• tsai3904

    by Published on 07-01-2015 07:05 AM

    Law eliminates religious and personal belief exemptions for vaccines
    Brown says ‘the science is clear’ on vaccines


    June 30, 2015

    Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed one of the strictest schoolchild vaccination laws in the country, eliminating personal and religious belief exemptions for vaccines.

    The governor’s signature came one day after the state Senate moved the bill to his desk, following months of protests and fierce debate at the Capitol.

    “The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases,” Brown said in a signing statement. “While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects ...
    by Published on 07-01-2015 05:58 AM

    The NSA’s phone dragnet is back—for now.

    BY Dustin Volz
    June 30, 2015

    A federal court has revived the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records, a program that lapsed earlier this month when sections of the Patriot Act briefly expired.

    The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved a government request to renew the dragnet collection of U.S. phone metadata for an additional five months—a timeframe allowed under the Freedom Act, a newly enacted surveillance reform law that calls for an eventual end to the mass spying program exposed by Edward Snowden two years ago.

    The Senate passed the Freedom Act days after allowing the June 1 expiration of the Patriot Act's three spying provisions, including ...
    by Published on 06-27-2015 01:05 PM

    Audio (at 26:35; about 3/4 into the show):
    http://www.whas.com/media/podcast-le...omas-26159050/

    discusses the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, fast track and TPP, and EPA regulations
    by Published on 06-27-2015 10:51 AM

    Throughout history, different cultures have defined marriage according to their own customs and practices. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics, and atheists do not share identical views on marriage. In fact, significant differences regarding marriage exist even within Christianity.

    What makes marriage traditional is not its adherence to a universal definition but rather that it is defined by personal faith, not by government. For thousands of years, marriage flourished without a universal definition and without government intervention. Then came licensing of marriage. In recent decades, we've seen state legislatures and ballot initiatives define marriage, putting government improperly at the helm of this sacred institution.

    Those who care about
    ...
    by Published on 06-24-2015 10:00 AM

    June 23, 2015
    U.S. REP. THOMAS MASSIE

    At a recent House Rules committee hearing, one of my colleagues from New York declared that the potholes in the roads in her district are so bad, “you can lose your car in them.” Kentuckians and Americans from all over the country agree. It is long past time that something was done to address the deplorable state of the highways and infrastructure in this country.

    That is why I recently introduced the “Developing Roadway Infrastructure for a Vibrant Economy Act” (DRIVE Act). The DRIVE Act (H.R. 1461) would ensure that money in the Highway Trust Fund is actually spent on highways. Common sense would lead most people to believe that the gas tax revenue that funds the Highway Trust Fund should be spent specifically on highways, roads, and bridges. However, when it comes to the operations of Congress and the federal government, common sense is uncommon.

    Many Americans are unaware that gas tax revenue is regularly diverted from the federal Highway Trust Fund for such things as bike paths, sidewalks, mass transit, and other purely local projects. This must end. Inflation and vehicle fuel efficiency have drained the fund so that it no longer generates enough revenue to pay for all the improvements necessary to ensure that our highways and bridges are safe and adequately maintained.

    More:
    http://www.maysville-online.com/news...7de900715.html
    by Published on 06-20-2015 12:45 PM

    Surveillance Reform: The Congressional-Intelligence Complex Strikes Back
    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) clearly hates being on the end of a losing vote. He is now working overtime to reverse his most recent policy and legislative loss.

    The House recently approved a vitally important amendment to the DoD appropriations bill that would protect Americans' civil liberties from an encroaching surveillance state. Introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), it would bar warrantless searches of the stored communications of Americans collected under the FISA Amendment Act. It would also bar the use of taxpayer funds to compel companies to build products with compromised encryption to make NSA surveillance easier. Those same electronic "back doors" could also be exploited by foreign intelligence services and malicious hackers. ...

    Last week, Nunes and 11 of his House Intelligence Committee colleagues sent a letter to every House member who voted for the Massie-Lofgren amendment, asking them to publicly renounce their vote for it. In doing so, Nunes cited comments made by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in a June 12 letter to the committee.

    In the letter, Clapper claims that if implemented the Massie-Lofgren amendment's database search ban on American's data would "...seriously impair the [Intelligence Community's] ability to discover and analyze threats." Except it wouldn't. It would simply mean that if the government wanted to get information on a U.S. citizen who it believes is in contact with a known or potential terrorist, they would have to get a court order. Exactly as the Constitution intended.

    ...
    More:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patric...b_7622678.html

    Rep. Nunes' letter asking those who voted for the Massie amendment to recant their vote:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/269070676/...gren-June-2015

    ...
    I'd like to ask you to read the enclosed letters, reconsider your vote on the amendment, and consider publicly stating your opposition to depriving the Intelligence Community of an important tool for tracking terrorists.
    ...
    by Published on 06-18-2015 01:05 PM


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1FqJpuAwak

    U.S. Representative Massie Votes to Force Congressional Debate on the Troops in Iraq and Syria

    Jun 17, 2015

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Representative Thomas Massie voted in support of a resolution to ensure that Congress debates and votes on an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by the end of the year. H. Con. Res. 55, which was introduced by Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC), Jim McGovern (D-MA), and Barbara Lee (D-CA), requires that Congress either debate and vote on an AUMF for this war by the end of the year, or bring our troops home.

    "Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to declare war,” said Rep. Massie. “War requires congressional authorization, and the American people deserve open debate by their elected officials.”

    U.S. airstrikes against ISIS began in August 2014 without the congressional debate and declaration of war required by the Constitution. Though President Obama claims the 2002 Iraq AUMF is sufficient, the new military action in Iraq constitutes a new war, with a new enemy, and thus requires a new congressional authorization of force. The President cannot use the 2002 AUMF in Iraq to justify any new action.

    “If we are to send our brave young men and women into harm’s way overseas, then Congress must honor the Constitution, declare war, and fight to win. Anything else is illegal, unconstitutional, and likely to lead to horrific unintended consequences,” added Massie.

    Representative Massie's floor speech in support of the resolution can be watched here. H. Con. Res. 55 failed by a 139-288-1 vote.
    http://massie.house.gov/press-releas...te-troops-iraq
    by Published on 06-17-2015 01:05 PM

    Amash tried to get his amendment made in order to strike a provision in the Intelligence Authorization bill that "permits the government to acquire, retain, and disseminate nonpublic telephone or electronic communications (i.e., content) of United States persons without the consent of the person or proper legal process."

    Between 48:01-1:02:41:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npTSOAM7lAM

    Amash's amendment was not made in order (will not go to House floor for a vote).

    Here's more background:
    ---
    This afternoon, I sent the following letter to my colleagues in the House of Representatives:

    Stop Spying on U.S. Citizens: Vote “NO” on H.R. 2596

    Dear Colleague:

    This ...
    by Published on 06-17-2015 05:30 AM

    House will debate and vote on H. Con. Res. 55.

    Here is the text:

    CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

    Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces deployed to Iraq or Syria on or after August 7, 2014, other than Armed Forces required to protect United States diplomatic facilities and personnel, from Iraq and Syria.

    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring),

    SECTION 1. REMOVAL OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES FROM IRAQ AND SYRIA.

    Pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544(c)), Congress directs the President to remove United States Armed Forces deployed to Iraq or Syria on or after August 7, 2014, other
    ...
    by Published on 06-16-2015 06:10 PM

    No highway money for mass transit

    Thomas Massie
    June 16, 2015

    At a recent House Rules committee hearing, one of my colleagues from New York declared that the potholes in her district are so bad, “you can lose your car in them.” Kentuckians and Americans from all over the country agree. It is long past time that something was done to address the deplorable state of the highways and infrastructure in this country.

    That is why I recently introduced the “Developing Roadway Infrastructure for a Vibrant Economy Act.” The DRIVE Act (H.R. 1461) would ensure that money in the Highway Trust Fund is actually spent on highways. Common sense would lead most people to believe that the gas tax revenue that funds the Highway Trust Fund should be spent specifically
    ...
    by Published on 06-11-2015 06:55 PM

    Audio (at 91:40; about 60% into the show):
    http://www.55krc.com/media/podcast-b...west-26117671/

    discusses Country-of-Origin Labeling, and his amendments on hemp, ammunition, and NSA
    by Published on 06-10-2015 07:07 PM


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM8sLCvkR0I

    He answers some questions on his Facebook page here:
    https://www.facebook.com/RepThomasMa...18265358197628

    Information on the bill from House Republicans:

    BILL SUMMARY

    H.R. 2393 amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to repeal existing final point of sale country-of-origin labeling requirements for retailers of beef, pork, and chicken.

    BACKGROUND

    In 2002, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act was enacted, which included country-of-origin labeling (COOL) provisions requiring retailers of certain meat products to inform consumers of a product’s country-of-origin.[1] Controversial aspects of COOL prompted Congress to amend the law in the 2008 Farm Bill.[2] Less than five months after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) COOL-implementing rule was published in 2008, Canada and Mexico challenged the rule at the World Trade Organization (WTO), arguing that it had a trade-distorting impact by discriminating against imported livestock.[3]

    The WTO ruled against the U.S. in November 2011 and against its subsequent appeal in June 2012, ruling that American COOL regulations violated its WTO obligations by discriminating against imported livestock. The WTO ordered the U.S. to come into compliance by May 2013. The USDA subsequently issued a revised COOL rule, but Canada and Mexico claimed the revised rule did not bring the U.S. into compliance. The WTO ruled against the U.S. revised rule in October 2014 and again in a final appeal in May 2015, finding for a fourth time that U.S. COOL requirements for beef and pork are discriminatory and therefore not in compliance with WTO obligations.[4]

    After issuing the ruling, the WTO has begun the process of determining the level of retaliatory tariffs Canada and Mexico would be permitted to impose if the U.S. does not comply with the ruling. [5] Canada’s Trade Minister issued a statement stating that it will seek WTO authorization for nearly $2.5 billion in retaliatory sanctions. The Mexican government said it is seeking WTO authority to issue over $650 million in retaliatory sanctions against the U.S.[6] H.R. 2393 repeals existing country-of-origin labeling requirements for retailers of beef, pork, and chicken to avoid these retaliatory tariffs.

    Although chicken was not a part of the WTO dispute between Canada, Mexico and the U.S., industry stakeholders have requested COOL requirements for chicken be repealed as well due to the high costs and minimal benefits associated with the requirements.[7]

    According to the bill sponsor, “in light of the WTO’s decision and the certainty that we will face significant retaliation by Canada and Mexico, we cannot afford to delay action . . . This bill is a targeted response that will remove uncertainty, provide stability, and bring us back into compliance.”[8]
    http://www.gop.gov/bill/h-r-2393-cou...s-act-of-2015/
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