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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

President Park Geun-hye | The Bengazi Stink - Whistle-Blowers Testify | Controversial Nominee Thomas Perez

Today in Washington, D.C. - May 8, 2013:
At 10:30 AM, Her Excellency Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea, gave an address to a Joint Meeting of Congress. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement applauding South Korean president Park Geun-hye’s address to a joint meeting of Congress: “What a powerful and inspiring address by President Park, who reminded us that we will only live in peace and freedom if we truly celebrate these values and defend them when they are tested. Fittingly, she spoke to Congress on the birthday of President Harry Truman, who planted the seeds of this friendship and whose commitment to defending South Korea is one the United States always has kept and will keep. It was a great honor to welcome President Park to the Capitol, discuss shared economic and security priorities, and thank her and her people for their steadfastness and friendship.”

The Senate reconvened at 11:30 AM and resumed consideration of S. 601, the Water Resources Development Act of 2013. At 2 PM, the Senate will hold a series of three amendment votes: on two amendments offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and one offered by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Each amendment will require 60 votes for adoption. Following these votes, by unanimous consent, the Boxer-Vitter substitute amendment to S. 601 will be agreed to.

In a close vote, today, the House passed the Working Families Flexibility Act - H.R. 1406 (223-204) — "To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide compensatory time for employees in the private sector." Prior to the final vote, the bill was amended (384-42) to requires the GAO to submit a report to Congress on the usage of compensatory time allowed under the Act and detail any complaints filed or enforcement actions taken for alleged violations of the Act. The report will ensure Congress can monitor any potential abuse of the Act. House Speaker Boehner said, "“By reforming an outdated law, this bill gives private-sector workers the same flexibility public-sector workers have enjoyed for decades. And whether someone chooses to take time off to care for a sick parent or attend a child’s ballgame, or takes the extra pay, it ensures they get to make the choice – not their boss, and not the bureaucrats in Washington."

The House has a new Republican representative. Mark Sanford won the special election in Charleston, South Carolina last night. It was an election in which Sanford was supposedly ten points behind the Democratic Nominee, Elizabeth Colbert Busch (Stephen Colbert's sister), just a week ago. It was an election in which Sanford's personal problems had turned him into an underdog in a district which gave Romney an 18 point margin. But, equally important, Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama lost a special election in South Carolina last night.

by AF "Tony" Branco
Also in the House today, three brave whistle-blowers stepped forward to tell the truth about the horrific terrorist attacks against our U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans including our U.S. Ambassador, Christopher Stevens. For months the Obama administration, with significant backing from the liberal media, have attempted to hide the truth about what happened. To cover their failures in combating terrorism, they told lies saying it was not a preplanned terrorist attack, even when they knew that to be an absolute falsehood. Read more here. Former Bill Clinton advisor, Dick Morris said today, "Americans can stand pretty much anything, but not being lied to by their president. When Bill Clinton lied about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, his personal favorability ratings dropped 20 points and never recovered for the duration of his presidency. As the Benghazi hearings unfold, it will become more and more clear that President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly lied to the American people when they both pretended that the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were just a demonstration against the anti-Muslim video gone violent -- even as the State Department wrote an intelligence assessment that said "we do know that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda" were involved in the attack."

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to consider President Obama’s nomination of Thomas Perez to be Secretary of Labor. Writing at National Review Online,Katrina Trinko has outlined why Perez is such a controversial nominee: “Back in 2009, Perez established himself as a controversial figure when 22 Republicans voted against his confirmation to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Four years later, with his tenure there under fire from Republicans, he’ll face an even more hostile reception. Former GOP senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, who voted to confirm Perez in 2009, predicts Republican senators will be more wary of Perez this go-around. ‘Since then, he has gathered a lot of barnacles, at least among Republicans, because of things he’s done at DOJ,’ Kyl observes.”

 “According to a GOP Senate source, Perez’s hearing is expected to center on several concerns, including that he’s under congressional investigation regarding his involvement with an alleged quid pro quo deal between the Justice Department and St. Paul, Minn. The deal was that the Justice Department would cease prosecuting a case against St. Paul (which could have net around $180 million for the federal government) if the city dropped a case that could have led to a Supreme Court decision to change the definition of ‘disparate impact’ in housing-discrimination cases. Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), who voted to confirm Perez in 2009, has already spoken out about Perez and threatened to block his nomination if he doesn’t get answers regarding this issue. Other topics under consideration for the hearing include Perez’s handling of a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panthers and the question of whether his actions at the Civil Rights division were unnecessarily politicized. Last month Senator David Vitter (R., La.) issued a statement saying, ‘Perez’s record should be met with great suspicion by my colleagues for his spotty work related to the New Black Panther case.’ According to a reported issued by the Justice Department inspector general in March, Perez’s 2010 testimony to the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights ‘did not reflect the entire story regarding the involvement of political appointees’ in the decision to drop charges against three of the four defendants, although the commission said there was no evidence suggesting Perez intentionally misled it. Perez’s record on labor and immigration is also controversial, thanks to his work as a board member of CASA de Maryland, an organization known for helping illegal immigrants, and to his tenure at the Montgomery County Council, where he promoted spending taxpayer dollars on day-laborer sites to facilitate off-the-books work by illegal immigrants.”

Today, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell epressed his serious concerns about Perez. “Mr. Perez’s nomination has generated a fair amount of controversy. ...  [Tom Perez] is a committed ideologue who appears willing, quite frankly, to say or do anything to achieve his ideological ends."

“Take, for instance, his efforts, while on the Montgomery County Council, to get Canadian drugs imported to the U.S. According to The Washington Post, Perez tried to get the county to import these drugs even after a top FDA official said doing so would be, in his words, ‘undeniably illegal.’ What was Perez’s response? ‘Federal law is muddled,’ he said at the time. ‘Sometimes you have to push the envelope.’ Think about that statement: ‘Sometimes you have to push the envelope.’ Is that the kind of approach to federal law we want in those we confirm to run federal agencies? Folks who think that if federal law is inconvenient to their ends they can simply characterize it as unclear and use that as an excuse to do what they want? If that’s not a red flag for those of us who have to review a presidential nominee, I don’t know what is.”

McConnell continued, “Mr. Perez, however, does not merely push the envelope; all too often, he circumvents or ignores a law with which he disagrees. As a member of the Montgomery County Council, Mr. Perez pushed through a county policy that encouraged the circumvention of federal immigration law. Later, as head of the federal government’s top voting-rights watchdog, he refused to protect the right to vote for Americans of all races, in violation of the very law he was charged to enforce. In the same post at the Department of Justice, Mr. Perez directed the federal government to sue against the advice of career attorneys at his own office. In another case involving a Florida woman who was lawfully exercising her First Amendment right to protest an abortion clinic, the federal judge who threw out Mr. Perez’s lawsuit said he was ‘at a loss as to why the government chose to prosecute this particular case’ in the first place. This is what pushing the envelope means in the case of Mr. Perez: a flippant and dismissive attitude about the boundaries that everybody else has to follow for the sake of the liberal causes he believes in. In short, it means a lack of respect for the rule of law – and a lack of respect for the need of those in positions of power to follow it.”

“Taken together, all of this paints the picture, ... [of]  a crusading ideologue whose conviction about his own rightness on the issues leads him to believe the law does not apply to him. Unbound by the rules that apply to everyone else, Mr. Perez seems to view himself as free to employ whatever means at his disposal, legal or otherwise, to achieve his ideological goals. To say this is problematic would be an understatement. . . . Americans of all political persuasions have a right to expect that the head of such a sensitive federal department, whether appointed by a Republican or a Democrat, will implement and follow the law in a fair and reasonable way. But I do not believe they could expect as much from Mr. Perez.”

Tags: Republic of Korea, President Park Geun-hye, Bengaski hearings, whistle blowers, Working Families Flexibility Act, DOL nominee, Thomas Perez, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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