Patty Murray and Speaker Ryan: Partners in Crime.  Creation of a National Database | Breitbart

A bill sponsored by Paul Ryan and Patty Murray may increase surveillance of American citizens and create a national database.

Source: Paul Ryan-Patty Murray Bill Will Allow Creation of National Database

The activists – many who have been battling federal control of education for nearly a decade – say the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (FEPA) (H.R. 4174; S. 2046) and the College Transparency Act (CTA) (H.R. 2434; S. 1121) – would create surveillance and tracking systems of American citizens in the name of “transparency” and “program evaluation.”

“Both of these bills would expand and further entrench the administrative swamp that President Trump promised to drain,” says Washington, D.C.-based American Principles Project (APP).

The group, which seeks to protect the constitutional rights of Americans, says the FEPA legislation “would take the first step toward establishing a massive, centralized federal database that would metastasize into a Chinese-style system of government dossiers on citizens.”

APP explains the rationale behind the bill is that data needs to be analyzed in order to determine if government programs are effective.

“But even if we needed a mammoth database to tell us most government programs do not work, there is little likelihood Congress will stop funding useless or damaging programs merely because it has more data,” the organization states, citing the continual funding of the Head Start program.

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Under the guise of helping high school students make more informed choices about higher education, the College Transparency Act (CTA) (H.R. 2434) would allow a federal student unit-record system that would track every American citizen who enrolls in higher education.

CTA – introduced in May by Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell (R) – is purported to enable students to obtain information that could be helpful in making a decision about higher education. Parent and education activists, however, say under the bill the tracking of students will be done without their consent or knowledge, and their data will be matched with that from other federal agencies – such as Social Security and the U.S. military – to form a dossier on each citizen throughout their lives and careers.

APP senior fellow Emmett McGroarty released the following statement:

It’s difficult to imagine legislation more at odds with America’s founding principles than FEPA and CTA. The very thought of allowing the government to surveil and track citizens throughout their lives should be anathema in a free society. Compiling such intrusive dossiers would vastly expand the power of the administrative state, intimidating citizens into silence and further weakening government accountability that in too many cases is already in tatters. Congress must defeat these bills and protect individual freedom.

Indiana parent education activist Erin Tuttle writes at Hoosiers Against Common Core, “It is striking how Congress is completely dysfunctional when it comes to passing legislation that would fulfill their campaign promises to Republican voters, yet pulls it together to pass legislation which does the opposite.”

Tuttle explains a vote on FEPA may be scheduled as early as Wednesday, November 15, and adds:

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Instead of dismantling the Administrative State, this bill would allow bureaucrats to propose to collect any data on any citizen on any topic they want, to answer their desired policy questions … [M[any Republican members of Congress have been misled to believe HR4174 would allow better transparency in how federal agencies operate. They owe it to their constituents to be informed on the details of this legislation before the vote.

The activists observe the federal government already has significant amounts of data that have not improved its programs. Additionally, they argue in a letter circulated to various groups and obtained by Breitbart News that the federal government “has demonstrated its utter incompetence at protecting the security of individual data,” and cite the following examples:

  • The U.S. Education Department’s recent FAFSA data breach
  • The 2015 data theft of personal information – including Social Security numbers of about 21.5 million Americans – from the Office of Personnel Management computer systems
  • The 2015 IRS data breach of tax information of more than 100,000 taxpayers
  • Concerns about the conduct and security in 2016 of the Chief Information Officer at the U.S. Education Department

“There is no reason to believe an even more enormous trove of data can be secured, or that it will actually change government behavior in any meaningful way,” the activists state.

Murray also teamed up with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) two years ago to engineer the “bipartisan” massive new federal education law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – which Obama signed into law almost immediately after its passage through Congress.

 

 

As Usual, Patty Murray Doesn’t Get It | American Thinker

Source: As Usual, Patty Murray Doesn’t Get It

 

 

As Usual, Patty Murray Doesn’t Get It | American Thinker

Back in the dreadful days of the patriarchy and plantation slavery, Dr. Johnson famously said that patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel.

But what do you say about Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) arguing that the ruling class should use its First Amendment rights to shut down extremists? She says:

Here is the issue worth discussing today: how can we protect this constitutional right [of the First Amendment] while also making sure that our colleges and universities are places where everyone can feel safe, learn, and respectfully debate ideas. And — as a part of that conversation, we need to discuss how elected leaders, community members, and college and university administrators, can best exercise their First Amendment right to do everything in their power to push back against those driving an agenda of extremism, racism, bigotry, xenophobia, and misogyny. And — we also must speak out against groups and organizations that are looking to use their right to free speech to divide us, to attack the most vulnerable among us, and to feed on people’s fear in the service of hate.

I’d say that “scoundrel” is too mild a world for Sen. Patty.

Murray is making three points here, and every one of them is wrong. First, she seems to think that protecting the First Amendment somehow conflicts with feeling safe, learning, and respectful debate. No, Patty. We have the police to keep people safe. The problem with our schools is that you liberals won’t let the police police lefty thugs like Antifa and BLM.

Then Patty thinks that the First Amendment is needed for powerful leaders and administrators to lecture the deplorables. No, Patty. No ruling class ever needed a First Amendment. You will note, Senator, that in Europe where there is no First Amendment, the ruling class, bless its heart, has no problem getting the word out — or in prosecuting deplorables for hate speech.

Then Patty writes that the ruling class should unite against people that want to divide “us.” No, Patty. Divide and conquer is your game, the ruling-class game that every military or political leader sucks in with her mother’s milk. Your problem is that regime opponents are uniting to break up your game and hive off people that have unreflectingly supported Deep State politicians like you without realizing that you don’t care about people like them; you only care about “elected leaders, community members, and college and university administrators” and other bribed apologists of the ruling-class. People like you, Patty.

Now let us check the text of the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now, Patty, on my view, your idea of the powerful pushing back against “extremism” is the reason we have the First Amendment in the first place: to make it difficult for the ruling class to silence dissenting voices. Every ruling class wants to silence their opponents. Some rulers call them deplorables and “extremists.” Others go straight to the point and call them “saboteurs and wreckers.” Every ruling class hates its critics.

And do you see that bit at the end, Patty, about “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances?” It says nothing about exceptions in case of “extremism, racism, bigotry, xenophobia, and misogyny.” In fact, I’d say that any anyone peaceably assembling, down the ages, has without exception had to face the scorn and the pejoratives of ruling-class place-men and place-women like you.

Let me repeat: words like “extremism, racism, bigotry, xenophobia, and misogyny” are notable today only as pejoratives that ruling-class pooh-bahs like you, Patty Murray — and your violent Antifa and BLM stooges on the street — use to bully and silence any dissent from ruling-class ideology.

If you believe, as I do, that there is no such thing as justice, only injustice, then the First Amendment makes complete sense. On this view, the point of the First Amendment is to give people that are experiencing injustice — no matter how deplorable and mistaken the ruling class judges them to be — a chance to make their grievances heard in the public square. And since Government is Force, it stands to reason that every ruling class in history presides over a blazing Triangle Shirtwaist manufactory of injustice.

Let me say this again. The point of the First Amendment is precisely to let “white supremacists” like Richard Spencer into the public square. It doesn’t matter that he is a monstrous extremist. The point is that “we” — whether the ruling class or worthier, nobler folks like AT readers — need to hear from people that think they are suffering under injustice, whether they are “right” or not.

Oil, coal train fines in Spokane go to voters | Spokesman Review

On the question of whether Spokane can – or should – fine the owners of rail cars transporting certain crude oil and coal through downtown, both sides say they’re on the right side of the law.

Source: Oil, coal train fines in Spokane go to voters with legal path unclear

Legal certainty is a trait shared by those on both sides of the debate over whether Spokane should impose fines on coal and oil trains rumbling through downtown.

The citizens’ group behind Proposition 2, which would fine the trains, argues that federal inaction has opened a window allowing the city to demand covered coal trains and the removal of combustible gasses from rail-carried oil they say could cause a fiery explosion downtown.

Their conclusion defies the opinions of two legal experts at City Hall, and the railroads and commodities groups have taken notice of the measure, spending tens of thousands of dollars on a campaign to defeat it at the ballot box.

Mayor David Condon, who has contributed his voice to the campaign against the proposal, said although he understands the concerns of citizens about safety, imposing fines ignored federal actions to make the shipments less prone to derailment as well as efforts to improve the emergency response.

“To me, it’s such an unfortunate way of going after concerns that are legitimate that our citizens have,” Condon said. “The effort, in my opinion, is misguided or misdirected.”

Supporters of the initiative, now dogged by allegations of campaign finance violations, insist their proposal is modest and would withstand a likely legal challenge. The union representing hundreds of local firefighters have endorsed their cause, saying a downtown derailment would be catastrophic.

“The initiative was born from what these guys in the community have been warning us about, for at least the past six years that I’ve been here,” said Todd Eklof, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church and the main sponsor and spokesman for Safer Spokane, the committee supporting the initiative.

The question has split the Spokane City Council, seen by critics as an ideological monolith tilted toward the left. The proposal originated before the panel last year, with City Council President Ben Stuckart arguing the fiery explosion in Mosier, Oregon, necessitated local action. He later reversed course and said he preferred to work directly with the railroads and federal regulators to achieve change.

Citizens gathered enough signatures to put the question before voters this November in a subsequent petition campaign.

A total of $151,000 has been raised to defeat Proposition 2. Among the largest donors are Lighthouse Resources, a corporation that owns several coal mines in Wyoming and Montana, and the railroads BNSF and Union Pacific.

The citizen group supporting the ballot initiative have raised just over $6,000, mostly from individual contributions. The largest contributor is Mike Bell, who is also serving as Safer Spokane’s treasurer.

Stuckart said in light of recent rollbacks of some environmental regulations by the Donald Trump administration, including rules on leasing federal land for coal mining, he’s now leaning toward voting for Proposition 2.

“I haven’t seen anybody locally stepping up and doing the work, at the federal and state level, lobbying to try to change the rules,” Stuckart said. “Are we just supposed to sit back and take it?”

City Councilwomen Candace Mumm and Amber Waldref said they had concerns about a protracted legal battle if the measure passes. Both said they likely will vote against the measure. City Councilwoman Karen Stratton wouldn’t comment on how she will vote, but said she, too, expected a legal fight. Councilman Mike Fagan is an outspoken critic of the measure, while his colleague, Breean Beggs, helped draft the ordinance and has been its staunchest defender on the council.

The initiative’s opponents, including Condon, cite legal opinions from the city’s hearing examiner, Brian McGinn, and the City Council’s policy adviser, Brian McClatchey, that the measure would have a slim chance of surviving a legal challenge.

Both men identified different sections of federal law to conclude that an ordinance passed at the local level would be trumped by rulemakers at the national level, opening the city to potential litigation and courtroom costs if the commodities, railroad or someone else filed a lawsuit to block its enforcement.

Condon pointed to efforts underway at the federal level, including legislation introduced in Congress by Washington Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, calling for national standards on cargo volatility and increasing funding for firefighting training. The city also has eliminated vehicular at-grade crossings with trains to reduce the likelihood of collisions within city limits, the mayor said.

“That’s where I think we really need to focus our attention,” Condon said.

The ballot measure would also fine uncovered coal trains over concerns about dust scattering to the tracks and increasing the likelihood of derailments. Opponents, including Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, have seized on the inclusion of coal cars as evidence supporters are seeking to change environmental policy, not protect downtown.

Initiative supporters say their specific requests that coal cars be covered and the oil extracted from the Bakken shale, an oil-rich patch in western North Dakota, be treated to reduce the vapor pressure, haven’t yet been addressed by federal rulemakers. They cite a 2000 case out of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to argue that in the absence of regulation, cities can step in.

Bell, the Safer Spokane organizer and treasurer, said if the legality already was settled, the railroads would have filed a lawsuit before voters weighed in.

“They’re spending thousands of dollars to fight this on the ballot,” Bell said. “Why haven’t they already filed suit?”

BNSF spokeswoman Courtney Wallace said the campaign was “an opportunity to educate people about the value of rail.” The railroads have stressed that emergency responders work with the railroads on exercises to respond to a potential derailment, and that track inspections in the Spokane area occur even more frequently than currently required under federal law.

The city didn’t make any pre-ballot challenge because the state values the initiative process, Condon said, and taxpayers may have spent money on legal proceedings that won’t be necessary if the measure is defeated.

“We’re an initiative state. We have a very low threshold for citizen’s initiatives. I think we’re very prideful of that,” the mayor said. “On the flip side, I think the citizens need to be aware of the legal ramifications of this, and the confusion it causes.”

If the ballot measure is successful, it may not be a clear-cut victory for supporters of rail safety, said Fred Millar, a Washington, D.C.-based rail safety consultant who formerly worked for the environmentalist group Friends of the Earth.

“I worry that the proposition, if it actually became enacted, would lead to a lawsuit very quickly from the railroads,” Millar said. “I think the railroads would win on federal preemption” – the legal doctrine that federal law supersedes state law. “I don’t think the city has a chance.”

Millar said that would lead to another legal decision that continues to give Congress and federal rulemakers more authority in regulating rail. Proponents would be better served pushing for additional transparency from railroads on the type of cargo traveling through the city and pushing for explanations of why Bakken oil must be shipped through downtown, Millar said.

Opponents warn that the initiative would have the effect of putting more oil cargo on the highways, where accidents and explosions could be more frequent than on the rails. They point to studies by the Federal Railroad Administration finding that trains are four times as fuel-efficient as trucks and from the Congressional Budget Office showing trains pose a lower accident risk than trucks on the road.

“I think the safety standards that are set by the federal government to our railroad carriers seem to be very high,” Condon said.

Stuckart and the initiative’s sponsors said oil companies are unlikely to abandon rail, because it ignores the higher cost of trucking the commodities compared to lowering the vapor pressure of the oil and covering coal train cars. Oil regulators in North Dakota say stabilizing oil in train cars would cost about $2 a barrel, or around 5 cents per gallon.

They also disputed the threat of legal action should scare voters from supporting the initiative.

“It’s not going to cost any police officers on the street. It’s not going to hurt our budget,” Stuckart said. “We deal with lawsuits all the time.”

GOP Rep. Reichert of Washington state retiring after 7 terms

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Republican Rep. Dave Reichert of Washington state said Wednesday that he is retiring from Congress after seven terms.

Reichert, 67, a former sheriff famous for his decades-long, successful hunt for the Green River serial killer convicted of killing 49 women, has represented a suburban district east of Seattle since 2005. After new district lines were approved in 2012, his district crossed the Cascade Mountain range and added areas in more conservative central Washington.

Source: GOP Rep. Reichert of Washington state retiring after 7 terms

Washington, other states to sue over Trump’s ‘Dreamer’ repeal plan | KOMO

NEW YORK (AP) Fifteen states and the District of Columbia sued the U.S. government Wednesday to block President Donald Trump’s plan to end protection against deportation for young immigrants who New York’s attorney general labeled the best of America.

Source: Washington, other states to sue over Trump’s ‘Dreamer’ repeal plan | KOMO

[Ed.: Oh, this should be good on how a federal judge magically rules that Obama’s unilateral action (read: unconstitutional) to create DACA is completely kosher and then rules that the same branch that created it cannot dismantle it.]

Trump Doesn’t Have the Authority to Attack North Korea Without Congress | The Atlantic

“[The North Korean] regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,” President Donald Trump said Tuesday morning. “All options are on the table.”

One option that should not be on the table is a “preventive” American military strike against North Korea without United Nations approval, public debate, and a congressional authorization.

Source: Trump Doesn’t Have the Authority to Attack North Korea Without Congress – The Atlantic

[Ed.: As a resident of a city on the West Coast of North America, a pre-emptive strike to disable North Korea’s nuclear capabilities before he nukes LA, San Francisco or Seattle may be absolutely necessary to prevent this. It’s clear that Kim Jong-un is mentally ill and could (once they have reliable rocket technology) decide to prove that he has a functional nuclear arsenal by taking out a city on the United States west coast.

The Atlantic is a liberal, elitist organization that would probably change their tune if they lived on the Left Coast and could be nuked into oblivion by a mad man with a bad ‘do. They probably think I refer to the President of the United States but it’s just because they hate Trump so much. It’s sad that they abhor an overtly patriotic president who believes in the superiority of the USA. Oh do they miss our former Supreme Leader Obama. Makes me chuckle down deep inside.

The one thing you can’t say about Trump is that he doesn’t care about the United States – in fact, he may indeed get us into war with North Korea, but it’d be because he cares too much; even about states that didn’t vote for him.]

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen discovered a long-lost World War II warship | The Verge

On July 30th, 1945, a Japanese submarine launched a pair of torpedoes at the USS Indianapolis, sinking it in minutes and resulting in the greatest loss of life in the history of the US Navy. Since then, the final resting place of the ship has been a mystery, until Friday. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced that a team onboard his research vessel Petrel located the ship over 18,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Source: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen discovered a long-lost World War II warship | The Verge

Senate Democrats call for an investigation of climate scientist whistleblower complaint – The Washington Post

Eight Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee asked the Interior Department’s deputy inspector general on Monday to investigate Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to reassign roughly 50 senior career officials last month, on the grounds that it could constitute an “abuse of authority.”

Source: Senate Democrats call for an investigation of climate scientist whistleblower complaint – The Washington Post

State AG disappointed as Sea-Tac prepares to enforce travel ban | MyNorthwest.com

Sea-Tac Airport will begin enforcing part of the Trump administration’s travel ban beginning Thursday. The ban affects people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. If people from those countries don’t have a bona fide connection to someone in the United States they’ll likely be turned away.

Source: State AG disappointed as Sea-Tac prepares to enforce travel ban

[Ed.: Ah, poor little Sideshow Bob Ferguson has to be really butt-hurt now after this spanking at the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court and we don’t expect it to get any better for the AG (AKA “Aspiring Governor”) when they makes their final ruling later in the year. The law is so stunningly clear that even liberal activists on the U.S. Supreme Court couldn’t side with this blinding display of juris-ignorance from our activist A.G. Oh, and this picture looks like a pouty Frank Burns from M*A*S*H… “Ferret Face”, totally!]

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