Cyberattacks on federal government on the rise

As a growing number of Americans rely on government websites to handle their taxes or sign up for healthcare, a new report from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) raises questions about how secure the government is keeping online information.

The OMB report details a 15 percent increase in cyberattacks on the government for fiscal 2014, bringing the total number of incidents to a record of 70,000.

While cyberattacks often involve phishing scams and denial of service attacks, OMB investigators said the biggest cyber threat comes from government employees’ mishandling of online documents containing personal information.

Another major concern is that many agencies lack authentication procedures to keep information stored on their servers safe.

McConnell suggests states ignore forthcoming EPA rules

In a letter published Tuesday by the Lexington Herald-Leader, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) advised states not to start down a path toward compliance with the Obama administration’s forthcoming environmental regulations on the energy industry.

Saying the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) controversial rules to cut CO2 emissions is “probably illegal,” McConnell warned that states whose leaders oppose the climate regulations may lock themselves in to playing by the administration’s rules if they submit a plan — any plan — outlining their intent to comply (or not comply) with the EPA mandate.

“Don’t be complicit in the administration’s attack on the middle class,” wrote McConnell:

Think twice before submitting a state plan — which could lock you in to federal enforcement and expose you to lawsuits — when the administration is standing on shaky legal ground and when, without your support, it won’t be able to demonstrate the capacity to carry out such political extremism.

Arizona lawmaker seeks end to ban on short-barreled shotguns, silencers and nunchakus

A Republican state senator in Arizona proposed legislation this week that would end a ban on sawed-off shotguns, silencers and nunchakus in the state.

Sen. Kelli Ward (R-Lake Havasu City), a prolific gun rights legislator, introduced the proposal as an amendment to a separate bill aimed at restoring firearm ownership rights to felons when a judge determines they have served their time.

Ward’s amendment:

IF A JUDGMENT OF GUILT IS SET ASIDE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION THE PERSON’S RIGHT TO POSSESS A GUN OR FIREARM IS RESTORED. THIS SUBSECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO A PERSON WHO WAS CONVICTED OF A SERIOUS OFFENSE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 13-706. IF A PERSON’S RIGHT TO POSSESS A GUN OR FIREARM IS RESTORED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION D OF THIS SECTION, THE PERSON MAY POSSESS:

  1. A DEVICE THAT IS DESIGNED, MADE OR ADAPTED TO MUFFLE THE REPORT OF A FIREARM.

Bibi destroys Iran and Obama with one masterful speech

Hi. I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty.

Wasn’t that refreshing? Don’t you wish we had Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu as president instead of Barack Obama? I took a sampling among my friends — all smart, educated business owners, men of substance. Every one of them said if they had a choice, they’d choose Bibi over Obama for president… of the United States.

The media will concentrate on the substance of the Israeli prime minister’s speech. But let’s first look at the style. I am a business and motivational speaker who speaks all over the globe, often to audiences in the thousands. I understand communication, charisma, chutzpah and salesmanship. Bibi gets an A+ in all four categories. He delivered the speech of a lifetime.

Love and hate

(I began publishing my monthly newsletter The Bob Livingston Letter™ in 1969. The following is an excerpt from the March 1998 issue in which I warned readers about the nation’s slide toward immorality and wickedness and the responsibility Christians have to recognize evil and condemn it for what it is, or face the consequences.

Many times, Mrs. Livingston and I have discussed love and hate.

We think that the masses of professing Christians think that they are supposed to love their enemies, even love God’s enemies. This love-love teaching is not a Biblical doctrine. It is an esoteric teaching designed to neutralize Christians so that they do not and cannot discriminate between good and evil. Need we explain that once we are neutralized with the love-love syndrome, then evil takes over.

There is no neutral doctrine in the scripture. Either we love or hate. Either God loves or hates.

Netanyahu’s blockbuster speech to Congress

No wonder Barack Obama and his team of sycophants didn’t want Israel’s prime minister to address a joint session of Congress. They were afraid that Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s powerful, passionate presentation would make Obama’s own stumbling, apologetic efforts look pathetic by comparison.

If that was their concern, boy, were they right. On Tuesday, Netanyahu delivered what has been described as “a speech for the ages.” It left a lot of viewers, including this one, wishing that our own president were half as eloquent about defending our country and promoting our interests.

The Israeli leader made it unmistakably clear exactly what is at stake in the current negotiations with Iran. “The greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons,” he declared. “To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle but lose the war.”

While Obama Guts The U.S. Military, Russia Prepares For War

Russian Nuclear Missile To Be Personally Delivered To ObamaThe Russian military and the U.S. military are going in two very different directions.  Military spending in Russia is increasing by a whopping 33 percent this year alone, and the Russians are feverishly preparing as if a major war with the United States is inevitable.  But despite the fact that the conflict in Ukraine has raised tensions with Russia to Cold War levels, the Obama administration is still acting as if we were living in a “post-Cold War” era.  Even while the Russians are arming themselves to the teeth, the U.S. military is being gutted.  In fact, the U.S. Army is in the process of being cut down to the smallest size that we have seen since the end of World War II, and the U.S. Navy is already the smallest that it has been since World War I.  There is very little political debate about this gutting of our military at the moment, but someday we may look back and bitterly regret not being more prepared.

China Has Announced Plans For A ‘World Currency’

Chinese World CurrencyThe Chinese do not plan to live in a world dominated by the U.S. dollar for much longer.  Chinese leaders have been calling for the U.S. dollar to be replaced as the primary global reserve currency for a long time, but up until now they have never been very specific about what they would put in place of it.  Many have assumed that the Chinese simply wanted some new international currency to be created.  But what if that is not what the Chinese had in mind?  What if they have always wanted their own currency to become the single most dominant currency on the entire planet?  What you are about to see is rather startling, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.  When it comes to economics and finance, the Chinese have always been playing chess while the western world has been playing checkers.  Sadly, we have gotten to the point where checkmate is on the horizon.

China Has Announced Plans For A ‘World Currency’

Chinese World CurrencyThe Chinese do not plan to live in a world dominated by the U.S. dollar for much longer.  Chinese leaders have been calling for the U.S. dollar to be replaced as the primary global reserve currency for a long time, but up until now they have never been very specific about what they would put in place of it.  Many have assumed that the Chinese simply wanted some new international currency to be created.  But what if that is not what the Chinese had in mind?  What if they have always wanted their own currency to become the single most dominant currency on the entire planet?  What you are about to see is rather startling, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.  When it comes to economics and finance, the Chinese have always been playing chess while the western world has been playing checkers.  Sadly, we have gotten to the point where checkmate is on the horizon.

Did Eric Hoteham and/or Hillary Clinton commit a felony by secreting State email on a homebrew server?

By now you probably know about the latest scandal involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — the one about how she opted out of the (legally not-optional) use of government email so that she could do all of her State Department work on an email server that was stored inside her New York house, safe from FOIA requests and federal data pulls.

Will it be another “soft” scandal or will the focus shift quickly — as it should — on whether Clinton violated real laws? Given the mainstream media’s tendencies, that’s uncertain. But the conservative media is already asking substantive questions. If substantive answers come, this scandal may take a very different turn from all the others.

Here’s National Review’s Shannen Coffin:

So was the use of private e-mail allowed when Clinton was secretary? Well, sure, at least to some extent. I suspect every federal employee has, at some time, used a private e-mail account to conduct business. But that doesn’t excuse failure to comply with the Federal Records Act.

Americans are ready for war with ISIS

Poll after poll has shown that Americans are incredibly war-weary after more than a decade of conflict in the Middle East and little to show for the trouble. But new data illustrates that when it comes to ISIS, Americans want boots on the ground to eliminate the terror threat.

A Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday shows Americans favor sending ground troops to battle ISIS in Iraq and Syria by a 2-to-1 margin, with 60 percent in support and 30 percent who oppose the idea.

The new poll represents a change in opinion since last summer when headlines about ISIS atrocities first began cropping up. A WSJ/NBC poll at the time found just 37 percent support for the use of ground troops, though there was majority support for other military action against the terror group.

Quinnipiac’s latest numbers are also remarkable because they show support for using ground troops is high across all party, gender and age groups.

Update: Maryland sides against ‘free-range’ parents with finding of child neglect

In January, police in Maryland launched an investigation into the parenting practices of Alexander and Danielle Meitiv, a self-described “free-range” parenting couple who had allowed their two children to walk unsupervised on a mile-long trek from a local park to their home.

Now the Meitivs have been flagged by Montgomery County (Maryland) Child Protective Services (CPS) for “unsubstantiated” child neglect.

That isn’t exactly a crime, but neither is it a consequence-free finding. According to The Washington Post, a finding of unsubstantiated neglect places the Meitivs on a CPS watch file for at least five years, “and leaves open the question of what would happen if the Meitiv children get reported again for walking without adult supervision.”

The Meitivs’ two children were 10 and 6 years old at the time of their fateful walk home. The parents were adamant that their children’s exercise in freedom wasn’t a symptom of parental carelessness or neglect; rather, it resulted from a conscientious and considered decision about what kind of children they wanted to raise.

Immigration union leader says terrorists are crossing U.S. borders

The head of one of the nation’s largest immigration-related employee unions warned Americans this week that President Barack Obama’s lax immigration policies are opening the nation up to a terror attack on par with 9/11.

According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) head Kenneth Palinkas, the inability of immigration officials to thoroughly vet each of the thousands of new immigrants to the U.S. under Obama’s policies could help potential terrorists set the stage for “an even more catastrophic event then what occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.”

Palinkas has long criticized lax immigration policies. He joined the heads of several other employee unions whose members deal with immigration back in 2013 to speak out against the bipartisan Gang of Eight immigration plan, which he said would turn his employees into rubber stampers.

Keystone is kaput because Washington is Saudi Arabia’s bagman

President Barack Obama cut short his trip to democratic India five weeks ago after giving that nation a lecture on human rights. In Delhi he challenged its leaders to do more to protect religious minorities and encourage women in Indian society. Unfortunately, Obama had to climb down from his high horse on human rights and rush off on Air Force One to the Mecca of human rights abuses.

The saying “if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain” is apt because Obama brought a delegation of 27 Washington insiders to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The group included Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and several veterans of Republican administrations, including two former secretaries of state, James A. Baker III and Condoleezza Rice.

Feds unveil Common Core for local cops

Details unveiled in an interim report on the Obama administration’s plan to restructure law enforcement throughout the United States hint that federal involvement could soon increase greatly in the day-to-day operations of small-town police departments.

“We have a great opportunity… to really transform how we think about community law enforcement relations,” President Obama said as the report was released Monday.

“We need to seize that opportunity… this is something that I’m going to stay very focused on in the months to come,” he added.

The president’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing calls for a series of changes in the way community police departments operate and offers a plan to tie federal funding to cooperation with the changes.

“The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services [COPS] and Office of Justice Programs, should provide technical assistance and incentive funding to jurisdictions with small police agencies that take steps towards shared services, regional training, and consolidation,” the report states.

The Breakdown Of U.S.-Israeli Relations Brings Us Several Steps Closer To World War III

World War III - Public DomainIn the past 40 years, we have never been closer to World War III than we are today.  If you ask Americans to name what area of the globe they believe World War III will begin, the number one choice by a landslide would probably be the Middle East.  And thanks to the stunning breakdown of U.S.-Israeli relations, we are now closer to that war than we have been in decades.  Since the 1970s, the United States has served as the major buffer between Israel and her Islamic neighbors.  Israel has trusted the United States to protect it, and Israel’s enemies have known that an all-out assault on Israel would be fruitless because the U.S. military would step in.  When a minor conflict has erupted in the region, the United States has always rushed in diplomatically to settle things down.  But now the relationship between the Israeli government and the Obama administration is near a breaking point, and tensions in the Middle East just continue to intensify.  At this moment, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu no longer trusts Barack Obama to do what is right for Israel, and it is an open secret that Obama pretty much despises Netanyahu.  And during his speech to Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu once again made it abundantly clear that his government will never, ever allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.  If Israel believes that Iran is even getting close, Israel will attack.  But instead of trying to prevent this from happening, Barack Obama is negotiating a deal with Iran that would give the Iranians pretty much everything that they want and would allow them to build all the nukes they desire in about ten years.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that this is a “bad deal”, and he is right.

Would privatized police be better police?

Recent reports indicate that the number of private citizens doing police work is on the rise throughout the nation. And though many people have concerns about lack of training and oversight, private police advocates point to stories of success in places where law enforcement has been privatized.

The Washington Post late last month published a report detailing the rise of private police, or conservators of the peace as designated by English common law, in states throughout the nation.

From the report:

The number of “special conservators of the peace” — or SCOPs, as they are known — has doubled in Virginia over the past decade to roughly 750, according to state records.

The growth is mirrored nationally in the ranks of private police, who increasingly patrol corporate campuses, neighborhoods and museums as the demand for private security has increased and police services have been cut in some places.

Would privatized police be better police?

Recent reports indicate that the number of private citizens doing police work is on the rise throughout the nation. And though many people have concerns about lack of training and oversight, private police advocates point to stories of success in places where law enforcement has been privatized.

The Washington Post late last month published a report detailing the rise of private police, or conservators of the peace as designated by English common law, in states throughout the nation.

From the report:

The number of “special conservators of the peace” — or SCOPs, as they are known — has doubled in Virginia over the past decade to roughly 750, according to state records.

The growth is mirrored nationally in the ranks of private police, who increasingly patrol corporate campuses, neighborhoods and museums as the demand for private security has increased and police services have been cut in some places.

Spin effort backfires on Clinton Foundation ethics report

Damage control works only if it mitigates the original damage without creating more of it. So the U.S. State Department didn’t do Hillary Clinton any favors last week when it rushed to her defense over a report that the former secretary had violated established ethics rules by allowing the Clinton Foundation to accept donations from foreign governments while she was serving as secretary of state.

The original damage came when The Washington Post reported last week that the Clinton Foundation had accepted “millions of dollars” in donations from foreign governments at the same time that a handful of those governments were actively lobbying the State Department.

That represents an obvious conflict of interest for an official like Clinton, who occupied a cabinet position representing U.S. foreign policy interests while simultaneously fielding money offers for the family charity from governments that also wooed her at her day job. The Obama administration constructed an ethics contract based on Clinton’s unique position before she started at State.

Just another example of totally legal cronyism at its finest

The New York Senate is presently weighing whether to include a green-energy biofuel mandate into the state budget Gov. Andrew Cuomo has put together for 2016, and a consortium of Republicans in the state senate — driven by the self-serving machinations of a wealthy Republican donor — are leading the charge for its inclusion.

According to the New York Post, the biofuel mandate could bump the annual cost of energy for New Yorkers by $150 million per year, and it’s being pushed by the owner of an energy company that just so happens to be constructing the largest biofuel processing facility in the northeastern U.S.

From the Post:

[State] Senate Republicans, under pressure from maverick supermarket billionaire John Catsimatidis, are trying to slip a “green biofuels” mandate into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new budget that could add $150 million a year to heating costs in New York, business sources have told The Post.