First Shutdown Theater Lawsuit Is Filed

enhanced-buzz-8224-1381347313-18

You remember #ShutdownTheater right?

When the government was briefly shut down, last Fall, over ObamaCare, the Regime went all out to make sure Americans felt the maximum amount of pain, so they could blame it all on Republicans. If Obama’s “signature achievement”, ObamaCare wasn’t so damn unpopular, Democrats would be using the government shutdown in their reelection campaigns. But as the shutdown happened in order to spare the populous of the dreadful law, Dems aren’t eager to remind them of it. Moreover, the new HHS Sec,  is the OMB  bureaucrat who shut down our National Parks during the budget impasse.  Do Dems really want to remind everyone how she tried to bar World War II vets from their memorial, and stopped tourists from looking at the Grand Canyon?

As Bryan Preston at PJ Media, notes, “the federal government has shut down over standoffs between Congress and the president more than a dozen times over the years, but only in 2013 did the feds take the extra measure of closing parks and monuments. The Obama administration rented barricades and placed them at the entrances to public spaces — even if those spaces were unmanned, and were just scenic parking spots.”

The Obama administration also shut down war memorials that are not even staffed. When the feds used rented Barrycades to close down the historic Claude Moore Colonial Farm, well, it was on. Farm director Anna Eberly got everyone’s attention with her email to farm supporters, in which she noted that “For the first time in 40 years, the National Park Service (NPS) has finally succeeded in closing the Farm down to the public. In previous budget dramas, the Farm has always been exempted since the NPS provides no staff or resources to operate the Farm.”

The Farm is a non-profit, but the fact is, the NPS’ actions hurt several for-profit businesses that exist by contract on federal park land. During previous shutdown standoffs, those parks were never shut down and those businesses remained open. But the 2013 shutdown was different.

 Hans Bader filed suit this week because the NPS appears to be violating the Freedom of Information Act.

On Tuesday night, I filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service for failing to produce documents in response to two pairs of Freedom of Information Act requests. Those requests, sent on October 9 by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), dealt with these agencies’ closures of private businesses and privately-run tourist attractions in the 2013 federal government shutdown, and also with their closures of public monuments and spaces (which were closed down, even though they often are open to the public even when no federal employee is on the premises).

The agencies have neither produced documents, nor set an estimated date for when they will be produced, nor indicated how many documents they might produce, even though FOIA contains a 20-day deadline for an agency to comply with a FOIA request. They have not provided the basic information that FOIA requires within that deadline, such as saying how many documents they expect to produce (or, if the documents are exempt from disclosure, how many they will withhold), even though that information is required under the appeals court ruling in C.R.E.W. v. F.E.C. (2013).

Preston thinks Bader’s FOIA strike is only the beginning.

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watchers Council Results

watchers082412

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“So much gets lost in the translation. Even if you sat there listening to it with a microscope, there’s no way you’re gonna find out what it means.” -Frank Zappa

“Give me four years to teach the children and
the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” -Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

“Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.” -John Dewey, one of the founders of American public education.

Right Planet

This week’s winner, The Right Planet’sJourney to the Center of the Common Core – Pt. 1 is great analysis of something few of us know much about, but should because of the radical effect it will have on society. Here’s a slice:

There has been a lot of talk and news lately about Common Core (CC)—specifically, the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), i.e. national standards for education. Whether you have children in school or not, CCSSI affects every American, in one way or the other. One could say Common Core represents a radical bureaucratic “revolution” in education. Although proponents claim Common Core is a States’ or local initiative, it is, in many ways, a great “bait and switch” that flew underneath the radar of many Americans.

There are several reasons I decided to write on the subject of Common Core standards. The primary reason was to ask the who, what, why, where, when and how. I know a number of people don’t know much about Common Core. As a matter of fact, the other night I heard Bill O’Reilly say on his show on Fox that he didn’t know much about Common Core standards. Ironically, O’Reilly was also discussing the possibility of Jeb Bush as a potential presidential candidate in 2016. Jeb Bush is a prominent figure behind Common Core, which I will get into later.

A well-informed and educated populace tends toward a well-informed electorate. A sick culture will produce a sick body politic. Teaching children and young adults how to think, and not what to think, is what I believe the goal of learning and education should be. But the very paradigm and definition of “learning” is being redefined in the Common Core standards. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” The authors of Common Core understand and comprehend Lincoln’s words quite well.

Secondly, I discovered quite a bit of interlock in my research into the philosophy and ideology of Marxism with the current proposed Common Core standards. Additionally—and some would say, naturally—I experienced this same interlock phenomenon in examining the aims and goals of the United Nations—specifically, the goals of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), among other U.N. initiatives, particularly those concerning “climate change” and “environmental sustainability,” i.e. Agenda 21.


sustainable-development-real-driver

The interlock between Common Core and educational goals and initiatives laid out earlier in the Twentieth Century by progressive educators like John Dewey, Charles Hubbard Judd, George Counts, Stanley H. Hall—and even Soviet psychologist Lev Vykotsky, whose theories on learning are based on the communal process (now lovingly referred to as “collaborative learning“)—is quite compelling.

Writing this article has been challenging on several fronts. Not only are there numerous educational issues surrounding CC, there are also a plethora of social, cultural and economic issues swirling around the debate on Common Core. Many of these social, cultural and economic components have already been folded into the Common Core curriculum, hence the controversy.

When one studies who the major players are behind Common Core, I would say more on the left support CC than on the right. But you really have to throw out the right-left paradigm, in my opinion, when it comes to CC. Common Core is not a right-left thing, per se; it is a progressive, globalist, collectivist thing. There are members from both the right-side and the left-side of the aisle who have a stake in pushing Common Core standards, for various reasons and motives. Some of them might be described as the “usual suspects,” but others might surprise you, as we will see later in this article.

UNESCO

Since my intent is to try and provide a detailed, yet concise, overview of the who, what, where, when, why and how on Common Core, while exploring a bit of the philosophy and historical origins behind CC standards, and the corroboration of CC standards with the aims and goals of Marxists from my own research, I decided it might be best to structure the article by stepping back into time from the present to the past—meaning, by first looking at the who, what, where, when, why and how of Common Core, and then exploring its origins, aims and goals.

Much more at the link..read and be informed.

In our non-Council category, the runaway winner was Mark Steyn with The slow death of free speechsubmitted by The Noisy Room. It’s Steyn at his best, writing about how big government and progressive fascism is encroaching on our traditional liberty, a subject he knows about first hand.

OK, here are this week’s full results. The Independent Sentinel, Simply Jews and Rhymes With Rightwere unable to vote this week, but only Rhymes With Right was affected by the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty.:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us onTwitter…..’cause we’re cool like that!

 

Corrupt Ex-DHS IG Placed on Leave After Senate Probe Finds He Altered Reports (Video)

Another day, another massive Obama administration scandal. This time, it’s about the Regime’s corrupt, in the tank, not-so-independent Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security. He fulfilled a very important role in 2012, which as you may remember, was a big election year. Tasked with keeping watch over the DHS,  he  instead kept a watch-out watch-out for his pals in the department, covering up scandalous behavior.

Via Fox News:

A subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs released a scathing report on Thursday that effectively confirmed many of the ethical allegations that have trailed Charles Edwards ever since he resigned his post in December as acting DHS inspector general. The report determined that he “jeopardized the independence” of his office by socializing with senior DHS officials and had reports “altered or delayed” to accommodate the department he was supposed to oversee.

In the wake of the report, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that Edwards, who after leaving the acting IG post took a different job at DHS, would be placed on administrative leave.

The report also included, though did not confirm, allegations that Edwards’ office sat on information about the 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal that could “influence an election.”

“An Office of Inspector General is intended to be beyond reproach. The problems in that office were allowed to persist for far too long,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said in a statement.

Asked about the allegations on Thursday, Edwards told FoxNews.com his office “was independent” — but he declined to comment further.

Edwards’ attorney is claiming that the bipartisan report is the product “of a predetermined investigation,” and faulted lawmakers for “declaring last year that his client acted improperly without giving him a chance to be interviewed.”  Because the Democratic controlled Senate is so known for being hard on fellow Democrats in the Obama administration.

“The report is full of characterizations and supposition which are not supported by the record in this case,” Lease said in a statement. “The report often cites to testimony or other materials which have been quoted out of context and provide a misleading impression. Mr. Edwards worked diligently to maintain the independence and integrity of the Office of the Inspector General during his tenure as Acting and Deputy Inspector General.”

The report paints the picture of an office torn apart by personal vendettas and political games. It included allegations that Edwards’ office retaliated against workers who spoke out and, in the words of one unnamed official, that Edwards himself cultivated a “toxic, totally dysfunctional and oppressive” work environment. One official told Senate investigators that the work atmosphere was one of “complete terror.”

Don’t worry, though. Eric Holder’s Justice Department has leaped into action. Holder’s got his best men on the case,  and they’re –they’re — —

Oh, who the hell am I kidding?

Holder’s not doing anything, nor is he expected to do anything.

On Fox with Greta Van Susteren, Thursday night, National Journal’s Ron Fournier said that the Obama’s administration thinks it can continue ignoring scandals  because it hasn’t perceived any price has been paid.

“They think they’ve skirted by on these scandals,” because Obama hasn’t been impeached, Fournier said Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record With Greta Van Susteren.” 

But there are consequences, Fournier argued: Obama’s credibility and personal approval ratings have tanked

“He’s going to pay for this in the long term,” the naive  Fournier said.

But  New York Times’ Michael Shear understands how the game is played. He argued that the public’s attention span in “this Internet-fueled world” is so short that the White House is counting on putting Edwards on administrative leave, and the next day “we’ll be on to the next story.” 

Next week, the MSM will have forgotten about this and in a month, it will be known as another Republican fueled “phony scandal.”

Oh –and I forgot to mention – the Regime will only succeed in running out the clock because  media lapdogs like Michael Shear and Ron Fournier will let them.