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Another rightwing lie: Obama exempts mosques from NSA surveillance

Q:  Is Obama giving mosques a special exemption from surveillance?
A:  No, not in the real world.  But in the rightwing world of lies, smoke, and mirrors, of course he is.

Investors Business Daily has an incredibly inflammatory article taking advantage of the recent uproar about the NSA’s broad spying programs to assert that Muslims are being given a special exemption from
government eavesdropping. The claim is incredibly similar to a right-wing myth spread about a supposed “Muslim exception” from TSA screenings that happened to pop up at the same time as the TSA’s “enhanced pat-down” provoked a media firestorm and popular outrage.

The IBD piece asserts that:

The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won’t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are. That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized. Since October 2011, mosques have  been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover sting operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Here are the facts as reported elsewhere.

Here is the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide from October 2011, p. 171: 
Certain investigative matters should be brought to the attention of  FBI management and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials because of the possibility of public notoriety and sensitivity. Accordingly, Assessments and Predicated Investigations involving “sensitive investigative matters” have special approval and reporting requirements.
A sensitive investigative matter (SIM) is defined as an investigative matter involving the activities of a domestic public official or domestic political candidate (involving corruption or a threat to the national security), a religious or domestic political organization or individual prominent in such an organization, or the news media; an investigative matter having an academic nexus; or any other matter which, in the judgment of the official authorizing the investigation, should be brought to the attention of FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ) and other DOJ officials. 
Sections of the document concerning the Sensitive Operations Review Committee (SORC) are heavily redacted so as to be unreadable. But the gist of the above text is that, yes, there are certain investigations which are considered more “sensitive” than others and this includes investigations of Islamic groups. But here’s the thing: this also applies to all religious and political groups as well as the news media and academic institutions. So the FBI would most likely face the same hurdles investigating a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue as it would in investigating a mosque. 
Hilariously, the IBD editorial makes it sound as if the Sensitive Operations Review Committee was a recent creation of the Obama administration “set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques.” Yet the name of the committee also appears in the 2008 FBI domestic operations guide as well, meaning it was either created under Bush or an earlier administration. 
It is doubtful that the IBD allegation contains even a shred of truth. The publication has previously made the false assertion that Obama offered to apologize for the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as if that would be a bad thing!) based on a willful misreading of a Wikileaks cable. Additionally, the complaints made by groups like CAIR and the ACLU about the FBI nosing around mosques and attempting to stir up trouble with provacateurs do not lack merit. 
Predictably, the ludicrous idea that Muslims are exempt from the Obama administration’s numerous spying programs is now catching on in the right-wing puke funnel. It is an especially cruel myth to promote since Muslims have faced some of the worst civil liberties violations in the US in modern times. Apparently, the only way the right-wing can get outraged by government surveillance is by imagining red-blooded, white, patriotic Christians such as themselves as the primary target.

Latest Fox lie: Obamacare will require federal inspectors to visit your home

Fox & Friends are deeply concerned with poor and underprivileged
at-risk children.

On the August 21 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy claimed "a brand new federal program" would spend $224 million to send "government home inspectors to your house" to help at-risk children, and asked if this was "Obamacare trumping your right to privacy and snooping on you and your family." Fox Business' Stuart Varney agreed that it was "an intrusion directly into your home and the way you raise your children," and the two proceeded to claim that "the Obama snooper" would visit families randomly and unannounced. On-screen text described the program as "Nanny state solutions: Forced home visits for 'at-risk' kids."

Oh, no they're not. They're making up another Obamacare lie. Here's
the real program which isn't even "brand new," having been announced
in 2011.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius [...] announced $224 million to help at-risk families voluntarily receive home visits from nurses and social workers to improve maternal and child health, child development, school readiness, economic self-sufficiency, and child abuse prevention. As part of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, these grants are funded by the Affordable Care Act  and are awarded to state agencies that applied for the grants in 49 states across the country.

V O L U N T A R Y .

VOLUNTARY.   Which means, roughly, you the parent gets to decide if "government inspectors" (nurses and social workers) can "intrude" (be invited) into your home to "snoop" on your family
(provide services like "educating parents about child development and supporting school readiness, linking low-income mothers to prenatal health care, ensuring children have access to health care and
immunizations, helping families access supplemental food programs and financial aid, and encouraging healthy parent-child relationships to reduce incidents of child abuse").

None of which will stop Fox from lying about the program, no more than it will stop Republicans from picking it up as the next big Obamacare lie. Because they care so much about the children, too.

Rick Perry denounces Obamacare in public while his staff works with feds in private to bring Obamacare to Texas

Big bad macho Texas Governor Rick Perry, the governor that says publicly he won’t take any Obamacare dollars is now begging for these dollars discretely. Politico reports that:

-- quote

Perry health aides are negotiating with the Obama administration on the terms of an optional Obamacare program that would allow Texas to claim stepped-up Medicaid funding for the care of people with disabilities. 
The move comes as a surprise coming from a governor who has insisted he won’t implement the Obamacare reforms, and who slammed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for touting the law during a trip to the Lone Star State earlier this month. 
“With due respect, the secretary and our president are missing the point: It’s not that Americans don’t understand Obamacare, it’s that we understand it all too well,” Perry said at the time. “In Texas, we’ve been fighting Obamacare from the beginning, refusing to expand a broken Medicaid system and declining to set up a state health insurance exchange.” 

-- end quote

More than 25% of Texas residents are uninsured. No one would believe that in the home of one of the best Medical Centers in the world (Texas Medical Center), that over one quarter of its population do not have insurance and receive substandard medical coverage. It won’t be long before the Texas medical establishment forces the hand of Texas politicians as they lose billions to other states.

The Texas Republican Governor and Legislature have done nothing to solve Texas health insurance problem. They have not offered alternatives to the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act nor have they done anything to provide incentives to control the cost of health insurance.

This should really not be a surprise. Governor Perry has a habit of speaking out against federal government handouts in public even as he begs for government handouts behind the scene. When the fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas, a private company that was privy to virtually no state regulations, he vehemently complained when his requests for government handouts were initially denied.

The Affordable Care Act will be a marked improvement to the current state of the health insurance market in the United States. In fact in the states that have been proactive in adopting all aspects of Obamacare, it is proving very successful. Instead of running around the country maligning the new law, Perry should stay in Texas and fix its many problems that are undermining the Texas working middle

241 - 4

Want to see the rightwing mind at work?

Four dead Americans at Benghazi will forever scar Hillary Clinton.

241 dead Americans in Beirut is not even an asterisk in the Reagan Library.