Tag Archives: government shutdown

Congress Takes Steps Toward Ending War on Medical Marijuana

On Saturday, the United States Congress approved a landmark $1.1 trillion spending bill in a 56-40 bipartisan vote. The bill, which was created to avoid another government shutdown, and to allocate funds for the next year, grants a new form of security to medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

The Huffington Post reported that the spending bill “includes an amendment that prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to go after state-legal medical cannabis programs.”

The spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Erik Altieri, told VICE News that he was “very encouraged to see Congress begin to take some legit steps to resolving the state and federal conflict with marijuana law.”

There are issues that still need to be resolved with banking and taxation, but this at least shows they can come together in a bipartisan way and stop raiding state-approved medical marijuana,” Altieri said.

Mike Liszewski, the Government Affairs Director from Americans for Safe Access, an organization working to ensure safe and legal access to medical marijuana, released a statement saying that by passing this bill, Congress is acting in favor of the majority of Americans.

We applaud this Congress for doing the right thing by protecting the rights of patients, and ending a years-long attack on the medical marijuana community,” said Liszewski. “By approving this measure, Congress is siding with the vast majority of Americans who are calling for a change in how we enforce our federal marijuana laws.”

Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, sponsored the amendment, which first passed in the House in May. It prohibits “funding for DOJ to prevent states from implementing state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

The Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Neill Franklin, released a statement saying that this legislation was great for both patients and public safety.

Congress has finally listened to the vast majority of Americans who believe the federal government has no right to interfere in the personal decision to use medical marijuana made by a patient in consultation with his or her doctor,” Franklin said.

VICE News reported that while the measure will not go into effect until the end of the present fiscal year, which is on September 30, 2015, medical marijuana advocates are currently working to “formalize the policy with standalone legislation,” such as a bill titled the “States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act,” which would “remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I controlled substances, and allow funding for therapeutic research.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 states and Washington D.C. have legalized the use of medical marijuana. The states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

In a recent episode of Truth in Media, Investigative Journalist Ben Swann looked into the government’s involvement in the field of medical marijuana, and discovered that while the U.S. government claims that cannabis is not medicine, it currently holds the patent to cannabis as medicine. Watch the episode below:

Feds Spent $180k On Liquor Days Before & During Government Shutdown


By Michael Lotfi,

According to Washington Times journalist Jim McElhatton, the US State Department spent approximately $180,000 for liquor to stockpile US embassy liquor cabinets as the federal government prepared to shut down in September.

The $180k September liquor tab ends the fiscal year, which brought the total liquor costs to more than $400,000 for the year. This almost $1/2 million tab is more than 3x the tab for FY 2008.

The outlandish bills include:

– $5,625 for “gratuity wine” at the embassy in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 29, which was followed by $5,925 for “gratuity whiskey” on the day the shutdown began.

-$22,416 in wine at the embassy in Tokyo.

-$15,900 in bourbon and whiskey in Moscow.

According to the report, the State Department purposefully went on a buying binge just before and during the shutdown so that there wouldn’t be any excess funds in their budgets, which would expose themselves to congressional budget cuts. Rather than save the tax-payers money, the feds opted to binge on liquor. Never-mind the fact that they would have had budget surplus if they hadn’t bought $180k worth of liquor.

To read more absurd ways the US government wastes your money, check out this article by Kristin Tate, Benswann.com journalist. 

Follow Michael Lotfi On Facebook & On Twitter


US Debt Jumps A Record $328 Billion In One Day – Debt Now Over $17 Trillion

On Thursday, the United States debt spiked $328 billion, setting a new record. Our debt has now officially surpassed $17 trillion.

Screen shot 2013-10-18 at 4.41.47 PM

The previous high of $238 billion was set two years ago.

The Washington Times reports that the sudden increase can be attributed to the government’s “replenishing its stock of ‘extraordinary measures’ – federal funds it borrowed from over the last five months as it tried to avoid bumping into the debt ceiling.”

Since May, the federal debt barely increased, staying right around $16.7 trillion. But Congress’s recent deal, which went into effect on Wednesday, completely suspended the government’s borrowing limit.

When the debt ceiling increased on Wednesday, the Treasury Department was subsequently able to refund pensions and programs that had been unfunded since May.

The government can now borrow as much money as it needs to until February 7 (the deadline set by Congress).

During the government shutdown, House Republicans fought to attach some limits to the debt increase, but eventually gave in and accepted the Senate’s deal. Not one spending cut was included in that deal.

Democrats argued that the “clean” debt ceiling suspension does not encourage out-of-control spending.

It may not encourage sky-high spending, but it certainly allows for it.

Your thoughts on the rising debt? Tell us in the comment section below.

Can You Guess The S. Carolina Delegate Who Voted With Obama To Raise The Debt?

Yesterday the Senate voted to extend the debt ceiling, and re-open the government. Along with the deal was a $3 billion earmark from Senate Minority Leader McConnell.  So much for a clean continuing resolution (CR).

SC-The Senate bill passed with a strong majority, having a 31 vote margin (81-18). In total, 27 Republicans voted in favor of the bill. In the House the bill passed (285-144). In total, 87 republicans joined all democrats and voted in favor of the bill.

So, what about South Carolina? Of the 6 Representatives only one voted in favor of the deal (Rep. Clyburn-D). In the Senate, Tim Scott (R) voted “no”. However, Scott’s colleague, Lindsey Graham, voted with South Carolina’s only democratic delegate in favor of the deal.

Graham made no apologies. On Facebook Graham told supporters that they did all they could do. He complains that Congress got bailed out, nothing was done to cut spending, etc. However, none of the supposed problems Graham had with the deal kept him from voting in favor of it.  Hundreds of Facebook users attacked the Senator for his vote.

Graham faces his most serious challenge to re-election this year than ever before. Two serious challengers have risen to the occasion. Businesswoman Nancy Mace and State Senator Lee Bright have thrown their names in the ring. Graham still leads in the polls. Mace follows Senator Bright who is in second place, and was just endorsed by the National Republican Liberty Caucus.

BREAKING: House Will Surrender To Reopen Govt. – Ted Cruz Won’t Block Efforts

BREAKING: The House will vote first on any Senate deal to reopen the federal government.

This will make it easier for Harry Reid to avoid certain hurdles, and will allow the refunding process to happen much faster.

No deals are finalized as of right now, but the federal government is expected to be funded until December 15 and the debt ceiling pushed until February.

Since many Republicans likely will not support the Senate’s deal, Speaker of the House John Boehner may have to violate the “Hastert Rule,” which ensures that any legislation passed through the House has support from a majority of the Republicans.


In order to ensure the Senate’s deal is passed, Boehner will have to rely on Democrats.

To the dismay of many conservatives around the country, Senator Ted Cruz from Texas said today that he will do nothing to stop the deal from being reached.

“There is nothing to be gained from delaying this vote one day or two days. I have never had any intention of delaying the timing of this vote,” Cruz said. Of ObamaCare, Cruz said, “Washington establishment refuses to listen to the American people. The deal that has been cut provides no relief to the millions of Americans.”

It is unclear to some, then, why Cruz will do nothing to try and block the deal. Especially said he said in the past he would “use any procedural means necessary” to prevent ObamaCare’s funding.

In September, the Senator said, “Senator Reid must not be allowed to add ObamaCare funding back into the House-passed bill.”

Your thoughts? Tell us in the comments section below.

Breaking: House GOP Fires Back With New Plan (Strips Congress Of Obamacare Exemptions)

Speaker Boehner Addresses Press and Seeks Vote For Tuesday Night
Speaker Boehner Addresses Press and Seeks Vote For Tuesday Night

The House is firing back with their own bill rather than wait for the Senate to offer a competing plan.

House democrats will likely oppose the plan, which will mean another partisan bill passed from the House GOP. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) tweeted, “GOP’s latest plan is designed to torpedo the bipartisan (Senate) solution-” Hollen is the top democratic member of the House budget committee. Hollen goes on to direct blame for possible default on the GOP.


Details on the House plan are scattered. According to USA Today, GOP House aides are not authorized to speak about the plan until it is publicly announced in full. However, certain details are clear.

The GOP will extend federal spending through January and raise the debt ceiling through February. However, the House is attempting to take back their Constitutionally delegated power of the purse by removing the Treasury secretary’s ability to use “extraordinary measures” to extend the debt ceiling deadline.

This unconstitutional power-grab has allowed the executive branch power over the purse.

The new House plan will also reinstate the Vitter amendment, which strips Congress, Cabinet appointees and their staff of the subsidy exemption President Obama sought for Congress.

The reinstatement of this amendment will undoubtedly not fly with Senate democrats and kill the bill if it can even make it out of the House .

There are also reports that the House is trying to add language, which will allow employers to opt-out of having to provide contraception coverage to employees.

Some House conservatives are already saying they will vote against the bill. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said, “I’m a no, but they’ll probably get their 218 votes.”

The vote is scheduled for later tonight.



Obama Admin Replaces Barricades At WWII Memorial Today

It really is stranger than fiction. After Ben Swann reported yesterday with exclusive images and video of the weekend’s veteran protest in DC, the Obama administration re-barricaded the WWII memorial today. Protesters had removed the gates and placed them in front of the White House.

Charlie Spiering with the Washington Examiner tweeted the below picture of freshly placed gates surrounding the WWII memorial.


The Obama administration continues to play theatrics, which is, in fact, costing the tax-payers money. For those who have never been to Washington, these memorials have no staff or gates. They are open air memorials, which are accessible 24 hours a day- 7 days a week. The only time the memorials are not accessible is when money is spent to hire workers and rent equipment to wall them off.

BREAKING: House GOP Caves On Debt Ceiling (UPDATE)

WASHINGTON– GOP House leadership just finished a press conference where they announced they will allow the debt ceiling to be increased for the next 6 weeks.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Republican Conference Chair, provided opening statements. “We’re going to offer legislation that will allow a temporary increase in the debt ceiling that will allow us time to continue this conversation on the shutdown,” says Rodgers.

Rodgers says that democrats have been unwilling to talk and this is causing a delay in reopening the government.

Rodgers concludes, “We hope that the president will choose negotiation over crisis, leadership over inaction, and dialogue over silence.”

Speaker Boehner says, “The president is fond of saying that no one gets everything they want in negotiations, and I agree with that. However, over the course of the last ten days we’ve been trying to talk with our democratic counterparts– they don’t want to talk. The president doesn’t want to talk.”

Boehner points out that every bill the House has passed to reopen the government the Senate rejects. Boehner says that they will allow a temporary increase in the debt ceiling as long as the president is willing to actually attend conference with them and negotiate to reopen the government.

Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, says the debt ceiling increase is only temporary and is in exchange for President Obama’s and Senate Majority Leader Reid’s willingness to negotiate. Cantor says that he is thankful that the president is finally willing to sit down and talk.

The question is now whether or not the president and democrats will actually negotiate. If history is to replay itself then the answer is most likely no; as the House has played this card before and democratic leadership simply refuses to negotiate once they have had their demands answered.

Boehner ended with an odd joke- “If ands and buts were candy and nuts every day would be Christmas.”


Obama has rejected the 6 week ceiling deal. Reports from the White House suggest that Obama wanted a longer term ceiling increase.

Obama Admin Suspends Dog Therapy Program For Sick Kids Due To Govt. Shutdown

Obama’s National Institute of Health (NIH) has suspended its dog therapy program due to the government shutdown.

In the past, the program has brought joy to thousands of sick patients, including children with terminal cancers.

John Burklow, a spokesperson for NIH, said that the there was not enough money in the budget to continue the program during the shutdown. He pointed out that the dogs must be seen by veterinarians before visiting patients, which can be costly.

Tax dollars pay for the vets, who are federal employees. Everyone else involved in the dog therapy program is an unpaid volunteer.


“A vet needs to evaluate the dogs, and given that there is a 25 percent reduction in staff (furloughed), we focus our activities and staffing on the care of patients already at our hospital,” Burklow said. “We will resume the program once the government is re-opened.”

Abbey Whetzel’s son, Sam, is dying from leukemia. Seeing the therapy dogs used to bring Sam joy and give him something to look forward to.

Abbey said during an interview on National Public Radio, “They can only come once a week, but it’s the highlight of Sam’s week. He was disappointed. He really looks forward to the dogs coming. He has a special fondness for the little dogs that can come and just sit on his bed and lay down and curl up with him.”

The absence of the dog therapy program is heartbreaking for some families, like the Whetzels. While the vets do incur some cost, it is likely minimal compared to other federal staff that was not furloughed as a result of the government shutdown.

Some journalists, particularly those on the right, have accused the Obama Administration of unnecessary shut downs to inflict maximum pain.

John Nolte from Breitbart News writes, “While our president still enjoys his essential employees and locations: the White House chefs, Camp David, and a military golf course, there doesn’t seem to be any question that in mercenary pursuit of a political win, this White House is determined to unreasonably punish as many everyday people as possible. And this includes children sick with cancer. That might sound like hyperbole, but it is not.”

Similarly, conservative journalist Charles Krauthammer argued that the Obama administration is trying to “punish” the American people with cuts that have a drastic impact.

On Wednesday, Krauthammer said on Fox News, “The administration is using anything it doesn’t like as a way to punish the American people. But there’s a larger issue here. And that is, as the state becomes larger and larger, the bureaucracy becomes stronger and more arrogant and independent. It believes in it so, and after all, it regulates. That’s what it does. And it becomes punitive, in the sense it says, ‘Listen, you want to hold up the government. We’re going to show you who’s in charge. We’re going to shut down all the monuments, you know. And if we don’t get a blank check, we’re going to do xy and z.'”

Do you think conservative journalists are on-point?

Could the cutting of the dog therapy program by a means to “punish” us and inflict maximum public pain?

Tell us your thoughts in the section below.

Senior Citizens Locked Inside Yellowstone By Armed Guards Due To Govt. Shutdown

What should have been a beautiful, relaxing trip, turned into a dark nightmare for many tourists in America’s national parks during the last week.

Thanks to the partial government shutdown, some people were locked inside Yellowstone National Park.

Pat Vaillancourt was one of those people. She came into Yellowstone with a bus tour group, which “included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada, and the United States.” They were on a nine day tour of national parks when the government shut down on October 1.

When the tour bus arrived at the Old Faithful Inn, located near the middle of the massive park, the group was locked inside by armed guards, who rudely told the tourists they could not leave. The inn was barricaded.

Vaillancourt said, “They looked like Hulk Hogans, armed. They told us you can’t go outside. Some of the Asians who were on the tour said, ‘Oh my God, are we under arrest?’ They felt like they were criminals.”

Vaillancourt and her tour group finally left the park after two days. She said the bus was not allowed to make any bathroom stops for over 2.5 hours as it left the park. When the group stopped at a private dude ranch for a planned bathroom stop, they were told to leave. According to Vaillancourt, the dude ranch said that they would be shut down if they allowed the bus to come in for a rest stop.

Vaillancourt and the others on her bus were not the only people to get this rough treatment. According to the Eagle Tribune, nearly 1,000 people were in a national park when the federal government shut down.

Understandably, Vaillancourt was disturbed by her experience in Yellowstone. What seems to have upset her the most, though, was how harsh the armed park employees were.

She concluded, “We’ve become a country of fear, guns and control. It was like they brought out the armed forces. Nobody was saying, ‘We’re sorry.'”

Clearly, the Obama administration is frustrated that the House Republicans refuse to fully fund Obamacare. It is not hard to surmise that the administration could be taking out that frustration on the American public, and aiming to make a political point by inciting fear with unnecessary shutdowns to inflict maximum public pain.

Vaillancourt’s disturbing story does not sound like a vacation in “the land of the free.”

What has become of America?

Feds Now Blocking Children From Going To School And Families From Visiting Dead Relatives

Cades Cover Cemetery, Tennessee
Cades Cove Cemetery, Tennessee

It is perhaps worth mentioning that when government builds the roads- it also gets to close them whenever it feels like it (just because). The latest round of political theater from the Obama administration has hit in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. In an attempt to make residents of Tennessee suffer, the only safe road for school buses to travel on has been shut down. Furthermore, the feds have stepped in and shut down family cemeteries no longer allowing living relatives to visit their deceased loved ones.

The Great Smoky Mountains is one of the top tourist destinations in America.  Blount County, Tennessee, a small mountain community, lays within the Great Smoky Mountains. The government shut down the park, thus cutting off the revenue stream for the county. It has been verified that the feds also shut down the Foothills Parkway, which is the main travel route for school buses in the community. Other alternative routes through the mountains are at extremely dangerous elevations with crumbling roads through the mountains’ cliffs. In fact, a school bus cannot even travel on the alternative roads. Regardless of the danger, the feds came through and shut down the road during school hours. This forced schools scrabbling to find a way to get children home safely.

Now, the schools are no longer running buses for the safety of children, and parents are being forced to take their kids up and down the treacherous alternative routes.

Purposefully putting children in danger at a calculated time wasn’t enough for the feds.  They also went after family cemeteries.

Cades Cove is a beautiful destination in the Smokies. The community was donated to the federal government by hundreds of residents more than 75 years ago as a gift to the United States. The deceased have living relatives that still visit their graves every week. In the cemetery you will find veterans from the Civil War, WWI & WWII. You will also always find fresh flowers upon the graves. Now the feds have barricaded the churches and cemeteries within the park and will not allow loved ones to visit.

Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell has requested that the feds allow local government to manage the park during the shutdown at no cost to the federal government. The feds have not yet responded to his request.

Obama Admin. Pulls Down “Amber Alerts” Site Due To Govt. Shutdown – Then Puts It Back Up After Bad Press

Amber Alerts notify the public when a child has gone missing or is abducted. The alerts are put out by the Department of Justice and give information about missing minors. The public can then contact authorities if they recognize one of the children.

The alert system appeared to be shut off over the weekend, due to the partial government shutdown.

As of Sunday night, here is what showed up at www.AmberAlert.gov:


Many right-wing news outlets slammed the apparent shut down of Amber Alerts, especially since other, seemingly less important programs have not been affected by the government’s “lapse in federal funding.”

On Sunday, Elizabeth Sheld of Breitbart News wrote, “If you type www.amberalert.gov in your browser, you will find that the website redirects to an error message stating that the government shutdown has stopped the program… [But] if you try and visit letsmove.gov, Michelle Obama’s healthy child/exercise initiative, no such redirect takes place.”


People were also abuzz on Twitter, railing the Obama administration for pulling the website down:

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After a slew of bad press, the Amber Alert website was restored sometime on Monday morning.

Justice Department officials are now trying to explain away any “confusion” over the apparent Amber Alert shut down. Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said, “The Amber Alert system was never interrupted, but to eliminate any confusion, the informational site maintained by the Justice Department has been restored.”

CNN reported, “The website for the Office of Justice Programs, which hosts Amber Alert information, has been “shut down” due to funding issues, a senior Justice Department official told CNN. The official told CNN that the website is informational only, detailing the department’s role in providing training to states on how to have an Amber Alert system, and that the alerts themselves were not affected. Amber Alerts are issued jurisdictionally, by county or state, the official said, adding that the Amber Alert system, which consists largely of press notifications, highways signs, and tweets, is functional and not affected by the shutdown.”

Since the website is only informational, it is not hard for one to surmise that it was pulled from the web for political reasons. Is it possible that the website, the operations cost of which are likely negligible, was unnecessarily pulled from the web to incite public fear over the government shutdown?

White House spokesperson Jay Carney denies that the decision was political. On Monday he told reporters, “That is of course not the case. I would refer you to DOJ about how the website is administered, but, I can tell you that the website that DOJ maintains is informational. It is not a law enforcement tool used to issue Amber Alerts, and at no point during the shutdown has the Amber Alert system been interrupted.”

Do you think the website was legitimately pulled down for “funding issues,” or do you think there was some other motivation? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Obamacare Is Not A Law: It’s A New Three Letter Agency

After watching the Patient Care Act (PCA), better known as Obamacare,  in action over the past couple years one thing is becoming clear. It’s not a law. Sure, Congress may have passed it as a law, and the president signed it as a law. However, when you review its implementation it doesn’t resemble a law at all.PCA

We are a nation of laws, not of men. This meaning that the law applies equally to all. There are no exceptions for this group, or that group. Well, Obamacare does not work in such a manner. If Obamacare was a law then the idea of the IRS union seeking an exemption would have never come to bear fruit. The IRS union wasn’t alone in their request. If fact, three of the country’s largest labor unions wrote a joint letter to Harry Reid (D-NV) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) saying that the healthcare bill would be catastrophic and they wanted an exemption. To be fair, the administration rejected the unions’ request. However, the very idea that it was even on the table is strikingly parallel to how the IRS will deny or approve tax exempt status of organizations. How long until someone gets an exemption from the law? Turns out- not too long at all.

Like it, or not the law was passed as written. Obama, acting in secret, as if he was head of such an agency, allowed congressional members and their staffs an exemption. To be clear,  they are not completely exempt from Obamacare. However, as of now, taxpayers pay almost 75 percent of premium payments for Congress as part of government employee benefits in Washington. An amendment to the healthcare law could have ended that subsidy. Instead of actually legislatively fixing the law so that Congress could maintain their subsidy, Obama simply issued an exemption from the amendment. However, the amendment still remains law.

Another example of how Obamacare is operating as an agency, and not a law is when Obama had the IRS get involved to “change the law”. Obamacare was passed by Congress- not the IRS. This would imply that only Congress can make changes to the law. However, that didn’t stop President Obama from going to the IRS when he realized that Senate democrats made a glaring mistake when drafting the law.

Under Obamacare states were given the option to decide whether or not they wanted to set up an insurance exchange, which each state would run. Those states who choose not to set up their own insurance exchange would have a federal exchange set up in its place. States that did choose to set up an exchange are to fine employers who  do not provide insurance under the employer-mandate penalty. This money is then returned to the employees to purchase insurance through the state run exchange.

So far more than two dozen states have opted out of the state exchange. Tennessee, Texas, Florida and Oklahoma to name a few. President Obama and democratic leadership failed to add this same penalty to states who opt-out of the state exchange in place of the federal exchange. Therefore, the dozens of states that have already opted out cannot be fined under the employer-mandate penalty. This would have left Obamacare in  shambles.

So, Obama went to the IRS and had them re-write the healthcare law. However, this is unconstitutional. Only Congress can make such changes to law. A lawsuit has been making its way to the Supreme Court  filed by the state of Oklahoma challenging this illegal power grab. Parallel to how the EPA can essentially create their own laws, Obamacare is doing the same.

Not convinced yet? Let’s look at how many delays have been passed out. First big business got a huge exemption. The Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) provisions have been delayed until Jan.1, 2015. Next, small businesses were issued a short delay only two weeks ago. However, the law clearly sets dates. No where in the law are delays allowed. Acting above the law, the Obama administration handed out delays anyways.

Obamacare does not behave like a law at all. In fact, it behaves quite more so like an agency. It arbitrarily enforces parts it does and does not like, delays dates and even creates new laws from within itself. Why is this such a big deal? One only need look at any 3-letter agency to see how monstrous, unconstitutional,  expensive and intrusive they’ve all become since their well-intended creation.

The FDA arrests people for trading raw milk. The EPA throws people in jail for the rest of their lives for moving soil from one corner of their yard to another. The DEA throws thousands of people in jail every year for victimless crimes. The TSA sexually harasses  us on a daily basis. The DOE tells our children what to think, eat, wear, how to brush their teeth and who to have sex with. Now it seems that we can add the PCA to the list of 3-letter agencies, which will arbitrarily create and manipulate laws (at will) without congressional, executive or judicial oversight. The 3-letter agencies, or as I like to call them “the fourth branch of government”, just got a new power-player.

Truth be told, the PCA cannot simply be a “law”. Having studied in the medical field for 4 years and graduating with top honors I can tell you that I have paid attention, and that the science, and the market is far too convoluted to be confined by a simple law (regardless of how many pages it contains). For the PCA to actualize into any sort of relative success it will require an agency of its own, and the President is coming to realize this reality as evidenced by his actions listed above.

Obama Admin Closes Part Of Ocean Due To Govt. Shutdown

Since the government shutdown, the Obama administration has been criticized by many on the right for “unnecessary” shut downs to “inflict the maximum public pain”.

As reported by Breitbart News, “While our president still enjoys his essential employees and locations: the White House chefs, Camp David, and a military golf course, there doesn’t seem to be any question that in mercenary pursuit of a political win, this White House is determined to unreasonably punish as many everyday people as possible.”

Since Monday night, the Obama administration has forced the shut down of the World War II memorial, the Vietnam memorial, and over 100 privately funded parks.

Most recently, on Day Three of the government shutdown, the feds are attempting to shut down the ocean in areas off the coast of Florida.

According to the Miami Herald, “Charter guides received a message from the National Park Service this week informing them that they are not permitted to take clients fishing in Florida Bay until the feds get back to work. That means that more than 1,100 square miles of prime fishing is off limits between the southern tip of the mainland to the Keys until further notice.

The closing affects not only fishing guides, but anyone with a license to conduct business in the park, including tour operators and paddling guides — anyone with a Commercial Use Authorization permit, said Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks. Biscayne National Park is also off limits.”

Enforcement rangers from the National Park Service will be on duty to enforce the ocean “shutdown” in Florida. One unidentified National Park Service Ranger reportedly said, “It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation. We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

Breitbart News points out that more staff and money might be needed to enforce the new restrictions than would have been used normally.

If more workers and resources are indeed needed to enforce the shutdown than when the government is operating normally, what is the point of closing down parts of the ocean? Is it possible that the Obama administration is simply shutting down the parts of the ocean to “make the public feel the burn,” as asserted by Conservative blogger Doug Powers?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

How America Reacted: Breaking Bad Series Finale vs. Government Shutdown

First we showed you how America reacted when Miley Cyrus “twerked” it on stage vs. the climax of the Syrian civil war/American intervention. Today we show you how America reacted to the government shutdown vs. the Breaking Bad season finale, which is a TV-drama I have never seen.

The Breaking Bad finale broke multiple records on its debut night with 10.3 millions viewers. It was even downloaded a 1/2 million times illegally. At the same moment as the show’s finale, Congress was moving to try and avoid a government shutdown. Titans within the House and Senate clashed with one another as debate raged on for hours.

Compromise could not be achieved and a shutdown was initiated. With so many lives being touched by a federal government shutdown, one would expect Americans to be alarmed and search for content related to the shutdown. On this evening Breaking Bad’s internet search volume (25) is 5x higher than government shutdown’s search volume (5). The next day (September, 30th) the letter from Obama’s executive office announcing the shutdown made headlines. However, Breaking Bad’s record setting traffic from the previous night also made headlines. Breaking Bad’s search volume (65) is 3x higher than “government shut down” (21). At this point, the government is officially shutdown.

Breaking Bad 1



Only two days after the finale did “government shutdown” overtake Breaking Bad, as seen below.

Breaking Bad 2

Breaking Bad (27) still has higher overall average search volume than” government shutdown” (26).

When specified for “News Search” Breaking Bad takes an even larger slice of the pie. (Image Below)

The morning after the finale Breaking Bad hit 100. Meanwhile, “government shutdown” was only at 24. Again, it was not until two days after the finale and the government shutdown had already been in place for quite some time did “government shutdown” overtake Breaking Bad. However, again- Breaking Bad (45) still has a higher overall average score than “government shutdown” (25).

Breaking Bad 3

These statistics were bound to the last 7 days and within the United States. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below-

White House Exploiting Control Of Agency Websites To Push Its Own Agenda?


We the People” is a government website where any American citizen can create and sign petitions pertaining to issues that they feel strongly about. “We the People” was created by the Obama administration in an effort to make the federal government more “open and participatory.”

The White House’s petition site is a grab bag of ideas of every kind — from the best to the worst, from intelligent to ludicrous. But it is still a mechanism for communicating with the federal government that many citizens have embraced.

It is unclear why, given its popularity and its symbolism for government responsiveness, it was pulled from the web earlier this week, ostensibly in reaction to the government shutdown.

Here is what currently shows up at the “We the People” page:

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 2.42.34 AM

While it’s possible to make sense of why “non-essential” employees are sent home and other services are closed during the government shutdown, it continues to boggle the mind why websites, the operations cost of which are negligible, have been shut down.

The petition website is just one example of the recent pattern.

The federal government has shut down, or otherwise put up, frightening messages on dozens of federal agency websites.


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The Library of Congress:

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The Department of Agriculture:
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It is hard to escape the suggestion that there is no real need for government agencies to shut down their sites. It is easy to imagine that what is happening is that the White House is taking advantage of its control over these sites to scare American people and to gain leverage in its one-sided bid to pin the blame for the current crisis on Congress.

Your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sarah Palin: Shutdown Is A Good Thing, “Let The Govt. Chill For A Little Bit”

Are you worried about the government shutdown?

Well, maybe you shouldn’t be.

According to Sarah Palin, a shutdown is not to fear. In fact, she argues that it might be a good thing.

While on Fox Business, Palin pointed out that the federal government shut down back in 1995 while Bill Clinton was “hooking up with Monica,” and nothing catastrophic happened. Instead, we ended up getting a balanced budget and welfare reform.

Palin also said that Republicans gained two seats in the Senate and continued to hold the House majority after the ’90s government shutdown.

“That sounds pretty good to me. Let government chill for a bit,” Palin said, suggesting that we might see some similar results this time around.

The shutdown will allow us to truly see how unnecessary and irrelevant many parts of the government are, Palin argued. She pointed out that all of the “non-essential” federal employees will not be working during the shutdown; if government employees are non-essential, why are they working at all?

She then blasted the mainstream media for creating a doomsday narrative to scare and vilify Republicans. The GOP must “not blink” or “allow the media to drive this whole narrative,” Palin cautioned.

Palin continues to be a controversial figure, no doubt. However, one can’t help but admit that she brings up some interesting points.

Perhaps we shouldn’t worry about a government shutdown. After all, as Ben Swann pointed out on Tuesday, it really won’t affect us much. “The mail will continue to come. The military will continue to be paid, Social Security checks will continue to be sent out and Veterans hospitals will remain open.”

Are you worried about the government shutdown? Tell us in the comments section below.

Obama Unwilling To Negotiate With House Republicans Amid Govt. Shutdown

In the midst of the government shutdown, there has been plenty of blame to go around. But is President Obama in the wrong for not negotiating with Republicans? More on that in a minute.

Right now, the House blames the Senate for being unwilling to compromise, while the Senate accuses the House of “holding the American people hostage” by refusing to fully fund and implement Obamacare.

Whatever the case may be, President Obama has made it clear that he is unwilling to “negotiate” with House Republicans, who are pushing for a one-year delay in Obamacare’s individual mandate.

President Obama reportedly told House Speaker John Boehner “I’m not going to negotiate. I’m not going to negotiate, I’m not going to do this.”

During an interview with NPR on Monday, Obama offered an explanation for why he will not make an offer to House Republicans as a compromise to avoid government shutdown. The President explained, “I shouldn’t have to offer [Republicans] anything. They’re not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That’s part of their basic function of government; that’s not doing me a favor. That’s doing what the American people sent them here to do, carrying out their responsibilities.”

Press Secretary Jay Carney has had to respond to tough questions from the press regarding Obama’s silence.
At a Monday press conference, reporter Ed Henry asked Carney why Obama has been unwilling to communicate with House Republicans. “Why don’t you at least talk to them, even if they’re wrong?” Henry asked.

After thanking Henry for his “reassertion of GOP talking points,” Carney responded, “Ed, maybe you didn’t catch up to what the president just said, but he said he would be talking to leaders of Congress. I have nothing new to report on the president’s schedule.”

That press conference was on Monday, and the president has yet to sit down and talk with House Republicans despite the federal government having shut down on Tuesday morning. Republicans have been making the claim that the President “is willing to talk with Iran but not with Republicans.” That of course is a talking point that has no merit. One case has nothing to do with the other.

When the federal government shut down in 1995, President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich communicated almost constantly until the government was back up and running, despite being fierce political enemies. Clinton and Gingrich likely exchanged more words in one day than President Obama has with the House Republicans since these current issues began.

But is President Obama wrong to not “negotiate”? After all, the President is right that Congress is attempting to stop a law that was legally passed, signed into law and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Millions of Americans are claiming that the law is bad for country, while millions more will be signing up for healthcare exchanges over the next few weeks.

Regardless of how we feel about this law, the Affordable Care Act IS the law of the land. Should any President be forced to negotiate over whether laws are enforced?

Breaking: Veterans Knock Down Barriers At WWII Memorial After It Is Closed During “Shutdown”

World War II Veterans taking part in an “honor flight” pushed their way into the national World War II Memorial, Tuesday. The memorial had been closed due to the federal government’s shutdown which began at 12:01 AM, Tuesday morning.


The honor flight is a national organization that provides free flights to and from Washington D.C. for World War II Veterans. For many of these veterans, this is the first and only time they have visited the National Memorial.

According to reports from Leo Shane, a reporter with Stars and Stripes, about 8-12 members of Congress distracted park police while the veterans knocked over barricades to gain entry to the memorial.


According to Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, in some cases, it was only police tape that separated the veterans from the Memorial. In that case, Bachmann says she cut the tape to allow entry for the vets.

Shane, reporting via twitter says that there has been no attempt to stop those vets from visiting the memorial. He goes on to post “maybe after the congressmen leave.”


Here is the Twitter page with more pictures and information:  https://twitter.com/LeoShane

What Does a Government “Shutdown” actually Shutdown? What You Need To Know

Congress didn’t approve a spending bill to fund the government as of midnight, which means right now, parts of the federal government are shutdown. So, what does this actually mean?

The fiscal year for the U.S. federal government runs October 1st – September 30th. In order to keep things functioning as normal, Congress needed to pass a temporary spending bill before October 1, 2013… they did not.

So what happens now?

Well, despite the claims of the sky falling as a result of the shutdown, not too much will change. The mail will continue to come. The military will continue to be paid, Social Security checks will continue to be sent out and Veterans hospitals will remain open.

Who decides which parts of the government remain open and which close?

That all comes down to the designation of “essential” and “non-essential” parts of government. Of the roughly 3.3 million government employees, most are considered “essential” therefore, the shutdown will not affect them in the long-term. The “essential” employees will be paid regardless of how long the shutdown continues but their checks may be delayed. At the end of the shutdown, those employees should receive retroactive pay. That is not the case, however, for the roughly 1.5 million active duty military members who will be paid no matter what.

In addition, those who will continue to be paid during the shutdown, the President and members of Congress, though members of their respective staffs could be furloughed because they might be considered “non-essential”. Congressional pay cannot be touched.

Which parts of the government will remain open?

Any employee or office who provide a “national security” function or “foreign relations essential to national security” are exempt. Therefore, military is still paid and U.S. embassies will remain open.

Also, the U.S. Border Patrol will continue to operate along with air traffic control, federal prisons, federal law enforcement, operation of the power grid, and guarding of federal property. Why? Because any employee who conducts “essential activities that protect life and property” are also exempt from the shutdown.

Which parts of the government will close?

About 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed and told stay at home and the affect of the shutdown will be felt largely among the National Parks Service, and museums. Also, the servicing of passport applications will be delayed and paying out of Small Business Administration loans, will halt. In addition, financial regulators for the FTC will not be working and the Justice Department will suspend many civil cases.

The last time a government shutdown took place was 1996. At that time, under President Bill Clinton the government was shutdown for 21 days.