By Katie Kieffer
Awooooooo! The Wolf of the White House howls incessantly. Over twenty-nine times, the wolf called out unilateral changes to the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Twenty-nine times! I’m tired of this wolf. He’s disturbing the peace and making it impossible for me to sleep at night.
Last week, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. to the sound of a wolf call. I threw my earplugs against the wall in frustration and vowed to buy those gargantuan Bose noise-cancelling headphones. The headphones worked like a charm. I couldn’t hear the wolf and I slept soundly. Well, for about two nights.
Though I could no longer hear the wolf, he came to haunt me in my dreams. I began having terrible nightmares. Nightmares of my president: Barack Hussein Obama. In my dreams, the “wolf” was hunting. He was on the move. But he wasn’t looking for deer or bear. He was hunting down the Constitution; individual freedoms; and natural rights.
Wait. Now I’m reading the newspaper. Those weren’t nightmares at all! Certainly Obama is not literally a wolf… but he was literally authorizing unilateral changes to Obamacare! If those were but dreams, I could brush them aside. Unfortunately, my nightmares were omens of reality.
It seems like every time Obama senses that Obamacare threatens the Democratic Party’s prospects in the 2014 midterm elections he uses executive privilege to massage the law; his signature law that was supposed to be so amazing that Rep. Nancy Pelosi promised us it would create 4 million new jobs and be worth the “wait” to find out what was in it.
Everyone knows that American presidents are not authorized to behave like kings. But who is speaking up now that we have a president who behaves like he thinks he’s our king? Founding Father Alexander Hamilton made it clear in Federalist No. 78 that the legislative branch controls the purse strings and makes laws whereas the executive branch enforces the laws.
Liberals will protest: G.W. Bush and Reagan passed even more executive orders than Obama!!! Certainly there have been Republican presidents who have overused their executive authority. But we can’t change the past; we can only change the future. Obama is the current president and so it only makes sense to critique his behavior.
Let’s Analyze Obama’s Loudest Howls of 2014…
January 14, 2014: Obama declares at his first Cabinet meeting: “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”
We have phones and pens too. With which we will call and write our elected officials and tell them how disappointed we are with moderate Republicans who mutely stand by and let the president’s Democratic allies pass a measure extending the Treasury’s borrowing authority—without demanding ANY concessions.
President Obama has not changed his tune since 2011, when he told an auditorium of college students at the University of Colorado Denver: “We can’t wait for Congress to do its job. So where they won’t act, I will. …[with] executive actions.” When will more Republicans muster the courage to challenge his power mongering?
February 10, 2014: President Obama unilaterally delays the impact of the employer mandate for both mid-sized (50-99 employees) and large companies. Mid-sized companies have until 2016 instead of 2015 to offer health care coverage to their employees; and, large companies will only need to provide coverage to 70 percent of their employees instead of 95 percent.
Smells like a politically-motivated flip flop. We’ll need more than Febreze to freshen the air and eliminate the stench of corruption from the White House.
February 12, 2014: By executive order, President Obama raises the hourly minimum wage for government contractors to $10.10 beginning January 1, 2015 in order to “increase efficiency and cost savings in the work performed by parties who contract with the Federal Government.”
Uh huh. That’s what we all do when we’re trying to save money: pay everyone who works for us an arbitrarily greater amount of money—without making them earn the raise. That always motivates workers to burn the midnight oil.
It’s time for you to speak up and demand a return to constitutional principles and individual liberty. Pick up your pen. Or your phone. Let out a howl. Aroooo!
By Katie Kieffer
Tired of depressing news? Smile, because here is some very positive news: 50 U.S. Senators—both Democrats and Republicans—have pledged to stop Obama’s latest attack on the Second Amendment.
Last week, all 50 senators wrote a letter to Obama pledging not to ratify the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty. In order for this treaty to be ratified, it would need 60 “yay” votes in the Senate. This means, gun owners will not need to forfeit their God-given right to self-defense and President Obama is on notice that his latest attack on the Second Amendment is dead on arrival in the Senate.
This fall, the Obama administration signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. As I warned gun owners in August, this treaty undermines your Second Amendment rights, places international law on a pedestal above our Constitution and encourages the creation of a national gun registry.
Obama pledged that he would never sign the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. In October of 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. would only enter the Arms Trade Treaty by “the rule of consensus decision-making.” However, these 50 U.S. Senators write that Obama broke this pledge, because: “in April 2013, after the treaty failed to achieve consensus, it was adopted by majority vote in the U.N. General Assembly. We fear that this reversal has done grave damage to the diplomatic credibility of the United States.”
These 50 senators write that this treaty: “encourages governments to collect the identities of individual end users of imported firearms at the national level, which would constitute the core of a national gun registry.” This means that Obama broke another promise to the American people by signing this treaty. On March 25, 2013, his spokesman told the press that Obama was absolutely not working to create a national gun registry. Apparently, he was.
U.S. Senator James Inhofe sponsored an amendment in the Senate to show opposition to the treaty. Now, this letter is a further sign that the U.S. Senate will not allow our President to subvert both the Second Amendment and our ability to, as this letter states: “conduct our own foreign policy.” Obama’s own State Department has called the treaty “ambiguous” and so senators are very concerned that the terms of the treaty would severely restrict our ability to exercise our national sovereignty and conduct our own foreign policy. This treaty would effectively put global bureaucrats in charge of micromanaging our interactions with our own allies.
Here are the names of the 50 U.S. Senators who courageously took a stand for your freedom against the Obama administration:
Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. John Barrasso, Sen. Mark Begich, Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. John Boozman, Sen. Richard Burr, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Sen. Jeff Chiesa, Sen. Daniel Coats, Sen. Tom Coburn, Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Mike Crapo, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Mike Enzi, Sen. Deb Fischer, Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Kay Hagan, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Dean Heller, Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. James Inhofe, Sen. Johnny Isakson, Sen. Mike Johanns, Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Mary Landrieu, Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Joe Manchin III, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Jerry Moran, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Rob Portman, Sen. Mark Pryor, Sen. James Risch, Sen. Pat Roberts, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Tim Scott, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Sen. Richard Shelby, Sen. John Thune, Sen. Pat Toomey, Sen. David Vittor, Sen. Roger Wicker
If your senator is one of the above 50 who signed this letter to Obama, please write to them and say “thank you” for standing up for your natural, God-given right to self-defense as well as our country’s right to manage our own foreign policy.
Gun owners like you have been speaking up loudly and clearly against this treaty. By speaking out, you have encouraged these 50 Senators to take a strong stand for freedom. Even though this treaty is now dead on arrival in the Senate, if your senator is not one of these 50, you should write him or her and encourage them to get on-board. All Americans need to be on the same team: Team Freedom.
By Katie Kieffer
I realize Obama is quite busy playing fetch with Bo and Sunny. However, I hope he has a few moments to consider turning on the fountain at the WWII Memorial and un-barricading the remaining war memorials on the National Mall.
Our veterans of WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are aging. Many of them are severely disabled, because of their heroism. It is immoral and embarrassing that our President would allow amnesty advocates to prance about on the sacred ground where taxpayers erected memorials to honor our veterans, rather than the actual veterans.
The National Mall is a national park and all national parks and memorials were closed during this government shutdown. Obama has repeatedly told Republicans, who tried to re-open the memorials, that he will not negotiate. (That’s always the sign of a leader; someone who wants his way or no way.)
When an exception was made so that our veterans were finally allowed to enter the WWII Memorial during this shutdown, they did not receive the full experience. A large, beautiful fountain is the centerpiece of the WWII Memorial, and it was turned off. The fountain makes the memorial come “alive” during the day and creates a sense of wonder at night, when the fountain is lit up.
These veterans traveled to D.C. on privately-funded “honor flights.” Many of them needed help walking around on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to experience war memorials that were built just for them—in the camaraderie of their friends who also fought in the same battles.
I personally spoke with a WWII veteran who traveled on the October 5th honor flight from Minneapolis to D.C. He told me that while WWII veterans were allowed to see their memorial, the veterans on his flight who fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars were not allowed to see their memorials. This is disgraceful.
These memorials belong to our brave warriors, not our president. Our veterans paid for these memorials with their blood. Obama, meanwhile, never spent a day in his life on a battlefield, beyond possibly playing Battleship on the White House lawn with his ol’ buddy, Warren Buffett.
This WWII veteran told me: “The whole experience brought back floods of memories of those war years; my service years; my ‘good-ol-days.’ We had patriotism, love of country, respect for truth and a strong faith. Our country was, for a time, free and at peace.”
At the same time, he thought that it was not right that he and the other members of the honor flight were unable to see the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Certainly, they appreciated the opportunity to see the WWII Memorial. But, they hardly received the full experience, since the beautiful fountain was off. Plus, their ages ranged from 85-to-97 and many of them were in declining health. So, most may never have another chance to return and get the full experience of visiting all the memorials.
Overall, the WWII veteran who I spoke with had a very positive outlook. He appreciated how Minnesota’s senators and representatives, including Rep. Erik Paulsen, Rep. Keith Ellison, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken “took time out from their arguments” about the government shutdown and went to the airport in D.C. to greet the veterans as they deplaned from their honor flight.
He described their experience deplaning in D.C.: “It was like a wedding reception line. The airport was full of people, and when they saw our bunch of old soldiers coming off the plane on canes and wheelchairs, everybody started clapping, and kept clapping, and people were reaching out, shaking our hands and saying: ‘Thank you for your service!’ And, I can’t believe I’d ever do such a thing, but, before I realized it, I was actually smiling and shaking hands with Amy Klobuchar, Eric Paulsen and Al Franken. Ellison was there to greet our Minnesota group too, but I missed him. Al Franken said to me: ‘Thank you for giving our country freedom.’ And I said to him, ‘Well, I hope we don’t have to do it again!’”
These brave veterans were “so pleased” to have a chance to see the WWII Memorial and tour D.C. that they all walked away feeling very appreciative of their honor flight experience. Nevertheless, this veteran expressed concern for the way President Obama has treated our veterans. He said: “The current regime doesn’t seem to want people to have that patriotic feeling that you get when you visit the war memorials. I think they’re trying to reduce the feeling of patriotism. It was a very patriotic thing for America to do; to honor the vets by building war memorials. I can’t see them putting up any new memorials today, unless it’s a monument to the immigrants.”
By Katie Kieffer
Lt. Clint Lorance needs your help. He is an American war hero who was unjustly sentenced to 20 years confinement, forfeiture of all pay, and dismissal from the U.S. Army because the Obama administration is apparently trying to appease the Afghan government. Members of his own platoon were pressured to testify against him to protect themselves from disciplinary action.
The day he turned 18, Lorance walked into the Greenville, Texas recruiting station and enlisted in the U.S. Army. The U.S. had recently invaded Iraq and he felt an obligation to serve his country. Before long, Lorance was thriving. Two years into his military career, Lorance was already a Sergeant.
Throughout the 10 years he served in the U.S. Army, Lorance kept his mother informed of all his accomplishments and award certificates. His mother told me that she now has all of these certificates and letters with her. Many are letters from his superiors recommending him for promotion. When his mother recently read through them all herself, she found they were: “All stating his excellent performance and being highly recommended as an outstanding young man. Not one bad word or one bad report.”
Lorance’s superiors described him as trustworthy, highly skilled, very organized and by-the-books (a vital trait in the Military where order and respect for leadership keeps everyone safe and on-mission during the fog of war).
Lorance served in the U.S. Army with a perfect record for 10 years when he was suddenly stripped of his weapon and dismissed from the Army without explanation in July of 2012. He was thrown into an impossible situation during his first time commanding an active-duty rifle platoon in a very dangerous region in Afghanistan teeming with Taliban insurgents. Around this time, the Obama administration implemented “Afghan in the Lead,” a nebulous set of rules of engagement whereby American commanders were supposed to let the Afghan forces take the lead, if the Afghans wanted to lead.
Lt. Lorance was leading his rifle platoon on a combat patrol in Taliban territory when U.S. Army helicopters overhead alerted him via radio to the presence of insurgents in the area. It is a common tactic of the Taliban to utilize “spotters” on motorcycles who communicate sightings via ICOM signals and carry grenades, which they toss at American forces. Suddenly, Lt. Lorance’s platoon encountered Afghan motorcyclists who exactly fit the description he had received over radio.
With seconds to react, Lt. Lorance used his common sense. He authorized his American marksmen to make precision shots and route these ostensible Taliban spotters instead of relying on his Afghan soldiers, who had less training and a reputation for being trigger-happy. Lt. Lorance did the right thing; he eliminated what his intelligence told him were Taliban and also eliminated the loss of additional innocent lives that could have been lost had he authorized his Afghan soldiers to lead. He made the best call he could, with seconds to react and under immense pressure. Nevertheless, after 10 years of serving honorably in the Army with a perfect record, he was dismissed for using street smarts instead abiding by silly rules of engagement that could have jeopardized innocent Americans and Afghans.
Lt. Lorance is now sitting in confinement, awaiting a clemency hearing, and he wrote this letter to his supporters on September 1, 2013:
My fellow Patriots:
The past year has been a turbulent time for myself and all of you great American Patriots. I’ve been through many challenges in my life, and I’m thankful for who they’ve turned me into. The current challenge for me is enduring the banter, shrewdness and internal politics inherent to a prison population. It is arguably the most difficult obstacle that I’ve faced in my life, however, knowing I’m not alone in this arduous journey makes the road a little smoother. I’m standing strong on the “inside” as I’m confident you’re standing strong on the “outside.” You have my most sincere thanks and respect for taking a stand against injustice. You are true-blue Americans. NEVER GIVE UP – NEVER GIVE IN.
Sincerely and respectfully,
The last line in the letter, “Never Give Up, Never Give In,” is Lt. Lorance’s life motto. He is an amazing man who devoted his life to caring for others. Instead of judging him, we need to hear his side of the story. As his mother says, “He has written a story himself” through his exemplary character and actions.
I will keep you posted on developments regarding Lt. Lorance’s case. In the meantime, we all need to stand by this heroic man who faces injustice because the Obama administration apparently chose to appease the Afghan government instead of supporting our American troops. Moreover, he and his family need prayers to stay strong and upbeat as they face the hurdle of their lives. It’s up to us to remind our Commander-in-Chief: No man left behind.
Easy ways you can help Lt. Lorance:
1.) Please sign this petition to free Lt. Lorance from prison. He needs 25,000 signatures.
2.) His family seeks “character witness letters” that his attorney will bring to Lt. Lorance’s clemency hearing. Any American may write a reference letter on Clint’s behalf. These letters will be viewed by the Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division. You could express your feelings on Clint’s character or write a note expressing your concern about the treatment of our returning heroes.
Please address your letter to:
Commanding General, 82nd Airborne Division
Mail your letter to:
Anna Lorance P.O.Box 545 Celeste, Texas 75423
Your signature is required at the bottom of your letter. Your letter will help Clint’s defense team make a case at his upcoming clemancy hearing, so please send yours in soonest!
3.) Please visit DefendVeteranLorance.com, to find links to his life story, his Facebook page and his PayPal donation page. His family needs to raise funds for his legal defense. If you are a member of CHASE Bank, there is a special non-profit organization set up for Lt. Lorance through CHASE Bank. Anyone in the world may walk into their CHASE Bank branch and make a tax-deductible donation to: “Defend Veteran Lorance.”
By Katie Kieffer
Your guns are in danger. Obama has stopped defending the Second Amendment. He did not get his gun control agenda passed in the Senate. So, he’s unconstitutionally trying to use the United Nations to control your guns. Don’t let him.
Obama is getting dangerously close to signing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. If he signs this treaty and the Senate ratifies it, the Second Amendment is toast. And your guns will be in the control of dictators around the world.
This sounds like a bad movie or a conspiracy theory and I wish it were. But it’s real. 130 bipartisan members of Congress signed a letter that Rep. Mike Kelly wrote to President Obama and Secretary of State John Ketchup Kerry.
The 13-page letter asks Barry and Kerry to listen up to the people for once and NOT sign the Arms Trade Treaty. If you are a gun owner, you should express this same sentiment to all of your elected officials. Ask them to oppose the Arms Trade Treaty.
In simple terms, here’s how the Arms Trade Treaty threatens gun owners, freedom, and the 2nd Amendment:
A ‘National Control List’ Would Be Established
Article 5 of the Arms Trade Treaty creates a “National Control List.” Global leaders around the world who sign the treaty: “shall establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list.”
Obama promised us he was not going to establish a national gun registry. “He’s not seeking a registry,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on March 25, 2013.
In his twisted mind, Obama told the truth but not the whole truth. He didn’t want a national registry. He wanted a global registry. He wanted foreign governments to know whether you own a gun. That way, if you even think about jumping ship and leaving the United States to seek freedom elsewhere, there will effectively be an asterisk next to your name. Probably something like:
Name: Jimmy Brown
Criminal Activity: None.
Gun Owner: Yes.
Notes: Watch out for this dude; he’s a duck hunter. He shoots lots of waterfowl in the fall. No criminal record. But, be alert. Could be a terrorist.
The beautiful and talented actress Audrey Hepburn once said: “I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.” Tell Barry to listen to Audrey. Tell him to stay away from your guns. And leave you alone.
United Nations Would Control All Guns and Ammo
The New American reports that Articles 2, 3 and 4 of the Arms Trade Treaty give the UN the authority to apprehend the right of private citizens to: “own, buy, sell, trade, or transfer all means of armed resistance, including handguns.” Ammunition, parts and components also fall under UN purview.
Funny thing is, no government or group of governments will ever, ever, ever have the “right” to do this. As humans, we have an inherent right to our private property, including our bodies. We also have an inherent right to use self-defense to protect our bodies. Reason tells us this. Whether we choose to use our own fists or a Glock, we have a natural, God-given right to hold off lethal attacks with force.
No one has the authority to take away your natural rights. A bully with a pack of international bullies backing him up can only use force to extort your natural rights. That’s what Obama’s administration is trying to do; extort decent and law-abiding Americans like you.
Stand up for reason, justice and freedom. Tell Obama not to sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty and tell your Senators not to ratify it if he tries to send it their way.
By Katie Kieffer
A wimp waits until a man is dead to sue him. Obama waited to sue Apple co-founder Steve Jobs until he was dead. Because Obama knew he could never win while Jobs was alive, given Jobs’ celebrity status, fearless personality and enormous charisma.
This lawsuit matters to you—whether you love Apple products like iPhones, iPads and MacBooks or you can’t stand Apple products and you prefer other tech brands. If Apple loses this fight, any consumer who believes in competition and wants the best product for the lowest price will suffer. Apple has been going head-to-head with the Obama administration’s Department of Justice for over a year and the stakes are high for all of us.
Obama knows that Americans will blame him and the Democrats for the struggling economy and high unemployment in the midterm elections unless he convinces them otherwise. Obama’s go-to scapegoat has always been “big oil.” His latest scapegoat is “big Apple.”
Apple has long been one of the world’s most valuable companies, up there with Exxon Mobil; Obama likely thinks that he has a chance of winning votes for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections if he can convince American consumers that he is “defending” them from a conspiring corporation with a well-timed, high-profile lawsuit.
If Steve Jobs—a lifelong Democrat, beloved by Americans of all stripes—were still alive today, I doubt Obama would dare to publicly distort Jobs’ vision or attack Apple. Jobs was a capitalist and therefore his true life story and his company pose threats to Obama’s socialist platform. Thus, Obama’s administration has been out to distort Jobs and destroy the company he built.
On April 11, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would sue Apple and five major book publishers on charges that they violated anti-trust laws by conspiring to raise the price of e-books.
Here’s the catch: Apple and the five publishers were not conspiring to artificially raise the price of the e-books. They were merely switching from an outdated “wholesale pricing model” for print books to a so-called “agency model” that is better suited for e-books. At the time, Amazon monopolized e-book sales, controlling 60 percent of the market. To this day, Amazon continues to monopolize the e-book market.
I believe that the agency pricing model (spearheaded by Jobs) would help writers and book publishers stay in business in the digital era and thereby give consumers more choices by allowing new retailers (like Apple) to enter the market and compete with Amazon. Apparently, Obama did not want competition. He did not want consumers to have choices. He wanted to bring yet another industry under government control. So, Obama’s DOJ sued Amazon’s competitors in order to further strengthen Amazon’s e-book monopoly.
On July 10, a lone judge, ruling without a jury—declared Apple guilty of violating antitrust laws by conspiring to raise the price of e-books. The deck was stacked against Apple from the very beginning, with the judge, Denise L. Cote, delivering a pre-trial opinion that she believed Apple would be found guilty.
When Apple’s attorney, Orin Snyder, asked Cote to retract her pre-trial opinion, she denied his allegation that she was pre-dispositioned to rule against Apple. Then, low and behold, without any evidence, she declared Apple guilty of anti-trust violations.
Thankfully, Apple is holding strong and plans to appeal this unjust verdict. “So sue me, right.” Obama once quipped on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Obama deserves a taste of his own medicine after suing Apple and its co-founder Steve Jobs when it was too late for Jobs to defend himself. Maybe someone should file an anti-trust lawsuit against Obama for attacking the free markets and protecting Amazon’s monopoly.
It’s Undeniable: Amazon Has a Monopoly
The purpose of anti-trust laws is to promote and maintain market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies, including setting unnatural prices that inhibit free competition. When Apple collaborated with publishers, I contend that it did not violate anti-trust legislation because Apple’s agency-pricing model actually brought more competition and consumer choices into an e-book market that was—and still is—monopolized by Amazon.
Back in 2009, Amazon was a lone shark, controlling 90 percent of the e-book market. By April of 2012, even after Apple and others had entered the market, Amazon still controlled the majority (60 percent) of the e-book market. Barnes and Noble controlled 25 percent and Apple commanded a scant 15 percent. Yet Obama’s administration sued Apple, the smallest player, for conspiring to undermine Amazon.
Unlike traditional printed books, you can’t physically hold an e-book in your hands; you must purchase a special “e-reader” or tablet to peruse them. Amazon’s e-reader is called the Kindle. So, when Amazon monopolizes the e-book market, it also helps guarantee that people will be more likely to purchase its e-reading device.
Consumers, writers and book publishers have been unhappy with Amazon’s monopoly for some time. From a consumer perspective, Amazon’s monopoly lessens technology options. The Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook are not exactly the best options for e-book readers. As of December of 2012, CNET News rates the fourth-generation iPad tablet as the “best full-sized reading tablet” and even the second generation iPad outdoes comparable Android offerings.
Publishers were also unhappy with Amazon’s “wholesale pricing model” because it cannibalized their print businesses. As Jobs explained to his biographer, Walter Isaacson: “Amazon screwed it up. It paid the wholesale price for some books, but started selling them below cost at $9.99. The publishers hated that—they thought it would trash their ability to sell hardcover books at $28. So before Apple even got to the scene, some booksellers were starting to withhold books from Amazon. So we told the publishers, ‘We’ll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you [publishers] want anyway.’ But we also asked for a guarantee [per a most favored nation clause] that if anybody else is selling the books cheaper than we are, then we can sell them at the lower price too. So they [publishers] went to Amazon and said, “You’re going to sign an agency contract or we’re not going to give you the books.’”
Jobs further explained: “We were not the first people in the books business. Given the situation that existed [Amazon’s 90 percent monopoly], what was best for us was to do this akido move and end up with the agency model.”
Competition always creates more options for consumers. When publishers can stay profitable and new retailers can enter the e-book market, there are more quality options for readers. And when retailers like Apple can enter the market, they will innovate and offer alternative e-reading devices like the iPad so that Americans have more high-tech options for reading e-books than buying an Amazon Kindle.
Jobs’ Vision Was to Save Journalism, NOT to Rip Off Consumers
Jobs saw an opportunity to provide consumers with more choices. He knew he could turn a profit by competing with Amazon—but money was not his goal. Jobs’ main goal was to save high-quality print media from going extinct in the modern digital era where fewer consumers will pay for printed newspapers and books because they can get so much information and entertainment for free online.
I think Jobs intuitively understood that if major publishers can’t afford to pay writers and journalists, consumers suffer. I think Jobs understood that without media watchdogs, free speech deteriorates and the government is no longer accountable to the people.
For example, Jobs considered the New York Times to be one of the finest newspapers in America and he wanted to save its journalism for future generations. Isaacson writes: “Jobs was particularly interested in striking a deal with the New York Times, which he felt was a great newspaper in danger of declining because it had not figured out how to charge for digital content. ‘One of my personal projects this year, I’ve decided, is to try to help—whether they want it or not—the Times,’ he told me in early 2010. ‘I think it’s important to the country for them to figure it out.’”
Despite being a Democrat, Jobs also had great success working with Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corp., which owned conservative-leaning media giants like the Wall Street Journal and the Fox News Channel. So, I believe that Jobs’ over-arching vision in implementing the agency model was to preserve all high-caliber media.
Dear Mr. President, please stop favoring Amazon. She already monopolizes the e-book market and consumers deserve choices.
Key pages referenced from Walter Isaacson’s biography, “Steve Jobs:” pp. 503-04, 531 and 533-34.
By Katie Kieffer
Toilet paper holders. Cup holders. Cigar Holders. Various holders do an excellent job of ‘holding.’ Eric Holder is our U.S. attorney general who is ironically failing to live up to his name and do his job of upholding the law.
Most recently, Holder disparaged 92 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent regarding so-called “stand-your-ground” laws.
Holder has been Obama’s attorney general for well over four years and he has never made a public statement about stand-your-ground laws. Suddenly, last week, as Zimmerman trial verdict protesters called for abolishing Florida’s stand-your-ground law, he decided to end his silence. Holder probably figured: “The media’s got my back here. If I fudge about stand-your-ground laws, they won’t hold me accountable.”
So, on Tuesday of last week, Holder gave a speech at the annual conference for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and stated that stand-your-ground laws:
“…senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods” and “By allowing, and perhaps encouraging, violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety.”
On Wednesday, the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, chimed in with his two cents worth of nonsense:
“…these kinds of laws … have catastrophic effects.” He added: “My personal opinion—I don’t have all the information the jury had—Mr. Zimmerman went way beyond what was necessary in the situation.”
Dayton vetoed a stand-your ground law in February that would have expanded Minnesota’s self-defense law to be similar to Florida’s law. State laws vary, but 25 states have some version of a ‘stand-your-ground’ law permitting citizens to remain in the place where they are lawfully located when confronted by an unlawful intimidation; instead of retreating, they may use lethal force to defend themselves.
Dayton is a career politician and trust fund kid who is better qualified for yachting with elite partiers like John Kerry than governing the State of Minnesota. But Holder passed the bar exam and took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution at one point in his life. Unless Holder suffers from premature dementia, he knows better than to disparage 92 years of Supreme Court precedent as well as the 2nd and 4th Amendments.
Here are the FACTS that Holder and Dayton failed to mention:
1.) The day before Holder made his comments, a female jury member in the George Zimmerman trial (identified as B37) went public for the first time on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 program. She stated that all six of the jury members who found Hispanic Zimmerman “not-guilty” of second degree murder of black Trayvon Martin believed that race was absolutely not a factor in Martin’s death.
She added that she had “no doubt” that in the moments before Zimmerman pulled out his gun he feared Martin was about to kill him. After all, a neighborhood eyewitness had testified to seeing Martin was on top of Zimmerman in a MMA style “ground and pound” mount, hurling blows at Zimmerman.
2.) Zimmerman waited to use lethal violence as a last resort, when Martin was smashing his head into the cement and he thought his head was going to “explode;” after Martin had caught sight of the gun holstered at Zimmerman’s hip and yelled: “You’re going to die tonight!” Many legal experts, including law professors and prosecutors have concurred with what jury member B37 suggested to CNN: The Zimmerman case was a case of basic self-defense, not stand-your-ground.
Zimmerman had the right to defend himself per the 2nd Amendment (“right of the people to keep and bear arms”) and the Fourth Amendment (right of the people to be secure in their persons”). Even without the Constitution, Zimmerman would have had the right to defend himself: Natural Law, which comes from reason, tells you that you own your body and you have the right to defend it against lethal threats with lethal force.
3.) Stand-your-ground laws do not increase violence, as Holder and Dayton suggested. Quite the opposite, actually. States that implemented some form of stand-your-ground law reduced overall violent crime by 11 percent and murder by nine percent, Professor John Lott has shown in his book, More Guns Less Crime (3rd Ed.).
If anything incites violence, it is the irrational and vitriolic comments made by leaders like Holder and Dayton, not stand-your-ground laws.
The Zimmerman incident occurred in Florida. But in California last week, protesters threw rocks at police, punched an officer in the chest, assaulted a news photographer and reporter to the point of hospitalization, vandalized a Wal-Mart store, chased down a restaurant server with a hammer, jumped on cars and ran recklessly through the streets of Los Angeles and Oakland.
If these California protests are not examples of “unnecessary” violence that “escalated in public,” what are they? California’s violence was not provoked by stand-your-ground laws in Florida; it was provoked by leaders like Holder who are whipping up anger and animosity between Americans who would otherwise be friends and neighbors.
Stand your ground against Eric Holder’s rhetoric because he is failing to uphold the law. If there were a contest to see who did their job better—Eric Holder or a toilet paper holder—the winner would be the latter.
By Katie Kieffer
Agency girls are going wild. Obama’s leading ladies make students partying on the beach look like amateurs.
Misbehavin’ is a resume booster in Washington, D.C. But not the kind of misbehaving that you might think. There are no wet t-shirt contests. It’s a buttoned-up misbehavin’—personified by middle-aged matrons on a mission for complete control over your life.
Here are is my annual edition of ‘Agency Girls Gone Wild:’
1.) Lois Lerner:
Lois Lerner is the IRS Director of Exempt Organizations. Right now, she is on a paid summer vacation. You got one day of paid vacation last week for Independence Day. She’s getting the whole summer. Last week, Sarah Palin summed it up well on Fox News: “She’s not doing a lick of work.”
Lerner is on leave because she is very naughty and very bad at math. Hopefully she is using her time off to take some remedial arithmetic courses along with a crash course on ethics at a local community college. More likely, she is lounging on a beach; sipping a girly cocktail; and reading mommy porn like 50 Shades of Gray.
Remember, in early May, a big IRS scandal was about to burst? During the 2012 election campaigns, the IRS unethically targeted and delayed the approval of conservative non-profit organizations. (Obama couldn’t let any tea partiers influence the minds of swing voters like minorities, young people and women! Those were his votes.)
Well, an Inspector General’s report on this scandal was about to go public and the head honchos at the IRS were sweating bricks trying to figure out a way to delicately inform the public of their impropriety. IRS Commissioner Steve Miller reportedly helped Lerner concoct a scheme to mitigate the scandal by slowly leaking it to the public at a May 10 American Bar Association Conference.
The day before the ABA conference, Lerner picked up her phone and rang a D.C tax lawyer acquaintance of hers named Celia Roady. Lerner asked Roady to plant a question at the ABA conference.
The next day, when Roady asked the question, Lerner rattled off the remarks she and Miller had prepared regarding the scandal. The plan failed: News of the IRS’ unethical behavior immediately left the public shocked and furious.
When Lerner was questioned by the press, she dug her hole deeper.
Lerner: “I said that about a quarter of the cases that were selected for full developments had either ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot’ in their name.”
Reporter Tom Costello of NBC News: “OK. Sorry. Thank you for the clarification. But that would be a quarter of the 300 then so we are talking 75 or so?”
Lerner: “That’s correct. Is that a quarter? That’s correct. Thank you. I’m not good at math.”
By now Lerner has probably realized that 75 goes into 300 exactly four times. Certainly it is hard to do differential equations in one’s head under pressure, but, c’mon, how can she be a Director at an agency that collects taxes and admittedly not understand basic arithmetic?
2.) Sara Hall Ingram
Ms. Hall Ingram looks like she lives in a library. But she’s not a sweet little bookworm like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. (To make this assessment is not to judge a book by its cover. It’s judging a book by its contents. If Ms. Hall Ingram were a book, her contents would be quite despicable.)
Good thing Ms. Hall Ingram rarely smiles or people might have suspected Obama of playing games behind Michelle’s back. After all, Hall Ingram made 165 visits to the White House between 2011 and February of 2013. Is there really that much “business” for one woman to do at the White House?
Apparently there is a boatload of work to do at the White House if you are in charge of administering ObamaCare, which is Hall Ingram’s current role within the IRS; the woman in charge of administering the unconstitutional job-killer of the century is basically Obama’s political mistress.
Her previous role was to oversee Ms. Lerner and she did a terrible job of that as well, as the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration pointed out in the report: “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review” on May 14, 2013.
Hall Ingram brought home over $100,000 just in bonuses during the time that she oversaw the tea-party targeting at the IRS and Obama most likely personally signed off on her bonuses, reported the Washington Examiner.
3.) Beth Tucker
This lady wears black dresses and pearls and tells Fox News that she is a “civil servant.” From the way she presents herself, you would think she were a widow in mourning who volunteers in her community on the weekends. Far from it.
Beth Tucker is the Deputy IRS Commissioner. As one of the IRS’ highest-ranking officials, Tucker partook in a closed-door meeting with the Inspector General back in May of 2012. In this meeting, the Inspector General explained that the IRS was wrongfully targeting conservative groups.
Whether Tucker knew of this targeting activity before May of 2012 was irrelevant. The relevant fact is that this self-declared “civil servant” did nothing. Tucker was more like Obama’s servant. Her silence helped him slide into the White House a few months later by silencing the voice of the tea party.
We do not have enough space to get to all the wild girls in D.C. agencies, but a few deserve honorable mentions:
Victoria Nuland: This State Department spokeswoman wanted the CIA’s Benghazi talking points scrubbed squeaky clean to prevent the public from discovering the incompetence of her group. She feared that Congress would: “…beat [up] the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings.”
Hillary Clinton: She is the worst agency girl in town. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the infamous instigator of a secret gun-running program to Syrian rebels that most likely is responsible for the deaths of four Americans on September, 11, 2012.
Let’s hope these girls aren’t, as Christina Aguilera might croon, “too dirty to clean their acts up.”
By Katie Kieffer
Two women are tied for the title of Most Beautiful Woman in America. Veritable goddesses, they show no trace of vanity. Their beauty is a gift to America and they deserve our attention.
Unlike Victoria’s Secret Angels, these two women are ageless; their attractiveness becomes more apparent with time. They echo the strength and grace of Michelangelo’s David statue. Their gazes are determined looks of confidence; the veins in their muscular arms protrude; their stances are those of warrioresses.
Lately, our country’s leaders seem to have forgotten about liberty, truth, beauty and justice. EPA planes have been snooping on cattle ranchers; Sen. Diane Feinstein wants to take away our Second Amendment rights; Washington agencies are clandestinely collecting our cell phone numbers and tracking our calling patterns and the IRS has targeted patriot groups while spending over $4 million in taxpayer dollars on employee conferences featuring Cupid Shuffle line dancing and a “Star Trek” parody.
Lady Justice and Lady Liberty are supremely beautiful because justice and liberty are foundational to the American experiment and the U.S. Constitution. We must remember to regularly contemplate their stunning countenances:
Justice lives in a palace of marble. She is the gatekeeper of the U.S. Supreme Court Building, and her countenance appears three times within the Courthouse. Justice takes her name from the Greek goddess Themis and the Roman goddess Justitia. Sometimes she appears with a blindfold to represent her impartiality, but other times she appears without a blindfold because she is has a clairvoyant eye for the truth. She often holds a set of scales and a sword in her arms.
Inside the Courthouse, Justice appears in a frieze sculpted into the wall by Adolph Weinman. In this depiction, she looks almost masculine because of her great strength. She fixes her eyes ahead with sovereign determination while holding both hands on her sheathed sword, ready and willing to administer justice and protect the innocent.
We desperately need Justice in America today. Practicing lawyers are saddened that the top lawyer in the country, Attorney General Eric Holder, has openly abused the justice system for the Obama administration’s agenda—unconstitutionally snooping on journalists from Fox News, the Associated Press and the New York Times.
Former prosecutor Judge Jeanine Pirro indicted Holder on her June 1 Fox News show, Justice with Judge Jeanine. She chastened Holder for his rogue leadership of the Department of Justice: “What are you gonna do, one-up the Constitution? We’ve already got a First Amendment!”
Whereas Justice graces marble, Liberty is more comfortable on the water—bracing against harsh 50 mph winds and holding a torch in the air to light the way for freedom. She welcomes visitors to America from her perch in New York Harbor. She represents the American victory of independence from Britain, holding a tablet that reads: July IV MDCCLXXVI (July 4, 1776).
Liberty does not believe in whips and chains. Broken shackles and chains are scattered at her feet because her designer, French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, wanted us to remember how we escaped from tyranny under Great Britain. He clothed Liberty in a stola and palla—the clothing worn by the free peoples of ancient Rome and Greece. Atop her head she wears a crown featuring a halo-like “diadem,” symbolizing her transcendence and a “nimbus” (rays) symbolizing her enlightened philosophy.
Measuring 111’1” from head to toe, Liberty soars far above humans. She stands above man’s petty disagreements, special interests, bribery, corruption and cunning. She greets anyone entering the harbor with a determined and objective welcome. Her face says: “You have come to the land of freedom and freedom requires constant vigilance.”
Bartholdi enlisted French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel to build a secondary skeletal framework and an iron pylon for his statue. Liberty awes us by her ability to withstand the assaults of the elements—Eiffel’s ingenuity allows her to move as if she is alive. Her 31-ton copper “skin” flexes nimbly with the wind, allowing her body to move up to three inches and her torch to sway up to six inches.
As long as we are free, we can weather any storm just as Lady Liberty does on Liberty Island in New York. Liberty allows us to roll with the punches and get through any challenge in life. When we are free, we can always find a way. If we lose our job, we can start our own business. If we want to reform society, we can speak our minds in the press.
Let us take time to reflect on the beauty of both Lady Justice and Lady Liberty. Their beauty lies in their truth, virtue and strength. If we emulate their beauty, we will empower ourselves.
By Katie Kieffer
Democrats are blushing. And not because Anthony Weiner is back on Twitter, direct-messaging pretty young girls.
Vice President Joe Biden has long held the title of “Liberal Loose Cannon.” But Biden is such a grand hugger and hand-shaker that Democrats still let him work the crowds, crossing their fingers that he won’t say something like: “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans, moving from India; you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent… and I’m not joking!”
Slips-of-tongue are easily forgiven (we all make them). But, lately, the Obama administration has been exposed for outright evasion and cover-ups, causing disappointment, anger and embarrassment among independents and Democrats.
Let’s run though how independents and Democrats are expressing their embarrassment in the Obama administration’s lack of transparency:
MADDER THAN HELL AT HOLDER:
Cue King Herod: the press corps wants the head of Attorney General Eric Holder on a metaphorical platter.
On May 23, the front page of the Huffington Post read: TIME TO GO, HOLDER OK’D PRESS PROBE. On Twitter, the Huffington Post editors taunted Holder: “We have a message for Attorney General Holder over at http://huffingtonpost.com,” inviting him to read their scorching assessment of his record.
Obama’s highest law enforcement officer failed to uphold the laws protecting free speech, due process and private property and now he also appears to be lying about his malfeasance.
Holder violated the Constitution and the Department of Justice’s own regulations by approving subpoenas for the phone records of journalists from the Associated Press, the New York Times and Fox News. In the Fox News case, Holder wrongfully classified reporter James Rosen as a “criminal” in order to obtain a 2010 search warrant to tap five lines associated with Rosen. Neither the Associated Press nor Fox News were notified of these probes until afterward, contrary to the law:
“Justice Department regulations call for subpoenas for journalists’ phone records to be undertaken as a last resort and narrowly focused, subject to the attorney general’s personal signoff. Under normal circumstances, the regulations call for notice and negotiations, giving the news organization a chance to challenge the subpoena in court,” explains the New York Times. Plus: “…Congress has forbidden search warrants for journalists’ work product materials unless the reporter committed a crime.”
During a May 15 hearing, Holder said: “With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I’ve ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be a wise policy. In fact, my view is quite the opposite.” This is hard to believe since NBC confirmed that Holder approved the Fox News search warrant.
When Holder offered to meet with the press on condition that the meeting be “off the record,” the media said: “Heck no!” Here are a few of the media groups that refused to meet with Holder:
- CBS News
- Fox News
- The New York Times
- Associated Press
- Huffington Post
James Asher, Washington bureau chief for McClatchy, expressed the sentiments of the entire media when he said: “If the government wants to justify its pursuit of journalists, they ought to do it in public.”
The left-leaning press may have helped Obama get elected by boosting his ego, finessing his community organizer resume and overlooking his flaws. But now that Obama is biting the hands that fed him, those hands are slapping him in the face.
LET DOWN BY OBAMA:
On May 9, Democratic strategist Doug Sosnik wrote a 12-page paper on the state of politics in America. He wrote:
“The country is still looking for change that it can believe in.
Since the beginning of Obama’s second year in office, every NBC/WSJ poll has shown that half or more of Americans believed that the country is headed in the wrong direction, at one point reaching as high as 74%. Their most recent April poll found that more than 60% of Americans believe the country is still on the wrong track.”
Obama on Benghazi:
Many members of the mainstream media (think CBS’ Bob Schieffer and Sharyl Attkisson) are showing their frustration over Obama’s refusal to come clean with the press on the Benghazi talking points. The facts show that the White House crafted inaccurate public talking points and sent U.S. diplomat Susan Rice to deliver this false narrative on five Sunday talk shows. Rice claimed that an obscure You Tube video (not terror) caused the attack that took the lives of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012
“There’s no ‘there’ there.” This was the President’s petty response to the press on May 13 regarding Rice’s talking points. He basically insulted serious journalists on both the right and the left, accusing them of creating a “political circus” when in fact he is the ringleader of an act bigger than Barnum and Bailey’s.
Obama on IRS targeting:
“Irrelevant.” On May 19, during the heat of the IRS scandal, Obama’s adviser Dan Pfeiffer went on five Sunday news shows and proclaimed that it was “irrelevant” whether the IRS violated the law when targeting the applications of non-profits from tea party groups.
ABC’s left-leaning George Stephanopoulos challenged Pfeiffer: “You don’t really mean the law is irrelevant do you?”
A May 30 Quinnipiac University poll found that President Obama’s job approval rating has slipped significantly among independents, by nine percentage points since May 1. This poll indicates that May’s big three scandals—the IRS-targeting of tea party and patriot groups, the testimonies of Benghazi whistle blowers and Eric Holder’s probes into reporters—have tainted the public’s trust of Obama’s leadership.
Obama used to be the cool kid but he is losing his cool factor. His former Democratic and independent allies are keeping their distance. This situation is simultaneously revitalizing and sad because it would ultimately be best for our country if the President and his administration were trustworthy and reliable.
Whatever our political views, we all want free speech; we all want the Department of Justice to administer justice and we all want our President to tell us the truth.