Story 1: Warning You Are Being Tracked — The Secret Surveillance Security State — Vidoes
RFID Blocker Sleeves
Katherine Albrecht interview with Campaign for Liberty Part 1
Katherine Albrecht interview with Campaign for Liberty Part 2
Katherine Albrecht interview with Campaign for Liberty Part 3
WARNING RFID FOR EVERYONE
Katherine Albrecht, RFID expert , Genesis Communications Network Radio Host, and Author of the Book Spychips sat down with Steve Vasquez on April 20th to discuss Real Id and the Enhanced Drivers license.
What does it all mean? Legislation for total control and tracking.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 106A-117 of the U.S. Copyright Law
Katherine Albrecht – Spychips THREAT! Resist RFID & Electronic Surveillance!
The Enhanced Driver License: A Dream Realized
Texas Schools Track Students with RFID Chips! (Nanny of the Month, Nov ’12)
TEXAS Students to be TRACKED With MICROCHIPS. PUNISHMENTS For NON COMPLIANCE
RFID Chip Required in Obama’s Health Care Bill
Police State IBM VeriChip RFID Implant + Edible RFID Tracking Chips
The Fight Against the Total Surveillance State in Our Schools
Students in San Antonio are now being required to carry identification cards containing an RFID chip which allows school administrators to track their movements throughout the school day. While some are passively accepting the program, one brave student, Andrea Hernandez, is asserting her right to privacy. As John Whitehead explains in this week’s vodcast, the battle playing out in San Antonio could be the turning point in the resistance to the total surveillance state.
Students Required to Wear MicroChips on School Campus
Advanced RFID Student ID Card Identification System-Student Safety
Story 1: Will Governor Jerry Brown Challenge Hillary Clinton for Democratic Party Nomination For President?- Videos
Jerry Brown declares California drought emergency
Water wars: California drought spawns political fight
Gov. Jerry Brown Delivers 2014 State Of The State Address
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown Nixes 2016 Presidential Bid
Keynote Address: Gov. Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown for President?
Gov Jerry Brown 14-15 Budget Press Conference
John King, USA : CNN: Jerry Brown running on experience
CA Gov. Jerry Brown interview- media in politics (Merv Griffin Show 1981)
BAY AREA FLASHBACK – Jerry Brown Presidential Campaign (1976)
Brown rules out presidential bid
By Seema Mehta
Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that he will not run for president in 2016, dashing political speculation that he might make a fourth bid for the White House.
“No, that’s not in the cards. Unfortunately,” he told reporters at a news conference before brightening about his current job: “Actually, California is a lot more governable.”
Brown, who ran for president in 1976, 1980 and 1992, was the subject of some speculation recently when his office did not categorically rule out another run, the governor was touting his work in California as a template for the nation and some activists named him as an alternative to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is weighing a bid.
Brown was in Riverside to discuss prisons, education and water policy with local officials, part of a two-day, three-city trip to inland portions of the state. He visited Bakersfield on Tuesday morning and Fresno on Monday. Last week, he unveiled his budget in Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles.
Brown is up for reelection this year and has raised millions for a bid. But he has been coy about his intentions.
Asked about the purpose of his travel schedule, Brown declared Bakersfield a “wonderful place,” said politics did not interest him and continued to demur about his intentions.
Jerry Brown breaks some hearts: won’t run for president in 2016
California Gov. Jerry Brown will not run for president in 2016, he said Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Governor Moonbeam put to rest speculation that he might launch his fourth bid for president, 40 years after he first sought the Democratic nomination in 1976.
“No, that’s not in the cards. Unfortunately,” he said.
Brown raised eyebrows last month when he declined to outright deny interest in a bid. He has touted his efforts to deal with California’s economic woes as a model for the whole country, which some took as an indication that he was seeking a national stage.
“Things happen in California that are not happening in Washington,” Brown in October, the Los Angeles Times reported. “We can do a lot of things in California to shift the [political] climate throughout the whole country.”
But Brown quashed any hopes that he might wade into the mire of politics in Washington, D.C.
“Actually,” he told reporters, “California is a lot more governable.”
This would have been Brown’s fourth try for the Democratic presidential nomination. In 1992 he mounted a strong but ultimately unsuccessful run against Bill Clinton, winning support from The New York Times and other major publications for his flat tax proposal. Brown lost the nomination to Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980, during his first tenure as governor of the Golden State. His 1980 campaign prompted the Dead Kennedys to warn that Brown would create a “Zen Fascist” dictatorship in which kids would be forced to “meditate in school,” in their punk classic “California Über Alles.”
Jerry Brown, urged to run for president, won’t rule out 2016 bid
|By Mark Z. Barabak
If he weren’t the nation’s oldest governor, a ripe 75, Jerry Brown would automatically be counted among serious Democratic candidates for president in 2016.
He boasts a household name, an impressive list of accomplishments in the country’s most populous state — a state some once deemed ungovernable — glowing national media coverage and a deep familiarity with the pitfalls and rigors of a White House bid, having run three times before.
Now, some are pushing Brown to consider another try for the White House, even if it means taking on Hillary Rodham Clinton, the prohibitive, if still undeclared, Democratic favorite.
“I think Jerry is precisely what America needs,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, the leader of a national nurses union and a strong political ally of Brown. “He has the courage of his convictions, which we haven’t seen in a very long while.”
Brown, who is up for reelection in 2014, has not yet stated his intention to seek another term, though he has raised millions of dollars for what would appear to be an easy campaign.
Asked if Brown would categorically rule out another presidential bid in 2016, a spokesman, Jim Evans, referred to a statement Brown made in May at a California Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Citing his past primary victories, Brown said “time is kind of running out on that.”
“I guess I’ll just have to stay and do the work of being the governor, which I actually enjoy because I have some perspective that I didn’t used to have,” Brown said.
The famously Delphic governor often leaves people guessing about his motivation and intentions, which leaves plenty of leeway ahead of 2016. Absent a clear-cut statement of disinterest from Brown — who sought the White House in 1976, 1980 and 1992 — some see familiar signs of a presidential-candidate-in-waiting.
The governor has widely touted California’s comeback and his record as a model for the rest of the country and, especially, a dysfunctional Washington, D.C. With support from an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature — and a combination of spending cuts and voter-approved tax hikes — Brown has brought the state’s deficit-ridden budget under control, overhauled the education finance system to benefit poorer students, pushed through major environmental initiatives and reaped the benefits — job growth, an improved housing market — of a slow but steady economic recovery.
“Things happen in California that are not happening in Washington,” Brown said during an October appearance at an electric-vehicle expo in San Francisco. “We can do a lot of things in California to shift the [political] climate throughout the whole country.”
In a victory lap a few weeks later, he traveled to the nation’s capital and ticked off the bills he had signed, including immigration-friendly legislation and laws promoting green energy. “We didn’t wait for the federal government,” he crowed.
At the same time, Brown has established himself as a moderating force in Sacramento, pushing back against liberals on issues such as gun control and business regulation, which, to some, suggests an effort to shed the kooky Left Coast image of his first time as governor, more than 20 years ago, and craft a more centrist profile ahead of 2016.
Brown sought the Democratic nominations for President of the United States in 1976, 1980, and 1992, and was the Democratic candidate for the United States Senate in California in 1982, but was unsuccessful in those attempts. He is the son of Pat Brown, the 32nd Governor of California. On October 7, 2013, he became the longest-serving governor in California history measured by cumulative service.
Returning to California, Brown took the state bar exam and passed on his second attempt. Brown then settled in Los Angeles and joined the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor. In 1969, Brown ran for the newly created Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees, which oversaw community colleges in the city, and placed first in a field of 124.
In 1974, Brown ran in a highly contested Democratic primary for Governor of California against Speaker of the California AssemblyBob Moretti, San Francisco Mayor Joseph L. Alioto, Representative Jerome R. Waldie, and others. Brown won the primary with the name recognition of his father, Pat Brown, whom many people admired for his progressive administration. In the General Election on November 5, 1974, Brown was elected Governor of California over California State Controller Houston I. Flournoy; Republicans ascribed the loss to anti-Republican feelings from Watergate, the election being held only ninety days after President Richard Nixon resigned from office. Brown succeeded Republican Governor Ronald Reagan, who had planned on retiring from office after serving two terms.
After taking office, Brown gained a reputation as a fiscal conservative.The American Conservative later noted he was “much more of a fiscal conservative than Governor Reagan.” His fiscal restraint resulted in one of the biggest budget surpluses in state history, roughly $5 billion. For his personal life, Brown refused many of the privileges and perks of the office, forgoing the newly constructed governor’s residence and instead renting a modest apartment at the corner of 14th and N Streets, adjacent to Capitol Park in downtown Sacramento. Instead of riding as a passenger in a chauffeured limousine as previous governors had done, Brown walked to work and drove in a Plymouth Satellitesedan.
As governor, Brown held a strong interest in environmental issues. He appointed J. Baldwin to work in the newly created California Office of Appropriate Technology, Sim Van der Ryn as State Architect, Stewart Brand as Special Advisor, John Bryson as chairman of the California State Water Board. Brown also reorganized the California Arts Council, boosting its funding by 1300 percent and appointing artists to the council and appointed more women and minorities to office than any other previous California Governor. In 1977, he sponsored the “first-ever tax incentive for rooftop solar” among many environmental initiatives. In 1975, Brown obtained the repeal of the “depletion allowance“, a tax break for the state’s oil industry, despite the efforts of lobbyistJoe Shell, a former intraparty rival to Richard M. Nixon.
Like his father, Brown strongly opposed the death penalty and vetoed it as Governor, which the legislature overrode in 1977. He also appointed judges who opposed capital punishment. One of these appointments, Rose Bird as the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, was recalled by voters after a strong campaign financed by business interests upset by her “pro-labor” and “pro-free speech” rulings. The death penalty was only “a trumped-up excuse” to use against her, even though the Bird Court consistently upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty. In 1960, he lobbied his father, then Governor, to spare the life of Caryl Chessman and reportedly won a 60-day stay for him.
Brown was both in favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment and opposed to Proposition 13, the latter of which would decrease property taxes and greatly reduce revenue to cities and counties. When Proposition 13 passed in June 1978, he heavily cut state spending, and along with the Legislature, spent much of the $5 billion surplus to meet the proposition’s requirements and help offset the revenue losses which made cities, counties, and schools more dependent on the state. His actions in response to the proposition earned him praise from Proposition 13 author Howard Jarvis who went as far to make a television commercial for Brown just before his successful reelection bid in 1978. The controversial proposition immediately cut tax revenues and required a two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes. Proposition 13 “effectively destroyed the funding base of local governments and school districts, which thereafter depended largely on Sacramento for their revenue”. Max Neiman, a professor at the Institute of Government Studies at University of California, Berkeley, credited Brown for “bailing out local government and school districts” but felt it was harmful “because it made it easier for people to believe that Proposition 13 wasn’t harmful.”
In 1981, California Governor Jerry Brown, who had established a reputation as a strong environmentalist, was confronted with a serious medfly infestation in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was advised by the state’s agricultural industry, and the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection service (APHIS), to authorize airborne spraying of the region. Initially, in accordance with his environmental protection stance, he chose to authorize ground-level spraying only. Unfortunately, the infestation spread as the medfly reproductive cycle out-paced the spraying. After more than a month, millions of dollars of crops had been destroyed and billions of dollars more were threatened. Governor Brown then authorized a massive response to the infestation. Fleets of helicopters sprayed malathion at night, and the California National Guard set up highway checkpoints and collected many tons of local fruit; in the final stage of the campaign, entomologists released millions of sterile male medflies in an attempt to disrupt the insects’ reproductive cycle.
Ultimately the infestation was eradicated, but both the Governor’s delay and the scale of the action has remained controversial ever since. Some people claimed that malathion was toxic to humans, as well as insects. In response to such concerns, Brown’s chief of staff, B. T. Collins, staged a news conference during which he publicly drank a glass of malathion. Many people complained that, while the malathion may not have been very toxic to humans, the aerosol spray containing it was corrosive to car paint.
Brown proposed the establishment of a state space academy and the purchasing of a satellite that would be launched into orbit to provide emergency communications for the state—a proposal similar to one that was indeed eventually adopted. In 1979, an out-of-state columnist, Mike Royko, at the Chicago Sun-Times, picked up on the nickname from Brown’s girlfriend at the time, Linda Ronstadt, who was quoted in a 1978 Rolling Stone magazine interview humorously calling him “Moonbeam”. A year later Royko expressed his regret for publicizing the nickname, and in 1991 Royko disavowed it entirely, proclaiming Brown to be just as serious as any other politician.
In 1982, Brown chose not to seek a third term as governor, instead, Brown ran for the United States Senate for the seat being vacated by Republican S.I. Hayakawa. He was defeated by Republican San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson by a margin of 52% to 45%. After his Senate defeat, Brown was left with few political options. Republican George Deukmejian, a Brown critic, narrowly won the governorship in 1982, succeeding Brown, and was reelected overwhelmingly in 1986. After his Senate defeat in 1982, many considered Brown’s political career to be over.
Brown traveled to Japan to study Buddhism, studying with Christian/Zen practitioner Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle under Yamada Koun-roshi. In an interview he explained, “Since politics is based on illusions, zazen definitely provides new insights for a politician. I then come back into the world of California and politics, with critical distance from some of my more comfortable assumptions.” He also visited Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India, where he ministered to the sick in one of her hospices. He explained, “Politics is a power struggle to get to the top of the heap. Calcutta and Mother Teresa are about working with those who are at the bottom of the heap. And to see them as no different than yourself, and their needs as important as your needs. And you’re there to serve them, and doing that you are attaining as great a state of being as you can.”
Upon his return from abroad in 1988, Brown announced that he would stand as a candidate to become chairman of the California Democratic Party, and won against investment banker Steve Westly. Although Brown greatly expanded the party’s donor base and enlarged its coffers, with a focus on grassroots organizing and get out the vote drives, he was criticized for not spending enough money on TV ads, which was felt to have contributed to Democratic losses in several close races in 1990. In early 1991, Brown abruptly resigned his post and announced that he would run for the Senate seat held by the retiring Alan Cranston. Although Brown consistently led in the polls for both the nomination and the general election, he abandoned the campaign, deciding instead to run for the presidency for a third time.
In 1995, with Brown’s political career at a low point, in the motion picture Jade, the fictional Governor of California tells an assistant district attorney to drop a case, “unless you want as much of a future in this state as Jerry Brown.” The assistant DA responds “Who’s Jerry Brown?”
Brown first ran for the Democratic nomination for President in March 1976, after the primary season had begun, and over a year after some candidates had started campaigning. Brown declared, “The country is rich, but not so rich as we have been led to believe. The choice to do one thing may preclude another. In short, we are entering an era of limits.”
Brown’s name began appearing on primary ballots in May and he won in Maryland, Nevada, and his home state of California. He missed the deadline inOregon, but he ran as a write-in candidate and finished in third behind Jimmy Carter and Senator Frank Church of Idaho. Brown is often credited with winning the New Jersey and Rhode Island primaries, but in reality, uncommitted slates of delegates that Brown advocated in those states finished first. With support from Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, Brown won a majority of delegates at the Louisiana delegate selection convention; thus Louisiana was the only southern state to not support Southerners Carter or Alabama Governor George Wallace. Despite this success, he was unable to stall Carter’s momentum, and his rival was nominated on the first ballot at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. Brown finished third with roughly 300 delegate votes, narrowly behind Congressman Morris Udall and Carter.
In 1980, Brown challenged Carter for renomination. His candidacy had been anticipated by the press ever since he won re-election as governor in 1978 over the Republican Evelle Younger by the largest margin in California history, 1.3 million votes. But Brown had trouble gaining traction in both fundraising and polling for the presidential nomination. This was widely believed to be the result of the more prominent candidate Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. Brown’s 1980 platform, which he declared to be the natural result of combining Buckminster Fuller‘s visions of the future and E. F. Schumacher‘s theory of “Buddhist economics“, was much expanded from 1976. His “era of limits” slogan was replaced by a promise to, in his words, “Protect the Earth, serve the people, and explore the universe.”
Brown opposed Kennedy’s call for universalnational health insurance and opposed Carter’s call for an employer mandate to provide catastrophic private health insurance. As an alternative, he suggested a program of tax credits for those who do not smoke or otherwise damage their health, saying: “Those who abuse their bodies should not abuse the rest of us by taking our tax dollars.” Brown also called for expanding the use of acupuncture and midwifery.
As his campaign began to attract more members of what some more conservative commentators described as “the fringe”, including activists like Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, andJesse Jackson, however his polling numbers began to suffer. Brown received only 10 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, and he was soon forced to announce that his decision to remain in the race would depend on a good showing in the Wisconsin primary. Although he had polled well there throughout the primary season, an attempt to film a live speech in Madison, the state’s capital, into a special effects-filled, 30-minute commercial (produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola) was disastrous.
As Brown campaigned in various primary states, he would eventually expand his platform beyond a policy of strict campaign finance reform. Although he focused on a variety of issues throughout the campaign, he highlighted his endorsement of living wage laws and opposition to free trade agreements such as NAFTA; he mostly concentrated on his tax policy, which had been created specifically for him by Arthur Laffer, the famous supporter of supply-side economics who created the Laffer curve. This plan, which called for the replacement of the progressive income tax with a flat tax and a value added tax, both at a fixed 13 percent rate, was decried by his opponents as regressive. Nevertheless, it was endorsed by The New York Times, The New Republic, and Forbes, and its raising of taxes on corporations and elimination of various loopholes which tended to favor the very wealthy, proved to be popular with voters. This was, perhaps, not surprising, as various opinion polls taken at the time found that as many as three-quarters of all Americans believed the current tax code to be unfairly biased toward the wealthy. He “seemed to be the most left-wing and right-wing man in the field… [calling] for term limits, a flat tax, and the abolition of the Department of Education.” Brown scored surprising wins in Connecticut and Colorado and seemed poised to overtake Clinton.
Due to his limited budget, Brown began to use a mixture of alternative media and unusual fund raising techniques. Unable to pay for actual commercials, he used frequent cable television and talk radio interviews as a form of free media to get his message to voters. In order to raise funds, he purchased a toll-free telephone number, which adorned all of his campaign stances. During the campaign, Brown’s repetition of this number combined with the moralistic language used, led some to describe him as a “political televangelist” with an “anti-politics gospel”.
Despite poor showings in the Iowa caucus (1.6%) and the New Hampshire primary (8%), Brown soon managed to win narrow victories in Maine, Colorado, Nevada, Alaska, andVermont, but he continued to be considered a small threat for much of the campaign. It was not until shortly after Super Tuesday, when the field had been narrowed to Brown, former Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, and frontrunner Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas, that Brown began to emerge as a major contender in the eyes of the press. On March 17, Brown forced Tsongas from the race when he received a strong third-place showing in the Illinois primary and then defeated the senator for second place in the Michigan primary by a wide margin. Exactly one week later, he cemented his position as a major threat to Clinton when he eked out a narrow win in the bitterly-fought Connecticut primary. As the press focused on the primaries in New York and Wisconsin, which were both to be held on the same day, Brown, who had taken the lead in polls in both states, made a gaffe: he announced to an audience of various leaders of New York City’s Jewish community that, if nominated, he would consider the Reverend Jesse Jackson as a vice-presidential candidate. Jackson, who had made a pair of anti-semitic comments about Jews in general and New York City’s Jews in particular while running for president in 1984, was still despised in Jewish communities. Jackson also had ties to Louis Farrakhan, who said Judaism was a “gutter religion,” and with Yasir Arafat, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Brown’s polling numbers suffered. On April 7, he lost narrowly to Bill Clinton in Wisconsin (37%–34%), and dramatically in New York (41%–26%).
Although Brown continued to campaign in a number of states, he won no further primaries. Although overwhelmingly outspent, Brown won upset victories in seven states and his votes won to money raised ratio was by far the best of any candidate in the race. He still had a sizable number of delegates, and a big win in his home state of California would deprive Clinton of sufficient support to win the Democratic nomination, possibly bringing about a brokered convention. After nearly a month of intense campaigning and multiple debates between the two candidates, Clinton managed to defeat Brown in this final primary by a margin of 48% to 41%. Although Brown did not win the nomination, he was able to boast of one accomplishment: At the following month’s Democratic National Convention, he received the votes of 596 delegates on the first ballot, more than any other candidate but Clinton. He spoke at the convention, and to the national viewing audience, yet without endorsing Clinton, through the device of seconding his own nomination. There was animosity between the Brown and Clinton campaigns, and Brown was the first political figure to criticize Bill Clinton over what became the Whitewater controversy.
What would become Brown’s re-emergence into politics after six years was in Oakland, California, an “overwhelmingly minority city of 400,000.” Brown ran as an independent “having left the Democratic Party, blasting what he called the ‘deeply corrupted’ two-party system.” Prior to taking office, Brown campaigned to get the approval of the electorate to convert Oakland’s weak mayor political structure, which structured the mayor as chairman of the city council and official greeter, to a strong mayor structure, where the mayor would act as chief executive over the nonpolitical city manager and thus the various city departments, and break tie votes on the Oakland City Council. He won with 59% of the vote in a field of ten candidates. The political left had hoped for some of the more progressive politics from Brown’s earlier governorship, but found Brown “more pragmatic than progressive, more interested in downtown redevelopment and economic growth than political ideology”.
The city was rapidly losing residents and businesses, and Brown is credited with starting the revitalization of the city using his connections and experience to lessen the economic downturn, while attracting $1 billion of investments, including refurbishing the Fox Theatre, the Port of Oakland, and Jack London Square. The downtown district was losing retailers, restaurateurs and residential developers, and Brown sought to attract thousands of new residents with disposable income to revitalize the area. Brown continued his predecessor Elihu Harris‘s public policy of supporting downtown housing development in the area defined as the Central Business District in Oakland’s 1998 General Plan. Since Brown worked toward the stated goal of bringing an additional 10,000 residents to Downtown Oakland, his plan was known as “10K.” It has resulted in redevelopment projects in the Jack London District, where Brown purchased and later sold an industrial warehouse which he used as a personal residence, and in the Lakeside Apartments District near Lake Merritt. The 10k plan has touched the historic Old Oakland district, the Chinatown district, the Uptown district, andDowntown. Brown surpassed the stated goal of attracting 10,000 residents according to city records, and built more affordable housing than previous mayoral administrations.
Brown had campaigned on fixing Oakland’s schools, but “bureaucratic battles” dampened his efforts. He concedes he never had control of the schools, and his reform efforts were “largely a bust”. He focused instead on the creation of two charter schools, the Oakland School for the Arts and the Oakland Military Institute. Another area of disappointment was overall crime. Brown sponsored nearly two dozen crime initiatives to reduce the crime rate, although crime decreased by 13 percent overall, the city still suffered a “57 percent spike in homicides his final year in office, to 148 overall”.
Attorney General of California (2007–2011)
Brown in 2009
In 2004, Brown expressed interest to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of California in the 2006 election, and in May 2004, he formally filed to run. He defeated his Democratic primary opponent Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo 63% to 37%. In the general election, Brown defeated Republican State Senator Charles Poochigian 56.3% to 38.2%, one of the largest margins of victory in any statewide California race. In the final weeks leading up to Election Day, Brown’s eligibility to run for Attorney General was challenged in what Brown called a “political stunt by a Republican office seeker” (Contra Costa County Republican Central Committee chairman and state GOP vice-chair candidateTom Del Beccaro). Plaintiffs claimed Brown did not meet eligibility according to California Government Code §12503, “No person shall be eligible to the office of Attorney General unless he shall have been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the state for a period of at least five years immediately preceding his election or appointment to such office.” Legal analysts called the lawsuit frivolous because Brown was admitted to practice law in the State of California on June 14, 1965, and had been so admitted to practice ever since. Although ineligible to practice law because of his voluntary inactive status in the State Bar of California from January 1, 1997 to May 1, 2003, he was nevertheless still admitted to practice. Because of this difference the case was eventually thrown out.
As Attorney General, Brown represented the state in fighting death penalty appeals and stated that he would follow the law, regardless of his personal beliefs against capital punishment. Capital punishment by lethal injection was halted in California by federal judge Jeremy D. Fogel until new facilities and procedures were put into place. Brown moved to resume capital punishment in 2010 with the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown after the lifting of a statewide moratoriumby a California court. Brown’s Democratic campaign, which pledged to “enforce the laws” of California, denied any connection between the case and the gubernatorial election. Prosecutor Rod Pacheco, who supported Republican opponent Meg Whitman, said that it would be unfair to accuse Jerry Brown of using the execution for political gain as they never discussed the case.
In June 2008, Brown filed a fraud lawsuit claiming mortgage lender Countrywide Financial engaged in “unfair and deceptive” practices to get homeowners to apply for risky mortgages far beyond their means.” Brown accused the lender of breaking the state’s laws against false advertising and unfair business practices, the lawsuit also claimed the defendant misled many consumers by misinforming them about the workings of certain mortgages such adjustable-rate mortgages, interest-only loans, low-documentation loans and home-equity loans while telling borrowers they would be able to refinance before the interest rate on their loans adjusted. The suit was settled in October 2008 after Bank of America acquired Countrywide. The settlement involved the modifying of troubled ‘predatory loans’ up to $8.4 billion.
Brown at an campaign rally in Sacramento two days before the election
Brown announced his candidacy for governor on March 2, 2010. First indicating his interest in early 2008, Brown formed an exploratory committee in order to seek a third term as governor in 2010, following the expiration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s term.
Brown was sworn in for his third term as governor on January 3, 2011, succeeding Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. He will be up for re-election in 2014. Brown is working on a budget that would shift many government programs from the state to the local level, a reversal of trends from his first tenure as governor.
On June 28, 2012, Governor Brown signed a budget that made deep cuts to social services with the assumption that voters would pass $8 billion in tax hikes in November 2012 to close California’s $15.7-billion budget deficit. “This budget reflects tough choices that will help get California back on track,” Governor Brown said in a statement.
When asked by writer Marc Collins, in an article from Pacific Standard magazine on August 12, 2012, what the state needs to get back on track even if his initiative passes, Governor Brown remarked: “We need budget cuts. We need the continued growth of the economy for a long period of time. We’re suffering from the mortgage meltdown that killed 600,000 jobs in the construction industry. … We’re recovering from a national recession slowly—over 300,000 jobs [gained] since the recession. We’ve got a million to go. That needs to continue, but that depends not only on Barack Obama and the Congress and the Federal Reserve, but also on [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, China, the European Union, and the self-organizing quality of the world economy. We need all that, which we don’t have control over. What we do have control over is managing affairs to win public regard and confidence, and technically we need to make these hard cuts that Democrats don’t want to make, but a gimmicky sort of budget won’t lend itself to voters passing new taxes.”
In September 2012, Brown signed legislation sponsored by California State Senator Ted Lieu that prohibits protesters at funerals within 300 feet, with convicted violators punishable with fines and jail time; the legislation was in response to protests conducted by the Westboro Baptist Church.
In the November 2012 general elections, voters approved Brown’s proposed tax increases in the form of Proposition 30. Prop 30 raised the state personal income tax increase over seven years for California residents with an annual income over US$250,000 and increased in the state sales tax by 0.25 percent over four years. It allowed the state to avoid nearly $6 billion in cuts to public education.
A bachelor as governor and mayor, Brown attracted attention for dating high-profile women, the most notable of whom was singer Linda Ronstadt. In March 2005, Brown announced his engagement to his girlfriend since 1990, Anne Gust, former chief administrative officer for The Gap. They were married on June 18 in a ceremony officiated by Senator Dianne Feinstein in the Rotunda Building in downtown Oakland. They had a second, religious ceremony later in the day in the Roman Catholic church in San Francisco where Brown’s parents had been married. Brown and Gust live in the Oakland Hills in a home purchased for $1.8 million, as reported by The Huffington Post.
Beginning in 1995, Brown hosted a daily call-in talk show on the local Pacifica Radio station, KPFA-FM, in Berkeley broadcast to major US markets. Both the radio program and Brown’s political action organization, based in Oakland, were called We the People. His programs, usually featuring invited guests, generally explored alternative views on a wide range of social and political issues, from education and health care to spirituality and the death penalty.
The official gubernatorial portrait of Jerry Brown, commemorating his first period as Governor of California was painted by Don Bachardyand unveiled in 1984. The painting has long been controversial due to its departure from the traditional norms of portraiture.
Brown has a long-term friendship with Jacques Barzaghi, his aide-de-camp, whom he met in the early 1970s and put on his payroll. Author Roger Rapaport wrote in his 1982 Brown biography California Dreaming: The Political Odyssey of Pat & Jerry Brown, “this combination clerk, chauffeur, fashion consultant, decorator and trusted friend had no discernible powers. Yet late at night, after everyone had gone home to their families and TV consoles, it was Jacques who lingered in the Secretary (of state’s) office.” Barzaghi and his sixth wife Aisha lived with Brown in the warehouse in Jack London Square; Barzaghi was brought into Oakland city government upon Brown’s election as mayor, where Barzaghi first acted as the mayor’s armed bodyguard. Brown later rewarded Barzaghi with high-paying city jobs, including Arts Director. Brown dismissed Barzaghi in July 2004.
In April 2011 Brown had surgery to remove a basal-cell carcinoma from the right side of his nose. It was announced in December 2012 that Brown was being treated for early stage (the precise stage and grade was not stated) localized prostate cancer with a very good prognosis.
Story 2: The Pronk Pops Show 207, February 10, 2014, Story 1: Snowden Used Automated Web Crawler To Scrap Data From Over 1.7 Million Restricted National Security Agency Files — Videos
Snowden Used Common, Low-Cost Tool To Get NSA Files: Report
Edward Snowden, v 1.0: NSA Whistleblower William Binney Tells All
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’
Dick Cheney ‘This Week’ Interview – Former Vice President on NSA Spying Revelations and GOP Politics
A Massive Surveillance State Glenn Greenwald Exposes Covert NSA Program Collecting Calls, Emails
Web Crawler – CS101 – Udacity
Web scraping the easy way
Python Web Scraping Tutorial 1 (Intro To Web Scraping)
Web Scraping Techniques
Web scraping: Reliably and efficiently pull data from pages that don’t expect it
2014 Best Scraper pro gold email and phone extractor harvestor review- website scraping lead
Lecture -38 Search Engine And Web Crawler – Part-I
Lecture -39 Search Engine And Web Crawlers: Part-II
Web Scraping Review 1
Web Scraping Review 2
Snowden Used Low-Cost Tool to Best N.S.A.
By DAVID E. SANGER and ERIC SCHMITT
Intelligence officials investigating how Edward J. Snowden gained access to a huge trove of the country’s most highly classified documents say they have determined that he used inexpensive and widely available software to “scrape” the National Security Agency’s networks, and kept at it even after he was briefly challenged by agency officials.
Using “web crawler” software designed to search, index and back up a website, Mr. Snowden “scraped data out of our systems” while he went about his day job, according to a senior intelligence official. “We do not believe this was an individual sitting at a machine and downloading this much material in sequence,” the official said. The process, he added, was “quite automated.”
The findings are striking because the N.S.A.’s mission includes protecting the nation’s most sensitive military and intelligence computer systems from cyberattacks, especially the sophisticated attacks that emanate from Russia and China. Mr. Snowden’s “insider attack,” by contrast, was hardly sophisticated and should have been easily detected, investigators found.
Moreover, Mr. Snowden succeeded nearly three years after the WikiLeaks disclosures, in which military and State Department files, of far less sensitivity, were taken using similar techniques.
Mr. Snowden had broad access to the N.S.A.’s complete files because he was working as a technology contractor for the agency in Hawaii, helping to manage the agency’s computer systems in an outpost that focuses on China and North Korea. A web crawler, also called a spider, automatically moves from website to website, following links embedded in each document, and can be programmed to copy everything in its path.
Mr. Snowden appears to have set the parameters for the searches, including which subjects to look for and how deeply to follow links to documents and other data on the N.S.A.’s internal networks. Intelligence officials told a House hearing last week that he accessed roughly 1.7 million files.
Among the materials prominent in the Snowden files are the agency’s shared “wikis,” databases to which intelligence analysts, operatives and others contributed their knowledge. Some of that material indicates that Mr. Snowden “accessed” the documents. But experts say they may well have been downloaded not by him but by the program acting on his behalf.
Agency officials insist that if Mr. Snowden had been working from N.S.A. headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., which was equipped with monitors designed to detect when a huge volume of data was being accessed and downloaded, he almost certainly would have been caught. But because he worked at an agency outpost that had not yet been upgraded with modern security measures, his copying of what the agency’s newly appointed No. 2 officer, Rick Ledgett, recently called “the keys to the kingdom” raised few alarms.
“Some place had to be last” in getting the security upgrade, said one official familiar with Mr. Snowden’s activities. But he added that Mr. Snowden’s actions had been “challenged a few times.”
In at least one instance when he was questioned, Mr. Snowden provided what were later described to investigators as legitimate-sounding explanations for his activities: As a systems administrator he was responsible for conducting routine network maintenance. That could include backing up the computer systems and moving information to local servers, investigators were told.
But from his first days working as a contractor inside the N.S.A.’s aging underground Oahu facility for Dell, the computer maker, and then at a modern office building on the island for Booz Allen Hamilton, the technology consulting firm that sells and operates computer security services used by the government, Mr. Snowden learned something critical about the N.S.A.’s culture: While the organization built enormously high electronic barriers to keep out foreign invaders, it had rudimentary protections against insiders.
“Once you are inside the assumption is that you are supposed to be there, like in most organizations,” said Richard Bejtlich, the chief security strategist for FireEye, a Silicon Valley computer security firm, and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “But that doesn’t explain why they weren’t more vigilant about excessive activity in the system.”
Investigators have yet to answer the question of whether Mr. Snowden happened into an ill-defended outpost of the N.S.A. or sought a job there because he knew it had yet to install the security upgrades that might have stopped him.
“He was either very lucky or very strategic,” one intelligence official said. A new book, “The Snowden Files,” by Luke Harding, a correspondent for The Guardian in London, reports that Mr. Snowden sought his job at Booz Allen because “to get access to a final tranche of documents” he needed “greater security privileges than he enjoyed in his position at Dell.”
Through his lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, Mr. Snowden did not specifically address the government’s theory of how he obtained the files, saying in a statement: “It’s ironic that officials are giving classified information to journalists in an effort to discredit me for giving classified information to journalists. The difference is that I did so to inform the public about the government’s actions, and they’re doing so to misinform the public about mine.”
The N.S.A. declined to comment on its investigation or the security changes it has made since the Snowden disclosures. Other intelligence officials familiar with the findings of the investigations underway — there are at least four — were granted anonymity to discuss the investigations.
In interviews, officials declined to say which web crawler Mr. Snowden had used, or whether he had written some of the software himself. Officials said it functioned like Googlebot, a widely used web crawler that Google developed to find and index new pages on the web. What officials cannot explain is why the presence of such software in a highly classified system was not an obvious tip-off to unauthorized activity.
When inserted with Mr. Snowden’s passwords, the web crawler became especially powerful. Investigators determined he probably had also made use of the passwords of some colleagues or supervisors.
But he was also aided by a culture within the N.S.A., officials say, that “compartmented” relatively little information. As a result, a 29-year-old computer engineer, working from a World War II-era tunnel in Oahu and then from downtown Honolulu, had access to unencrypted files that dealt with information as varied as the bulk collection of domestic phone numbers and the intercepted communications of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and dozens of other leaders.
Officials say web crawlers are almost never used on the N.S.A.’s internal systems, making it all the more inexplicable that the one used by Mr. Snowden did not set off alarms as it copied intelligence and military documents stored in the N.S.A.’s systems and linked through the agency’s internal equivalent of Wikipedia.
The answer, officials and outside experts say, is that no one was looking inside the system in Hawaii for hard-to-explain activity. “The N.S.A. had the solution to this problem in hand, but they simply didn’t push it out fast enough,” said James Lewis, a computer expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who has talked extensively with intelligence officials about how the Snowden experience could have been avoided.
Nonetheless, the government had warning that it was vulnerable to such attacks. Similar techniques were used by Chelsea Manning, then known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was convicted of turning documents and videos over to WikiLeaks in 2010.
Evidence presented during Private Manning’s court-martial for his role as the source for large archives of military and diplomatic files given to WikiLeaks revealed that he had used a program called “wget” to download the batches of files. That program automates the retrieval of large numbers of files, but it is considered less powerful than the tool Mr. Snowden used.
The program’s use prompted changes in how secret information is handled at the State Department, the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies, but recent assessments suggest that those changes may not have gone far enough. For example, arguments have broken out about whether the N.S.A.’s data should all be encrypted “at rest” — when it is stored in servers — to make it harder to search and steal. But that would also make it harder to retrieve for legitimate purposes.
Investigators have found no evidence that Mr. Snowden’s searches were directed by a foreign power, despite suggestions to that effect by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan, in recent television appearances and at a hearing last week.
But that leaves open the question of how Mr. Snowden chose the search terms to obtain his trove of documents, and why, according to James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, they yielded a disproportionately large number of documents detailing American military movements, preparations and abilities around the world.
In his statement, Mr. Snowden denied any deliberate effort to gain access to any military information. “They rely on a baseless premise, which is that I was after military information,” Mr. Snowden said.
The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, told lawmakers last week that Mr. Snowden’s disclosures could tip off adversaries to American military tactics and operations, and force the Pentagon to spend vast sums to safeguard against that. But he admitted a great deal of uncertainty about what Mr. Snowden possessed.
“Everything that he touched, we assume that he took,” said General Flynn, including details of how the military tracks terrorists, of enemies’ vulnerabilities and of American defenses against improvised explosive devices. He added, “We assume the worst case.”
A Web crawler may also be called a Web spider, an ant, an automatic indexer, or (in the FOAF software context) a Web scutter.
Web search engines and some other sites use Web crawling or spidering software to update their web content or indexes of others sites’ web content. Web crawlers can copy all the pages they visit for later processing by a search engine that indexes the downloaded pages so that users can search them much more quickly.
A Web crawler starts with a list of URLs to visit, called the seeds. As the crawler visits these URLs, it identifies all the hyperlinks in the page and adds them to the list of URLs to visit, called the crawl frontier. URLs from the frontier are recursively visited according to a set of policies.
The large volume implies that the crawler can only download a limited number of the Web pages within a given time, so it needs to prioritize its downloads. The high rate of change implies that the pages might have already been updated or even deleted.
The number of possible URLs crawled being generated by server-side software has also made it difficult for web crawlers to avoid retrieving duplicate content. Endless combinations of HTTP GET (URL-based) parameters exist, of which only a small selection will actually return unique content. For example, a simple online photo gallery may offer three options to users, as specified through HTTP GET parameters in the URL. If there exist four ways to sort images, three choices of thumbnail size, two file formats, and an option to disable user-provided content, then the same set of content can be accessed with 48 different URLs, all of which may be linked on the site. This mathematical combination creates a problem for crawlers, as they must sort through endless combinations of relatively minor scripted changes in order to retrieve unique content.
As Edwards et al. noted, “Given that the bandwidth for conducting crawls is neither infinite nor free, it is becoming essential to crawl the Web in not only a scalable, but efficient way, if some reasonable measure of quality or freshness is to be maintained.” A crawler must carefully choose at each step which pages to visit next.
The behavior of a Web crawler is the outcome of a combination of policies:
a selection policy that states which pages to download,
a re-visit policy that states when to check for changes to the pages,
a politeness policy that states how to avoid overloading Web sites, and
Given the current size of the Web, even large search engines cover only a portion of the publicly available part. A 2005 study showed that large-scale search engines index no more than 40-70% of the indexable Web; a previous study by Steve Lawrence and Lee Giles showed that no search engine indexed more than 16% of the Web in 1999. As a crawler always downloads just a fraction of the Web pages, it is highly desirable that the downloaded fraction contains the most relevant pages and not just a random sample of the Web.
This requires a metric of importance for prioritizing Web pages. The importance of a page is a function of its intrinsic quality, its popularity in terms of links or visits, and even of its URL (the latter is the case of vertical search engines restricted to a single top-level domain, or search engines restricted to a fixed Web site). Designing a good selection policy has an added difficulty: it must work with partial information, as the complete set of Web pages is not known during crawling.
Cho et al. made the first study on policies for crawling scheduling. Their data set was a 180,000-pages crawl from the stanford.edu domain, in which a crawling simulation was done with different strategies. The ordering metrics tested were breadth-first, backlink count and partial Pagerank calculations. One of the conclusions was that if the crawler wants to download pages with high Pagerank early during the crawling process, then the partial Pagerank strategy is the better, followed by breadth-first and backlink-count. However, these results are for just a single domain. Cho also wrote his Ph.D. dissertation at Stanford on web crawling.
Najork and Wiener performed an actual crawl on 328 million pages, using breadth-first ordering. They found that a breadth-first crawl captures pages with high Pagerank early in the crawl (but they did not compare this strategy against other strategies). The explanation given by the authors for this result is that “the most important pages have many links to them from numerous hosts, and those links will be found early, regardless of on which host or page the crawl originates.”
Abiteboul designed a crawling strategy based on an algorithm called OPIC (On-line Page Importance Computation). In OPIC, each page is given an initial sum of “cash” that is distributed equally among the pages it points to. It is similar to a Pagerank computation, but it is faster and is only done in one step. An OPIC-driven crawler downloads first the pages in the crawling frontier with higher amounts of “cash”. Experiments were carried in a 100,000-pages synthetic graph with a power-law distribution of in-links. However, there was no comparison with other strategies nor experiments in the real Web.
Boldi et al. used simulation on subsets of the Web of 40 million pages from the .it domain and 100 million pages from the WebBase crawl, testing breadth-first against depth-first, random ordering and an omniscient strategy. The comparison was based on how well PageRank computed on a partial crawl approximates the true PageRank value. Surprisingly, some visits that accumulate PageRank very quickly (most notably, breadth-first and the omniscient visit) provide very poor progressive approximations.
Baeza-Yates et al. used simulation on two subsets of the Web of 3 million pages from the .gr and .cl domain, testing several crawling strategies. They showed that both the OPIC strategy and a strategy that uses the length of the per-site queues are better than breadth-first crawling, and that it is also very effective to use a previous crawl, when it is available, to guide the current one.
Daneshpajouh et al. designed a community based algorithm for discovering good seeds. Their method crawls web pages with high PageRank from different communities in less iteration in comparison with crawl starting from random seeds. One can extract good seed from a previously-crawled-Web graph using this new method. Using these seeds a new crawl can be very effective.
Restricting followed links
A crawler may only want to seek out HTML pages and avoid all other MIME types. In order to request only HTML resources, a crawler may make an HTTP HEAD request to determine a Web resource’s MIME type before requesting the entire resource with a GET request. To avoid making numerous HEAD requests, a crawler may examine the URL and only request a resource if the URL ends with certain characters such as .html, .htm, .asp, .aspx, .php, .jsp, .jspx or a slash. This strategy may cause numerous HTML Web resources to be unintentionally skipped.
Some crawlers may also avoid requesting any resources that have a “?” in them (are dynamically produced) in order to avoid spider traps that may cause the crawler to download an infinite number of URLs from a Web site. This strategy is unreliable if the site uses a rewrite engine to simplify its URLs.
Crawlers usually perform some type of URL normalization in order to avoid crawling the same resource more than once. The term URL normalization, also called URL canonicalization, refers to the process of modifying and standardizing a URL in a consistent manner. There are several types of normalization that may be performed including conversion of URLs to lowercase, removal of “.” and “..” segments, and adding trailing slashes to the non-empty path component.
Some crawlers intend to download as many resources as possible from a particular web site. So path-ascending crawler was introduced that would ascend to every path in each URL that it intends to crawl. For example, when given a seed URL of http://llama.org/hamster/monkey/page.html, it will attempt to crawl /hamster/monkey/, /hamster/, and /. Cothey found that a path-ascending crawler was very effective in finding isolated resources, or resources for which no inbound link would have been found in regular crawling.
Many path-ascending crawlers are also gallery — from a specific page or host.
The importance of a page for a crawler can also be expressed as a function of the similarity of a page to a given query. Web crawlers that attempt to download pages that are similar to each other are called focused crawler or topical crawlers. The concepts of topical and focused crawling were first introduced by Menczer and by Chakrabarti et al.
The main problem in focused crawling is that in the context of a Web crawler, we would like to be able to predict the similarity of the text of a given page to the query before actually downloading the page. A possible predictor is the anchor text of links; this was the approach taken by Pinkerton in the first web crawler of the early days of the Web. Diligenti et al. propose using the complete content of the pages already visited to infer the similarity between the driving query and the pages that have not been visited yet. The performance of a focused crawling depends mostly on the richness of links in the specific topic being searched, and a focused crawling usually relies on a general Web search engine for providing starting points.
An example of the focused crawlers are academic crawlers, which crawls free-access academic related documents, such as the citeseerxbot, which is the crawler of CiteSeerX search engine. Other academic search engines are Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search etc. Because most academic papers are published in PDF formats, such kind of crawler is particularly interested in crawling PDF, PostScript files, Microsoft Word including their zipped formats. Because of this, general open source crawlers, such as Heritrix, must be customized to filter out other MIME types, or a middleware is used to extract these documents out and import them to the focused crawl database and repository. Identifying whether these documents are academic or not is challenging and can add a significant overhead to the crawling process, so this is performed as a post crawling process using machine learning or regular expression algorithms. These academic documents are usually obtained from home pages of faculties and students or from publication page of research institutes. Because academic documents takes only a small faction in the entire web pages, a good seed selection are important in boosting the efficiencies of these web crawlers. Other academic crawlers may download plain text and HTML files, that contains metadata of academic papers, such as titles, papers, and abstracts. This increases the overall number of papers, but a significant fraction may not provide free PDF downloads.
The Web has a very dynamic nature, and crawling a fraction of the Web can take weeks or months. By the time a Web crawler has finished its crawl, many events could have happened, including creations, updates and deletions.
From the search engine’s point of view, there is a cost associated with not detecting an event, and thus having an outdated copy of a resource. The most-used cost functions are freshness and age.
Freshness: This is a binary measure that indicates whether the local copy is accurate or not. The freshness of a page p in the repository at time t is defined as:
Age: This is a measure that indicates how outdated the local copy is. The age of a page p in the repository, at time t is defined as:
Coffmanet al. worked with a definition of the objective of a Web crawler that is equivalent to freshness, but use a different wording: they propose that a crawler must minimize the fraction of time pages remain outdated. They also noted that the problem of Web crawling can be modeled as a multiple-queue, single-server polling system, on which the Web crawler is the server and the Web sites are the queues. Page modifications are the arrival of the customers, and switch-over times are the interval between page accesses to a single Web site. Under this model, mean waiting time for a customer in the polling system is equivalent to the average age for the Web crawler.
The objective of the crawler is to keep the average freshness of pages in its collection as high as possible, or to keep the average age of pages as low as possible. These objectives are not equivalent: in the first case, the crawler is just concerned with how many pages are out-dated, while in the second case, the crawler is concerned with how old the local copies of pages are.
Two simple re-visiting policies were studied by Cho and Garcia-Molina:
Uniform policy: This involves re-visiting all pages in the collection with the same frequency, regardless of their rates of change.
Proportional policy: This involves re-visiting more often the pages that change more frequently. The visiting frequency is directly proportional to the (estimated) change frequency.
(In both cases, the repeated crawling order of pages can be done either in a random or a fixed order.)
Cho and Garcia-Molina proved the surprising result that, in terms of average freshness, the uniform policy outperforms the proportional policy in both a simulated Web and a real Web crawl. Intuitively, the reasoning is that, as web crawlers have a limit to how many pages they can crawl in a given time frame, (1) they will allocate too many new crawls to rapidly changing pages at the expense of less frequently updating pages, and (2) the freshness of rapidly changing pages lasts for shorter period than that of less frequently changing pages. In other words, a proportional policy allocates more resources to crawling frequently updating pages, but experiences less overall freshness time from them.
To improve freshness, the crawler should penalize the elements that change too often. The optimal re-visiting policy is neither the uniform policy nor the proportional policy. The optimal method for keeping average freshness high includes ignoring the pages that change too often, and the optimal for keeping average age low is to use access frequencies that monotonically (and sub-linearly) increase with the rate of change of each page. In both cases, the optimal is closer to the uniform policy than to the proportional policy: as Coffmanet al. note, “in order to minimize the expected obsolescence time, the accesses to any particular page should be kept as evenly spaced as possible”. Explicit formulas for the re-visit policy are not attainable in general, but they are obtained numerically, as they depend on the distribution of page changes. Cho and Garcia-Molina show that the exponential distribution is a good fit for describing page changes, while Ipeirotiset al. show how to use statistical tools to discover parameters that affect this distribution. Note that the re-visiting policies considered here regard all pages as homogeneous in terms of quality (“all pages on the Web are worth the same”), something that is not a realistic scenario, so further information about the Web page quality should be included to achieve a better crawling policy.
Crawlers can retrieve data much quicker and in greater depth than human searchers, so they can have a crippling impact on the performance of a site. Needless to say, if a single crawler is performing multiple requests per second and/or downloading large files, a server would have a hard time keeping up with requests from multiple crawlers.
As noted by Koster, the use of Web crawlers is useful for a number of tasks, but comes with a price for the general community. The costs of using Web crawlers include:
network resources, as crawlers require considerable bandwidth and operate with a high degree of parallelism during a long period of time;
server overload, especially if the frequency of accesses to a given server is too high;
poorly written crawlers, which can crash servers or routers, or which download pages they cannot handle; and
personal crawlers that, if deployed by too many users, can disrupt networks and Web servers.
A partial solution to these problems is the robots exclusion protocol, also known as the robots.txt protocol that is a standard for administrators to indicate which parts of their Web servers should not be accessed by crawlers. This standard does not include a suggestion for the interval of visits to the same server, even though this interval is the most effective way of avoiding server overload. Recently commercial search engines like Google, Ask Jeeves, MSN and Yahoo! Search are able to use an extra “Crawl-delay:” parameter in the robots.txt file to indicate the number of seconds to delay between requests.
The first proposed interval between successive pageloads was 60 seconds. However, if pages were downloaded at this rate from a website with more than 100,000 pages over a perfect connection with zero latency and infinite bandwidth, it would take more than 2 months to download only that entire Web site; also, only a fraction of the resources from that Web server would be used. This does not seem acceptable.
Cho uses 10 seconds as an interval for accesses, and the WIRE crawler uses 15 seconds as the default. The MercatorWeb crawler follows an adaptive politeness policy: if it took t seconds to download a document from a given server, the crawler waits for 10t seconds before downloading the next page. Dill et al. use 1 second.
For those using Web crawlers for research purposes, a more detailed cost-benefit analysis is needed and ethical considerations should be taken into account when deciding where to crawl and how fast to crawl.
Anecdotal evidence from access logs shows that access intervals from known crawlers vary between 20 seconds and 3–4 minutes. It is worth noticing that even when being very polite, and taking all the safeguards to avoid overloading Web servers, some complaints from Web server administrators are received. Brin and Page note that: “… running a crawler which connects to more than half a million servers (…) generates a fair amount of e-mail and phone calls. Because of the vast number of people coming on line, there are always those who do not know what a crawler is, because this is the first one they have seen.”
A parallel crawler is a crawler that runs multiple processes in parallel. The goal is to maximize the download rate while minimizing the overhead from parallelization and to avoid repeated downloads of the same page. To avoid downloading the same page more than once, the crawling system requires a policy for assigning the new URLs discovered during the crawling process, as the same URL can be found by two different crawling processes.
High-level architecture of a standard Web crawler
A crawler must not only have a good crawling strategy, as noted in the previous sections, but it should also have a highly optimized architecture.
While it is fairly easy to build a slow crawler that downloads a few pages per second for a short period of time, building a high-performance system that can download hundreds of millions of pages over several weeks presents a number of challenges in system design, I/O and network efficiency, and robustness and manageability.
Web crawlers are a central part of search engines, and details on their algorithms and architecture are kept as business secrets. When crawler designs are published, there is often an important lack of detail that prevents others from reproducing the work. There are also emerging concerns about “search engine spamming“, which prevent major search engines from publishing their ranking algorithms.
Web crawlers typically identify themselves to a Web server by using the User-agent field of an HTTP request. Web site administrators typically examine their Web servers‘ log and use the user agent field to determine which crawlers have visited the web server and how often. The user agent field may include a URL where the Web site administrator may find out more information about the crawler. Examining Web server log is tedious task therefore some administrators use tools such as CrawlTrack or SEO Crawlytics to identify, track and verify Web crawlers. Spambots and other malicious Web crawlers are unlikely to place identifying information in the user agent field, or they may mask their identity as a browser or other well-known crawler.
It is important for Web crawlers to identify themselves so that Web site administrators can contact the owner if needed. In some cases, crawlers may be accidentally trapped in a crawler trap or they may be overloading a Web server with requests, and the owner needs to stop the crawler. Identification is also useful for administrators that are interested in knowing when they may expect their Web pages to be indexed by a particular search engine.
Crawling the deep web
A vast amount of web pages lie in the deep or invisible web. These pages are typically only accessible by submitting queries to a database, and regular crawlers are unable to find these pages if there are no links that point to them. Google’s Sitemaps protocol and mod oai are intended to allow discovery of these deep-Web resources.
Deep web crawling also multiplies the number of web links to be crawled. Some crawlers only take some of the URLs in <a href="URL"> form. In some cases, such as the Googlebot, Web crawling is done on all text contained inside the hypertext content, tags, or text.
Strategic approaches may be taken to target deep Web content. With a technique called screen scraping, specialized software may be customized to automatically and repeatedly query a given Web form with the intention of aggregating the resulting data. Such software can be used to span multiple Web forms across multiple Websites. Data extracted from the results of one Web form submission can be taken and applied as input to another Web form thus establishing continuity across the Deep Web in a way not possible with traditional web crawlers.
Pages built on AJAX are among those causing problems to web crawlers. Google has proposed a format of AJAX calls that their bot can recognize and index
Web crawler bias
A recent study based on a large scale analysis of robots.txt files showed that certain web crawlers were preferred over others, with Googlebot being the most preferred web crawler.
The following is a list of published crawler architectures for general-purpose crawlers (excluding focused web crawlers), with a brief description that includes the names given to the different components and outstanding features:
Googlebot is described in some detail, but the reference is only about an early version of its architecture, which was based in C++ and Python. The crawler was integrated with the indexing process, because text parsing was done for full-text indexing and also for URL extraction. There is a URL server that sends lists of URLs to be fetched by several crawling processes. During parsing, the URLs found were passed to a URL server that checked if the URL have been previously seen. If not, the URL was added to the queue of the URL server.
PolyBot is a distributed crawler written in C++ and Python, which is composed of a “crawl manager”, one or more “downloaders” and one or more “DNS resolvers”. Collected URLs are added to a queue on disk, and processed later to search for seen URLs in batch mode. The politeness policy considers both third and second level domains (e.g.: http://www.example.com and www2.example.com are third level domains) because third level domains are usually hosted by the same Web server.
RBSE was the first published web crawler. It was based on two programs: the first program, “spider” maintains a queue in a relational database, and the second program “mite“, is a modified wwwASCII browser that downloads the pages from the Web.
WebCrawler was used to build the first publicly available full-text index of a subset of the Web. It was based on lib-WWW to download pages, and another program to parse and order URLs for breadth-first exploration of the Web graph. It also included a real-time crawler that followed links based on the similarity of the anchor text with the provided query.
World Wide Web Worm was a crawler used to build a simple index of document titles and URLs. The index could be searched by using the grepUnix command.
WebFountain is a distributed, modular crawler similar to Mercator but written in C++. It features a “controller” machine that coordinates a series of “ant” machines. After repeatedly downloading pages, a change rate is inferred for each page and a non-linear programming method must be used to solve the equation system for maximizing freshness. The authors recommend to use this crawling order in the early stages of the crawl, and then switch to a uniform crawling order, in which all pages are being visited with the same frequency.
WebRACE is a crawling and caching module implemented in Java, and used as a part of a more generic system called eRACE. The system receives requests from users for downloading web pages, so the crawler acts in part as a smart proxy server. The system also handles requests for “subscriptions” to Web pages that must be monitored: when the pages change, they must be downloaded by the crawler and the subscriber must be notified. The most outstanding feature of WebRACE is that, while most crawlers start with a set of “seed” URLs, WebRACE is continuously receiving new starting URLs to crawl from.
In addition to the specific crawler architectures listed above, there are general crawler architectures published by Cho and Chakrabarti.
Web scraping is closely related to web indexing, which indexes information on the web using a bot or web crawler and is a universal technique adopted by most search engines. In contrast, web scraping focuses more on the transformation of unstructured data on the web, typically in HTML format, into structured data that can be stored and analyzed in a central local database or spreadsheet. Web scraping is also related to web automation, which simulates human browsing using computer software. Uses of web scraping include online price comparison, contact scraping, weather data monitoring, website change detection, research, web mashup and web data integration.
Web scraping is the process of automatically collecting information from the World Wide Web. It is a field with active developments sharing a common goal with the semantic web vision, an ambitious initiative that still requires breakthroughs in text processing, semantic understanding, artificial intelligence and human-computer interactions. Web scraping, instead, favors practical solutions based on existing technologies that are often entirely ad hoc. Therefore, there are different levels of automation that existing web-scraping technologies can provide:
Human copy-and-paste: Sometimes even the best web-scraping technology cannot replace a human’s manual examination and copy-and-paste, and sometimes this may be the only workable solution when the websites for scraping explicitly set up barriers to prevent machine automation.
Text grepping and regular expression matching: A simple yet powerful approach to extract information from web pages can be based on the UNIX grep command or regular expression-matching facilities of programming languages (for instance Perl or Python).
HTML parsers. Many websites have large collections of pages generated dynamically from an underlying structured source like a database. Data of the same category are typically encoded into similar pages by a common script or template. In data mining, a program that detects such templates in a particular information source, extracts its content and translates it into a relational form called a wrapper. Wrapper generation algorithms assume that input pages of a wrapper induction system conform to a common template and that they can be easily identified in terms of a URL common scheme.. Moreover, some semi-structured data query languages, such as XQuery and the HTQL, can be used to parse HTML pages and to retrieve and transform page content.
DOM parsing: By embedding a full-fledged web browser, such as the Internet Explorer or the Mozilla browser control, programs can retrieve the dynamic content generated by client-side scripts. These browser controls also parse web pages into a DOM tree, based on which programs can retrieve parts of the pages.
Web-scraping software: There are many software tools available that can be used to customize web-scraping solutions. This software may attempt to automatically recognize the data structure of a page or provide a recording interface that removes the necessity to manually write web-scraping code, or some scripting functions that can be used to extract and transform content, and database interfaces that can store the scraped data in local databases.
Vertical aggregation platforms: There are several companies that have developed vertical specific harvesting platforms. These platforms create and monitor a multitude of “bots” for specific verticals with no man-in-the-loop,[clarification needed] and no work related to a specific target site. The preparation involves establishing the knowledge base for the entire vertical and then the platform creates the bots automatically. The platform’s robustness is measured by the quality of the information it retrieves (usually number of fields) and its scalability (how quick it can scale up to hundreds or thousands of sites). This scalability is mostly used to target the Long Tail of sites that common aggregators find complicated or too labor-intensive to harvest content from.
Semantic annotation recognizing: The pages being scraped may embrace metadata or semantic markups and annotations, which can be used to locate specific data snippets. If the annotations are embedded in the pages, as Microformat does, this technique can be viewed as a special case of DOM parsing. In another case, the annotations, organized into a semantic layer, are stored and managed separately from the web pages, so the scrapers can retrieve data schema and instructions from this layer before scraping the pages.
Computer vision web-page analyzers. There are efforts using machine learning and computer vision that attempt to identify and extract information from web pages by interpreting pages visually as a human being might.
One of the first major tests of screen scraping involved American Airlines, and a firm called FareChase. AA successfully obtained an injunction from a Texas trial court, stopping FareChase from selling software that enables users to compare online fares if it also searches AA’s website. The airline argued that FareChase’s websearch software trespassed on AA’s servers when it collected the publicly available data. FareChase filed an appeal in March 2003. By June, FareChase and AA agreed to settle and the appeal was dropped.
Southwest Airlines has also challenged screen-scraping practices, and has involved both FareChase and another firm, Outtask, in a legal claim. Southwest Airlines charged that the screen-scraping is Illegal since it is an example of “Computer Fraud and Abuse” and has led to “Damage and Loss” and “Unauthorized Access” of Southwest’s site. It also constitutes “Interference with Business Relations”, “Trespass”, and “Harmful Access by Computer”. They also claimed that screen-scraping constitutes what is legally known as “Misappropriation and Unjust Enrichment”, as well as being a breach of the web site’s user agreement. Outtask denied all these claims, claiming that the prevailing law in this case should be US Copyright law, and that under copyright, the pieces of information being scraped would not be subject to copyright protection. Although the cases were never resolved in the Supreme Court of the United States, FareChase was eventually shuttered by parent company Yahoo!, and Outtask was purchased by travel expense company Concur.
Although these are early scraping decisions, and the theories of liability are not uniform, it is difficult to ignore a pattern emerging that the courts are prepared to protect proprietary content on commercial sites from uses which are undesirable to the owners of such sites. However, the degree of protection for such content is not settled, and will depend on the type of access made by the scraper, the amount of information accessed and copied, the degree to which the access adversely affects the site owner’s system and the types and manner of prohibitions on such conduct.
Outside of the United States, in February 2006, the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court (Copenhagen) ruled that systematic crawling, indexing, and deep linking by portal site ofir.dk of real estate site Home.dk does not conflict with Danish law or the database directive of the European Union.
In 2009 Facebook won one of the first copyright suits against a known web scraper. This laid the groundwork for numerous lawsuits that tie any web scraping with a direct copyright violation and very clear monetary damages. The most recent case being AP v Meltwater, where the courts stripped what is referred to as fair use on the internet.
In a February 2010 case complicated by matters of jurisdiction, Ireland’s An Ard-Chúirt delivered a verdict that illustrates the inchoate state of developing case law. In the case of Ryanair Ltd v Billigfluege.de GmbH, Ireland’s High Court ruled Ryanair’s “click-wrap” agreement to be legally binding. In contrast to the findings of the United States District Court Eastern District of Virginia and those of the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court, Mr. Justice Michael Hanna ruled that the hyperlink to Ryanair’s terms and conditions was plainly visible, and that placing the onus on the user to agree to terms and conditions in order to gain access to online services is sufficient to comprise a contractual relationship. Where here may be another legal issue, of data non-valid or incorrect information, as most of data mixed with lot of “Junk” or “Spam”. Where with respect to data ware house there are: may be limitation of query interface, inconsistence output and rapid change in data by admin without any notice.  The decision is under appeal in Ireland’s Supreme Court, the Cúirt Uachtarach na hÉireann.
In Australia, the Spam Act 2003 outlaws some forms of web harvesting, although this only applies to email addresses.
Technical measures to stop bots
The administrator of a website can use various measures to stop or slow a bot. Some techniques include:
Blocking an IP address. This will also block all browsing from that address.
Disabling any web service API that the website’s system might expose.
Bots sometimes declare who they are (using user agent strings) and can be blocked on that basis (using robots.txt); ‘googlebot‘ is an example. Some bots make no distinction between themselves and a human browser.
Bots can be blocked by excess traffic monitoring.
Bots can sometimes be blocked with tools to verify that it is a real person accessing the site, like a CAPTCHA. Bots are sometimes coded to explicitly break specific Captcha patterns.
Commercial anti-bot services: Companies offer anti-bot and anti-scraping services for websites. A few web application firewalls have limited bot detection capabilities as well.
Locating bots with a honeypot or other method to identify the IP addresses of automated crawlers.
Story 1: Democrats Lose 50 Year War on Poverty Start 100 Year War on Work: Millennial Moocher Mania — Grow The Government Shrink The Economy and Employment! — Progressive Permanent Poverty People — Videos Videos
The Chicago professor examined the law’s incentives for the poor not to get a job or work harder, and this week Beltway budgeteers agreed.
By JOSEPH RAGO
In September, two weeks before the Affordable Care Act was due to launch, President Obama declared that “there’s no serious evidence that the law . . . is holding back economic growth.” As for repealing ObamaCare, he added, “That’s not an agenda for economic growth. You’re not going to meet an economist who says that that’s a number-one priority in terms of boosting growth and jobs in this country—at least not a serious economist.”
In a way, Mr. Obama had a point: “Never met him,” says economist Casey Mulligan. If the unfamiliarity is mutual, the confusion is all presidential. Mr. Mulligan studies how government choices influence the incentives and rewards for work—and many more people may recognize the University of Chicago professor as a serious economist after this week. That’s because, more than anyone, Mr. Mulligan is responsible for the still-raging furor over the Congressional Budget Office’s conclusion that ObamaCare will, in fact, harm growth and jobs.
Rarely are political tempers so raw over an 11-page appendix to a dense budget projection for the next decade. But then the CBO—Congress’s official fiscal scorekeeper, widely revered by Democrats and Republicans alike as the gold standard of economic analysis—reported that by 2024 the equivalent of 2.5 million Americans who were otherwise willing and able to work before ObamaCare will work less or not at all as a result of ObamaCare.
As the CBO admits, that’s a “substantially larger” and “considerably higher” subtraction to the labor force than the mere 800,000 the budget office estimated in 2010. The overall level of labor will fall by 1.5% to 2% over the decade, the CBO figures.
Mr. Mulligan’s empirical research puts the best estimate of the contraction at 3%. The CBO still has some of the economics wrong, he said in a phone interview Thursday, “but, boy, it’s a lot better to be off by a factor of two than a factor of six.”
The CBO’s intellectual conversion is all the more notable for accepting Mr. Mulligan’s premise, which is that what economists call “implicit marginal tax rates” in ObamaCare make work less financially valuable for lower-income Americans. Because the insurance subsidies are tied to income and phase out as cash wages rise, some people will have the incentive to remain poorer in order to continue capturing higher benefits. Another way of putting it is that taking away benefits has the same effect as a direct tax, so lower-income workers are discouraged from climbing the income ladder by working harder, logging extra hours, taking a promotion or investing in their future earnings through job training or education.
The CBO works in mysterious ways, but its commentary and a footnote suggest that two National Bureau of Economic Research papers Mr. Mulligan published last August were “roughly” the most important drivers of this revision to its model. In short, the CBO has pulled this economist’s arguments and analysis from the fringes to center of the health-care debate.
For his part, Mr. Mulligan declines to take too much credit. “I’m not an expert in that town, Washington,” he says, “but I showed them my work and I know they listened, carefully.”
At a February 2013 hearing he pointed out several discrepancies between the CBO’s marginal-tax-rate work and its health-care work, and, he says, “That couldn’t persist forever. There would have to be a time where they would reconcile those two approaches somehow.” More to the point, “I knew eventually it would be acknowledged that when you pay people for being low income you are going to have more low-income people.”
Mr. Mulligan thinks the CBO deserves particular credit for learning and then revising the old 800,000 number, not least because so many liberals cited it to dispute the claims of ObamaCare’s critics. The new finding might have prompted a debate about the marginal tax rates confronting the poor, but—well, it didn’t.
Instead, liberals have turned to claiming that ObamaCare’s missing workers will be a gift to society. Since employers aren’t cutting jobs per se through layoffs or hourly take-backs, people are merely choosing rationally to supply less labor. Thanks to ObamaCare, we’re told, Americans can finally quit the salt mines and blacking factories and retire early, or spend more time with the children, or become artists.
Mr. Mulligan reserves particular scorn for the economists making this “eliminated from the drudgery of labor market” argument, which he views as a form of trahison des clercs. “I don’t know what their intentions are,” he says, choosing his words carefully, “but it looks like they’re trying to leverage the lack of economic education in their audience by making these sorts of points.”
A job, Mr. Mulligan explains, “is a transaction between buyers and sellers. When a transaction doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. We know that it doesn’t matter on which side of the market you put the disincentives, the results are the same. . . . In this case you’re putting an implicit tax on work for households, and employers aren’t willing to compensate the households enough so they’ll still work.” Jobs can be destroyed by sellers (workers) as much as buyers (businesses).
He adds: “I can understand something like cigarettes and people believe that there’s too much smoking, so we put a tax on cigarettes, so people smoke less, and we say that’s a good thing. OK. But are we saying we were working too much before? Is that the new argument? I mean make up your mind. We’ve been complaining for six years now that there’s not enough work being done. . . . Even before the recession there was too little work in the economy. Now all of a sudden we wake up and say we’re glad that people are working less? We’re pursuing our dreams?”
The larger betrayal, Mr. Mulligan argues, is that the same economists now praising the great shrinking workforce used to claim that ObamaCare would expand the labor market.
He points to a 2011 letter organized by Harvard’s David Cutler and the University of Chicago’s Harold Pollack, signed by dozens of left-leaning economists including Nobel laureates, stating “our strong conclusion” that ObamaCare will strengthen the economy and create 250,000 to 400,000 jobs annually. (Mr. Cutler has since qualified and walked back some of his claims.)
“Why didn’t they say, no, we didn’t mean the labor market’s going to get bigger. We mean it’s going to get smaller in a good way,” Mr. Mulligan wonders. “I’m unhappy with that, to be honest, as an American, as an economist. Those kind of conclusions are tarnishing the field of economics, which is a great, maybe the greatest, field. They’re sure not making it look good by doing stuff like that.”
Mr. Mulligan’s investigation into the Affordable Care Act builds on his earlier work studying the 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka the stimulus.
The Keynesian economists who dominate Mr. Obama’s Washington are preoccupied by demand, and their explanation for persistently high post-recession unemployment is weak demand for goods and thus demand for labor. Mr. Mulligan, by contrast, studies the supply of labor and attributes the state of the economy in large part to the expansion of the entitlement and welfare state, such as the surge in food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid and other safety-net programs. As these benefits were enriched and extended to more people by the stimulus, he argues in his 2012 book “The Redistribution Recession,” they were responsible for about half the drop in work hours since 2007, and possibly more.
The nearby chart tracks marginal tax rates over time for nonelderly household heads and spouses with median earnings. This index is a population-weighted average over various ages, jobs, employment decisions like full-time versus part-time. Basically, the chart shows the extra taxes paid and government benefits foregone as a result of earning an extra dollar of income.
The stimulus caused a spike in marginal rates, but at least it was temporary. ObamaCare will bring them permanently into the 47% range, or seven percentage points higher than in early 2007. Mr. Mulligan says the main response to his calculations is that people “didn’t realize the cumulative effect of these things together as a package to discourage work.”
Mr. Mulligan is uncomfortable speculating about whether the benefits of this shift outweigh the costs. Perhaps the public was willing to trade market efficiency for more income security after the 2008 crisis. “As an economist I can’t argue with that,” he says. “The thing that I argue with is the denial that there is a trade-off. I argue with the denial that if you pay unemployed people you’re going to get more unemployed people. There are consequences of that. That doesn’t mean the consequences aren’t worth paying. But you can’t deny the consequences for the labor market.”
One major risk is slower economic growth over time as people leave the workforce and contribute less to national prosperity. Another is that social programs with high marginal rates end up perpetuating the problems they’re supposed to be alleviating.
So amid the current wave of liberal ObamaCare denial about these realities, how did Mr. Mulligan end up conducting such “unconventional” research?
“Unconventional?” he asks with more than a little disbelief. “It’s not unconventional at all. The critique I get is that it’s not complicated enough.”
Well, then how come the CBO’s adoption of his insights is causing such a ruckus?
“I would phrase the question a little differently,” Mr. Mulligan responds, “which is: Why didn’t conventional economic analysis make its way to Washington? Why was I the only delivery boy? Why wasn’t there a laundry list?” The charitable explanation, he says, is that there was “a general lack of awareness” and economists simply didn’t realize everything that government was doing to undermine incentives for work. “You have to dig into it and see it,” he explains. “The Affordable Care Act’s not going to come and shake you out of your bed and say, ‘Look what’s in me.’ “
Judging by their reaction to the CBO report, the less charitable explanation is that liberals would have preferred that the public never found out.
Mr. Rago is a member of the Journal’s editorial board.
Lawmakers Spar Over CBO’s U.S. Health-Law Findings
Questions Over Impact on Workforce Create ‘Hysteria’ on Capitol Hill
A new report outlining the effect of the Affordable Care Act on the labor market continued to reverberate on Capitol Hill Wednesday, with lawmakers in both parties saying the findings bolstered their view of how the law would play out.
Republicans at a House Budget Committee hearing said the report, released Tuesday, shows the health law will drive people out of the work force. Democrats countered that the report shows the law will give workers flexibility to leave jobs they are locked into because of health-care benefits.
The sparring came in response to a Congressional Budget Office analysis concluding that subsidies in the law, combined with easier access to health care, would create incentives for many Americans to cut their work hours, leading to a net reduction of 1.5% to 2% from 2017 through 2024. This would be the equivalent of reducing the labor force by 2.5 million workers in 2024, the CBO found.
“The effects we estimated are almost entirely choices by people,” CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said at the hearing. He said, for example, that the labor changes wouldn’t be driven by employers cutting jobs, but rather workers deciding to cut back on their hours to take care of their children, parents, or to pursue other interests.
The report struck a chord in Washington. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) said at the hearing that the analysis by CBO, a nonpartisan agency that advises Congress, had caused “hysteria.”
Many Republicans said the CBO confirmed their long-held belief that the law would have a direct impact on the labor market and harm economic growth. They said it would expedite the decline in labor-force participation, which is expected to worsen in coming years as more aging Americans drop out of the work force.
“These changes—they disproportionately affect low-wage workers,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said. “Translation: Washington is making the poverty trap worse.”
Democrats on Wednesday said the study confirmed their belief that the law would free many Americans from a phenomenon known as “job lock,” or the idea that people don’t change their jobs for fear of losing their health benefits.
“More Americans will be able to voluntarily, choose—choose—to work fewer hours or not take a job because they don’t depend on that job any more for the provision of health insurance,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) said. “Before the Affordable Care Act, if you lost your job, you lost your health insurance.”
Mr. Elmendorf stressed that the law’s impact on the labor market could be difficult to predict. He agreed, for example, with one Republican lawmaker who said that by reducing the number of hours worked by many Americans, it would reduce overall wages and lower the amount of money people paid in taxes from 2017 through 2024.
But he also agreed with a Democratic lawmaker who said the law could—in the short-term—create some new jobs by freeing up disposable income from workers who previously had to set aside money for health coverage.
The law’s impact on the labor market has drawn the focus of researchers since it was passed, in part because the law makes so many changes to health-care delivery that its broader economic impacts have proved difficult to predict.
A 2013 study by researchers at Northwestern University, Columbia University and the University of Chicago estimated the Affordable Care Act’s impact could be particularly acute, including among Americans who are near retirement and hang on to jobs to retain health care before they qualify for Medicare at age 65.
The study found the new law “creates a nonemployer option for health insurance that is going to be fairly priced for a large number of Americans, and that hasn’t been available,” said Craig Garthwaite, an assistant professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and one of the study’s co-authors.
But he said there is a trade-off to the broader access to health care, and said “there should be some pause for concern here about any policies that actually weaken labor-force attachment.”
CBO Report Forecasts More People Will Opt to Work Less as They Seek Coverage Through Affordable Care Act
By LOUISE RADNOFSKY and DAMIAN PALETTA
The new health law is projected to reduce the total number of hours Americans work by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time jobs in 2021, a bigger impact on the workforce than previously expected, according to a nonpartisan congressional report.
The analysis, by the Congressional Budget Office, says a key factor is people scaling back how much they work and instead getting health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. The agency had earlier forecast the labor-force impact would be the equivalent of 800,000 workers in 2021.
Because the CBO estimated that the changes would be a result of workers’ choices, it said the law, President Barack Obama‘s signature initiative, wouldn’t lead to a rise in the unemployment rate. But the labor-force impact could slow growth in future years, though the precise impact is uncertain.
Social programs in the United States
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Social Security Administration, created in 1935, was the first major federal welfare agency and continues to be the most prominent.
The programs vary in eligibility requirements and are provided by various organizations on a federal, state, local and private level. They help to provide food, shelter, education, healthcare and money to U.S. citizens through primary and secondary education, subsidies of college education, unemployment disability insurance, subsidies for eligible low-wage workers, subsidies for housing, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, pensions for eligible persons and health insurance programs that cover public employees. The Social Security system is the largest and most prominent social aid program.Medicare is another prominent program.
Not including Social Security and Medicare, Congress allocated almost $717 billion in Federal funds in 2010 plus $210 billion was allocated in state funds ($927 billion total) for means tested welfare programs in the United States–later (after 2010) expenditures are unknown but higher. As of 2011, the public social spending-to-GDP ratio in the United States was below the OECD average.
Total Social Security and Medicare expenditures in 2013 were $1.3 trillion, 8.4% of the $16.3 trillion GNP (2013) and 37% of the total Federal expenditure budget of $3.684 trillion.
In addition to government expenditures private welfare spending in the United States is thought to be about 10% of the U.S. GDP or another $1.6 trillion.
[hide]Characteristics of Households by Quintile 2010
Earners Per Household
Married couples (%)
Single Parents or Single (%)
Ages of Householders
65 years +
Work Status householders (%)
Worked Full Time (%)
Worked Part Time (%)
Did Not Work (%)
Education of Householders (%)
Less than High School
High School or some College
Bachelor’s degree or Higher
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Social programs have been implemented to promote a variety of societal goals, including alleviating the effects of poverty on those earning or receiving low income or encountering serious medical problems, and ensuring retired people have a basic standard of living.
Eligibility for welfare benefits depends on a variety of factors, including gross and net income, family size, pregnancy, homelessness, unemployment, and serious medical conditions like blindness, kidney failure or AIDS.
Drug Testing for applicants
Drug testing in order for potential recipients to receive welfare has become an increasingly controversial topic. Richard Hudson, a Republican from North Carolina claims he pushes for drug screening as a matter of “moral obligation” and that testing should be enforced as a way for the United States government to discourage drug usage.  Others claim that ordering the needy to drug test “stereotypes, stigmatizes, and criminalizes” them without need.  States that currently require drug tests to be performed in order to receive public assistance include Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah.
A chart showing the overall decline of average monthly welfare benefits (AFDC then TANF) per recipient 1962–2006 (in 2006 dollars).
Some have argued that welfare has come to be associated with poverty. Martin Gilens, assistant professor of Political Science at Yale University, argues that blacks have overwhelmingly dominated images of poverty over the last few decades and states that “white Americans with the most exaggerated misunderstandings of the racial composition of the poor are the most likely to oppose welfare”. This perception possibly perpetuates negative racial stereotypes and could increase Americans’ opposition and racialization of welfare policies.
In FY 2010, African-American families comprised 31.9% of TANF families, white families comprised 31.8%, and 30.0% were Hispanic. Since the implementation of TANF, the percentage of Hispanic families has increased, while the percentages of white and black families have decreased. In FY 1997, African-American families represented 37.3% of TANF recipient families, white families 34.5%, and Hispanic families 22.5%. The population as a whole is composed of 63.7% whites, 16.3% Hispanic, 12.5% African-American, 4.8% Asian and 2.9% other races. TANF programs at a cost of about $20.0 billion (2013) have decreased in use as Earned Income Tax Credits, Medicaid grants, food stamps (SNAP),Supplemental Security Income (SSI), child nutrition programs (CHIP), housing assistance, Feeding Programs (WIC & CSFP) along with about 70 more programs have increase to over $700.0 billion more in 2013.
In 2002, total U.S. social welfare expenditure constitutes over 35% of GDP, with purely public expenditure constituting 21%, publicly supported but privately provided welfare services constituting 10% of GDP and purely private services constituting 4% of GDP. This compared to the “welfare” states of France and Sweden where welfare spending ranges from 30% to 35% of GDP.
The Great Recession made a large impact on welfare spending. In a 2011 article, Forbes reported, “The best estimate of the cost of the 185 federal means tested welfare programs for 2010 for the federal government alone is $717 billion, up a third since 2008, according to the Heritage Foundation. Counting state spending of about $210 million, total welfare spending for 2010 reached over $920 billion, up nearly one-fourth since 2008 (24.3%)”–and increasing fast. The previous decade had seen a 60% decrease in the number of people receiving welfare benefits, beginning with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, but spending did not decrease proportionally during that time period.
Impact of social programs
[hide]Average Incomes and Taxes
CBO Study 2009*
Tax rate %3
Taxes Pd. 5
Source: Congressional Budget Office Study
1. Market Income = All wages, tips, incomes etc. as listed on Income tax form
2. Federal Transfers = all EITC, CTC, medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), Social Security, SSI etc. received
3. Average tax rate includes all Social Security, Medicare, income, business income, excise, etc. taxes.
4. Net Federal taxes paid in dollars
5. Percent of all federal taxes paid
6. #W = Average number of workers per household in this quintile
7. % Net Income = percentage of all national income each quintile receives after taxes and transfers.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, social programs significantly raise the standard of living for low-income Americans, particularly the elderly. The poorest 20% of American households earn a before-tax average of only $7,600 – less than half of the federal poverty line. Social programs increase those households’ before-tax income to $30,500. Social Security and Medicare are responsible for two-thirds of that increase.
Public Health nursing made available through child welfare services, 1935.
Federal Social Welfare programs
Colonial legislatures and later State governments adopted legislation patterned after the English “poor” laws. Aid to veterans, often free grants of land, and pensions for widows and handicapped veterans, have been offered in all U.S. wars. Following World War I, provisions were made for a full-scale system of hospital and medical care benefits for veterans. By 1929, workers’ compensation laws were in effect in all but four States. These state laws made industry and businesses responsible for the costs of compensating workers or their survivors when the worker was injured or killed in connection with his or her job. Retirement programs for mainly State and local government paid teachers, police officers, and fire fighters—date back to the 19th century. All these social programs were far from universal and varied considerably from one state to another.
Prior to the Great Depression the United States had social programs that mostly centered around individual efforts, family efforts, church charities, business workers compensation, life insurance and sick leave programs along with some state tax supported social programs. The misery and poverty of the great depression threatened to overwhelm all these programs. The severe Depression of the 1930s made Federal action almost a necessity, as neither the States and the local communities, businesses and industries, nor private charities had the financial resources to cope with the growing need among the American people. Beginning in 1932, the Federal Government first made loans, then grants, to States to pay for direct relief and work relief. After that, special Federal emergency relief like the Civilian Conservation Corps and other public works programs were started. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s administration proposed to Congress federal social relief programs and a federally sponsored retirement program. Congress followed by the passage of the 37 page Social Security Act, signed into law August 14, 1935 and “effective” by 1939–just as World War II began. This program was expanded several times over the years.
After the Great Society legislation of the 1960s, for the first time a person who was not elderly or disabled could receive need-based aid from the federal government.[dubious – discuss] Aid could include general welfare payments, health care through Medicaid, food stamps, special payments for pregnant women and young mothers, and federal and state housing benefits.
In 1968, 4.1% of families were headed by a woman receiving welfare assistance; by 1980, the percentage increased to 10%. In the 1970s, California was the U.S. state with the most generous welfare system. Virtually all food stamp costs are paid by the federal government. In 2008, 28.7 percent of the households headed by single women were considered poor.
Welfare reform (1990s)
Before the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, welfare assistance was “once considered an open-ended right,” but welfare reform converted it “into a finite program built to provide short-term cash assistance and steer people quickly into jobs.” Prior to reform, states were given “limitless” money by the federal government, increasing per family on welfare, under the 60-year-old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. This gave states no incentive to direct welfare funds to the neediest recipients or to encourage individuals to go off welfare benefits (the state lost federal money when someone left the system). Nationwide, one child in seven received AFDC funds, which mostly went to single mothers.
In 1996, under the Bill Clintonadministration, Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which gave more control of the welfare system to the states though there are basic requirements the states need to meet with regards to welfare services. Still, most states offer basic assistance, such as health care, food assistance, child care assistance, unemployment, cash aid, and housing assistance. After reforms, which President Clinton said would “end welfare as we know it,”amounts from the federal government were given out in a flat rate per state based on population.
Each state must meet certain criteria to ensure recipients are being encouraged to work themselves out of welfare. The new program is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). It encourages states to require some sort of employment search in exchange for providing funds to individuals, and imposes a five-year lifetime limit on cash assistance. The bill restricts welfare from most legal immigrants and increased financial assistance for child care. The federal government also maintains an emergency $2 billion TANF fund to assist states that may have rising unemployment.
Following these changes, millions of people left the welfare rolls (a 60% drop overall), employment rose, and the child poverty rate was reduced. A 2007 Congressional Budget Office study found that incomes in affected families rose by 35%. The reforms were “widely applauded” after “bitter protest.”The Times called the reform “one of the few undisputed triumphs of American government in the past 20 years.”
Critics of the reforms sometimes point out that the massive decrease of people on the welfare rolls during the 1990s wasn’t due to a rise in actual gainful employment in this population, but rather, was due almost exclusively to their offloading into workfare, giving them a different classification than classic welfare recipient. The late 1990s were also considered an unusually strong economic time, and critics voiced their concern about what would happen in an economic downturn.
National Revieweditorialized that the Economic Stimulus Act of 2009 will reverse the welfare-to-work provisions that Bill Clinton signed in the 1990s, and will again base federal grants to states on the number of people signed up for welfare rather than at a flat rate. One of the experts who worked on the 1996 bill said that the provisions would lead to the largest one-year increase in welfare spending in American history. The House bill provides $4 billion to pay 80% of states’ welfare caseloads. Although each state received $16.5 billion annually from the federal government as welfare rolls dropped, they spent the rest of the block grant on other types of assistance rather than saving it for worse economic times.
[hide]Spending on largest Welfare Programs
Federal Spending 2003-2013*
Medicaid Grants to States
Food Stamps (SNAP)
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Child Nutrition Program (CHIP)
Support Payments to States, TANF
Feeding Programs (WIC & CSFP)
Low Income Home Energy Assistance
* Spending in millions of dollars
The following is a short timeline of welfare in the United States:
1880s–1890s: Attempts were made to move poor people from work yards to poor houses if they were in search of relief funds.
1893–1894: Attempts were made at the first unemployment payments, but were unsuccessful due to the 1893–1894recession.
1932: The Great Depression had gotten worse and the first attempts to fund relief failed. The “Emergency Relief Act”, which gave local governments $300 million, was passed into law.
WIA Adult Employment and Training
formerly JTPA IIA Training for
Disadvantaged Adults & Youth
Food Stamp Employment
and Training Program
Native American Training
TANF Block Grant Services
Title XX Social Services Block Grant
Community Service Block Grant
Social Services for
Refugees Asylees and Humanitarian Cases
Safe and Stable Families
Title III Aging Americans Act
Legal Services Block Grant
Emergency Food and Shelter Program
Healthy Marriage and
Responsible Fatherhood Grants
Independent Living (Chafee
Foster Care Independence Program)
Independent Living Training Vouchers
Maternal, Infants and
Children Home Visitation
CHILD CARE AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Child Development Block Grant
Childcare Entitlement to the States
TANF Block Grant Child Care
CHILD CARE & CHILD DEVELOPMENT TOTAL
Community Development Block Grant
and Related Development Funds
Administration (Dept. of Commerce)
Appalachian Regional Development
Enterprise Communities Renewal
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TOTAL
TOTAL in millions (2011)
Social Security OASDI (2013)
TOTAL in millions
* Spending in millions of dollars
2.3 Trillion Dollar Total of Social Security, Medicare and Means Tested Welfare
is low since latest 2013 means tested data not available but 2013
“real” TOTAL will be higher
The Social Security program mainly refers to the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program, and possibly the unemployment insurance program. Retirement Insurance Benefits (RIB), also known as Old-age Insurance Benefits, are a form of social insurance payments made by the U.S. Social Security Administration paid based upon the attainment old age (62 or older).
Unemployment insurance, also known as unemployment compensation, provides for money, from the United States and the state collected from employers, to workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. The unemployment benefits are run by each state with different state defined criteria for duration, percent of income paid, etc.. Nearly all require the recipient to document their search for employment to continue receiving benefits. Extensions of time for receiving benefits are sometimes offered for extensive work unemployment. These extra benefits are usually in the form of loans from the federal government that have to be repaid by each state.
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other special criteria like the End Stage Renal Disease program (ESRD). Medicare in the United States somewhat resembles a single-payer health care system but is not. Before Medicare, only 51% of people aged 65 and older had health care coverage, and nearly 30% lived below the federal poverty level.
Medicaid is a health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, including low-income adults, their children, and people with certain disabilities. Poverty alone does not necessarily qualify someone for Medicaid. Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with limited income in the United States.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a program administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children. The program was designed to cover uninsured children in families with incomes that are modest but too high to qualify for Medicaid.
Per capita spending on tertiary education is among the highest in the world. Public education is managed by individual states, municipalities and regional school districts. As in all developed countries, primary and secondary education is free, universal and mandatory. Parents do have the option of home-schooling their children, though some states, such as California (until a 2008 legal ruling overturned this requirement), require parents to obtain teaching credentials before doing so. Experimental programs give lower-income parents the option of using government issued vouchers to send their kids to private rather than public schools in some states/regions.
As of 2007, more than 80% of all primary and secondary students were enrolled in public schools, including 75% of those from households with incomes in the top 5%. Public schools commonly offer after-school programs and the government subsidizes private after school programs, such as the Boys & Girls Club. While pre-school education is subsidized as well, through programs such as Head Start, many Americans still find themselves unable to take advantage of them. Some education critics have therefore proposed creating a comprehensive transfer system to make pre-school education universal, pointing out that the financial returns alone would compensate for the cost.
Tertiary education is not free, but is subsidized by individual states and the federal government. Some of the costs at public institutions is carried by the state.
The government also provides grants, scholarships and subsidized loans to most students. Those who do not qualify for any type of aid, can obtain a government guaranteed loan and tuition can often be deducted from the federal income tax. Despite subsidized attendance cost at public institutions and tax deductions, however, tuition costs have risen at three times the rate of median household income since 1982. In fear that many future Americans might be excluded from tertiary education, progressive Democrats have proposed increasing financial aid and subsidizing an increased share of attendance costs. Some Democratic politicians and political groups have also proposed to make public tertiary education free of charge, i.e. subsidizing 100% of attendance cost.
In the U.S., financial assistance for food purchasing for low- and no-income people is provided through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. This federal aid program is administered by the Food and Nutrition Serviceof the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but benefits are distributed by the individual U.S. states. It is historically and commonly known as the Food Stamp Program, though all legal references to “stamp” and “coupon” have been replaced by “EBT” and “card,” referring to the refillable, plastic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that replaced the paper “food stamp” coupons. To be eligible for SNAP benefits, the recipients must have incomes below 130 percent of the poverty line, and also own few assets. Since the economic downturn began in 2008, the use of food stamps has increased.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a type of United States Federal assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to states in order to provide a daily subsidized food service for an estimated 3.2 million children and 112,000 elderly or mentally or physically impaired adults in non-residential, day-care settings.
WikiLeaks: US trying to ‘criminalize journalism’ over Snowden leaks
Seeing The Secret State: Six Landscapes [30c3]
Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying
The NSA’s Prism Data Collection System Exposed
Prism NSA National Security Program Revealed
HOW AGENCIES SPY IN DIGITAL AGE BBC NEWS
Glenn Greenwald Piers Morgan On XKEYSCORE. Greenwald
XKeyscore- A New Level of Invasive NSA Data Spying
Lawmakers ‘Disturbed and Angered’ After Classified Briefing Reveals Extent of Snowden Defense Leaks
Leading members of the House Armed Services Committee emerged from a classified briefing on the Edward Snowden leaks Wednesday afternoon “shocked” at the amount of information he reportedly leaked beyond the NSA surveillance programs.
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the Armed Service panel’s Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee and also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the briefing on the defense consequences of Snowden’s leaks was “very highly classified,” and therefore details couldn’t be discussed.
Thornberry did say that lawmakers “left the briefing disturbed and angered” after hearing that the leaks by the former Booz Allen Hamilton employee “went well beyond programs associated with the NSA and data collection.”
He characterized the leaks as so severe that they “compromise military capability and defense of the country” and “could cost lives” — while they “will certainly cost billions to repair.”
“His actions were espionage, plain and simple,” Thornberry said.
Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) read his statement rather than making comments on the fly “because of the seriousness of this issue and the sensitivity” of the information they’d just heard.
“Ed Snowden isn’t a whistleblower; he’s a traitor,” McKeon said.
No matter what opinion people hold of the data collection programs, he added, people should be “shocked and outraged to find that a substantial amount of the information has nothing to do with the NSA.”
“He’s given our enemies an edge and put American lives at risk,” said the chairman.
McKeon said Americans should “demand” that Snowden be “brought to justice” and not be extended any sort of deal by the government.
Story 1: Republican Leadership Including Congressman Paul Ryan Betray American Worker By Advocating Legal Status For 30-50 Illegal Aliens — Americans Do Not Trust Ryan or Obama — Something Big Has To Happen: Focus on Deporting Illegal Aliens And Reducing American Citizens Unemployment Rate! — Videos — Videos
Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts
Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs
(Roy Beck) American Jobs in Peril: The Impact of Uncontrolled Immigration
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Fred Elbel
Q and A – Deportation Numbers Unwrapped
‘This Week’: Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan on Immigration Reform
Boehner Says GOP to Discuss Immigration Reform
Tom Donohue, President & CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Immigration Reform
Mark Levin mocks “clapping seal” Paul Ryan for cheering Obama on amnesty
Rush Limbaugh: Paul Ryan doesn’t care if he loses seat over amnesty, he just wants a lobbying gig
Paul Ryan: Immigration Reform Needed to Restore the American Idea
Paul Ryan: Undocumented Immigrants Don’t Want to Be Citizens!
Paul Ryan Legal immigration is good for America CBS News Video
Glenn Beck: Interview with House Republicans Planning Revolt On Immigration Bill
Cost to detain and deport illegal aliens is exposed
Immigration reform unlikely in 2014, says Rep. Paul Ryan
Days after House Republicans unveiled a roadmap for an overhaul of the nation’s broken immigration system, one of its backers said legislation is unlikely to pass during this election year.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said distrust of President Barack Obama runs so deep in the Republican caucus that he’s skeptical the GOP-led House would pass any immigration measure. He said a plan that puts security first could only pass if lawmakers believe the administration would enforce it — an unlikely prospect given Republicans’ deep opposition to Obama.
“This isn’t a trust-but-verify, this is a verify-then-trust approach,” Ryan said.
Last week, House Republicans announced their broad concerns for any immigration overhaul but emphasized they would tackle the challenge bill-by-bill. Immigration legislation is a dicey political question for the GOP. The party’s conservative base opposes any measure that would create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living here illegally, but many in the party worry that failing to act could drive many voters to Democratic candidates. In 2012, Obama won re-election with the backing of 71 percent of Hispanic voters and 73 percent of Asian voters. The issue is important to both blocs.
Republicans have preemptively been trying to blame the White House for immigration legislation’s failure, even before a House bill comes together. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said “there’s a lot of distrust of this administration in implanting the law.” And Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., last week warned that distrust of Obama would trump the desire to find a solution for the estimated 11 million people living in the United States illegally.
“We just don’t think government will enforce the law anyway,” Rubio said, recounting conversations he’s had with fellow Republicans.
House Republicans are pushing a piecemeal approach to immigration that puts a priority on security before considering a pathway for those here illegally to earn citizenship. That strategy runs counter to a comprehensive bill, passed through the Senate seven months ago with bipartisan support, that includes a long and difficult pathway to citizenship.
The White House, meanwhile returned to its position that any legislation must include a way for those living here illegally to earn citizenship and that the system cannot divide Americans into two classes — citizens and noncitizens.
“We ought to see a pathway to citizenship for people,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said Sunday. “We don’t want to have a permanent separation of classes or two permanent different classes of Americans in this country.”
Last week, Obama suggested that he’s open to a legal status for immigration that falls short of citizenship, hinting he could find common ground with House Republicans.
“I’m going to do everything I can in the coming months to see if we can get this over the finish line,” Obama said Friday.
Obama’s flexibility was a clear indication of the president’s desire to secure an elusive legislative achievement before voters decide in the fall whether to hand him even more opposition in Congress. Republicans are expected to maintain their grip on the House and have a legitimate shot at grabbing the majority in the Senate.
McDonough said the White House remains optimistic that legislation that includes citizenship could reach the president’s desk: “We feel pretty good that we’ll get a bill done this year.”
Not so, countered Ryan, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee in 2012.
“Here’s the issue that all Republicans agree on: We don’t trust the president to enforce the law,” he added.
Asked whether immigration legislation would make its way to Obama for him to sign into law, Ryan said he was skeptical: “I really don’t know the answer to that question. That is clearly in doubt.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican and son of immigrants, said Congress needs to address the “completely backwards system” not because it’s good politics for the GOP but because it’s the right thing to do.
“If the president had been serious about this the last five years, we’d be further along in this discussion,” Jindal said. “But I think it’s also right the American people are skeptical.”
Our nation’s immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced. Washington’s failure to fix them is hurting our economy and jeopardizing our national security. The overriding purpose of our immigration system is to promote and further America’s national interests and that is not the case today. The serious problems in our immigration system must be solved, and we are committed to working in a bipartisan manner to solve them. But they cannot be solved with a single, massive piece of legislation that few have read and even fewer understand, and therefore, we will not go to a conference with the Senate’s immigration bill. The problems in our immigration system must be solved through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our country’s borders, enforcing our laws, and implementing robust enforcement measures. These are the principals guiding us in that effort.
Border Security and Interior Enforcement Must Come First
It is the fundamental duty of any government to secure its borders, and the United States is failing in this mission. We must secure our borders now and verify that they are secure. In addition, we must ensure now that when immigration reform is enacted, there will be a zero tolerance policy for those who cross the border illegally or overstay their visas in the future. Faced with a consistent pattern of administrations of both parties only selectively enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, we must enact reform that ensures that a President cannot unilaterally stop immigration enforcement.
Implement Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System
A fully functioning Entry-Exit system has been mandated by eight separate statutes over the last 17 years. At least three of these laws call for this system to be biometric, using technology to verify identity and prevent fraud. We must implement this system so we can identify and track down visitors who abuse our laws.
Employment Verification and Workplace Enforcement
In the 21st century it is unacceptable that the majority of employees have their work eligibility verified through a paper based system wrought with fraud. It is past time for this country to fully implement a workable electronic employment verification system.
Reforms to the Legal Immigration System
For far too long, the United States has emphasized extended family members and pure luck over employment-based immigration. This is inconsistent with nearly every other developed country. Every year thousands of foreign nationals pursue degrees at America’s colleges and universities, particularly in high skilled fields. Many of them want to use their expertise in U.S. industries that will spur economic growth and create jobs for Americans. When visas aren’t available, we end up exporting this labor and ingenuity to other countries. Visa and green card allocations need to reflect the needs of employers and the desire for these exceptional individuals to help grow our economy.
The goal of any temporary worker program should be to address the economic needs of the country and to strengthen our national security by allowing for realistic, enforceable, usable, legal paths for entry into the United States. Of particular concern are the needs of the agricultural industry, among others. It is imperative that these temporary workers are able to meet the economic needs of the country and do not displace or disadvantage American workers.
One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own, those who know no other place as home. For those who meet certain eligibility standards, and serve honorably in our military or attain a college degree, we will do just that.
Individuals Living Outside the Rule of Law
Our national and economic security depend on requiring people who are living and working here illegally to come forward and get right with the law. There will be no special path to citizenship for individuals who broke our nation’s immigration laws – that would be unfair to those immigrants who have played by the rules and harmful to promoting the rule of law. Rather, these persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits). Criminal aliens, gang members, and sex offenders and those who do not meet the above requirements will not be eligible for this program. Finally, none of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the American people that from here on, our immigration laws will indeed be enforced.
The most intriguing question about the latest GOP push on immigration is one that no one seems to be asking: Why does the Republican Party seem so determined to push immigration reform this year?
At first glance, it makes no sense whatsoever.
After all, because of Obamacare the electoral landscape is so tilted towards the GOP that it looks likely we’ll add seats in the House and take the Senate back. With the filibuster as good as dead, why wouldn’t Republicans want to write a tough immigration bill on their terms in 2015 and force Obama to either sign on to it or veto a bill that the public supports?
Furthermore, Obama is illegally giving out work permits, refusing to deport most captured illegals and he has illegitimately created a DREAM ACT by fiat. This is a man who has made absolutely clear that he has no intention of enforcing immigration law; so how do you make any kind of deal that relies on his implementing even tougher rules? Realistically, you don’t. Until the immigration laws that are already on the books are being enforced, talking about making new, tougher laws in exchange for the carrot of legalized status or citizenship is a farce.
In addition, the Democrats’ policy on illegal immigration is driven by one overriding goal: they want as many illegal immigrants as possible in the United States so they can eventually turn them into voters. If they can transform 10 million, 20 million, or 50 million illegal immigrants into citizens, they’d be happy to do it because they correctly believe the vast majority of them will be Democrat voters. How could we possibly negotiate a good deal when the people who control the White House AND the Senate think like that?
Ronald Reagan received 37% of the Hispanic vote in 1984, signed an amnesty in 1986, and then in 1988, George H.W. Bush got 30% of the Hispanic vote. Chances are, we wouldn’t even do that well in 2016 since Presidents tend to get the credit for legislation that’s signed on their watch. Who got credit for welfare reform and balancing the budget in the nineties? Bill Clinton or the Republicans in Congress who forced him to do it? Bill Clinton. Here’s an even better example: Who got credit for the 1964 Civil Rights Act? LBJ, who was known to drop the N-word from time to time or the Republicans in Congress who voted for it in greater numbers percentage-wise than the Democrats? Lyndon Johnson got all the credit.
If you don’t believe me, take it from the biggest Republican advocate of amnesty in the Senate, John McCain.
“Let’s say we enact it, comprehensive immigration reform, I don’t think it gains a single Hispanic voter.” – John McCain
Worse yet, if the GOP signs on to a legalization bill that falls short of giving illegals citizenship, it’s entirely possible that it would work against us politically with Hispanics. The Democrats would call it “racist,” an “apartheid,” and claim we are making illegals into “second class citizens.” In other words, passing the bill could hurt the GOP in the short term with Hispanic voters and demographically flood conservatism out of existence over the long term if the Republicans cave yet again and give those illegals citizenship.
On top of all that, the bill that 14 Republicans signed onto in the Senate would have been an absolute disaster if it had been passed by the House. The bill legalized illegals on day one, put them on a path to citizenship and gave the same Obama Administration that isn’t enforcing our laws today plenty of discretion in deciding how the law would be enforced in the future. Even the CBO, which is constrained by unrealistic rules in projecting the impact of laws said that the bill would “only reduce illegal immigration by about 25 percent a year.“Since enforcing the laws that are already on the books would do that, there was absolutely no reason to believe the law would succeed. If Republicans and Democrats collaborating together came up with a law that bad, what makes anyone think the Republicans in the House could do any better? John Boehner does two things well: cry and give in. Negotiation isn’t his strong suit.
So if politically it makes more sense for the GOP to wait until 2015 to take up immigration, we know the bill won’t help the GOP with Hispanics and we know the Democrats have no intention of honoring any security provisions, then why bother? It’s almost as if the House Leadership in the GOP is willing to pay a big price to pass a bill, even though they know it has no chance of working…and there’s the big secret.
There are a lot of businesses out there that want an endless supply of cheap labor, which would be fine, except that they want everyone else to pay for it. An illegal alien with no car insurance, no health insurance, who claims he has 14 kids so he can get an earned income tax credit can work cheaper than a law abiding American. So, when the illegal crashes his car, you pay for it. When he gets sick, you pay for it. Your taxes put his kids through school. Your taxes pay the bills if he goes to jail. Your tax dollars go into his pocket when he cheats on his taxes — meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce crowd makes so much money off of these illegals that they can afford to donate some of it to politicians like John Boehner, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Lindsey Graham and John McCain in order to get them to keep the gravy train going.
Ironically, the reason they’re so desperate to ram the bill through this year is because the political landscape looks so favorable to Republicans right now. Since the filibuster is essentially dead, if the GOP adds seats in the House and takes over the Senate, suddenly the GOP wouldn’t be able to use, “It was the best deal Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would sign off on” as an excuse for signing on to a terrible bill. Additionally, both John McCain and Marco Rubio are up for reelection in 2016 and could face strong primary challenges. That means the two biggest advocates of amnesty in the Senate would both have to at least pretend that they want to “build the dang fence.” and stop illegal immigration in 2015. Moreover, no legitimate contender for President on the Republican side is going to back an amnesty bill. All of them would oppose a terrible bill because the primary voters would insist on it. That means the GOP would either have to legitimately deal with the issue in 2015, which Boehner, Ryan, Rubio, McCain, Graham, etc. have no intention of doing, or they’d have to wait to see what the landscape looks like in 2017.
In other words, this whole immigration push that the GOP leadership in the House is embracing is a scam. It doesn’t matter what they tell you, what they promise or how good they make it sound; immigration reform this year would be about as legitimate as a letter from a Nigerian prince.
On immigration, what do GOP House leaders mean by ‘enforcement triggers’?
By Byron York
The House Republican leadership, meeting here at the party’s winter retreat, kept its new immigration reform “principles” as secret as nuclear codes. Old immigration hands on the Hill, who might have been expected to play a big part in producing the document, were barely consulted. When Speaker John Boehner’s office wanted a knowledgeable Hill staffer to take a look at the work in progress, the person was invited into a room to examine a draft — no copying or note-taking allowed. And the paper remained a mystery to almost all GOP lawmakers until Boehner unveiled it at a members-only meeting at the freezing Hyatt resort on Maryland’s Eastern Shore late Thursday afternoon.
Boehner had his reasons. The principles were going to be the first step in what could well be an ugly and divisive immigration fight inside the House GOP. So why let the opponents get a head start?
Now that the principles — all 804 words of them — have been released, it’s clear those opponents will have a lot to work with. What the GOP calls its “Standards for Immigration Reform” is almost all boilerplate, mostly indistinguishable from the Senate Gang of Eight “framework” that Boehner and other House Republicans rejected.
There’s the standard talk about how the U.S. immigration system is “broken.” There are calls for more border enforcement. More interior enforcement, like employment verification and an entry-exit visa system. Provisions for guest workers. Special consideration of young immigrants. It’s all been seen before.
And then there are by-now familiar guidelines for the handling of the 11 or 12 million immigrants in the country illegally. “These persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S.,” the principles say, “but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits).”
That, too, is all standard issue. But then, in the very last sentence of the principles, comes the key to the whole thing: “None of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the American people that from here on, our immigration laws will indeed be enforced.”
It is not an exaggeration to say that the future of immigration reform in Congress depends on whether Republican leaders mean what they say in that single sentence.
If they do, and the GOP insists on actual border security measures being in place — not just passed, not just contemplated, but actually in place — before illegal immigrants are allowed to register for legal status, then there will likely be significant Republican support for such a bill. (It might well be a deal-killer for most Democrats, but that is another story.)
If, on the other hand, GOP lawmakers wiggle around the clear meaning of the principles’ last sentence to allow legalization to begin before security measures have been implemented, then the party will be back to the same divisions and animosities that have plagued Republicans since the terrible fights over immigration reform in 2006 and 2007.
Right now, it’s impossible to say which way GOP leaders will go. But there are signs that the wiggling is already underway.
In an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a leading advocate of reform, described a system in which illegal immigrants could come forward and receive probationary status while — not after — border security work is being done. “…You can be on probation, and you have to satisfy the terms of your probation while the border’s getting secured,” Ryan said.
That — legalization first, followed by completed security — is an entirely different scenario from the one described in the principles. If Republican leaders insist on legalization before security measures are implemented, they’ll likely lose many, many rank-and-file conservative lawmakers.
Of course, the principles give Republicans some room to maneuver. Just what will those “specific enforcement triggers” be? They certainly won’t be a complete security overhaul of the Mexican border. More likely, Republicans will ultimately stipulate that the Border Patrol have complete “situational awareness” — that is, surveillance capability — of the border and also implement interior enforcement measures. But the bottom line is that some work will have to be finished before legalization begins.
At various times in the last few months, it has appeared that immigration reform in the House was dead. Then it seemed to roar back to life. Now, for the first time, the House GOP leadership has committed itself to a set of reform guidelines. Which means the real fight is just beginning.
Republicans lay out tough path for undocumented immigrants to get legal status
By Alex Rogers
House Republican leaders on Thursday proposed giving undocumented immigrants a path to legal status if America’s borders are secured and immigrants meet specific requirements, in a broad outline for reform that represents the party’s most substantive play on the issue in years.
The one-page set of “principles,” distributed by party leaders to rank-and-file lawmakers at a House GOP retreat here, laid out strict conditions for adult immigrants to obtain legal status. “These persons could live here legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families” without public benefits, according to the document. The children of undocumented immigrants would have to pass eligibility standards and either serve in the military or attain a college degree. The GOP outline also calls for Congress to implement a “workable” electronic employment verification system, an entry-exit visa tracking system that prevents fraud and verifies identity, and a visa program designed to keep high skilled immigrants working in the country. The legalization measures would only take effect once “specific enforcement triggers have been implemented.”
Just a few months after the House blocked a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate, the latest move could breathe new life into a lethargic movement for changing what both parties agree is a broken system. Some members of House Republican leadership have previously supported such provisions, but many conservative lawmakers recoil at anything that resembles amnesty for immigrants here illegally. The proposal comes at a moment when Republican leaders are increasingly worried that their low approval ratings among a growing population of Hispanic voters could once again harm their prospects of taking back the White House.
“I think it’s time to deal with it,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters. “It’s been turned into a political football. I think it’s unfair.”
Reform advocates, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the business-backed Chamber of Commerce, applauded the effort as a significant breakthrough. “We welcome the House Republicans to the immigration debate,” Frank Sharry, executive director of pro-reform group America’s Voice, said in a statement. “It’s about time.”
The question now is whether Democrats, who have already acquiesced on tactics in voicing a willingness to pass immigration reform in pieces rather than in a comprehensive bill, will also be willing to move in the GOP’s direction on policy. Pulling Democrats away from compromise is the belief that stronger reforms remain a political winner, especially important considering the difficult climate they face in the coming midterm elections. “I think that any immigration bill that the Republicans advocate that stops short of a path to citizenship is going to damage them permanently with Hispanic voters,” Joel Benenson, President Barack Obama‘s chief pollster, told reporters on Wednesday.
And Boehner signaled that his first offer could be the last. “These standards are as far as we are willing to go,” he said.
Democrats, who prefer a full path to citizenship for all immigrants in the country illegally, welcomed the news as a step forward.
“While these standards are certainly not everything we would agree with, they leave a real possibility that Democrats and Republicans, in both the House and Senate, can in some way come together and pass immigration reform that both sides can accept,” New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “It is a long, hard road, but the door is open.”
The Obama administration reacted cautiously.
“We’ve seen those reports and we will closely look at the document when it is released,” a White House official said. “The President’s principles on immigration reform are well established. We welcome the process moving forward in the House, and we look forward to working with all parties to make immigration reform a reality.”
In the short term, Republicans could likely pick up seats in the House and Senate without having to deal with immigration. A recent Pew Research poll found that “dealing with illegal immigration” is one of the lowest priorities for Americans. Some conservative pundits have decried doing anything on immigration reform for fear that it will take attention off President Barack Obama’s divisive health care reform law. The Madison Project, a conservative group, immediately decried the principles as “politically tone-deaf.”
Paul Ryan working behind the scenes to push comprehensive immigration legislation
By Paul Kane and Ed O’Keef
Two weeks after the end of his failed vice-presidential bid, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was already thinking ahead to another big fight: immigration reform. And he was thinking about it in a bipartisan way.Ryan ran into his old friend, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), and urged him to restart his effort to get a comprehensive immigration package through Congress. Ryan’s arguments stemmed from a religious and economic foundation, not from the huge political liability the issue had become for the Republican Party during the 2012 presidential campaign.“You’re a Catholic; I’m a Catholic; we cannot have a permanent underclass of Americans exploited in America,” Ryan told Gutierrez, according to the Democrat’s recollection of the November discussion.Given those sentiments, and the drubbing the GOP ticket took among Latino voters, supporters of an immigration overhaul expected Ryan to emerge as the House’s most prominent public voice on the issue.Instead, as the issue has grown more contentious with the recent passage of a sprawling 1,200-page Senate bill, Ryan has worked quietly behind the scenes, declining to become the public face of the issue and leaving the effort without any prominent sponsors among the House GOP leadership.The 43-year-old congressman, whose own political future remains bright enough that some regard him as a 2016 presidential contender, has been using that stature to prod Gutierrez’s bipartisan group of seven House members to keep trying for a still-elusive compromise.He has held private meetings with members of the group and has reached out to other Republicans to try to find support for a comprehensive plan that would include a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally.On Wednesday afternoon, Ryan made a similar plea at a special immigration meeting of the House Republican Conference. He linked stronger border security and citizenship for undocumented workers to a more vibrant economy, according to people in the room.But Wednesday’s meeting was behind closed doors, leaving Ryan’s imprint largely invisible to the public — just as it was eight months ago in his chance meeting with Gutierrez in the House gym.That is a clear example of how Ryan intends to handle his support for a comprehensive plan, according to associates. Dan Senor, who was Ryan’s top policy aide in the 2012 campaign, said Ryan will make an aggressive case for a bipartisan bill in his own way.“His approach is not to do a million TV interviews, but to thoughtfully engage his colleagues, usually behind closed doors. So look for Ryan to make a full-throated, optimistic, pro-growth case for immigration reform; not through a big media rollout, but by talking directly to his colleagues,” Senor, who remains close to Ryan, said Wednesday.Ryan’s role will be different from that of another 40-something Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), who became the highest-profile GOP supporter of the Senate’s legislation. Rubio helped craft the legislative language in bipartisan talks among eight senators, then aggressively sold the deal to skeptical conservative audiences in dozens and dozens of radio and TV appearances, sometimes several in a single day.The bill passed the Senate in late June with 68 votes, 14 of them from Republicans, but it now faces an uphill battle in a House dominated by conservatives from deep-red districts where citizenship for illegal immigrants remains blasphemy.Many Republican elders now believe it’s essential to revive the GOP’s long-term prospects on a national level, leading to their support of Rubio and Ryan’s work despite the short-term risk of angering the party’s conservative base.Complicating the legislation’s passage is that it has become something of a political orphan in the House, lacking support from any high-profile lawmaker. Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have taken a hands-off approach, suggesting that a public embrace of policy specifics would harm the process.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is moving piecemeal bills dealing with border security and worker visas while opposing citizenship for immigrants here illegally. The bipartisan group of seven House members, led by Gutierrez and three rank-and-file Republicans, has been unable to reach a deal that they could push as a group.
That leaves Ryan, a longtime supporter of immigration legislation dating back to his 2006 support for Gutierrez’s bill that included citizenship rights, as the most prominent House backer of a comprehensive deal. His advisers say he is a “bridge builder” on the issue, hoping to reassure both proponents such as Gutierrez and staunch conservatives who have come to worship Ryan’s acumen on deficits.
While some Republicans make the case for political expediency, hoping to lure Latino voters in elections, Ryan sells his argument as an “economic-based immigration system,” one aide said. The idea is that the economy will be better served by bringing the raft of undocumented workers currently serving in low-wage jobs into the legal workforce and setting up the right number of visas for skilled employees in key industries.
“Immigration will help improve that, so that we have the labor we need to get the economic growth that we want, so that America can be a fast-growing economy in the 21st century. Immigration helps us get the labor force that we need so that we can have the kind of growth we want,” Ryan said last month at an event at the National Association of Manufacturers. He added: “If you come here and put your hand over your heart, and you pledge allegiance to the American flag, we want you.”
Ryan’s standing among House conservatives remains as strong as ever.
“What he brings is experience and trust. He’s deeply trusted in our conference,” said Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), a junior member of the leadership and one of Ryan’s top acolytes on the Budget Committee.
Ryan’s chairmanship of the Budget Committee ends next year, and no one seems certain what he wants next. Some expect him to pursue a presidential bid, while others view him as a logical successor to Boehner as speaker.
His fundraising schedule is now packed with events benefiting fellow House Republicans, not Lincoln Day dinners in key presidential primary battlegrounds. That leaves many assuming he wants to stay in the House, with the gavel at the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee an increasingly likely prize.
TED CRUZ HAS A STERN MESSAGE TO REPUBLICANS CURRENTLY PUSHING FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is hoping fellow Republican House leaders take heed and not push for immigration reform measures this year with mid-term elections so closely at hand.
But that’s not what’s happening.
Republicans, along with leadership, are meeting at a three day retreat along Maryland’s eastern shore Thursday, and the top piece of business is immigration. Republican House Speaker John Boehner, from Ohio and Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, among others, are trying to advance immigration legislation prior to heading into the midterm election campaign.
The senator said in a statement emailed to TheBlaze that “amnesty is wrong in any circumstance.”
Republicans need to focus on winning against Obama’s failed policies and not push for immigration legislation that is already presenting numerous legal obstacles and will demoralize voters, many of whom are opposed to amnesty, he added.
“Right now, Republican leadership in both chambers is aggressively urging Members to stand down on virtually every front: on the continuing resolution, on the budget, on the farm bill, on the debt ceiling,” Cruz said. “They may or may not be right, but their argument is that we should focus exclusively on Obamacare and on jobs. In that context, why on earth would the House dive into immigration right now? It makes no sense, unless you’re Harry Reid. Republicans are poised for an historic election this fall–a conservative tidal wave much like 2010. The biggest thing we could do to mess that up would be if the House passed an amnesty bill–or any bill perceived as an amnesty bill–that demoralized voters going into November.”
Republican leadership outlined in their immigration reform plan support for giving probationary legal status to most of the 11 million illegal immigrants, according to Rep. Ryan’s interview on MSNBC Wednesday.
The proposal, say opponents, is that a probationary status will be difficult to revoke if someone illegal is working legally in the country and has a family.
Cruz said he recognizes that the current immigration system is broken. He said, however, Republicans should wait until next year, contending it would make more sense “so that we are negotiating a responsible solution with a Republican Senate majority rather than with Chuck Schumer.”
“Anyone pushing an amnesty bill right now should go ahead and put a ‘Harry Reid for Majority Leader’ bumper sticker on their car, because that will be the likely effect if Republicans refuse to listen to the American people and foolishly change the subject from Obamacare to amnesty,” he said.
Immigration is the zombie of political issues–even when it is dead, it is still alive. The combination of the Democratic Party, business interests, and a GOP operative class yearning for its promise of improved standing with Hispanic voters means that you can never really count it out.
That said, it is hard to imagine Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) moving forward after yesterday’s closed-door showdown. According to estimates from those who were in the room–both in favor of moving forward and against–the dozens of GOP lawmakers who spoke were at least 80-20 against bringing a bill to the floor this year.
There is a palpable sense of disappointment among those interested in moving forward. In private conversations, the word that is used is that the meeting was “predictable.” The same people in the GOP conference who kept Boehner from moving on a bill in 2013 are just as opposed in 2014.
Immigration hawks, meanwhile, sense they scored a major victory.
“I don’t understand why House leadership would bring this issue up now,” Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina (R) tells me, adding, “After yesterday, that feeling is strengthened based on the overwhelming pushback from Conference meeting attendees.”
Boehner himself, despite having almost single-handedly resurrected immigration reform from life support over the last two months, was surprisingly tepid in his remarks to the conference.
He even suggested this is just not in the cards.
“These standards are as far as we are willing to go. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said yesterday that for her caucus, it is a special path to citizenship or nothing. If Democrats insist on that, then we are not going to get anywhere this year,” Boehner told members, according to a source in the room.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who outside of Boehner is the biggest force pushing the conference to bring forward legislation, also seemed to be feeling the heat.
As Drudge Report popped with hit after hit against amnesty yesterday–including Boehner with a superimposed sombrero hat and Sen. Ted Cruz’s warning that immigration reform could doom the GOP in 2014–Ryan came into the reporters’ filing center here to do an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
First Ryan veered right from the leadership’s talking points about wanting to partner with President Obama on a “year of action,” sternly rebuking the president for flouting the law. Then he strongly embraced the Tea Party, sounding Jim DeMint-esque in his argument that it has been a positive political force for the GOP.
On immigration, Ryan started with “I do not think you should have a special path to citizenship,” and moved to doubts about whether the GOP could work with Obama on the issue because he’s untrustworthy.
In the closed-door meeting, Ryan’s support was lukewarm. He only implied the GOP should move forward on a bill, trailing off from his point that there is never a perfect time to consider a big issue like immigration.
It is always a surprise when the zombie turns out to still be moving, but after tomorrow, we are going to be in the calm prelude scenes for a long time.
Buchanan: Boehner Will Lose Speakership if He Pushes for Immigration Reform
By Andrew Johnson
Pat Buchanan warns that an imminent Republican debate over immigration will play into the hands of the Democratic party. With the widespread unpopularity of Obamacare, Republicans should instead focus on the embattled health-care law ahead of the 2014 midterm election. By pivoting to the issue of immigration, Republicans are “walking right into the trap.”
“You will have a war inside the Republican party — a Balkan war — this year, which will knock it off its present gain,” he said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. Buchanan cautioned John Boehner against the pursuit of immigration reform, saying it would be his “last hurrah” and arguing that it would spell the end of his speakership. Boehner will end up “with a nice job at a trade association” as a reward from immigration-backers if he pushes for reforms, Buchanan said.
Recent reports indicate that House leadership plans to unveil a brief statement of immigration principles at their annual retreat that begins on Wednesday that includes a legal status, though not citizens, for undocumented immigrants.
“It’s probably or almost certainly true that the Chamber of Commerce and the big-business folks want the immigration deal solved,” he added, but called on opponents of an amnesty measure to “rise up and stop it” before the push advances.
On August 11, 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced that he had selected Ryan to be his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan was officially nominated at theRepublican convention in Tampa on August 29, 2012. On November 6, 2012, Romney and Ryan were defeated in the general election by the incumbent Barack Obama and Joe Biden, although Ryan won reelection to his congressional seat.
When he was 16, Ryan found his 55-year-old father lying dead in bed of a heart attack. Following the death of his father, Ryan’s grandmother moved in with the family, and because she had Alzheimer’s, Ryan helped care for her while his mother commuted to college in Madison, Wisconsin. After his father’s death Ryan received Social Security survivors benefits until his 18th birthday, which were saved for his college education.
At a 2005 Washington, D.C. gathering celebrating the 100th anniversary of Ayn Rand‘s birth, Ryan credited Rand as inspiring him to get involved in public service. In a speech that same year at the Atlas Society, he said he grew up reading Rand, and that her books taught him about his value system and beliefs. Ryan required staffers and interns in his congressional office to read Rand and gave copies of her novel Atlas Shrugged as gifts to his staff for Christmas. In his Atlas Society speech, he also described Social Security as a “socialist-based system”.
In 2009, Ryan said, “What’s unique about what’s happening today in government, in the world, in America, is that it’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now. I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build a moral case ofcapitalism, and that morality of capitalism is under assault.”
In August 2012, after Romney chose him as his running mate, the Associated Press published a story saying that while the Tea Party movement had wanted a nominee other than Romney, it had gotten “one of its ideological heroes” in the Vice Presidential slot. According to the article, Ryan supports the Tea Party’s belief in “individual rights, distrust of big government and an allegorical embrace of the Founding Fathers”.
Betty Ryan reportedly urged her son to accept a congressional position as a staff economist attached to Senator Kasten’s office, which he did after graduating in 1992. In his early years working on Capitol Hill, Ryan supplemented his income by working as a waiter, as a fitness trainer, and at other jobs.
Ryan was first elected to the House in 1998, winning the 1st District seat of Mark Neumann, a two-term incumbent who had vacated his seat to make an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate. Ryan won the Republican primary over 29-year-old pianist Michael J. Logan of Twin Lakes, and the general election against DemocratLydia Spottswood. This made him the second-youngest member of the House.
Reelected seven times, Ryan has never received less than 55 percent of the vote. He defeated Democratic challenger Jeffrey C. Thomas in the 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 elections. (In 2002, Ryan also faced Libertarian candidate George Meyers.) In 2008, Ryan defeated Democrat Marge Krupp in the 2008 election. In the 2010 general election, he defeated Democrat John Heckenlively and Libertarian Joseph Kexel.
Ryan faced Democratic nominee Rob Zerban in the 2012 House election. As of July 25, 2012, Ryan had over $5.4 million in his congressional campaign account, more than any other House member. Finance, insurance and real estate was the sector that contributed most to his campaign. Under Wisconsin election law, Ryan was allowed to run concurrently for vice president and for Congress and was not allowed to remove his name from the Congressional ballot after being nominated for the vice presidency. Ryan was reelected in 2012 with 55% of his district’s vote.
During his 13 years in the House, Ryan has sponsored more than 70 bills or amendments, of which two were enacted into law. One, passed in July 2000, renamed a post office in Ryan’s district; the other, passed in December 2008, lowered the excise tax on arrow shafts. Ryan has also co-sponsored 975 bills, of which 176 have passed. 22 percent of these bills were originally sponsored by Democrats.
In fiscal year 2008, Ryan garnered $5.4 million in congressional earmarks for his constituency, including $3.28 million for bus service in Wisconsin, $1.38 million for the Ice Age Trail, and $735,000 for the Janesville transit system. In 2009, he successfully advocated with the Department of Energy for stimulus funds for energy initiatives in his district. Other home district projects he has supported include a runway extension at the Rock County Airport, an environmental study of the Kenosha Harbor, firefighting equipment for Janesville, road projects in Wisconsin, and commuter rail and streetcar projects in Kenosha. In 2008, Ryan pledged to stop seeking earmarks. Prior to that he had sought earmarks less often than other representatives.Taxpayers for Common Sense records show no earmarks supported by Ryan for fiscal years 2009 and 2010. In 2012 Ryan supported a request for $3.8 million from theDepartment of Transportation for a new transit center in Janesville, which city officials received in July.
Ryan was an active member of a task force established by Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle that tried unsuccessfully to persuade GM to keep its assembly plant in Janesville open. He made personal contact with GM executives to try to convince them to save or retool the plant, offering GM hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded incentives.
Following the closing of factories in Janesville and Kenosha, constituents expressed dissatisfaction with his votes and support. During the 2011 Congressional summer break, Ryan held town hall meetings by telephone with constituents, but no free, in-person listening sessions. The only public meetings Ryan attended in his district required an admission fee of at least $15. In August, 2011, constituents in Kenosha and Racine protested when Ryan would not meet with them about economic and employment issues, after weeks of emailed requests from them. Ryan’s Kenosha office locked its doors and filed a complaint with the police, who told the protesters that they were not allowed in Ryan’s office. Ryan maintains a mobile office to serve constituents in outlying areas.
In the 111th Congress, Ryan sided with a majority of his party in 93% of House votes in which he has participated, and sided with the overall majority vote of all House votes 95% of the time.
Obama initially viewed Ryan as a Republican who could help to reduce the federal deficit. Speaking of Ryan’s budget proposal, Obama called it a “serious proposal” and found both points of agreement and disagreement, saying “some ideas in there that I would agree with, but there are some ideas that we should have a healthy debate about because I don’t agree with them.”
In 2004 and 2005, Ryan pushed the Bush administration to propose the privatization of Social Security. Ryan’s proposal ultimately failed when it did not gain the support of the then-Republican presidential administration.
Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute notes that on “‘education, training, employment, and social services,’ the Ryan budget would spend 33% less” than Obama’s budget plan over the next decade. In particular, the Ryan plan tightens eligibility requirements for Pell Grants and freezes the maximum Pell Grant award at the current level. According to an analysis by the Education Trust, this would result in more than 1 million students losing Pell Grants over the next 10 years. Additionally, under Ryan’s plan, student loans would begin to accrue interest while students are still in school. Ryan states that his education policy is to “allocate our limited financial resources effectively and efficiently to improve education”. Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic said that Ryan’s vision on education policy is to “cut and privatize”.
Ryan speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. on February 10, 2011
On May 21, 2008, Ryan introduced H.R. 6110, the Roadmap for America’s Future Act of 2008, commonly referred to as the “Ryan budget”. This proposed legislation outlined changes toentitlement spending, including a controversial proposal to replace Medicare with a voucher program for those currently under the age of 55. The Roadmap found only eight sponsors and did not move past committee.
On April 1, 2009, Ryan introduced his alternative to the 2010 United States federal budget. This alternative budget would have eliminated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009and imposed a five-year spending freeze on all discretionary spending. It would have also phased out Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service model; instead it would offer fixed sums in the form of vouchers for those under the age of 55, with which Medicare beneficiaries could buy private insurance. Ryan’s proposed budget would also have allowed taxpayers to opt out of the federal income taxation system with itemized deductions, and instead pay a flat 10 percent of adjusted gross income up to $100,000 for couples ($50,000 for singles) and 25 percent on any remaining income. It was ultimately rejected in the Democrat-controlled House by a vote of 293–137, with 38 Republicans in opposition.
On January 27, 2010, Ryan released a modified version of his Roadmap, H.R. 4529: Roadmap for America’s Future Act of 2010. The modified plan would provide across-the-board tax cuts by reducing income tax rates; eliminate income taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; and abolish the estate tax, and Alternative Minimum Tax. The plan would also replace the corporate income tax with a border-adjusted business consumption tax of 8.5%. The plan would privatize a portion of Social Security, eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, and privatize Medicare for those under the age of 55. Chief actuary of Medicare Rick Foster compared Ryan’s “Roadmap” with the 2010 healthcare reform in congressional hearings, stating that while both had “some potential” to make healthcare prices “more sustainable”, he was more “confident” in Ryan’s plan.
Economist and columnist Paul Krugman criticized Ryan’s plan as making overly optimistic assumptions and proposing tax cuts for the wealthy. Krugman further called the plan a “fraud” saying it relies on severe cuts in domestic discretionary spending and “dismantling Medicare as we know it” by suggesting the voucher system, which he noted was similar to a failed attempt at reform in 1995. In contrast, columnist Ramesh Ponnuru, writing in the National Review, argued that Ryan’s plan would lead to less debt than current budgets. Economist Ted Gayer wrote that “Ryan’s vision of broad-based tax reform, which essentially would shift us toward a consumption tax… makes a useful contribution to this debate.”
On April 11, 2011, Ryan introduced H.Con.Res. 34, a federal budget for fiscal year 2012. The House passed this Ryan Plan on April 15, 2011, by a vote of 235–193. Four Republicans joined all House Democrats in voting against it. A month later, the bill was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 57–40, with five Republicans and most Democrats in opposition.
Ryan with President Obama during a bipartisan meeting on health insurance reform, February 25, 2010
On March 23, 2012 Ryan introduced a new version of his federal budget for the fiscal year 2013. On March 29, 2012, the House of Representatives passed the resolution along partisan lines, 228 yeas to 191 nays; ten Republicans voted against the bill, along with all the House Democrats. Ryan’s budget seeks to reduce all discretionary spending in the budget from 12.5% of GDP in 2011 to 3.75% of GDP in 2050.
Ryan has proposed that Medicaid be converted into block grants but with the federal government’s share of the cost cut by some $800 billion over the next decade. Currently, Medicaid is administered by the states, subject to federal rules concerning eligibility, and the amount paid by the federal government depends on the number of people who qualify. His plan would also undo a Reagan-era reform by which the federal government prohibited the states from requiring that a patient’s spouse, as well as the patient, deplete all of his or her assets before Medicaid would cover long-term care.
In March 2013, Ryan submitted a new budget plan for Fiscal Year 2014 to the House. It would set to balance the budget by 2023 by repealing Obama’s PPACA and institute federal vouchers into Medicare.  Ryan has cited health care, education and food safety as examples of “runaway” federal spending. This budget, House Concurrent Resolution 25, was voted on by the House on March 21, 2013 and it passed 221-207.
On December 10, 2013, Ryan announced that he and Democratic Senator Patty Murray had reached a compromise agreement on a two-year, bipartisan budget bill, called the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The deal would cap the federal government’s spending for Fiscal Year 2014 at $1.012 trillion and for Fiscal Year 2015 at $1.014. The proposed deal would eliminate some of the spending cuts required by the sequester ($45 billion of the cuts scheduled to happen in January 2014 and $18 billion of the cuts scheduled to happen in 2015). The deal offsets the spending increases by raising airline fees and changing the pension contribution requirements of new federal workers. Overall the fee increases and spending reductions total about $85 billion over a decade. Ryan said that he was “proud” of the agreement because “it reduces the deficit – without raising taxes.”
Some conservative Republicans objected to Ryan’s budget proposal. Republican Raul Labrador criticized the “terrible plan,” saying that “it makes promises to the American people that are false. Today the Democrats realized they were right all along, that we would never hold the line on the sequester.” Other conservatives were more positive: “It achieves most of the things we would like to see when we have divided government,” said Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.).
Social, environmental, and science issues
In 2010, Ryan described himself as being “as pro-life as a person gets” and has been described as an “ardent, unwavering foe of abortion rights“. As of 2012 according to Bloomberg, Ryan has co-sponsored 38 measures in the U.S. Congress that restrict abortion. The National Right to Life Committee has consistently given Ryan a “100 percent pro-life voting record” since he took office in 1999. NARAL Pro-Choice America has noted that Ryan has “cast 59 votes” (including procedural motions and amendments which don’t have co-sponsors) “on reproductive rights while in Congress and not one has been pro-choice”. He believes all abortions should be illegal, including those resulting from rape or incest, and only makes an exception for cases where the woman’s life is at risk.
During Ryan’s 1998 campaign for Congress, he “expressed his willingness to let states criminally prosecute women who have abortions,” telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time that he “would let states decide what criminal penalties would be attached to abortions”, and while not stating that he supports jailing women who have an abortion, stated: “if it’s illegal, it’s illegal.” In 2009, he cosponsored the Sanctity of Life Act, which would provide that fertilized eggs “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood” and would have given “the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories … the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions”.
Ryan has supported the rights of gun owners and opposed stricter gun control measures. He voted against a bill for stronger background check requirements for purchases at gun shows and supports federal concealed-carry reciprocity legislation, which would allow a person with a permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state to carry a firearm in every other state, a top National Rifle Association (NRA) priority. Ryan, who owns a rifle and a shotgun, is an NRA member, has received an “A” rating from the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and has been endorsed by the organization every cycle he has been in Congress.
In the past, Ryan supported legislation that would have allowed some illegal immigrants to apply for temporary guest-worker status, including one bill that would provide a pathway to permanent residence status (a Green Card) for such immigrants. However, more recently Ryan “has adopted a firm anti-amnesty, enforcement-first stance” on illegal immigration. Ryan voted against the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide conditional permanent residency to illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children if they attend college or serve in the military, and meet other criteria. He also voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Ryan has said “we must first secure the border and stem the flow of illegal immigration, and then work to increase legal immigration through an enforceable guest worker program” before pursuing a “piecemeal” reform such as the DREAM Act.
Ryan opposed the Stop Online Piracy Act, stating that “it creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse.”
In 2011, Ryan pointed to his support for over $10 billion in cuts to national security spending as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that included $50 billion in near-term budget cuts and a sequestration system to force further budget cuts. In 2012, Ryan explained his support for defense spending sequestration in the hope that this would open common ground with the Democrats on deficit reduction. In January 2013, he said that sequestration would likely occur because the Democrats offered no alternative. Ryan’s comments have lead defense industry leaders to pin their final hopes on the chance that Congress will at least allow the Pentagon to reprogram the coming cuts. In March 2013, Ryan outlined a budget that provided $2 trillion less for defense over a ten-year period than the platform he had run on the previous fall.
On August 11, 2012 the Romney campaign officially announced Ryan as its choice for Vice President through its “Mitt’s VP” mobile app as well as by the social networking serviceTwitter, about 90 minutes before Romney’s in-person introduction. Before the official announcement in Norfolk, it was reported that Romney made his decision, and offered the position to Ryan on August 1, 2012, the day after returning from a foreign policy trip through the United Kingdom, Poland and Israel. On August 11, 2012, Ryan formally accepted Romney’s invitation to join his campaign as his running mate, in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia. Ryan is the major parties’ first-ever vice-presidential candidate fromWisconsin.
According to a statistical-historical analysis conducted by Nate Silver, “Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900″ and “is also more conservative than any Democratic nominee [for vice president who previously served in the Congress] was liberal, meaning that he is the furthest from the center” of any vice presidential candidate chosen from Congress since the turn of the 20th century. This analysis, using the DW-NOMINATE statistical system, has been described as “one of the more statistically rigorous approaches to Ryan’s congressional voting record”. Political scientist Eric Schickler commented that while Ryan “may well be the most conservative vice presidential nominee in decades,” the NOMINATE methodology “is not suited to making claims about the relative liberalism or conservatism of politicians” over a long time span. A USA Today/Gallup poll found that 39% thought Ryan was an “excellent” or “pretty good” vice presidential choice, compared to 42% who felt he was a “fair” or “poor” choice.
Ryan formally accepted his nomination at the 2012 Republican National Convention on August 29, 2012. In his acceptance speech, he promoted Mitt Romney as the presidential candidate, supported repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), said that he and Romney had a plan to generate 12 million new jobs over the ensuing four years, and promoted founding principles as a solution: “We will not duck the tough issues—we will lead. We will not spend four years blaming others—we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.”
The speech was well received by the convention audience and praised for being well-delivered. Some fact-checkers noted that there were important factual omissions and that he presented details out of context.Conservative media (including Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, the Investor’s Business Daily, and Fox News) disputed some of the fact-checkers’ findings. Politifact.com rated 33 of Ryan’s statements which it suspected of being false or misleading: True:10.5%, Mostly True:18%, Half True:21%, Mostly False:36%, False:9% Pants on Fire:6% 
Because of a family history of fatal heart attacks before age 60, Ryan pursues an intense cross-training fitness program called P90X. He is “fairly careful” about what he eats and makes his own bratwurst and Polish sausage
In a radio interview Ryan said that he had run a marathon in under three hours; he later stated that he forgot his actual time and was just trying to state what he thought was a normal time. His one official marathon time is recorded as slightly over four hours.
On December 10, 2013, Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray announced that they had negotiated a two-year, bipartisan budget, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The budget agreement was the first to pass Congress with the two chambers controlled by different parties since 1986.
Sessions Warns House GOP: Immigration Bill Is Bad Politics, Bad Policy
Offers a better way forward.
By DANIEL HALPER
Yesterday afternoon, before President Obama’s State of the Union Address, Senator Jeff Sessions’ staff hand-delivered to each Republican member of the House an important memo on the so-called immigration reform bill being debated on Capital Hill. The 3-page document, written by Sessions, argues that pushing the current immigration legislation forward is bad politics, bad policy, and that there’s a better way for Republicans.
Sessions believes House Republicans are at risk of falling into President Obama’s trap. “[A]ccording to news reports, House Republican leaders are instead turning 2014 into a headlong rush towards Gang-of-Eight style ‘immigration reform,’” writes Sessions. “They are reportedly drafting an immigration plan that is uncomfortably similar to a ‘piecemeal’ repackaging of the disastrous Senate plan—and even privately negotiating a final package with Democrat activists before consulting with their own members.”
It’s bad politics, Sessions writes. “In the rush to pass an immigration bill, there has been a near absence of any serious thought about the conditions facing American workers. The last 40 years has been a period of record immigration to the U.S., with the last 10 years seeing more new arrivals than any prior 10- year period in history. This trend has coincided with wage stagnation, enormous growth in welfare programs, and a shrinking workforce participation rate. A sensible, conservative approach would focus on lifting those living here today, both immigrant and native-born, out of poverty and into the middle class—before doubling or tripling the level of immigration into the U.S.
A sensible immigration policy would also listen to the opinion of the American people. Not the opinions of the paid-for consultants trotted out with their agenda-driven polls to GOP member meetings—but the actual, honest opinion of the people who sent us here. There is a reason why none of the corporate-funded ads for amnesty breathe a word about doubling immigration levels. According to Rasmussen Reports, working and middle class Americans strongly oppose large expansions of our already generous immigration system. Those earning under $30,000 prefer a reduction to an increase by an overwhelming 3-1 margin.
And bad policy, the senator from Alabama details. “Coordinating with a small group of the nation’s most powerful special interests, last year President Obama and Senate Democrats forced through an immigration bill which can only be described as a hammer blow to the American middle class. Not only would it grant work permits to millions of illegal immigrants at a time of record joblessness, it would also double the annual flow of new immigrant workers and provide green cards to more than 30 million permanent residents over the next decade. These new workers, mostly lesser-skilled, will compete for jobs in every sector, industry, and occupation in the U.S. economy.”
He adds, “House Republicans, in crafting immigration principles, should reply to the President’s immigration campaign with a simple message: our focus is to help unemployed Americans get back to work—not to grant amnesty or to answer the whims of immigration activists and CEOs. In turn, that message could be joined with a detailed and unifying policy agenda for accomplishing that moral and social objective.”
As for Sessions’ “Better Agenda,” he lays it out very precisely:
The GOP’s 2014 agenda should not be to assist the President in passing his immigration plan. Rather, it should be a consuming focus on restoring hope and opportunity to millions of discouraged workers. The GOP’s 2014 agenda should be a national effort—announced proudly and boldly—to reduce the welfare rolls and get America back to work, including:
More American energy that creates good-paying jobs right here in the U.S.
A more competitive tax and regulatory code that allows U.S. businesses and workers tocompete on a level global playing field
A trade policy that increases U.S. exports and expands domestic manufacturing
An immigration policy that serves the interests of the American people
Converting the welfare office into a job training center
Making government leaner and more accountable to U.S. taxpayers
Restoring economic confidence by continuing our effort to balance the federal budget
An all-out immigration push is inimical to these goals.
Rep. Ryan: GOP Looking at Legal Status, Chance for Citizenship
Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), a leading GOP advocate for tackling immigration, confirmed Wednesday that Republicans are looking to give illegal immigrants legal status right away, with the chance for a green card—and citizenship—down the line.
Officials familiar with the planning had said as much before. But Mr. Ryan is the first member of the GOP leadership to lay out the Republican vision publicly.
At issue is how to handle more than 11 million people already in the U.S. illegally. Most House Republicans oppose the Senate approach, whereby all qualified illegal immigrants would first win legal status, then have the chance to apply for legal permanent residence (also known as a green card), and then for citizenship. House Republicans call that a “special path to citizenship” that is unavailable to those who followed the law.
First, illegal immigrants would be offered a “probationary” status, allowing them to work while the government tightened border security and interior enforcement. Officials have explained that this would allow people to work legally while they wait for permanent legal status. (Officials have explained that this group could revert to illegal status if enforcement benchmarks are not met.)
Mr. Ryan said it would make sure that the Obama administration went ahead with the enforcement provisions. “We want to make sure that we write a law that he can’t avoid,” Mr. Ryan said.
After that, they would be eligible for a “regular work permit,” he said.
“If those things are met, you satisfy the terms of your probation, you’re not on welfare, you pay a fine, you learn English and civics, and the border’s been secured and interior enforcement independently verified, then you can get a regular work permit,” he said.
At that point, this group could apply for green cards using the same system available to any newcomer.
“That’s the kind of process we envision,” he said. “Which is not a special pathway to citizenship and it’s not going to automatically in any way give an undocumented immigrant citizenship.”
Some Democrats and immigration advocates have signaled that they could accept this approach, depending on the details. It’s unclear whether enough Republicans would feel the same. The idea will get its first full airing on Thursday afternoon, when House Republicans are scheduled to discuss immigration at their retreat in Cambridge, Md.
Story 1: The Stupid Republican Party Leadership About To Commit Political Suicide By Supporting Legal Status For 40 Million Plus Illegal Aliens — The Party Will Split and Their Base Will Stay Home On Election Day 4 November 2014 — Videos
Immigration Reform Bill May Offer Protections For Illegal Aliens Convicted Of Certain Crimes!
John Boehner’s Sad Excuses On Immigration Reform
Backing in G.O.P. for Legal Status for Immigrants
The House Republican leadership’s broad framework for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws will call this week for a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million adult immigrants who are in the country illegally, according to aides who have seen the party’s statement of principles. For immigrants brought to the United States illegally as young children, the Republicans would offer a path to citizenship.
But even before the document is unveiled later, some of the party’s leading strategists and conservative voices are urging that the immigration push be abandoned, or delayed until next year, to avoid an internal party rupture before the midterm elections.
“It’s one of the few things that could actually disrupt what looks like a strong Republican year,” said William Kristol, editor of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard, calling an immigration push “a recipe for disaster.”
At the same time, Republicans have seen their support from Latinos plummet precisely because of their stance on immigration, and the “statement of principles,” barely more than a page, is intended to try to reverse that trajectory.
The statement of principles criticizes the American higher education system for educating some of the world’s best and brightest students only to lose them to their home countries because they cannot obtain green cards; insists that Republicans demand that current immigration laws be enforced before illegal immigrants are granted legal status; and mentions that some kind of triggers must be included in an immigration overhaul to ensure that borders are secured first, said Republican officials who have seen the principles.
With concern already brewing among conservatives who call any form of legal status “amnesty,” the document has the feel more of an attempt to test the waters than a blueprint for action. House Republican leaders will circulate it at a three-day retreat for their members that begins Wednesday on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Several pro-immigration organizations that have been briefed on the guidelines say they are not intended to serve as a conservative starting point for future negotiations, but as a gauge of how far to the left House Republicans are willing to move.
The principles say that Republicans do not support a “special path to citizenship,” but make an exception for the “Dreamers,” the immigrants brought into the country illegally as children, quoting a 2013 speech by Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader. “One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents,” Mr. Cantor said at the time. “It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.”
Even ardent proponents of an immigration-law overhaul are, at best, cautiously optimistic. In June, a broad immigration overhaul — with a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants now in the country illegally, and stricter border security provisions that would have to be in place before the immigrants could gain legal status — passed the Senate with bipartisan support. But that legislation has largely stalled in the Republican-controlled House, where Mr. Boehner has rejected any negotiations with the Senate over its comprehensive bill.
“This is obviously a long, hard road,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat, who helped negotiate the Senate bill, “but I think since August, the number on the other side vehemently opposed has stayed the same, the number who think it should go forward has grown, and numbers in the wide middle are less opposed than they used to be. But that doesn’t guarantee an outcome one way or another.”
Republican Party leaders, backed strongly by business groups, have said an overhaul is critical if they are to repair their political position with Latino and other immigrant voters.
Barry Jackson, Mr. Boehner’s former chief of staff, is consulting for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which supports an overhaul that expands high-technology visas and guest worker programs.
But immigration is less of an issue during midterm elections, when immigrants are not as likely to vote and House members in safe districts are insulated somewhat from the wrath of more moderate swing voters. Often the biggest threats to Republicans are primary challenges from more conservative candidates who say that changing the immigration status of someone who is in the country illegally amounts to amnesty for a lawbreaker.
Story 1: Got Google Glass — Explorer 2.0 With New Form Factor — Department of Homeland Security Questions You! — Videos
I used Google Glass
Google Glasses (how it works)
How Guys Will Use Google Glass
Google Glass Review
Google Glass Cracked
CNET Top 5 : Best uses for Google Glass
Introduction to Google Glass
Google Glass Hacked?
Google Glass Explorer Edition: Explained!
Explorer Story: Patrick Jackson [through Google Glass]
Google Glass Explorer Edition 2.0 Unboxing and First Impressions
Amazing Google Glasses Demonstration at Google I/O 2012
GOOGLE GLASS FOR KIDS!
GOOGLE GLASS SUCKS!
Introducing Google Nose
Google Glasses Project
Motion Picture Association of America
“TITS and GLASS”: Porn Blocked from Google Glass
WTF- Porn App Coming Soon On Google Glass
Google Glass Bans PORN
Police Wearing Google Glass-type System to Record Encounters
Story 1: Got Google Glass — Explore 2.0 With New Form Factor — Department of Homeland Security Questions You! — Videos
AMC movie theater calls “federal agents” to arrest a Google Glass user
By: Julie Strietelmeier
A long time Gadgeteer reader contacted me today through Google Hangouts to tell me that he had a story that he thought I’d be interested in reading. He then forwarded me a long email with a story from a very good friend of his. It was such a surprising story that I asked if I could have permission to post it here on The Gadgeteer. I ended up communicating with the author of the story and have posted it here for everyone to read…
I have been using Google Glass for about 2 months now, and about 2 weeks ago I got prescription lenses for the glasses. So in the past two weeks I was wearing Google Glass all the time. There were no stories to write about, until yesterday (1/18/2014).
I went to AMC (Easton Mall, Columbus, OH) to watch a movie with my wife (non- Google Glass user). It is the theater we go to every week, so it has probably been the third time I’ve been there wearing Google Glass, and the AMC employees (guy tearing tickets at the entrance, girl at the concession stand) have asked me about Glass in the past and I have told them how awesome Glass is with every occasion.
Because I don’t want Glass to distract me during the movie, I turn them off (but since my prescription lenses are on the frame, I still wear them). About an hour into the movie (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says “follow me outside immediately”. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops. Since I didn’t catch his name in the dark of the theater, I asked to see his badge again and I asked what was the problem and I asked for my Glass back. The response was “you see all these cops you know we are legit, we are with the ‘federal service’ and you have been caught illegally taping the movie”.
I was surprised by this and as I was obviously just having a nice Saturday evening night out with my wife and not taping anything whether legally or illegally, I tried to explain that this is a misunderstanding. I tried to explain that he’s holding rather expensive hardware that costed me $1500 for Google Glass and over $600 for the prescription glasses. The response was that I was searched and more stuff was taken away from me (specifically my personal phone, my work phone – both of which were turned off, and my wallet). After an embarrassing 20-30 minutes outside the movie theater, me and my wife were conducted into two separate rooms in the “management” office of Easton Mall, where the guy with the badge introduced himself again and showed me a different ID. His partner introduced herself too and showed me a similar looking badge. I was by that time, too flustered to remember their names (as a matter of fact, now, over 30 hours later I am still shaking when recounting the facts).
What followed was over an hour of the “feds” telling me I am not under arrest, and that this is a “voluntary interview”, but if I choose not to cooperate bad things may happen to me (is it legal for authorities to threaten people like that?). I kept telling them that Glass has a USB port and not only did I allow them, I actually insist they connect to it and see that there was nothing but personal photos with my wife and my dog on it. I also insisted they look at my phone too and clear things out, but they wanted to talk first. They wanted to know who I am, where I live, where I work, how much I’m making, how many computers I have at home, why am I recording the movie, who am I going to give the recording to, why don’t I just give up the guy up the chain, ’cause they are not interested in me. Over and over and over again.
I kept telling them that I wasn’t recording anything – my Glass was off, they insisted they saw it on. I told them there would be a light coming out the little screen if Glass was on, and I could show them that, but they insisted that I cannot touch my Glass for the fear “I will erase the evidence against me that was on Glass”. I didn’t have the intuition to tell them that Glass gets really warm if it records for more than a few minutes and my glasses were not warm. They wanted to know where I got Glass and how did I came by having it. I told them I applied about 1000 times to get in the explorer program, and eventually I was selected, and I got the Glass from Google. I offered to show them receipt and Google Glass website if they would allow me to access any computer with internet. Of course, that was not an option. Then they wanted to know what does Google ask of me in exchange for Glass, how much is Google paying me, who is my boss and why am I recording the movie.
Eventually, after a long time somebody came with a laptop and an USB cable at which point he told me it was my last chance to come clean. I repeated for the hundredth time there is nothing to come clean about and this is a big misunderstanding so the FBI guy finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one (although they are dated and it was obvious there was nothing on my Glass that was from the time period they accused me of recording). Then they went through my phone, and 5 minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong.
I asked why didn’t they just take those five minutes at the beginning of the interrogation and they just left the room. A guy who claimed his name is Bob Hope (he gave me his business card) came in the room, and said he was with the Movie Association and they have problems with piracy at that specific theater and that specific movie. He gave me two free movie passes “so I can see the movie again”. I asked if they thought my Google Glass was such a big piracy machine, why didn’t they ask me not to wear them in the theater? I would have probably sat five or six rows closer to the screen (as I didn’t have any other pair of prescription glasses with me) and none of this would have happened. All he said was AMC called him, and he called the FBI and “here are two more passes for my troubles”. I would have been fine with “I’m sorry this happened, please accept our apologies”. Four free passes just infuriated me.
Considering it was 11:27pm when this happened, and the movie started at 7.45, I guess 3 and a half hours of my time and the scare my wife went through (who didn’t know what was going on as nobody bothered to tell her) is worth about 30 bucks in the eyes of the Movie Association and the federal militia (sorry, I cannot think of other derogatory words). I think I should sue them for this, but I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with “who is my boss – they don’t want me, they want the big guy” again, so I just spilled the beans on this forum, for other to learn from my experience.
I guess until people get more familiar with Google Glass and understand what they are, one should not wear them to the movies. I wish they would have said something before I went to the movies, but it may be my mistake for assuming that if I went and watched movies two times wearing Glass with no incident the third time there won’t be any incident either. As for the federal agents and their level of comprehension… I guess if they deal with petty criminals every day, everybody starts looking like a petty criminal. Again, I wish they would have listened when I told them how to verify I did nothing illegal, or at least apologize afterwards, but hey… this is the free country everybody praises. Somewhere else might be even worse.
Crazy huh? His story read like something out of the Jack Ryan movie that he and his wife had gone to see. Are there any other Google Glass users out there that have been treated badly just for your wearable tech? If not, are you reconsidering wearing a pair to the next movie you attend?
Wow, this article has completely blown up our web server due to the traffic. I just wanted to follow up with a few comments and info. First of all, I’m not a journalist, I’m a tech geek writer. Posting this article has given me a good learning lesson though, which I’ll use if I ever post a similar article in the future.
I have been criticized for not citing my sources and following up with the theater to verify that the story was true. I didn’t feel the need at the time because the person who gave me the story is a long time Gadgeteer reader and works in law enforcement. I felt 100% confident the story was not a hoax. I did however call the theater in question and tried to get in touch with someone there for a comment. My calls went unanswered.
After the article was posted. Rob Jackson of Phandroid posted his take on the article and asked me for the author’s contact info. With the author’s permission, I forwarded that info and Rob followed up with some questions and answers that he posted on his site. Take a look for more info on this story:
I just received info from the author with regards to the agents that questioned him:
For the sake of having all the facts right.
I have been trying to find out who the agents that “interviewed” me at
AMC were, so I asked help from a guy I know at FBI. I worked with this
guy in the past when I was employed at a webhosting company. He did
some digging, and he tells me the “federal agents”
talking to me were DHS.
The title of the article has been changed to reflect the recent update from the author that it was actually the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) who detained him and not the FBI as he originally thought.
The story has been confirmed. I just received this email from the author:
I spoke with a reporter from Columbus Dispatch, who obtained a
statement from DHS and forwarded it to me. Here it is:
On Jan. 18, special agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations
and local authorities briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an
electronic recording device to record a film at an AMC theater in
Columbus. The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to
authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of
prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been
inactive. No further action was taken.
Khaalid Walls, ICE spokesman
Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Google Glass at the movies gets man interrogated
A man wearing Google Glass in an Ohio movie theater says the FBI pulled him out and accused him of recording the movie with his device.
There are enemies of the state, and then there are enemies of Jack Ryan.
A Google Glass wearer has told an extraordinary story of going to his local movie theater in Ohio and allegedly being accosted by the FBI for wearing his device.
Google Glass wearers, beware.(Credit: Federal Bureau of Investigations)
He was, he said, wearing Google Glass. His wife accompanied him, Glass-less.
What allegedly transpired was macabre. He wrote that it was not the first time he’d worn Glass to that theater.
However, an hour into the movie: “A guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says ‘follow me outside immediately.’”
Outside, he said, was a group of policemen. T.U. says that the man who dragged him out explained he was from the “federal service.”
What was the Glass-wearer’s alleged crime? He was, he said, being accused of recording the movie on his device.
I tried to explain that he’s holding rather expensive hardware that costed me $1500 for Google Glass and over $600 for the prescription glasses. The response was that I was searched and more stuff was taken away from me (specifically my personal phone, my work phone – both of which were turned off, and my wallet).
T.U. insisted that he wasn’t recording anything. The Glass was off. He wasn’t believed.
I kept telling them that I wasn’t recording anything — my Glass was off, they insisted they saw it on. I told them there would be a light coming out the little screen if Glass was on, and I could show them that, but they insisted that I cannot touch my Glass for the fear ‘I will erase the evidence against me that was on Glass’
T.U. said that he was happy for his Google Glass to be hooked up to a laptop to prove there was nothing recorded on it.
The FBI guy finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one (although they are dated and it was obvious there was nothing on my Glass that was from the time period they accused me of recording). Then they went through my phone, and 5 minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong.
Finally, T.U. said that the FBI left and a man from the “Movie Association” entered and told him that they’d had trouble with people recording at that theater. He says he was offered free movie passes to see the Jack Ryan movie again.
In the comments section of her piece, the Gadgeteer’s Julie Strietelmeier insisted: “I talked to the author and know his friend who has frequented The Gadgeteer for years. I believe them and the story.”
I have contacted AMC in an attempt to confirm that the substance of this story is true and will update, should I hear. It will be interesting to see if an anti-Google Glass stance is, indeed, AMC policy.
This is merely the latest incident in which Google Glass has caused consternation. Some bars and restaurants have banned wearers. Only last week, software developer Cecilia Abadie won her case against a ticket for driving while Glassing. Just as T.U. claimed, she said hers was turned off.
T.U. seemed merely relieved that the ordeal — which he said lasted more than three hours — was over. Still, he said he wished someone had told him that wearing Glass at the movie theater wasn’t allowed.
As for the “federal service,” he wasn’t impressed with their alleged lack of understanding about Google Glass. He wrote: “I guess if they deal with petty criminals every day, everybody starts looking like a petty criminal.”
Google Glass is becoming anything but petty.
Google Glass moviegoer detained for hours on suspicion of piracy
A man attending a movie on Saturday at an AMC theater in Columbus, Ohio was pulled from a theater, detained, and questioned for over two hours by US Dept. of Homeland Security special agents tasked with fighting piracy – all for wearing Google Glass.
The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said that about an hour into a 19:45 EST showing of ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,’ a man who flashed an official-looking badge “yank[ed] the Google Glass” off his face, asking him to exit the theater. The man was attending the film with his wife at the AMC theater at Easton Town Center.
Two officers then ordered him to hand over his wallet and both his work and personal cell phones, according to tech site The Gadgeteer. The man said he was questioned for 20 or 30 minutes on why he was attempting to record the film. Because he had recently added prescription lenses to his Google Glass, the 35-year-old man wore them into the movie. The device has a voice-activated computer and does have an attached camera.
“I said, ‘Want me to prove I’m not recording the movie? It’s very easy,’” the man told the Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday. He said he indicated to the agents that Google Glass has a USB port where the device can be reviewed. “There’s nothing but pictures of my wife and my dog on it,” he told the agents.
The agents declined, electing to detain and question the man in a downstairs “management” office for around two hours, repeatedly asking the same questions again and again. The man says he was asked who he was working for, how many computers he had at home, why he had attempted to record the film, and “why don’t I just give up the guy up the chain.” The agents, of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), finally reviewed the device to see there was no material of interest. He was allowed to leave just after 23:00 EST, with two free movie passes.
The Columbus Dispatch learned the agents were from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, which is tasked with combating piracy and counterfeit goods.
ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said the unit and local authorities “briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an electronic recording device to record a film.”
“The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been inactive. No further action was taken,” Walls said in a statement.
An AMC spokesman said the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was at the same theater last weekend when the man wearing Google Glass was pointed out. An MPAA representative flagged the man thought to be recording the film for the Department of Homeland Security.
“While we’re huge fans of technology and innovation, wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate at the movie theater,” AMC’s Ryan Noonan said.
The MPAA said in a statement that it has not seen any reason to believe that Google Glass poses a threat that could lead to film piracy.
The man said he acquired Google Glass in November during Google’s exclusive offer, known as the Explorer program. He and around 30,000 others have paid US$1,500 to test-run the device before it is released to the public later this year. In addition, the prescription lenses cost him $600.
He said he regrets wearing Glass to a movie, despite having done so in the recent past at the same theater without issue.
“I realize it’s stupid to have a device with a camera pointed at the screen,” he said. “But I didn’t even think of it, because I don’t use Google Glass to record other people.”
oogle promises that Glass, its new augmented reality eyepiece, will open up a new world of hands-free computing — a way to search, translate, record video, and take photographs without having to press buttons or rummage through pockets to retrieve a smartphone or tablet.
There are lots of potential applications. To start things off, Google lists cooking, cycling, skiing, golf, and firefighting — physical activities where holding a device is impractical if not impossible. But really, it was only a matter of time before people began using it for sex.
The first attempt, an app called Tits and Glass, allowed Glass users to stream pornographic images to their headset. The app was promptly banned from Google’s app store, but was recently reinstated.
Now a new app for Glass developed by Lebanese product design student Sherif Maktabi and called Sex with Google Glass lets couples use the wearable technology to record their intimate activities, and — if both partners are wearing a headset — even see sex through their partner’s eyes by streaming the view from their respective devices.
The app is controlled through groan-worthy voice commands. For example, saying “Ok Glass, it’s time” begins the recording process. Once sex is over, recording is ended by the voice command “Ok Glass, pull out.” Video can be replayed for up to five hours before being automatically deleted from the app.
Frankly, I think the idea of having sex while watching a stream from the perspective of your partner sounds narcissistic at best, and mildly disturbing at worst, so I highly doubt that this feature will become immensely popular. And putting a barrier of technology between partners may prove a turnoff and intimacy killer for many.
But Glass as a tool to easily record or stream homemade porn? There is probably a big market for this kind of thing.
Concerns about morals or privacy aside, it’s important to remember that porn is a big driver of technology adoption. The adult film industry has been at the forefront of technology for years, at least since it picked VHS over Betamax. Technological innovations pioneered by the porn industryinclude online payment systems, streaming video and video chat, DVD, and HD video formats.
It’s hard to say at this point if augmented reality computing will usurp smartphones, tablets, and laptops, or if it will remain a niche activity. But if augmented reality computing like Google Glass is really going to take off and become a market leader, it should be expected that sex and porn will be a key driver of adoption. The fact that some people are already using Google Glass for sex paints a rosy picture for the technology in the longer term.
The head of the U.S. Africa Command, General Carter Ham, told the House Committee on Armed Services in June 2013, according to recently declassified testimony, that Benghazi was immediately considered an attack.
Benghazi Attack New Senate CMTE Report Criticizes Obama Admin’s Response To Benghazi
Jay Carney Scolds Fox’s Ed Henry For ‘Coloring Outside the Lines’ On Benghazi: ‘Come On, Ed’
The Benghazi Transcripts Don’t Lie
General Carter Ham Quickly became clear, Benghazi a terrorist attack not a demonstration
The Truth About The Murders In Benghazi Attack NYT Under Pressure
Benghazi Scandal Told To Keep Quiet NDA Given To Benghazi Survivors At Memorial
Glenn Beck Why Obama Hid the Truth of Benghazi
Treason Exposed! Obama Used Benghazi Attack to Cover Up Arms Shipments to Muslim Brotherhood
SYRIA Geraldo Rivera: My Sources Say The US Running Libya Arms To Syrian Rebels
SYRIA CNBC: Benghazi Is Not About Libya But An Operation To Put Arms & Men In Syria
SYRIA Retired General Suspects A US Covert Operation For Running Libya Arms To Syria
Benghazi Scandal – Susan Rice Defends Benghazi Interviews; Has No Regrets – The Real Story
Fox O’Reilly: Obama Appointing Susan Rice Not Insult to Republicans but Defiance to All Americans
Labrador: Susan Rice Response to Benghazi Attack “Shameful”
Susan Rice Caught Lying About Benghazi – Rep. Trey Gowdy Whistleblower Questioning
R Mc Govern: Beyond Benghazi questioning Susan Rice
LIBYA No US Consulate In Benghazi But CIA Operation, Hired Militia Linked To Extremist
White House Knew at 6:07 PM EST That Ansar Al-Sharia Was Behind the Benghazi Attack
Obama Linked to Benghazi Attack
Obama blames the video in his UN speech
Pres. Obama Speech on 9/11/2012 Terrorist Attacks in Libya
Susan Rice on contending with crisis
Susan Rice Interview on Meet the Press – 9/16/12
Susan Rice ‘This Week’ Interview: U.S. Ambassador to UN Discusses Muslim Protest (09/2012)
Benghazi attack: New report shows the real scandal isn’t what Obama called it
By Ryan Teague Beckwith,
The fight over Benghazi isn’t going away, but the reason for the fight may be changing.
In the days after the deadly attack on a U.S. mission in Libya, the political fight centered on whether President Obama had called it terrorism and whether it was a planned or spontaneous attack.
A new bipartisan Senate report released Wednesday, however, focuses more on the failure of the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies for not preventing the attack.
The report shows several major problems:
• The State Department did not increase security at its sites despite warnings of possible violence.
• The CIA did not share information about the existence of its outpost with the U.S. military.
• The CIA and the State Department were not working out of the same location.
• Libyans charged with protecting the compound did not do their job.
The report doesn’t touch on the more political aspects of the 2012 attack, which led to the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and two others. But six Republican senators added a separate note to the report criticizing the Obama administration for delaying the report and for not being transparent.
“Information has been withheld from the Committee because of the ‘ongoing criminal investigation’ into the attacks, in an apparent effort to shield certain government agencies from congressional oversight or potential embarrassment,” they wrote.
But the fact that their criticisms come up as an addendum to the report instead of in the report itself shows the controversy about what happened at Benghazi is shifting in D.C.
Pentagon labeled Benghazi a terrorist attack as Obama administration wavered: newly declassified testimony
Gen. Carter Ham’s newly declassified testimony before the House suggests the prospect of an out-of-control demonstration was not raised by Defense officials and that they immediately considered the incident an attack.
By Leslie Larson
The Obama administration was wary to label the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi as an act of terrorism but declassified testimony from a top Pentagon official indicates there was little ambiguity among Defense Department players that terrorism was the likely motive.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice represented the Obama administration in discussing the incident in the aftermath of the attack, suggesting the death of Ambassador Chris Stephens and three Americans came as the result of a protest over an incendiary viral video blasting the prophet Mohammad and was not a preplanned act of terrorism.
Rice appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet The Press,” “Fox News Sunday” and ABC’s “This Week” on Sep. 16, 2012, to speak on behalf of the President and she repeated the belief that the incident was a “spontaneous” mob uprising and not “a preplanned, premeditated attack.”
“This is not an expression of hostility in the broadest sense toward the United States or to U.S. policy,” she stated.
Republicans pounced on Rice’s analysis, claiming she was placating extremists and not adequately representing the national security threat to the American people.
Ham, whose partially redacted transcript was declassified by the House on Monday, said at the 2013 hearing that he was alerted to the incident 15 minutes after it erupted at 9:42 p.m. Libya Time (3:42 p.m. EST) on Sep. 11, 2012.
“When we saw a rocket-propelled grenade attack, what appeared to be pretty well aimed small arms fire — again, this is all coming second and third hand through unclassified, you know, commercial cellphones for the most part initially. To me, it started to become clear pretty quickly that this was certainly a terrorist attack and not just not something sporadic,” he stated.
Ham served as head of the United States Africa Command, which manages U.S. military operations in Africa. He served in that capacity from March 2011 to April 2013.
He describes how as soon as AFRICOM learned of the attack, the command control repositioned a drone to the consulate to gather intelligence on the ground movements. The unmanned, unarmed surveillance aircraft was ordered to be diverted to the Benghazi site at 9:59 p.m. Libya Time, 17 minutes after the attack.
According to the timeline, at 10:32 p.m. Libya Time, Ham briefed then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before they traveled to the White House for a pre-scheduled meeting with Obama, during which they briefed Obama on the situation.
During Ham’s briefing with Panetta and Dempsey, before they left for the White House, he said there was a “peripheral” discussion as to the cause but added, “We knew at that initial meeting, we knew that a U.S. facility had been attacked and was under attack.”
“I am not aware of (a demonstration), sir. It became pretty apparent to me, and I think to most at Africa Command pretty shortly after this attack began, that this was an attack,” he told Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
“We knew at that point that we had two individuals, Ambassador Stevens and Mr. Smith (a Foreign Service information officer), unaccounted for. And so the focus of our effort at that point was gaining understanding of what the situation was. And then we started very quickly to think about, you know, the possibility of a U.S. ambassador being held hostage in a foreign land and what does that mean,” Ham said during his House testimony.
The testimony includes a reference to an Ops Alert announcing the attack that was received in the White House Situation Room at 10:05 p.m. Libya time, but Ham was not privy to what details the alert included.
Panetta’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February similarly stated the early belief that the episode was an attack.
“There was no question in my mind that this was a terrorist attack,” Panetta said of his early assessment of the situation on the ground in Benghazi.
Ham’s version of events could discredit the accounts from some Obama officials who were hesitant to state the security threat posed by the attack.
In particular, Rice has been accused of misleading the American public with her statements that the incident was a protest run amok rather than terrorism.
In May 2013, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also implicated in an ABC News report that claimed a State Department official urged the CIA and White House to avoid describing the event as an act of terrorism in public statements.
Susan Rice went on TV talk shows days after the Benghazi attack to speak on behalf of the President. She repeated the belief that the incident was a ‘spontaneous’ mob uprising and not ‘a preplanned, premeditated attack.’
Leaked emails show that then State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland suggested that a CIA memo on Benghazi not include any reference of links to al-Qaeda and the intelligence warnings in the months preceding the attack.
Nuland wrote in protest to the CIA description, saying it “could be abused by members (of Congress) to beat up on the State Department for not paying attention to warnings,” in an email to the White House and the CIA, according to ABC.
The intelligence memo was the basis for Rice’s public statements in September 2012.
The PR spin to describe the attack as spontaneous rather than pre-planned was seen as a move to protect the State Department from being blamed for not adequately providing security and anticipating the attack.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied any wrongdoing in Rice’s description of the episode, telling the press in May that Rice didn’t have “hard, concrete evidence” to suggest terrorism.
“It was simply a reflection of we did not, and the intelligence community did not, and others within the administration did not, jump to conclusions about who was responsible before we had an investigation to find out the facts,” he said of Rice’s highly criticized assessment of the situation.
Her behavior in the aftermath of the tragedy displeased Congress and is largely to blame for her failure to be appointed Secretary of State after Clinton’s retirement in Obama’s second term.
Instead, Rice was appointed to the role of National Security adviser.
Clinton has defended Rice and said the root motive for the attack was not an important detail to focus on.
“We had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk one night and decided to go kill some Americans? At this point what difference does it make, Senator?” Clinton said at a tense Senate hearing in January 2013.
Clinton, a likely contender in the 2016 White House bid, remains defensive as the “Benghazi stain” continues to haunt her legacy.
The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.
While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.
The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.
The N.S.A. calls its efforts more an act of “active defense” against foreign cyberattacks than a tool to go on the offensive. But when Chinese attackers place similar software on the computer systems of American companies or government agencies, American officials have protested, often at the presidential level.
Among the most frequent targets of the N.S.A. and its Pentagon partner, United States Cyber Command, have been units of the Chinese Army, which the United States has accused of launching regular digital probes and attacks on American industrial and military targets, usually to steal secrets or intellectual property. But the program, code-named Quantum, has also been successful in inserting software into Russian military networks and systems used by the Mexican police and drug cartels, trade institutions inside the European Union, and sometime partners against terrorism like Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan, according to officials and an N.S.A. map that indicates sites of what the agency calls “computer network exploitation.”
“What’s new here is the scale and the sophistication of the intelligence agency’s ability to get into computers and networks to which no one has ever had access before,” said James Andrew Lewis, the cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Some of these capabilities have been around for a while, but the combination of learning how to penetrate systems to insert software and learning how to do that using radio frequencies has given the U.S. a window it’s never had before.”
No Domestic Use Seen
There is no evidence that the N.S.A. has implanted its software or used its radio frequency technology inside the United States. While refusing to comment on the scope of the Quantum program, the N.S.A. said its actions were not comparable to China’s.
“N.S.A.’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,” Vanee Vines, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to — U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”
Over the past two months, parts of the program have been disclosed in documents from the trove leaked by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor. A Dutch newspaper published the map of areas where the United States has inserted spy software, sometimes in cooperation with local authorities, often covertly. Der Spiegel, a German newsmagazine, published the N.S.A.’s catalog of hardware products that can secretly transmit and receive digital signals from computers, a program called ANT. The New York Times withheld some of those details, at the request of American intelligence officials, when it reported, in the summer of 2012, on American cyberattacks on Iran.
President Obama is scheduled to announce on Friday what recommendations he is accepting from an advisory panel on changing N.S.A. practices. The panel agreed with Silicon Valley executives that some of the techniques developed by the agency to find flaws in computer systems undermine global confidence in a range of American-made information products like laptop computers and cloud services.
Embracing Silicon Valley’s critique of the N.S.A., the panel has recommended banning, except in extreme cases, the N.S.A. practice of exploiting flaws in common software to aid in American surveillance and cyberattacks. It also called for an end to government efforts to weaken publicly available encryption systems, and said the government should never develop secret ways into computer systems to exploit them, which sometimes include software implants.
Richard A. Clarke, an official in the Clinton and Bush administrations who served as one of the five members of the advisory panel, explained the group’s reasoning in an email last week, saying that “it is more important that we defend ourselves than that we attack others.”
“Holes in encryption software would be more of a risk to us than a benefit,” he said, adding: “If we can find the vulnerability, so can others. It’s more important that we protect our power grid than that we get into China’s.”
From the earliest days of the Internet, the N.S.A. had little trouble monitoring traffic because a vast majority of messages and searches were moved through servers on American soil. As the Internet expanded, so did the N.S.A.’s efforts to understand its geography. A program named Treasure Map tried to identify nearly every node and corner of the web, so that any computer or mobile device that touched it could be located.
A 2008 map, part of the Snowden trove, notes 20 programs to gain access to big fiber-optic cables — it calls them “covert, clandestine or cooperative large accesses” — not only in the United States but also in places like Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Middle East. The same map indicates that the United States had already conducted “more than 50,000 worldwide implants,” and a more recent budget document said that by the end of last year that figure would rise to about 85,000. A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the actual figure was most likely closer to 100,000.
That map suggests how the United States was able to speed ahead with implanting malicious software on the computers around the world that it most wanted to monitor — or disable before they could be used to launch a cyberattack.
A Focus on Defense
In interviews, officials and experts said that a vast majority of such implants are intended only for surveillance and serve as an early warning system for cyberattacks directed at the United States.
“How do you ensure that Cyber Command people” are able to look at “those that are attacking us?” a senior official, who compared it to submarine warfare, asked in an interview several months ago.
“That is what the submarines do all the time,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe policy. “They track the adversary submarines.” In cyberspace, he said, the United States tries “to silently track the adversaries while they’re trying to silently track you.”
If tracking subs was a Cold War cat-and-mouse game with the Soviets, tracking malware is a pursuit played most aggressively with the Chinese.
The United States has targeted Unit 61398, the Shanghai-based Chinese Army unit believed to be responsible for many of the biggest cyberattacks on the United States, in an effort to see attacks being prepared. With Australia’s help, one N.S.A. document suggests, the United States has also focused on another specific Chinese Army unit.
Documents obtained by Mr. Snowden indicate that the United States has set up two data centers in China — perhaps through front companies — from which it can insert malware into computers. When the Chinese place surveillance software on American computer systems — and they have, on systems like those at the Pentagon and at The Times — the United States usually regards it as a potentially hostile act, a possible prelude to an attack. Mr. Obama laid out America’s complaints about those practices to President Xi Jinping of China in a long session at a summit meeting in California last June.
At that session, Mr. Obama tried to differentiate between conducting surveillance for national security — which the United States argues is legitimate — and conducting it to steal intellectual property.