteed by the Constitution.


SO WHERE ARE ALL THE PATRIOT ACT OBJECTORS?

This report came out in the Washington Post on July 29, 2010. The article, WHITE HOUSE PROPOSAL WOULD EASE FBI ACCESS TO RECORDS OF INTERNET ACTIVITY, reported that the Obama administration was attempting to make it easier for the FBI to force companies to turn over reports of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order. Let me say that again. Without a court order.

The Obama adminstration is asking Congress to amend the ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS PRIVACY ACT to include records of Internet activity during the upcoming fiscal year that begins October 1. The criteria for access would rest solely on the subjective judgement of FBI agents. Under this proposal, if an FBI agent believed he or she needed the information for an intelligence or terrorism investigation, then companies would have no choice to hand it over without a court order, warrant, your consent, or your knowledge. The demand for such information would not even have to come from FBI headquarters in Washington. Any FBI field office could do so on its own.

These requests, known as “national security letters”, are made by the FBI routinely now. According to a 2008 inspector general report, the FBI issued 192,500 national security letters between 2003 and 2006. The report did not show how many of these letters were for Internet information. What the Obama administration wants to do is add the words “electronic communication transactional records” to the list of types of information the FBI can obtain through the use of national security letters.

While administration officials and lawyers insist that the content of a person’s Internet activity records would not be included, the 2008 inspector general’s report showed there were numerous possible violations of FBI regulations which included the issuance of national security letters without even having an approved investigation to justify it. In other words, information was obtained with either no investigation in progress, or an investigation that was being done with proper authority within the FBI. There were two cases that were found where information was requested that was not even permitted under Federal law. Imagine that.

Michael Sussman, an attorney for the U. S. Department of Justice under the Clinton administration, expressed concerns about the addition of the new language. Mr. Sussman said, “You’re bringing a big category of data–records reflecting who someone is communicating with in the digital world, Web browsing history, and potentially location information–outside of judicial review.” Kevin Bankston, a senior staff attorney with the ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION who filed a lawsuit against AT&T for assisting former President Bush in his “warrantless surveillance program” also has similar concerns. Mr. Bankston said, “Our biggest concern is that an expanded NSL power might be used to obtain Internet search queries and Web histories detailing every Web site visited and every file downloaded.”


Now there you have major concerns about this proposal by two attorneys one of whom worked under a very liberal administration, and the other who filed a lawsuit opposing assistance given to the Bush administration’ s Patriot Act. Not exactly Tea Partiers. In addition, the U. S. Department of Justice’s own Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion on November 5, 2008, which are binding on the Executive Branch, that stated the four current categories of information the FBI can obtain with national security letters was exhaustive. Those categories are name, address, length of service, and toll billing records.

I have an additional concern about this. Remember when the Department of Homeland Security’s Janet Neopolitan issued a report last year that classified most Americans as threats to national security (see my post with complete details including a link to the report from April 16, 2009, click ENEMY OF THE STATE). If you believe in the Constitutional sovereignty of the states, oppose abortion, illegal immigration, and free trade agreements such as NAFTA (hey, the free trade thing includes a lot of you liberals!), oppose the expansion of entitlements, favor owning firearms to protect your family, stockpile food (which FEMA itself even says is a good idea in case of a natural disaster), or are a Christian, oppose the New World Order, then you are a “right-wing extremist” and a threat to national security. See how easy it would be for Big Brother to put you under the microscope for these security threats?

I wonder where the left’s “hue and cry” is about this? The liberal left in this country yelled long and loud about the Bush administration’s monitoring of telephone calls coming in to the Unite States originating in other countries from known terrorists and terrorist organizations. The leftists were on their soapboxes daily on the every news network there was screaming ad nauseum, “We are a nation of laws!” But these same people are strangely silent now. It’s been two weeks now since the story broke. If anything is being said at all, it is at nowhere near the level is was during the Bush administration. Double standard? Nah! What AM I thinking?

MORE ON THE RACIST TEA PARTY MYTH

This is a speech given by BOB PARKS of PROJECT 21 at the National Black Conservative Press Conference on August 4, 2010 at the National Press Club in Washington, D. C. Mr. Parks debunks the leftist mantra claiming Tea Partiers are racist.

The left has not been able to discredit the Tea Party movement in any way, so true to form, when all else fails, they pull out the old, worn out race card. Expect to here it more and more the closer we get to November.

MEDIA BLINDNESS

Ever notice when a non-Democrat politician is accused of wrong-doing, his or her party affiliation is always included, but when it’s a Democrat, it’s mostly omitted? Listen closer to the television news and give a closer look at newspaper articles. A Democrat’s party affiliation is left out more times than not.

In the greatest party-affiliation cover-up since the media tried to portray Gary Condit as a Republican, the media are refusing to mention the party affiliation of the thieving government officials in Bell, Calif.

There have been hundreds of news stories about Bell city officials’ jaw-dropping salaries. In this poor city on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where the per capita annual income is $24,800 a year, the city manager, Robert Rizzo, had a salary of $787,637.

That’s about twice what the president of the United States makes. (To be fair, Rizzo was doing a better job.)

Rizzo was the highest-paid government employee in the entire country, not counting Maxine Waters’ husband — pending further revelations. With benefits, his total annual compensation, according to the Los Angeles Times, came to $1.5 million a year.

Alerted to the Bell situation, the White House quickly added the Bell city manager to the list of jobs saved by its stimulus plan.

Not only that, but Rizzo was entitled to 28 weeks off a year for vacation and sick leave. To put that in perspective, that’s almost as much vacation time as public school teachers get!

Reached in Spain, even Michelle Obama was outraged.

Rizzo responded to the anger over his preposterous salary by saying: “If that’s a number people choke on, maybe I’m in the wrong business. I could go into private business and make that money.”

(If he wants to grab one of those private-sector jobs that pays $1.5 million for 24 weeks of work, may I suggest the entertainment industry?)

Good luck to him. After leaving Bell, Rizzo will be lucky to land a job at Taco Bell. Before being anointed the King Tut of Bell, Rizzo was the city manager of Hesperia, Calif., where he was overpaid only to the tune of $78,000 a year.

The police chief, Randy Adams, was making $457,000 — $770,046 including benefits. The assistant city manager, Angela Spaccia, had a $376,288 salary, with a total compensation package of $845,960. Being just an assistant city manager, Angela had to pay for her own yacht.

After the Los Angeles Times reported the stratospheric government salaries in little Bell, and the people of the town revolted, the millionaire government employees all resigned.

That’ll show ’em! Oops, except upon their resignations, they qualified for lifetime pensions worth, by some estimates, more than $50 million.

These insane salary packages were granted by the mayor and four city council members — who also set their own salaries. As a result, all but one was making $100,000 a year for these part-time jobs. After the council members’ salaries came to light, the four looters cut their salaries by 90 percent.

According to Nexis, there have been more than 300 news stories reporting on the Bell scandal. Guess how many mentioned the party affiliation of the corrupt government bureaucrats?

One. Yes, just one. Now guess if the government officials were Democrats or Republicans? Yes, that is correct.

Congratulations — you’ve qualified for our bonus round!

The one newspaper to cough up party affiliations, The Orange County Register, admitted that the corrupt officials were all Democrats only in response to reader complaints about the peculiar omission.

Lots of news stories on the scandal in Bell used the word “Democrat” or “Democratic.” But that was only to say that the DEMOCRATIC attorney general of California, Jerry Brown, who is running on the DEMOCRATIC ticket for governor, is investigating the Bell officials’ salaries.

So we know the media are aware of party affiliations. They just chose not to mention it when it would require them to identify shockingly corrupt government officials as Democrats.

Any day now, the media will start describing Maxine Waters as “the light-skinned congresswoman from California.”

(But you might want to vote for that DEMOCRATIC attorney general who is apparently a great crusader against corruption … despite his years of ignoring the public employee salary and pension looting that has driven the state into insolvency.)

Maybe Obama’s Czar of City Managers’ Salaries could investigate this.

Unlike political corruption involving sex or bribery, the outrage in Bell isn’t a scandal that hits both parties from time to time — it’s how the Democrats govern.

Elected Democratic officials bestow ludicrous salaries and benefits packages on government employees, and, in return, public employee unions make sure the Democrats keep getting re-elected.

The scandal in Bell isn’t a scandal at all for the Democrats. Au contraire! This is the governing strategy of the Democratic Party.

AND SPEAKING OF STEALING ELECTIONS . . .

“Vote Early, Vote Often” is no longer just a tongue-in-cheek jab at the tactics used by the Democrats describing their fraudulent tactics to gain or remain in power. Now, a Federal judge has implemented a system where one can truly vote often. Several times. That’s right, one person can vote multiple times in Port Chester, New York, that is, if you are Hispanic.

The U. S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in 2006 against the little village of Port Chester, NY (2006 population 28,300), because it’s voting system was unfair in the eyes of Big Brother.

A little side note here: whether it’s an individual, a city, or county, if the Federal government files a lawsuit, the person or local jurisdiction has automatically lost. If nothing else, the government will continue to litigate until the funds of the defendant are bled dry. As for the little village of Port Chester, the taxpayers’ money that had to be used to fight totalitarian Washington is goods, services, and employment that will be denied local residents. Just another prime example of what the politicians in Washington REALLY think of us regardless of party affiliation. They don’t care unless it’s election time.

What was unfair about Port Chester’s voting system? Time to play the race card. What was unfair was the Port Chester had never elected a Hispanic. From articles I have seen, Port Chester’s Hispanic population is anywhere from 21.6% (WORLD NET DAILY) to nearly half (HUFFINGTON POST), and no Hispanic had ever been elected to the village’s board of trustees.

So, as a result of the tyrannical lawsuit, here comes Federal Judge Stephen Robinson said that a majority vote system violated the Voting Rights Act. The “remedy”? Let Hispanic voters vote six times for the candidate of their choice. You saw that right. SIX TIMES EACH.

Why even bother having the election? Just let the Feds start appointing county commissioners, city council members, and all the rest. That’s the precedent that was set here. The precedent has now been established for the Federal government to override the will of the people in any election, and dictate who can hold the office.

There was at least one Hispanic voter who questioned the judge’s instructions on how to vote. Arthur Furano, age 80, said, “This was very strange. I’m not sure I liked it. All my life, I have heard, ‘one man, one vote.’ ” Mr. Furano’s wife used her six votes to vote once for each of the six candidates. Way to go! U.S. Department of Justice, what say you?



NOW THE NATIONAL ANTHEM IS POLITICALLY INCORRECT???

This has got to be one of the most absurd cases of liberalism gone wild I have ever seen. Now, American citizens are restricted as to where they can sing the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem. This happened in none other than the nation’s capitol.

Posted by Lady Liberty on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 7:16 AM

This is just sickening. The crackpots in Washington DC won’t even let kids sing the national anthem at the Lincoln Memorial. What happened to our country?

Fascinating, isn’t it, how our government determines which laws it will enforce?

(Via Fox News)

A group of high school students attending a conservative leadership conference in Washington, D.C. said they were ordered by a security guard to stop singing the national anthem during a June 25 visit to the Lincoln Memorial.

“They told them to stop singing,” said Evan Gassman, a spokesman for the Young America’s Foundation. “I was taken aback. You wouldn’t expect a display of national patriotism to be censored.”

U.S. Park Police confirmed that the students were in violation of federal law and their impromptu performance constituted a demonstration in an area that must remain “completely content neutral.”

“The area they were standing in and singing is an area that is restricted for this type of activity,” said Sgt. David Schlosser. “The United States Park Police is absolutely content-neutral when it comes to any sort of demonstrations in these areas.”

Schlosser explained that performances, regardless of content, are banned to “maintain a contemplative and reverent area for the Lincoln Memorial, for the other guests and visitors.”

[…]

“They really did not provide the students a reason,” said Gassman. Balcomb, who is a high school senior, said they didn’t intend on creating a ruckus – they just wanted to show their patriotism.

“It’s not like we sounded great or anything,” he said.

“We just wanted to pay respect to our nation – in our capital.”

Schlosser, who commended the students on their musical ability, said the students were not cited and to his knowledge no report was filed.

“We need to make certain that all other visitors that don’t want to be a part of that or just choose to be tourists are able to do so in the same light that probably President Lincoln wanted – which is completely content neutral,” he said.

So, Sgt. David Schlosser, tell me, how would President Lincoln probably feel about flag burning?

UPDATE: Reader Mark D. sent this:

My daughter and I visited the Lincoln Memorial two weekends ago. While exiting the area a couple of Park Cops were hassling a videographer for no good reason. Only explanation was that he had no permit to use a professional grade camera. They were threatening to write him up. My daughter started taking pictures and only then did they relent. We have the pics if you would like them. More details too. Hate typing on this thing.

What is going on here?

What President Lincoln would have wanted???? The Park Police could use a history lesson like the rest of Washington could. President Lincoln, had he been present, I think would have stopped, stood reverently while they sang, and applauded them with kind words. He would certainly have NOT allowed a group of teenagers to be censored like that while expressing their love for their country.

As one of the high school seniors said, all they wanted to do was pay their respects to our country. Unbelieveable. These young people, first time in Washington, got a small taste of the absurdity that prevails there.

My hats off to these students. After being told they could not sing their national anthem in their country, these young people had the backbone to stand up and sing it anyway. The Park Police backed down. Could it possibly had anything to do with the fact that other visitors who happened to be there joined them in the singing? Just a small example of what freedom-loving people standing up to government oppression can do.