December 19th, 2014 at 2:38 pm
Google Seeks to Exploit Sony Cyberattack for Its Own Self-Interest
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

The Sony cyberattack – apparently state-sponsored – obviously raises solemn concerns, including national security and the very safety of American citizens.

Accordingly, immediate public discussion should focus primarily upon the gravity of the attack and how the Internet, one of the most transformative and beneficial innovations in human history, can sometimes become a tool for those with destructive and even deadly intent.  While Sony Pictures, its employees, and its customers were the immediate victims this time, the reality is that this could happen to anyone and any enterprise.  In fact, such attacks on other companies and individuals occur at an alarmingly accelerating pace.

Leave it to Google, however, to attempt to profit from the attack and leverage it on behalf of its own self-interest.

Instead of joining the rest of the responsible online community in addressing the important issues of cybersecurity and the way in which the Internet is increasingly exploited to invade privacy, commit theft, sabotage and even terrorize, Google seeks to malign a very serious investigation into its own questionable Internet conduct.  Specifically, it remains under scrutiny by federal and state authorities for years of alleged anticompetitive conduct and invasion of privacy, as well as for potentially facilitating theft, fraud, illicit sale of drugs and even human trafficking.  The allegations are obviously serious, and Google is even more obviously worried enough about them to exploit the Sony cyberattack for its benefit.

Google even resurrected the SOPA corpse, which in its case is an acronym not for the Stop Online Piracy Act, but rather Same Old Predictable Arguments.  And rather than adhering to its self-proclaimed motto “Don’t Be Evil,” acting like a responsible participant in the Internet ecosystem and joining the condemnation and fight against cyberthreats, it is instead attempting some sleight of hand by highlighting materials leaked in the Sony attack to trot out stale arguments about “censorship across the web” and somehow breaking the Internet to obfuscate ongoing investigations into its behavior.  For instance, it highlights documents apparently stolen from Sony’s network and purportedly relating to internal strategy discussions among movie studios regarding how judicial remedies under current law might be employed to target websites trafficking in stolen content and operating illegal businesses that profit from the work of others.

That sort of strategy would actually be the polar opposite of SOPA, which was new federal legislation to change the law in order to more effectively target online piracy.  In contrast, discussions focused upon existing judicial remedies to “follow the money” to curb online content theft are precisely what the critics of SOPA argued the studios should pursue.  More broadly, the ongoing investigations into Google, and the judicial strategies the studios appear to have been considering are not about “regulating the Internet” or changing the way it operates.  Rather, they are about applying existing law to rightfully combat illegal conduct that happens to occur on the Internet.  The fact that it is occurring online doesn’t make it any more legal or sympathetic than if it was occurring in the physical realm.

Oddly, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt even made a puzzling trip to North Korea in 2013 over the objections of the State Department, which labeled it unhelpful and “ill-timed.”  Schmidt encouraged North Korea to more actively embrace the Internet, but perhaps he should’ve followed the adage, “be careful what you wish for.”

Regardless, whether one favored or opposed SOPA – and we detailed at the time how the criticisms were largely uninformed or flatly dishonest – Google shouldn’t be trying to pull a fast one.  We should instead transcend its transparent rhetoric and focus on the important issue at hand:  What responsible Internet stakeholders should be doing to strengthen our bulwarks against cyberattack, and to avoid facilitating illicit behavior on the Internet.


December 19th, 2014 at 10:28 am
Podcast: 46% of Doctors Give ObamaCare a “D” or “F” Grade
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Dr. Jeffrey Singer, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute and Doc Squads Member, discusses the “2014 Survey of American Physicians,” how ObamaCare is disrupting the doctor-patient relationship and worsening the quality of patients’ care, and how increased use of emergency rooms result in a hidden tax.

Listen to the interview here.


December 19th, 2014 at 10:02 am
Mukasey: CIA Interrogations Followed the Law
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

We explained last week how the Feinstein “Torture Report” constituted governmental malpractice for a variety of reasons, including its failure to interview any of the relevant former CIA directors, deputy directors or officials who had briefed them on the enhanced interrogation techniques, and in its preposterous and counterfactual denial of the interrogations’ fruitfulness.  Largely overlooked in current debate, however, is how too many people carelessly assume that the approved interrogation techniques constituted “torture” or failed to meet the applicable legal standards.

Enter former U.S. Attorney General and District Judge Michael Mukasey.

In a searing must-read commentary this week in The Wall Street Journal, Mukasey explains that the interrogations followed the law:

It is stunning to hear those now criticizing the program issue the solemn reminder that ‘we are a nation of laws’ – while devoting little attention to what was actually in those laws.  Odder still, among the critics those who wrote the laws seem to devote the least attention to them…  Laws are a technical business in which both terminology and chronology play a part.  So if the law that criminalizes torture defines it in a certain way, that definition – and no more – is what it is, punditry and cocktail-party figures of speech notwithstanding.”

Mukasey proceeds to state that the applicable law requires an intent to cause “severe physical mental pain or suffering,” how the techniques used did not violate that rule as determined by courts or the law’s text, how we apply those same techniques to our own troops during military training, how Senator Feinstein herself was briefed on the techniques and how she unsuccessfully attempted to change the law to make those techniques illegal.  If they violated existing law, then she obviously wouldn’t have needed to propose that change.

He then illustrates how, if the interrogation techniques in question constituted “torture,” then it wouldn’t be the case that so many have voluntarily subjected themselves to them in the intervening years:

If she is looking for a ‘common meaning’ of torture, how about something like a procedure to which no rational person would submit voluntarily?  More journalists have tried the experience of being waterboarded than terrorists were subjected to it.  That wouldn’t be the case if, for example, we were talking about needles under fingernails.”

Finally, he wisely notes that while Senator John McCain (R – Arizona) is often lauded as a particular authority on what constitutes “torture” due to his own experience as a prisoner of war, “Others with credentials similar to Sen. McCain’s, including Medal of Honor recipients and fellow Vietnam prisoners of war Leo Thorsness and Bud Day, believe in the efficacy and morality of waterboarding.”  It’s an excellent piece that re-centers the ongoing debate upon the actual legal standards, as opposed to sloppy and easy shorthand employed by people like Senator Feinstein and many in the mainstream media.


December 18th, 2014 at 8:25 pm
Video: Governing by Crisis
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino points to the recently passed “Cromnibus” as the latest example of politicians in Washington governing by crisis and explains that when laws are too big to be read or understood, they’ll always be invitations to corruption and the expansion of government power.   


December 18th, 2014 at 11:06 am
Citing Costs, Vermont Shelves Single Payer Health System
Posted by Ashton Ellis Print

Vermont will not push forward with its plan to launch a state-based single payer health care system in 2017, reports the Daily Caller.

Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin made the announcement on Wednesday, citing several factors.

Among the most important were changes in financing assumptions. Vermont had been counting on infusions of federal funding to buoy the program, but confirmed that it overshot its estimates by a whopping $311 million. Without the expected seed money of federal tax dollars there’s not enough start-up capital needed to get the project going.

The other blow to Vermont’s single payer scheme – to be called Green Mountain Care – is its lack of financial sustainability. In order to make the enterprise successful, Vermont would need to levy tax hikes like an 11.5 percent payroll tax and an income tax up to 9.5 percent. Those changes would likely kill business development in the state, eroding the tax base necessary to pay for Green Mountain Care.

Though the time, money and effort poured into this failed experiment have been costly, it will hopefully serve as a reality check for government officials to abandon the impossible and instead focus on implementing tangible policies that can improve lives now.


December 17th, 2014 at 2:34 pm
Fed Judge Says Obama’s Amnesty Unconstitutional
Posted by Ashton Ellis Print

A federal district judge has said that President Barack Obama’s amnesty program for illegal immigrants violates the U.S. Constitution.

The only question: Does it matter?

Judge Arthur Schwab, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a ruling yesterday saying that, “President Obama’s executive action goes beyond prosecutorial discretion because: (a) it provides for a systematic and rigid process by which a broad group of individuals will be treated differently than others based upon arbitrary classifications, rather than case-by-case examination; and (b) it allows undocumented immigrants, who fall within these broad categories, to obtain substantive rights.”

Unfortunately, however, Judge Schwab’s declaration may be little more than a non-binding advisory opinion. According to conservative law professor Jonathan Adler – one of the originators of the ObamaCare subsidies challenge now before the U.S. Supreme Court – Schwab’s ruling came after he requested supplemental briefing in a case trying to decide how to sentence an illegal immigrant for a non-immigration-related crime. Apparently, Schwab wanted to know if the defendant qualified for protection from deportation under Obama’s plan. Schwab then used the occasion to find the amnesty program unconstitutional.

While legal experts like Adler try to figure out how much to make of this opinion, Schwab’s ruling points to a larger issue. Namely, that major policy changes have major policy implications. For example, legal immigrants are finding out that creating exceptions for illegals increases the costs on the law-abiding.

Time will tell if Obama’s amnesty program has a negative impact on the federal court system as well.


December 12th, 2014 at 3:10 pm
New Congress Provides Perfect Opportunity for Broad Corporate Tax Reform
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In a recent speech before the Business Roundtable, an association of top business leaders from the nation’s largest corporations, President Obama addressed a variety of issues, including the critical matter of tax policy.  To his credit, he acknowledged there is a “deal to be done” when it comes to corporate tax reform.

But as we’ve often noted, it is important that any deal with the new Congress involve comprehensive reform, rather than just a series of short-term fixes.

At a rate exceeding 39%, American companies are subject to the highest corporate income tax in the developed world, far higher than the developed nation average rate of 25%.  On top of that, our firms face the burden of being taxed twice on profits earned overseas.  Whereas every company in the world pays tax in the nation where it earns profits, American companies are then subject to an additional domestic tax on those profits when repatriated.  That punitive process, known as our “worldwide tax regime,” is practiced by virtually no other country on Earth.

And unfortunately, what we’ve done in the past to address the problem is akin to treating a bullet wound exclusively with painkillers.  In other words, we’ve addressed the symptoms, but not the problem.

For example, recall the Treasury Department’s counterproductive decision earlier this fall on the issue of corporate tax inversions, imposing punitive new rules.  Corporate tax inversions constitute a perfectly logical response to the flawed system under which our economy’s biggest drivers are forced to work – one that is outdated and anti-competitive.  The Treasury Department’s new inversion rules will only serve to hamper American firms already disadvantaged by our sky-high domestic tax rates, they will drive even more companies and employers abroad and they will retroactively punish them for making sound, logical, completely legal business decisions.  Additionally, they threaten job growth in some of our most important sectors, as American firms become less competitive globally.

As another example, Obama in his post-election comments expressed support for a corporate tax holiday.  Such a corporate tax holiday – or repatriation – would allow companies with profits overseas to bring them back to the United States at a reduced tax rate.  His underlying motive wasn’t common-sense reform so much as the belief that the revenues could then be used for federal infrastructure spending.  But as a Congressional committee report found, tax holidays did not achieve that end, as confirmed by the experience of a previous tax holiday in 2004.

As these illustrations make painfully obvious, the bottom line is that our policymakers fail to understand the broader problem that hinders America’s economic growth and global tax competitiveness.

Fortunately, with the new Congress we now possess an excellent opportunity to make real progress, an opportunity to enact broader tax reform.  With a more simplified and competitive corporate tax code, we would add roughly 540,000 jobs and increase our national gross domestic product by $92 billion through 2032, according to a Heritage Foundation Report.  In addition, not only would we remove the obstacles that currently drive American companies (and the jobs they create) abroad along with their profits, but we would make the United States an even more attractive place for companies all over the globe to relocate and invest.

Finally, it should be noted that this is not an issue constrained by traditional political divisions, a typical divide between the left and the right.  Rather, it’s an issue that offers the opportunity for bipartisan and commonsense reform.  Accordingly, there’s no excuse not to finally get it done, thereby improving our economy, boosting jobs and making our code competitive with the rest of the world at long last.


December 11th, 2014 at 1:18 pm
Now, 24 States Are Suing to Stop Obama’s Unilateral Amnesty
Posted by Ashton Ellis Print

Nearly half of the States in America are now suing the Obama administration to stop the president’s unilateral and unconstitutional directive to grant temporary amnesty and work permits to as many as five million illegal immigrants.

Current Texas Attorney General and incoming Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, announced four new states joining the coalition he assembled that is seeking to have the federal courts halt a Department of Homeland Security directive that violates both the U.S. Constitution and federal law.

The latest roster includes: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

If this trend keeps up, it won’t take much longer for a majority of states to oppose what to all reasonable observers is an unprecedented power grab by this president.

Hopefully, the federal courts are listening.


December 11th, 2014 at 10:53 am
Pew: More Now Support Gun Rights than Gun Control
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Here’s some good news from Pew Research to interrupt the current sense that the world in which we live is collapsing into a smoldering heap:

For the first time in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, there is more support for gun rights than gun control.  Currently, 52% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, while 46% say it is more important to control gun ownership.  Support for gun rights has edged up from earlier this year, and marks a substantial shift in attitudes since shortly after the Newtown school shootings, which occurred two years ago this Sunday.”

Additionally, a healthy majority believes that firearms protect law-abiding citizens more than they create a safety risk:

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 3-7 among 1,507 adults, also finds a shift in attitudes about whether gun ownership in this country does more to protect people or put people’s safety at risk.  Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) say gun ownership does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, while 38% say it does more to endanger personal safety.  In the days after Newtown, 48% said guns do more to protect people and 37% said they placed people at risk.”

Just more confirmation that the American public demonstrates greater wisdom than our self-appointed shamans in the mainstream media and political classes.


December 9th, 2014 at 1:31 pm
Gruber Gets Gored
Posted by Ashton Ellis Print

Even though Jonathan Gruber did his best to apologize for his incredibly damaging – and seemingly accurate – remarks about how and why ObamaCare was drafted, there was no place to hide from the bipartisan rebuke he received today from the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.

Gruber is the now infamous MIT professor and erstwhile “architect” of Democrats’ signature health reform law that called American voters “stupid” for not understanding basic economics and the deceptive policies embedded in ObamaCare.

Gruber’s comments have incensed Republicans, but they’ve also infuriated Democrats. Of all the anger directed at Gruber today, perhaps none was more forceful than that erupting from Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the committee.

“As far as I can tell, we are here today to beat up on Jonathan Gruber for stupid – I mean absolutely stupid – comments he made over the last few years,” Cummings said. “Let me be clear, I am extremely frustrated with Dr. Gruber’s statements” because “They were irresponsibly, incredibly disrespectful, and did not reflect reality. And they were indeed insulting.”

We’ll see if any of this theater persuades the Supreme Court. Next spring the justices consider whether a section of ObamaCare should be interpreted, as written, to deny subsidies to citizens in 37 states that use the federal health insurance exchange. It’s an interpretation that Democrats oppose, but Gruber in at least one viral video adamantly confirms.

It’s been said that a political gaffe occurs when someone says the truth in public. Regarding ObamaCare’s deceptive elements, that may be Jonathan Gruber’s greatest offense.


December 8th, 2014 at 6:22 pm
ObamaCare’s ‘Stupid Voter’ Architect to Testify at GOP Hearing
Posted by Ashton Ellis Print

On Tuesday this week Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist and ObamaCare architect made infamous by a series of viral videos confirming suspicions of deceptive lawmaking, will appear before the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee.

It won’t be a pleasant meeting for Gruber.

Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has titled the hearing, “Examining ObamaCare Transparency Failures.”

The biggest issue will be whether Issa and his fellow Republicans can get Gruber to confirm his previous statement that ObamaCare only grants insurance subsidies to people in states that operate their own health exchange. That’s the central issue in the case going before the Supreme Court next spring, and if the justices accept it, much of ObamaCare could be gutted.

Liberals are already trying to get ahead of any Gruber confessions under oath that could undermine their landmark domestic policy.

In a long-read piece at Politico, a former Democratic staffer tries to minimize the impact of Gruber’s comments by first saying he wasn’t involved in the policymaking process. That’s a fair point.

But then the staffer seems to completely confirm Gruber’s main argument – that the disputed statutory language was deliberately concocted to confuse people who weren’t in on the backroom political calculations.

The Politico reporter sums up the staffer’s argument this way: “The point of having the ‘Balkanized’ approach – state health exchanges plus a federal one for states that didn’t build their own – was to appeal to centrist senators, he said, since most liberal Democrats would have been happy just to have a federal one.”

As the staffer explains it, “No one was willing to fall on their swords to make sure states ran their own exchanges.”

In other words, the text in the law that limits the flow of subsidies to state exchanges is nothing more than an Orwellian wordplay. It doesn’t mean what it says. Rather, it’s designed to give ‘centrist’ senators political cover for voting to do the exact opposite – give subsidies to everyone.

Confused? Gruber isn’t.

This new rationale sounds an awful lot like the “tortured” drafting of ObamaCare that takes advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter” that Gruber’s been saying for years.

Kudos for being honest. Now let’s see if he will remain so under oath.


December 8th, 2014 at 3:33 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Lineup
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CST to 6:00 p.m. CST (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.”  Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CST/5:00 pm EST: Patrick Hedger, Policy Director of American Encore – EPA and Carbon Emission Regulation;

4:15 CST/5:15 pm EST: Sean Noble, President of American Encore – Blueprint for Republican Presidential Victory in 2016;

4:30 CST/5:30 pm EST: Craig Shirley, President of Shirley & Bannister Public Affairs and author – What Should Conservatives Do?;

5:00 CST/6:00 pm EST:  Dr. Jeffrey Singer, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute and Doc Squads Member – “2014 Survey of American Physicians”; and

5:30 CST/6:30 pm EST:  Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs – Senator Rand Paul and Foreign Policy.

Listen live on the Internet here.   Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.


December 8th, 2014 at 10:24 am
“The U.S. Leads the World in Broadband” – Bret Swanson Debunks Net Neutrality Myths
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In an excellent commentary in today’s Wall Street Journal, AEI visiting fellow and Entropy Economics LLC president Bret Swanson debunks “the two central contentions of ‘net neutrality’ fans, including President Obama, who want the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet as a public utility.”  Specifically, the myths of “lagging U.S. broadband and the specter of content blocking.”

Swanson proceeds to demonstrate that neither of those rationalizations for net neutrality or regulation of Internet service under laws enacted in the 1930s is true:

…the U.S. generates far more traffic per capita and per Internet user than any other major nation save South Korea, which is a vertical metropolis and thus easy to wire with fiber optics.  U.S. traffic per capita is 2.1 times that of Japan and 2.7 that of Western Europe.  Several years ago, U.S. and Canadian traffic measures were similar, but today the U.S. has raced ahead by 25%.  The U.S. lead is similar in traffic per Internet user, which tends to reflect how intensely people use broadband and mobile connections.  The U.S. outdoes its closest European rival, the U.K. by 57%.  The U.S. outdoes all of Western Europe – the best comparison in terms of geography, population and economic development – by a factor of 2.5.”

He also rebuts the claim that U.S. broadband is comparatively slow or more expensive, and concludes that there’s no “problem” demanding an Obama Administration “fix”:

The U.S., with 4% of the world’s population, has 10% of its Internet users, 25% of its broadband investment and 32% of its consumer Internet traffic.  The U.S. policy of Internet freedom has worked.  Why does Washington want to intervene in a thriving market?”

It’s a good question, and an excellent piece.


December 5th, 2014 at 1:36 pm
Proposed Federal Legislation Banning Online Gaming in All 50 States Is a Bad Idea
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Here at the Center for Individual Freedom, we broadly favor the federalist and Tenth Amendment concept of states’ rights and individual liberty, as our name suggests.

Both principles are implicated in an emerging debate at the Congressional level.  Namely, proposed new legislation that would prohibit all 50 states and their citizens from allowing online poker and other gaming as they see fit.  That would upend states’ historical right to regulate gaming, and it would obviously mean yet further intrusion of federal power into individual Americans’ right to freely make their own entertainment choices and choose how to spend their own dollars.

Without getting to deep into the weeds, the Wire Act of 1961 was originally enacted to address interstate sports betting via telephone, partly an effort to fight organized crime in that domain.  In 2013, the Justice Department determined that the Wire Act is inapplicable to non-sports Internet wagering, based upon relevant caselaw and legislative history.  That confirmed that other forms of online poker and gaming remain properly in the realm of individual states to legislate.  It also accorded with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest court to consider the question, which had determined in 2002 that the Wire Act addresses sports gambling only.

On that reasoned basis, multiple states have authorized online poker and various other forms of Internet wagering for citizens within their own borders, with many more considering similar moves.

Unfortunately, that’s where the ill-advised new proposed federal legislation comes in.  The so-called Restoration of America’s Wire Act (H.R. 4301 in the House and S. 2159 in the Senate), which wouldn’t “restore” the Wire Act to its original meaning but rather significantly expand its reach contrary to the Fifth Circuit and Justice Department rulings, aims to impose a de facto prohibition on online gaming in all 50 states and thereby increase federal regulatory power.  Proponents claim that the new bill would protect children and problem gamers, but the more realistic consequence would be shutting down existing law-abiding companies and driving commerce toward criminal sites and unaccountable overseas entities less interested in restricting minors or problem gamers.

The better option is to maintain existing law, which rewards law-abiding domestic companies and ensures greater safety and security.  And as noted above, the proposed legislation would grossly violate the concepts of state sovereignty, free-market principles and individual consumer freedom.  The last thing we need right now is even more federal regulation of states and legal commerce, particularly within the flourishing Internet sector.

Conservatives, libertarians and Americans of every other political persuasion should therefore oppose the so-called Restoration of America’s Wire Act, and contact their Senators and Representatives to demand the same.


December 5th, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Obama’s Immigration Amnesty Is NOT an Executive Order
Posted by Ashton Ellis Print

My hat is off to Jerome Corsi at World Net Daily for confirming that President Barack Obama’s unilateral and unconstitutional immigration amnesty that affects up to five million illegal immigrants was not, in fact, given as part of an executive order.

Instead, what Obama signed in Las Vegas on November 21 – the day after he announced his intent to grant a temporary halt to some deportations and provide work permits – were documents much different.

“One was a presidential proclamation creating a White House Task Force on New Americans and the other a presidential memorandum instructing the secretaries of State and Homeland Security to consult with various governmental and non-governmental entities to reduce costs and improve service in issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas,” reports Corsi.

As Corsi explains, “the only Obama administration document relevant to the plan announced Nov. 20 is a DHS memorandum signed by [Homeland Security Secretary Jeh] Johnson titled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children with Respect to Certain Individuals Who Are the Parents of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.”

Getting into the ramifications of this revelation probably merits its own column, but it should be mentioned here that the Texas-led, 17 state lawsuit challenging Obama’s immigration amnesty already knew about this legal technicality and focuses its fire on Secretary Johnson’s abuse of the notice-and-comment process required of any policy change. So far, Johnson’s memorandum implementing Obama’s amnesty has not appeared in the Federal Register, as required, and thus is in clear violation of the law.

Stay tuned. The games are likely just beginning.


December 5th, 2014 at 11:30 am
Liberty Update
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

December 5th, 2014 at 10:21 am
Video: The Obama Monarchy
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom MinuteCFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses the Constitutional crisis set up by President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration and the lasting damage to the separation of powers that will result if left unchecked by Congress.


December 5th, 2014 at 6:19 am
Podcast: Putting a Face to War
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Wayne Kopping, Director, Editor and respected Filmmaker, discusses the new feature-length documentary film “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front,” which highlights five young Israeli high school graduates who are drafted into the army to defend their country, and why it was important to create a documentary that brings to the screen the faces of the soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Listen to the interview here.


December 4th, 2014 at 2:42 pm
Washington Post: Obama’s Immigration Amnesty “Unprecedented”
Posted by Ashton Ellis Print

Add the editorial board of the Washington Post to the list of people who think President Barack Obama is setting a very troubling precedent with his decision to grant temporary amnesty and work permits to as many as 5 million illegal aliens.

Key to the Post’s criticism is the revelation that part of the justification for Obama’s amnesty has been completely falsified. Since the president announced his executive order, he and members of his administration have said that the percentage of people who will benefit from his amnesty are similar to an amnesty granted by President George H. W. Bush. Specifically, Obama & Co. claim that Bush’s order benefited 1.5 million illegals, while Obama’s would benefit around 4 million. In both cases, the beneficiaries are estimated to be around 36 percent of all illegal aliens.

But according to Post reporter Glenn Kessler, that assertion cannot be verified. At best, the total number of Bush beneficiaries was no more than a couple hundred thousand – far less of a percentage than what Obama is targeting.

It gets worse. As the editorial board notes, “Even the apparent original source of the 1.5 million figure – Gene McNary, who led the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the time – told Mr. Kessler he believes the number is false and was based on a misunderstanding from testimony he gave to Congress. And no underlying data or methodology to justify the 1.5 million figure has been uncovered.” (Emphasis mine)

The facts don’t lie. What Obama is trying to do with his unilateral and unconstitutional immigration amnesty has no precedent in practice and no place in a country governed by the rule of law.


December 3rd, 2014 at 5:27 pm
Texas Launches 17-State Lawsuit Against Obama’s Immigration Amnesty
Posted by Ashton Ellis Print

Hello, Greg Abbott!

In my column this week I mention that Abbott, the newly elected Republican Governor of Texas, would file a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s unilateral and unconstitutional order granting temporary amnesty and work permits to as many as five million illegal immigrants.

Alone, Texas’ lawsuit would have generated more attention than most challenges to federal action. But with the inclusion of sixteen other states, it’s sure to get a very serious look from the conservative-leaning federal Fifth Circuit.

According to My Way News, “The lawsuit raises three objections: that Obama violated the ‘Take Care Clause’ of the U.S. Constitution that limits the scope of presidential power; that the federal government violated rulemaking procedures; and that the order will ‘exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education.’”

If the lawsuit can overcome an important legal technicality – and former Justice Department lawyers John Yoo and Robert Delahunty think it can – then this super-suit may, in time, serve as a Texas-sized roadblock to federal overreach.