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SEE A SHRINK, LOSE YOUR GUN


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.wnd.com

 

Posted by:BOB UNRUH

New ‘rules’ would suspend 2nd Amendment even for ‘outpatient’ treatment

author-image

In an end-of-week “information dump” often resorted to by political leaders to publicly release information they would like overlooked, President Obama formally has launched his much-feared expansion of the use of mental health diagnoses to crack down on gun ownership.

The Obama Department of Homeland Security already is on record casting aspersions on the mental ability of returning veterans, third-party candidate supporters and people with pro-life bumper stickers – calling them potential “right-wing extremists.” It was also caught, through the IRS, targeting conservative organizations that might be critical of Obama.

So critics of the administration long have warned the move would come. On Friday, it did.

Obama announced that his Department of Justice is proposing a rule change that would “clarify” that being committed to a mental institution – a key red flag under gun ownership rules – would include receiving nebulous “outpatient” services from a professional, such as a psychiatrist.

The president said his Health and Human Services agency is issuing a rule to pierce the privacy protections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act so there would be “express permission” for “entities” to hand over to the federal government certain medical records – that is, “information necessary to help keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands.”

WND reported six months ago on alarms raised by various groups over this issue.

At the time, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, warned that the administration was widening the door for those subject to a “mental” deficiency definition, looking for ways to send people to a mental institution for “mental defectiveness or mental illness” or “for other reasons.”

“The phrase ‘for other reasons’ is overly broad and vague,” EPIC said. “Although the DOJ has illustrated that drug use is an example of ‘commitments for other reasons,’ the nebulous language would grant the DOJ sweeping authority to prohibit individuals from possessing firearms, a constitutionally protected right.”

The privacy advocates warned: “Until the DOJ clearly defines and enumerates the types of formal commitments that can bar gun ownership, HHS should not amend its regulations to release sensitive mental health information to the DOJ.”

The Obama administration’s gun-control agenda accelerated after the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012. It then began to press for “closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands,” a ban on “military-style” weapons and some ammunition magazines, as well as “making schools safer” and improving mental health services.

See the real details about the Second Amendment in the Whistleblower issue on “Firearms and Freedom: Why the Second Amendment is more important than ever.”

But the vague generalities used to describe the plans have worried privacy advocates and Second Amendment supporters.

‘Wrong hands’

On Friday, Obama announced his executive actions to “keep guns out of the wrong hands.”

“Too many Americans have been severely injured or lost their lives as a result of gun violence,” his statement said. “While the vast majority of Americans who experience a mental illness are not violent, in some cases when persons with a mental illness do not receive the treatment they need, the result can be tragedies such as homicide or suicide.”

That, he wrote, explains the need for the DOJ rule “to clarify who is prohibited from possessing a firearm” and the HHS rule change is “to address barriers preventing states from submitting limited information … to the federal background check system.”

His statement noted that Obama already has directed federal agencies to hand over criminal records and other “information” about those who are prohibited from having guns “for mental health reasons.”

And he spent $20 million to “improve incentives for states” to hand over background check information to the federal government. He’s proposing to spend $50 million on that in 2014.

At the Washington Times, commentator Michael E. Hammond said, “The real agenda of the gun-hating Obama administration is to strip gun rights from law-abiding Americans, even if the result is to discourage people from seeking counseling.”

He asked: “Do you really think a hunter or gun owner feels somehow less violated when, as a result of sharing his deepest secrets in confidence, his name is turned over to government as either a dangerous or incompetent person and – as has happened – a SWAT team is sent to his house to seize his guns?”

It was just a year ago that Obama announced 23 executive actions aimed at curbing gun rights. Then Congress handed him a massive defeat, refusing to go along with some of the more reaching plans to curb gun ownership.

The federal government admits it already has banned from gun ownership those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, have been found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity, or otherwise have been determined through an adjudication process to have a severe mental condition.

Judicial records

The mental health records come from the judiciary, not the health system.

Now the federal government wants access to all such records from health care providers, too.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center said the best way to handle the federal government’s plans would be to leave in place the protections provided for consumers under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s Privacy Rule, which doesn’t allow such discussions of diagnoses or treatment.

EPIC said at the time if changes are made, there need to be clear protections.

“HHS should assign liability to states that disclose excess mental health data for NICS purposes,” the comments said. “HHS should mandate states notify NICS as soon as possible but no [later] than 10 business days of an incorrect or outdated mental illness record.”

Said EPIC: “There are not enough adequate privacy protections in place, under state law or otherwise, for data collected by state entities for reporting to the NICS. … Many states do not have privacy laws that explicitly address privacy protection of mental health records and availability to the NICS.”

WND also has reported on another anti-gun strategy, which is a possible explanation for why the Obama administration has failed to launch legal action against Colorado and Washington, where voters have voted to legalize marijuana under their state laws, even though federal law doesn’t allow it.

Some have asked if there something about the idea of legalizing marijuana that Washington likes. The idea may have been borne out recently when the Congressional Research Service released its report on the “State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues.”

As attorneys Todd Garvey and Brian Yeh wrote in the report, Washington has flexibility regarding drug prosecution, stating: “The extent to which federal authorities will actually seek to prosecute individuals who are engaged in marijuana-related activities in Colorado and Washington remains uncertain. President Obama himself has suggested the prosecuting simple possession is not a priority, while the Department of Justice has said only that ‘growing, selling or possession any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.’”

What is more certain, they wrote, is that federal firearms regulators will be aggressive about banning anyone who uses marijuana from buying – or possessing – a weapon.

“With the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington, it seems likely the ATF will … consider a recreational user of marijuana to be a prohibited possessor of firearms regardless of whether the use is lawful under state provisions,” they wrote.

The attorneys said the ATF specifically has stated “any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.”

They further wrote, “These individuals are to answer ‘yes’ when asked on the firearms transfer form if they are unlawful users of a controlled substance.”

Targeting veterans

Also, the government has been using its interaction with veterans to designate many of them – by the tens of thousands – incapable of handling their own financial affairs and, therefore, banned from having guns.

A lawsuit was just filed by the United States Justice Foundation against the Veterans Administration for snatching veterans’ gun rights without “due process” or any “factual or legal basis.”

WND has published reports about how returning veterans were being deprived of their Second Amendment rights without a court-based adjudication competency process, based on arbitrary VA agency decisions.

The problem arises when the agency wants to appoint a fiduciary – someone to advise a disabled veteran or one receiving certain government benefits – to help with the management of the benefits.

The government then routinely notifies the FBI’s NICS system, a federally maintained list of those whose competency has been challenged. That means they no longer can purchase a gun or even keep the one they may have.

Michael Connelly, executive director of the USJF, told WND the initial lawsuit is to compel the VA to respond to two requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

“The information requested included Veterans Benefits Administration rules, regulations and criteria for making ‘determinations of incompetency due to a physical or mental condition of a benefit recipient,’” the legal team explained.

“The USJF has received numerous complaints from military veterans around the country who are being declared incompetent to handle their own financial affairs and then told that they can no longer purchase or own firearms or ammunition,” said Connelly. “This determination is being made without due process protections for the veterans and the basis for the incompetency ruling is often arbitrary and without a factual or legal basis.”

Just a month ago, WND columnist Jeff Knox warning about Obama’s newly announced strategy.

A front

“The strategy is to use the wide acceptance of the idea that the mentally ill should not have access to firearms as a front for prohibiting a broad array of ‘normal’ people from possessing guns or ammunition. As with most things, the devil is in the details. What is mental illness? Who is mentally ill? How mentally ill must one be to warrant revocation of a fundamental human right? Who makes that determination? Who is ‘normal,’ and how ‘normal’ do they have to be to own guns? We all know people who have dealt with some mental health issues or who people consider a bit odd, but who are also fully functional, completely rational, good people who would never harm anyone. The new anti-rights strategy is to cast doubts on those people and deny them their rights to own guns and ammunition.”

Knox also reported his sources confirm the strategy of using “emergency” legislation to “pass draconian bills with no hearings, no committee votes and no public input” that would further “control” firearms.

“While this anti-rights sneak attack is just getting under way, you can be sure it is well-planned and well-funded, so expect to see a flood of bills dealing with mental health in general and firearms access by the mentally ill in particular introduced in Congress and state legislatures nationwide in the coming months,” Knox wrote.

“These bills will be promoted as ‘common sense,’ but they will contain definitions so broad that hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of regular folks who have been or are being successfully treated for common, minor, mental and emotional issues will be denied their right to arms as ‘mental defectives.’ People suffering from mild depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, even women treated for PMS, could be lumped in with violent schizophrenics and the criminally insane.”

And be banned from having a firearm.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/see-a-shrink-lose-your-gun/#1QYva5tgeF6sQxsw.99

POLL: MAJORITY WANT BENGHAZI SELECT COMMITTEE


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from http://www.breitbart.com/ :

 

Posted by:MATTHEW BOYLE


A poll released by Democratic pollster Pat Caddell and Republican pollster John McLaughlin shows that a vast majority of American voters want a special select committee to investigate the Benghazi scandal. However, House Speaker John Boehner is denying them a shot at it.

WHY is he stopping it ?

Secure America Now president Allen Roth, whose organization commissioned the poll, points to it as a major reason why he signed a letter to Boehner sent Monday that demands he stop obstructing the investigation and install a select committee.

“In a recent national poll, conducted by Democrat Pat Caddell and Republican John McLaughlin, 62% of Americans say it is important that Congress create a special committee to get to the truth about Benghazi,” Roth told Breitbart news in an email over the weekend before the letter became public. “A large majority of House Republicans agree. The American people understand that if Republican leaders allow the Obama Administration to cover up its negligence that led to unnecessary deaths of Americans, it would be a crime. We will continue to apply pressure on House leadership until they create a select committee.”

Roth’s group’s poll was released in late October and showed that 62 percent of voters believe that congressional leaders should create a select committee on Benghazi, whereas only 32 percent think such a procedure is not important. More specifically, 83 percent of GOP voters and 58 percent of independents support a select committee, while 50 percent of Democratic voters oppose a select committee. A majority of self-identified moderate voters, 53 percent, want a select committee as well.

Conservative leader Ginni Thomas, who also signed the letter to Boehner, told Breitbart News: “Americans can see John Boehner is not serious about using the constitutional powers of investigation to get at the truth of Benghazi. On the anniversary of September 11 in 2012, Americans should have been rescued in a firefight started by radical Islamists, not left alone while the president prepares to go to a fundraiser the next day in Las Vegas.”

“Republicans are playing ‘small ball legislating’ when America wants professional investigations and accountability from an administration that is running circles around Republicans,” Thomas continued. “If Republicans with gavels don’t do oversight capably, garnering the respect of the Obama administration, at some point, Republicans are as complicit in the scandal. We are approaching that deadline.”

One in three lawmakers wants to repeal cuts to military pensions


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://thehill.com/blogs

Posted by:Jeremy Herb

Getty Images

More than 150 House members and 35 senators have signed onto efforts to repeal the cuts to military pensions included in the budget deal signed last month.

Roughly a third of lawmakers in both chambers have sponsored or co-sponsored 15 different bills. All the measures seek, one way or another, to repeal the reduction in the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for working-age military retirees.

The flurry of bills and number of co-sponsors highlights the sizable bipartisan opposition to the military retirement cuts that were included in the budget deal reached by Budget Chairs Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

But none of the bills introduced has identified a true bipartisan “pay-for” to replace the retirement cuts, raising doubts about the chances of any of them passing.

The only legislation that has attracted significant bipartisan support does not replace the $6 billion that was saved in the budget deal through the military retirement cut.

“People are allowed to go out there and say what they want, but it is not going away,” said a leading conservative strategist who is a deficit hawk. “How are they going to pay for it going away?”

The budget agreement signed into law last month provided $63 billion in sequester relief over two years and achieved $85 billion in deficit reduction, including $6 billion from reducing COLAs by 1 percentage point below inflation for working-age military retirees under age 62.

The military pension cuts attracted swift condemnation from service and veterans’ organizations, who have launched a full-court lobbying press to get Congress to reverse the provision.

The effort has spawned more than a dozen bills. In aggregate, those measures have been backed by 94 House Republicans and 64 House Democrats, 12 Republican senators and 23 Democratic senators.

Many of the lawmakers voted for the overall budget bill that quickly cleared both chambers last month.

Even so, the bills that offset the $6 billion savings do not appear likely to attract bipartisan support, making them long-shots to pass both the Democratic-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House.

Democrats in both chambers have signed onto measures that would replace the retirement cuts by closing offshore tax loopholes for corporations, a non-starter for Republicans.

The GOP bills target a number of cost-cutting issues. They would prevent illegal immigrants from claiming a child tax credit, make cuts to the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, replace the COLA cuts with the Pentagon’s unobligated balances and stop aid to Egypt and Pakistan.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced a bill to restore the savings through limiting Saturday mail delivery.

No Democrats have co-sponsored any of those measures, with the exception of Rep. John Barrow (Ga.) backing the child tax credit pay-for in Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick’s (R-Pa.) bill.

The bill with the most support was introduced by House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), which has 95 co-sponsors, including 32 Democrats.

That measure simply repeals the $6 billion cut to military pensions. But defense observers are skeptical Congress would pass legislation to undo deficit reduction already in place.

One senior defense lobbyist said the budget deal included all of the “low-hanging fruit” when it came to deficit reduction, making it unlikely that the COLA cuts would easily be replaced.

The military retirement cuts were one part of a carefully crafted deal, which also included reductions for civilian federal worker benefits.

“It’s all political in an election year,” the lobbyist said of the repeal bills.

“The ones the Democrats are offering to close corporate tax loopholes — Republicans are never going to go for that… The same thing on Republican side with credits for illegal immigrants. They know it’s not going to fly with the Dems.”

BOHICA the military takes it again.

House and Senate leaders have not said whether they plan to bring up any bills to restore the military benefits cuts.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) did not include the military pension issue in his January legislative agenda. A Senate leadership aide said retirement benefits legislation would not be considered next week, and could not elaborate beyond that.

One House aide said that leadership may be waiting before making a decision on the retirement benefits to see how strongly the issue resonates back in lawmakers’ districts.

“If members come back and go to leadership and say they’re really getting hit on this, leadership might be in a mood to adjust it,” the aide said. “If they come back and there’s not as much passion behind it, that tells you it will be a completely different story.”

There is likely to be at least one change made to the retirement benefit cuts: exempting medically retired veterans.

There have been an additional four bills introduced to address that issue, including from Murray. Both Murray and Ryan say that disabled veterans were included in the budget deal due to a “technical error” and they want to quickly fix the problem.

A list of the various bills offered to repeal the military-pensions cut can be found here.

— Erik Wasson contributed.

http://thehill.com/blogs

BOHICA ! ! Report: Budget Plan Could Cost Service Members $124,000 in Retirement Pay


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://freebeacon.com

 

Posted by:Elizabeth Harrington

Sens. Wicker, Graham, and Ayotte oppose cuts to military personnel

Military retirees face loses in budget deal

Military retirees could face as much as $124,000 in lost retirement income if the bipartisan budget agreement is enacted, according to the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

The Washington Free Beacon reported that under the budget agreement crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D., Wash.), military retirees younger than 62 will receive 1 percentage point less in their annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

While new federal employees who are hired after Jan. 1, 2014 will be required to pay 1.3 percent more of their pay into their pension plans, federal retirees will continue to receive their generous pension benefits and current employees will not be required to pay more.

Current civilian government workers will be grandfathered in at their current contribution rate of 0.8 percent.

According to the MOAA, the nation’s largest association of military officers, the proposal would have a significant impact on military retirees, including many who retire in their 40s after two decades of service.

A loss of one percentage point in their COLA translates into thousands of dollars in lost retirement income.

For instance, a 42-year-old who retires as an enlisted E-7 could lose a minimum of $72,000. E-7 refers to the ranks of Sergeant First Class, Chief Petty Officer (CPO), Master Sergeant, and Gunnery Sergeant.

A 42-year old Lieutenant Colonel could lose a minimum of $109,000 over a 20-year period.

If an E-7 retires at 40, they would lose $83,000. Commissioned officers could lose much more. Lieutenant colonels and commanders (an O-5 rank) who retire at 40 would lose $124,000.

Opposition to the deal grew when it became apparent military retirees would see their retirement pay take a hit.

“I do not support paying for increased federal spending on the backs of our retired and active duty troops,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) said in a statementThursday. “Congress should not change the rules in the middle of the game for those who have chosen to serve our nation in the military.”

“We can and should do a deal without cutting the benefits of our men and women who have volunteered for a military career,” he said. “The plan should be rejected.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called the deal “unacceptable.”

“After careful review of the agreement, I believe it will do disproportionate harm to our military retirees,” Graham said in a statement. “Our men and women in uniform have served admirably during some of our nation’s most troubling times. They deserve more from us in their retirement than this agreement provides.”

On the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, spoke out against the changes to military retirement pay.

“This penalizes current and future military members who have served our nation for over 20 years,” Inhofe said.

“Keep in mind, people go into the military quite young sometimes knowing that the time they would serve would be for 20 years, many of them longer,” he said. “That’s kind of a given. And they do this predicated on the assumption that retirement benefits and all these things are going to be there.”

Though he is still undecided on whether to vote for the budget plan, Inhofe said the military retiree provision would have to be removed before he could vote for it.

“I know it’s not an easy job,” he said, of crafting a budget proposal. “I know that we had a Democrat and Republican working very hard on it, but that’s one thing […] I believe that can be changed.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.) has also come out against the deal late Thursday.

“I cannot support a budget agreement that fails to deal with the biggest drivers of our debt, but instead pays for more federal spending on the backs of our active duty and military retirees – those who have put their lives on the line to defend us,” Ayotte said in a statement.

“My hope is that both parties can work together to replace these unfair cuts that impact our men and women in uniform with more responsible savings, such as the billions that the Government Accountability Office has identified in waste, duplication and fraud across the federal government.”

 

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