Saturday, September 14, 2013
The surprising recall election of two Colorado Democratic lawmakers Tuesday for backing gun control laws was a warning shot for lawmakers across America eager for more gun control laws.
Not for the Democratic supermajority in the California Legislature. More than two dozen gun control bills are being voted on this week. And while lawmakers are making a pretense of having difficulty voting for their passage, the bills are being passed. Several gun control bills have passed out of both houses of the Legislature and already await the governor’s signature.
“I don’t see anybody switching teams here,” quipped Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, in the busy Assembly gallery Wednesday.
Of the original 40 gun control bills, 29 made it into the committee hearing process.
...Jacobs said the study is troubling in light of security issues with the Obamacare “data hub,” which will collect Social Security numbers and personal information to verify participation in the health insurance marketplace, beginning on Oct. 1.
“We’ve already seen with the Obamacare data hub and the significant delays that have been associated with it,” he said. “Government auditors have raised concerns about maintaining timelines and implementation and whether the data hub can be implemented in a secure manner that ensures Americans’ medical and financial records aren’t at risk.”
Others have warned that the database is vulnerable to abuse by the numerous government agencies involved, including the IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, state Medicaid databases, and the Social Security Administration.
The potential for social and behavioral data to be shared with government agencies is only more worrisome, Jacobs said.
“This study raises additional questions about the privacy and security implications of the federal government sharing personal health data with other organizations and entities,” he said.
...America is an exceptional nation, but not because of what it has achieved or accomplished. America is exceptional because, unlike any other nation, it is dedicated to the principles of human liberty, grounded on the truths that all men are created equal and endowed with equal rights. These permanent truths are "applicable to all men and all times," as Abraham Lincoln once said.
America's principles have created a prosperous and just nation unlike any other nation in history. They explain why Americans strongly defend their country, look fondly to their nation's origins, vigilantly assert their political rights and civic responsibilities, and remain convinced of the special meaning of their country and its role of the world. It is because of its principles, not despite them, that America has achieved greatness.
To this day, so many years after the American Revolution, these principles—proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and promulgated by the United States Constitution—still define America as a nation and a people. Which is why friends of freedom the world over look to the United States not only as an ally against tyrants and despots but also as a powerful beacon to all those who strive to be free.
It’s worth examining those results in such widely separated places as Australia, Norway, and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado....
Michael Barone, the co-author of The Almanac of American Politics and an analyst of international elections, tells me that many people driven by ideology often feel elections should revolve around their concerns and reflect their priorities. “That can happen on the left or on the right,” he says. “But liberals are especially prone to not recognizing the public does care if their policies actually work in practice and are in sync with their everyday concerns.”
In all three elections held in the last week — from Australia to Norway to Colorado — liberals forgot that their priorities aren’t often those of the average voter. In each case, they were punished for it.
Why did the CIA let a crazed al-Qaeda mob kill America's ambassador? Moment by moment, the atrocity that's sent the U.S. into a frenzy of suspicion and recrimination
A year on, the Benghazi raid is the focus of bitter contention in the U.S., where accusations are made by senators and conspiracy theorists alike that the Obama administration covered up — and continues to obscure — failings that led to an ambassador and three other Americans dying in such horrendous circumstances.
Why was the attack not anticipated by intelligence sources? Why were warnings ignored that the mission building was inadequate for its job?
Was the response from Washington on the night in question bungled? What precisely did the President know and when? Or did he sleep though the whole thing?
The questions seem even more pointed in the light of allegations that the survivors have allegedly been silenced.
Under this continuing cloud of suspicion, the damage caused by the insurgents in Benghazi that fearful night may sadly end up running far deeper than even the most hardened jihadist fanatic could have imagined.
Brought in to fill the shoes of retiring City Manager David Tyson, who held the post for a decade, Panos has had a busy nine-month tenure. In that time, he's overseen the hiring of a new police chief, a comprehensive strategic planning process, and a budget process that included the consolidation of city departments.
Mayor Frank Jager said he was surprised and disappointed to hear news of Panos' pending departure, but he's happy for him.
”It's an opportunity he couldn't refuse,” Jager said Friday, noting that the governor's office has also offered a position to Panos' wife. “You get an offer like that, you can't turn it down.”
And, Jager quickly added, Panos is leaving the city in a good position.
”The city's in good shape,” he said. “We have an excellent assistant city manager, a great staff and Bill's done a lot of things to move forward. There's no reason to believe things won't continue in that vein.”
Friday, September 13, 2013
United States of Obama:
NOT THE FIRST TIME:
◼ Time Magazine Covers In The U.S. Vs. The Rest Of The World - BUZZFEED
◼ These Time Magazine Covers Explain Why Americans Know Nothing About The World - NUSINESS INSIDER
◼ STUNNING: Comparing U.S. & World Covers for TIME Magazine - DAILY KOS
Viewing these covers, a question must be asked: do these moments of marketing (through a choice in covers) reveal more about Americans, or about the state of American journalism?
I fear the answer.
◼ Former Colorado Senator Angela Giron, who was recalled in a historic election Tuesday night for her pro-gun control votes last Spring, tore a page out of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's playbook on CNN yesterday by blaming her defeat on voter suppression. - Katie Pavlich/Townhall
◼ DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is so upset about anti-gun Colorado Senators Angela Giron and John Morse being recalled last night that she's making stuff up. - Katie Pavlich/Townhall
◼ ‘Call it for what it is!’ Visibly frustrated Angela Giron blames her recall on voter suppression [video] - Twitchy, Who Said What on Twitter
Angela Giron just made a complete fool of her self on @cnn she blamed the citizens of Colorado for being easily confused.— Dan (@dinkDaniels) September 12, 2013
- Washington Examiner Editorial
Judge John Sedia said in a Sept. 5, 2013, ruling that his state’s right-to-work law, which prevents workers from being forced to join a union or pay dues to one as a condition of employment, violates a section in the state that bars the delivery of services “without just compensation.” The judge’s thinking went like this: Union contracts require them to represent all employees in a workplace. A worker not paying dues is stealing from the union.
It’s an absurd argument. What the judge ignored was the fact that it is the unions that demand their contracts with management cover all workers. Nothing forces them to make that demand.
...Michigan’s legislature passed a right-to-work law last year. That followed similar, though more limited, efforts in Ohio and Wisconsin. Unions rolled back Ohio’s law in a voter referendum, but they have struggled in other traditionally union-friendly states. The debate puts them in the awkward position of arguing that individual workers should have no say in whether they join a union. So unions have turned to the courts to say it for them.
◼ In Other News: Demise: Wisconsin’s third-largest school district says no thanks to union representation - HotAir
◼ What happens when teachers don’t have to join a union? - CEI
Today, teachers in Kenosha, Wis., voted to decertify their union, the Kenosha Education Association, by a margin of nearly two to one. Only 37 percent of the teachers opted to retain the union in an election made possible by the labor reforms enacted under Gov. Scott Walker (R). The result goes to show that when workers have a choice on whether to join a union instead of being forced into one by law, they often choose to vote down the union.
It raised $1.17 million that year. It claimed over $500,000 in expenses; over $100,000 was for a Launch Party.
◼ The nonprofit Women in the World Foundation kicked off to much fanfare in 2011 with a star-studded Manhattan party that cost $168,048 and was hosted by Meryl Streep. - NY Post
Barack Obama has not right to stake the future of American interests in the Middle East in propping up rebels allied with the Muslim Brothers and Al Qaeda.
...You need to be keenly aware of the “dog that has not barked.” More than 20 years ago, when I worked in Counter Terrorism Office at the US Department of State, Libya mounted a failed terrorist attack from the sea against Israel. My boss at the time, Ambassador Morris Busby, at the behest of President George HW Bush, embarked on a briefing tour of the Mediterranean. He was accompanied by intel analysts, documents, photos, sensitive intercepts. He had the works. His mission? Convince the Italians, the Greeks, the French and the Egyptians that Libya was responsible for a failed terrorist attack. This was a slam dunk briefing. The facts were indisputable.
Why do I raise that experience? Because Obama and his team DO NOT HAVE SIMILAR FACTS....
◼ ‘It Was American Exceptionalism That Stood Up to the Soviet Union and Freed Hundreds of Millions’ - PJMedia
Sen. Ted Cruz: "Autocrats have reason to fear when Americans focus on our principles and focus on exceptionalism because it’s been American exceptionalism that stood up to the Nazis and stopped the murder from the Nazis, and it was American exceptionalism that stood up to the Soviet Union and freed hundreds of millions from behind the Iron Curtain."
◼ Jim DeMint Writes Letter to Vladimir Putin on American Exceptionalism - In pdf form from Heritage
◼ Misunderstanding American Exceptionalism - RUSH
That op-ed, by the way, that Putin wrote yesterday and American exceptionalism, I made the point when I analyzed that, that Obama doesn't believe in American exceptionalism. He thinks like Putin. He thinks it's bragging. It's unseemly. It's arrogant and conceited. "We're no better than anybody else and there's no such thing.
And, lo and behold, I found a tweet. A friend of mine sent me a tweet from Peter Beinart, who's a well-known leftist.
He worked to use the New Republic, I believe. He's out there, he's on Sunday shows, he's a guest on cable, and he tweeted the following: "At the end of his op-ed Putin said about American exceptionalism what many liberals feel but no American politician would say." So Beinart is admitting the point that I made yesterday. The left agrees with Putin! There is no such thing as American exceptionalism.
I'm telling you, folks, that is a crucially important thing for people to know.
◼ Fair Play! Pravda Allows Sen. McCain To Call Out Putin - Gateway Pundit
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 1.16 billion consumer credit cards were in use in 2012 for an estimated 52.6 billion transactions. If CFPB officials reach their stated "performance goal," they would collect data on 42 billion transactions made with 933 million credit cards used by American consumers.
In addition, CFPB officials hope to monitor up to 95 percent of all mortgage transactions, according to the planning document.
At a Wednesday hearing before the House Financial Services Committee chaired by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, CFPB Director Richard Cordray defended the data-mining practice and said his agency is monitoring credit card usage at 110 banks, including Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, Discover and American Express.
In a related development, Rep. Spencer Bachus, Hensarling’s predecessor on the House Financial Services Committee, told the Examiner he believes CFPB violated at least two federal laws by using the impartial U.S. Trustee Program to gather bankruptcy data as part of the data-mining campaign....
Bachus said CFPB may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, which entitles Americans to be free from government interference or intrusion in dealing with their legal representation.
“They are challenging through their actions, one of the most basic freedoms guaranteed by our forefathers and that is the right to counsel,” he said. “It’s just nuts.”
◼ Aw, snap! Want to know why today is Barack Obama’s favorite holiday?- Twitchy - Twitchy, Who Said What on Twitter
As strong defenders of the 2nd Amendment, we must continually stand by and defend our right to keep and bear Arms.
It was my honor to address the Sacramento Freedom Rally at the Capitol last Saturday. Remember to vet all Republican candidates as to their position and voting record on this critical issue. Trust, but verify. -e
◼ FAILURE TO LAUNCH: NORTH CAROLINA INSURANCE COMPANY PULLS OUT OF OBAMACARE EXCHANGE - obamacosts
◼ BROKEN PROMISES: FOR ONE TEXAS FAMILY, OBAMACARE COULD DOUBLE THEIR COST FOR HEALTH COVERAGE - obamacosts
According To Kaiser’s ObamaCare Calculator, A Texas Family’s “Annual Premium Costs For Health Insurance Would Be Almost Double” Under ObamaCare. “Based on the Kaiser Family Foundation’s online calculator, the Wolf family’s annual premium costs for health insurance would be almost double their current costs if they purchase a benchmark plan through the federal exchange that will be offered to Texas residents.” (Carla K. Johnson, “Middle Class Family Braces For Higher Premiums,” The Associated Press, 9/11/13)
Under ObamaCare, The Family Will Pay $7,004 More. “If a yearly income of $130,000 is assumed, the Wolfs would pay an annual premium of $14,804 for the mid-range insurance plan, called a Silver Plan. Their current annual premium is about $7,800.” (Carla K. Johnson, “Middle Class Family Braces For Higher Premiums,” The Associated Press, 9/11/13)
◼ LIUNA UNION HEAD: OUR MEMBERS’ HEALTH CARE FUNDS UNDER SIEGE BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE
◼ DCCC faces backlash over primary endorsements - Roll Call
◼ DCCC’s get dragged into Rep. Garcia’s voter fraud scandal which is being investigated by the FBI - Miami Herald
◼ DCCC Chairman embarrassingly says he “not losing sleep over our defense at all“ - Sean Sullivan/Washington Post
Thursday, September 12, 2013
What Can I Do to Stop this Data Collection?
A crucial part of the responsibility of parents is protecting the privacy of their children. This enables parents not only to guard their children’s physical safety, but also to nurture their individuality and secure opportunities for them to pursue their dreams apart from government interference. The rise of national databases threatens these freedoms.
At the federal level, HSLDA continues to work to defund and eliminate Race to the Top, the Early Learning Challenge, and other federal programs that are using federal funds—your tax dollars—to entice the states into creating national databases in exchange for federal grants. But since RTTT and the ELC are priorities of the Obama administration, it will be difficult to end these programs.
The states, however, can choose to reject these federal funds in order to safeguard student data. Please contact your state legislators, including your state’s governor, to discuss this issue with them. Ask them about their position on the issue. Find your governor’s current information here. And urge your state officials to reject these national databases of student-specific data.
At the moment of execution the rebels grasped his throat. The young man put up a struggle. Three or four rebels pinned him down. The man tried to protect his throat with his hands, which were still tied together. He tried to resist but they were stronger than he was and they cut his throat. They raised his head into the air. People waved their guns and cheered
What follows is a harrowing series of photographs of Islamic militants publicly executing, by decapitation, a young Syrian in the town of Keferghan, near Aleppo, on August 31, 2013.
Because of the danger in reporting inside Syria, it was not possible to confirm the identity or political affiliation of the victim. Nor are we certain about the motivation of his killers. One eyewitness who lives in the area and was contacted by TIME a week after the beheadings said that the executioners were from ISIS, an Al-Qaeda franchise operating in Syria and Iraq.
TIME obtained the images exclusively from a photographer who was recently in Syria. This decapitation was the last of four executions he documented that day. TIME has agreed not to publish the photographer’s name, to protect him from repercussions when he returns to Syria.
When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 a cluster of newly independent states was created. Some, such as Belarus, stayed very close to Russia; others such as Ukraine, made strong assertions of their independence.
With Russia on its north and east, Ukraine could not escape geography or history (Kievan Rus, the beginnings of Russia in the 9th century, was founded in Kiev). And, what had been the USSR’s main naval base, in the Crimea, remained under lease to Russia by an independent Ukraine.
The Western half of the country has long felt strong tugs toward Poland, its neighbor, and further westward. The Eastern half contains a large number of Ukrainians who speak Russian and lean toward that country.
The West means greatly expanded trade and a stronger economy, as well as support for the many Ukrainians who want to strengthen the country’s fledgling democratic institutions. Russia means a steady flow of natural gas, continued trade, and an absence of soft and hard bullying.
For Ukrainian leaders, such as President Viktor Yanukovych, this means a tightrope walk between the competing international interests. It may come to a head at a meeting in November in Vilnius, Lithuania. There, members of the European Union who have been negotiating with Ukraine the terms of an EU Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, will decide whether to sign the final document.
As the event nears, Ukraine is still debating some things the EU wants, such as electoral reform. A referendum law and other electoral reforms are now before the Rada, the national legislature. Also under consideration is legislation to strengthen intellectual property protection.
Yanukovych’s former political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, remains in prison, convicted of several economic crimes. The EU wants the criminal justice system reformed, including the possibility of allowing the ailing Tymoshenko to go to Germany for medical treatment. There is no precedent elsewhere in the world to enshrine into law leave from prison for medical purposes. Politically, the Tymoshenko situation poses a tough problem for Yanukovych. It would be far better to set aside from the justice reform agenda this item for discussion and negotiation after the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement were signed. The chances for a resolution of the issue would increase considerably if that were to happen.
The EU has also called for reform of the overly generous Soviet-era pension system and for Ukraine to agree to meet with the International Monetary Fund in the months ahead in order to reach an agreement that would bring structural reforms to Ukraine’s tax code which, in turn, would spur economic growth.
A successful outcome at Vilnius could greatly brighten Ukraine’s future. On the other hand, Vladimir Putin’s Russia, always somewhat paranoid about what it thinks are foreign influences interfering with what it considers its historic “sphere of influence,” has been urging Ukraine to join a customs union it wants to set up with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Not so subtly, Russia has slipped the word that the customs union or EU Agreement are an either/or proposition.
Yanukovych and his government have invested a good deal of energy in balancing the interests of West and East in their dealings.
Although the United States is not involved in the negotiations, the reforms the EU is asking of Ukraine are also ones that would benefit U.S. trade and investment in the country. A completed EU Agreement would be welcomed by U.S. companies doing business in Ukraine or thinking about doing so. And, stronger democratic institutions in a part of the world where they were long absent is a perpetual American goal.
An EU agreement would also more permanently put Ukraine’s strategic “foot in the West” to balance any design Putin might have in reconstructing Russian hegemony over this important neighbor. The West cannot afford to lose Ukraine to such an outcome.
Peter Hannaford was closely associated with the late President Reagan for a number of years, beginning in the Governors Office in California. His latest book is “Presidential Retreats.” He is also a member of the board of The Committee on the Present Danger.
◼ Lois Lerner's Own Words: Emails undercut the official IRS story on political targeting. - Wall St. Journal
Congress's investigation into the IRS targeting of conservatives has been continuing out of the Syria headlines, and it's turning up news. Emails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee between former Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner and her staff raise doubts about IRS claims that the targeting wasn't politically motivated and that low-level employees in Cincinnati masterminded the operation....
Ms. Lerner famously invoked her right against self-incrimination rather than testify under oath to Congress. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reported this summer that its investigation had found Ms. Lerner had sent official IRS documents to her personal email account, and many questions remain unanswered. Democrats want to pretend the IRS scandal is over, but Ms. Lerner's role deserves much more exposure.
◼ Syrian crisis: Keeping up with key developments - CNN
...The Syrian president added that his government's signing of the international agreement is not "unilateral." It is contingent, he said, on the United States ceasing its threats of military action and the acceptance of Russia's proposal to transfer the arms to international control. "When we see that the United States really wants stability in our region, and will stop threatening and striving to attack, and will stop proving weapons to the terrorists, then we will consider that we can carry out these necessary processes to the end. And they (the processes) will put into effect by Syria," al-Assad said. "The most important role belongs to the Russian government because we do not trust the United States and have no contact. Russia is the only government that can carry this out right now."
...I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout. What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.
So, here’s the bit that I think is important for you to realize. If you are friends with a Hall boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole Hall family.
Please know that we genuinely like staying connected with you this way! We enjoy seeing things through your unique and colorful lens – you are insightful, and often very, very funny.
Which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate.
That post doesn’t reflect who you are at all! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say?
And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our sons, just as we know your parents care about you....
RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies....
Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.
Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.
From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression. More at the link
◼ Putin Shocks, Drops Op-ed in New York Times on Russia’s Syria Proposal - Red Alert Politics
In a jolt to pundits and America’s political class, Putin took to the opinion pages of the New York Times Thursday to make a direct appeal to the American people for peacefully securing Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. President Obama said in a winding Tuesday night address that he would prioritize the Russian option, offered Monday and agreed to by Syria Tuesday, while asking Congress to postpone a vote authorizing his preferred option to launch targeted strikes on Syrian assets — and requesting that the U.S. military remain at the ready should international negotiations fall through....
“It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States,” Putin wrote. “Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan ‘you’re either with us or against us.’”
The last concern was at the forefront of Putin’s argument. The Russian leader spent many of his words in the op-ed extolling the idea of a multilateral solution and rejecting America’s superpower status in the global community. He saved his biggest shot at President Obama’s Tuesday speech and traditional American ideals for the conclusion.
“I would … disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is ‘what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional,’” Putin began. “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.”
◼ Russia’s position on Syria is all about constraining America - Washington Post
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, struck back on Wednesday at critics who have charged tech companies with doing too little to fight off NSA surveillance. Mayer said executives faced jail if they revealed government secrets.
Yahoo and Facebook, along with other tech firms, are pushing for the right to be allowed to publish the number of requests they receive from the spy agency. Companies are forbidden by law to disclose how much data they provide.
Needless to say, this is a major victory for coastal landowners of all stripes—from homeowners big and small, to farmers. And it’s a major blow to the bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Toni Atkins, and the Coastal Commission’s Legislative Liaison, Sarah Christie. Christie in particular lobbied hard for the bill, testifying at the Capitol and making numerous media appearances on taxpayers’ dime. But ultimately, Christie failed to dissuade enough legislators that the bill would do anything other than give an already zealous agency yet another tool for abusing the rights of coastal landowners.
Doctors are being turned into government agents, where they’re pressured financially to ask questions they consider inappropriate and unnecessary and violate their Hippocratic Oath to keep patients’ records confidential.
Patients need to defend their own privacy by refusing to answer the intrusive “social history” questions. If you need to confide something to your doctor pertaining to your own treatment, ask your doctor about keeping two sets of books so that your secrets stay in the office. Doctors take the Hippocratic oath seriously and will not be offended.
Are such precautions paranoid? Hardly. We are only beginning to see the data collection ambitions of the executive branch. On Sept. 6, The New York Times reported that Edward Snowden’s revelations show that the National Security Agency has “broadly compromised the guarantees that Internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, online bank and medical records, would be undecipherable to criminals or governments.”
Be cautious about sharing your medical secrets with Uncle Sam.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
For one thing, UN Resolution 1970, passed in 2011, expressly forbids the shipment of weapons into or out of Libya, and demands that any weapons possessed (by any UN country) be destroyed. Russia brought this matter up with the US earlier, so this was a source of potential embarrassment....
The main thing I think this article advances is the Phony Scandal Cover-Up motive. That is, why are the media so determined to label Benghazi a "Phony Scandal"? Apart from their reflexive need to praise their Hero God, I mean.
I have long thought that, behind the scenes, the Administration was telling reporters, sotto voce, "Well, you know we had a major CIA operation going on in Benghazi. And those darned Partisan Republicans just want to expose it, Because They Hate America."
And then reporters, feeling all Trusted and Respected by their Boyfriend, dutifully run out to say, "Phony Scandal!"
◼ One Year Later: Why We Were in Benghazi - John Sexton/Breitbart
This is being referred to in Washington as the "trick rule." Conservative Republicans have one word on this tactic. Vote “NO” on both bills.
If you choose to do so you may contact the Republican Leadership. Your own Congressman whether Republican or Democrat needs to be contacted also.
John Boehner, Speaker of the House Ohio
(202) 225-6205......Fax: (202) 225-0704
Eric Cantor, Majority Leader Virginia
(202) 225-2815......Fax: (202) 225-0011
Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip California
(202) 225-2915......Fax: (202) 225-2908
Pete Sessions, Chairman-Rules Comm Texas
(202) 225-2231......Fax: (202) 225-5878
Of course, you can call any other Republican Congressman. It will take only 16 Republicans to vote
no and defeat this bill.
Thank you for all your work.
Legislative Issues Chair
CFRW - Northern Division
The Syria researcher whose Wall Street Journal op-ed piece was cited by Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain during congressional hearings about the use of force has been fired from the Institute for the Study of War for lying about having a Ph.D.
“The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University,” the institute said in a statement. “ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately.”
...O’Bagy’s Aug. 30 op-ed piece for the Journal, “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War,” was cited by both Kerry and McCain last week. McCain read from the piece last Tuesday to Kerry, calling it “an important op-ed by Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy.” The next day, Kerry also brought up the piece before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing and described it as a “very interesting article” and recommended that members read it.
But the piece had also come under fire for misrepresenting her affiliations. Originally the op-ed only listed O’Bagy, 26, as only “a senior analyst” at the ISW, later adding a clarification that disclosed her connection to a Syrian rebel advocacy group....
|Thousands of motorcycles are flooding into Washington D.C. on the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (credit: Prince George's Police Department)|
◼ Thousands of bikers from around the country roared into the D.C. area on Wednesday in a show of support for Sept. 11 victims and in solidarity against a controversial Muslim rally on the Mall. - Meredith Somers/Washington Times
The 2 Million Bikers to DC ride might have fallen short of 2 million strong, but the numbers were impressive. A line of shining chrome and steel bikes stretched about a third of a mile from the starting point at the Harley Davidson of Washington store just outside the District in Prince George’s County....
The ride was complicated by the fact that federal and local authorities denied a permit that would have offered the riders a police escort through traffic — a sore spot with organizers who thought the denial was for political purposes.
“We’re here for 9-11,” said national ride coordinator Belinda Bee. “We are going to have a peaceful ride. … But there are people who are sick and tired of their rights and liberties being taken away.”
The National Park Service has denied any political motivation for refusing the permit, which ride organizers sought last month. The Park Service earlier this year granted a permit to a Muslim group planning a rally Wednesday to call attention to social justice issues.
The American Muslim Political Action Committee has scheduled a rally to draw attention to what they call unfair fear of Muslims after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Ms. Bee said the ride was originally set up to counter the rally and show respect for the victims of that day.
◼ 'Million Muslim March' 2013 and '2 Million Bikers' [VIDEO]: Washington D.C. rally expected on anniversary of September 11 attacks - Christian Today
◼ VIDEO AND PHOTOS: 2 Million Bikers to DC - The Right Scoop
◼ 2 Million Bikers to DC reportedly given a hand by DC police after Park Service snub - Twitchy
"Time has passed. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." President George .W Bush
◼ Slideshow - National Review
Mitt Romney: Our hearts will always be broken with the memory of lives lost and loved-ones separated on this day of horror 12 years ago. Americans everywhere reach out with prayers and love to those so deeply wounded, but we also marvel at the heroism and the character of the American spirit that were shown so brightly that tragic day.
Paul Ryan: 9/11 is a solemn day in our history. Today, we remember those we lost, and we honor the heroes who defend our country.
Allen West: Today, we remember those who lost their lives to terrorism, and those in uniform who are still fighting to defeat it.
While we remember those lost –we must also never forget the ‘leaders’ who abandoned Americans under attack to die, and still work to deceive us as to why.
On this day, let us remember the enemy who brazenly attacked us has not been defeated, and will continue to attack, simply because we are a nation and a people who believe in individual liberty.
God bless the greatest nation the world has ever known, these United States of America.
Senator Marco Rubio: Rubio Statement On The 12th Anniversary Of The Attacks Of September 11, 2001
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement remembering and reflecting on the attacks of September 11, 2001:
“This is a day for remembrance and quiet reflection. For most of us, we can hardly believe that 12 years have passed since the attacks of September 11, 2001. These attacks will forever be a part of our lives, not only because of the pain they caused, but because they reminded us of how resilient we are as a people.
“We were reminded of the greatness of America through the brave men and women who saved lives on the ground by fighting the hijackers in the air on Flight 93. We were amazed by the first responders who rushed to the aid of the victims, with no thought to the personal risks that lay ahead. We were filled with pride as millions of Americans raised flags above their homes and storefronts to show solidarity with those who had lost loved ones.
“This is also a day to show gratitude to the men and women in our armed forces and intelligence services, who have fought and worked tirelessly to bring those who planned 9/11 to justice. Their sacrifices and vigilance have largely kept the American homeland safe in the years since, so we are able to go on with our lives free from the fear that our attackers were so desperate to instill in us.
“Finally, this is a day to rededicate ourselves to our patriotic duty. We must always keep in mind the freedom that unites us as Americans, and we must remain vigilant in our daily lives to ensure the uniqueness of our nation remains a reality for many generations to come.”
The morning of September 11, 2001 began with a beautiful sunrise over Lower Manhattan, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and a quiet field in Shanksville, PA.
By the time the sun set that day we were a nation in shock and mourning and at war with people and an ideology that hated us because of our freedom and our way of life. This week will we remember that solemn day.
We must never forget the 3000 innocent victims who died that day just because they went to work or boarded an airplane, the firefighters and rescue workers who entered the building knowing they would not be walking back down the stairs alive, and the families of the victims who have to live with the horror of their loved ones death for the rest of their lives.
WE MUST NEVER FORGET THE EVENTS OF 9/11.
If we start to forget we risk seeing another 9/11 attack on our country. The Boston Marathon attack was another wake up call.
We must continue to remember that America must stay strong, we are in a war, not with a country, but with an ideology that resents all for which America stands.
This will be the 12th anniversary since the attacks of 9/11. We are moving forward but we never want to see the horrors of that day again. In lower Manhattan the 1,776 feet tall Freedom Tower is rising upward to the sky, a testimonial to the courage and strength that is AMERICA. The reflecting pools have become a beautiful and solemn memorial to all the innocent victims of September 11, 2001.
On September 11, please make time to reflect on the events of that day, say a prayer, light a candle, visit a house of worship, and remember the victims and families of 9/11 and our brave military who continue to fight for our freedom, especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
WE MUST NEVER FORGET!God Bless You, God Bless Our Troops, God Bless America
Rosann Slonsky-BreaultCFRW Northern Division President
**photo via Facebook
The entire community is encouraged to participate and to bring an American flag to carry in the parade. The parade will start at the city parking lot on “L” Street between 11th and 12th streets. The route will go down 11th Street to Main Street, then along Main Street to the Veterans Memorial Building.
Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge manager Richard Guadagno was among the thousands who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
He was flying back to the West Coast after a two-week vacation visiting family in New Jersey and Vermont when terrorists hijacked his flight.
◼ Benghazi: One Year Later - Cagle.com
Benghazi, a year later: "It’s been a year since this tragic attack. It’s been a year without accountability, a year without answers, a year without justice. President Obama promised justice. Hillary Clinton promised accountability. Congress promised answers. All of them failed miserably."
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
You won't have Weiner to kick around any more. #TrickyDick— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) September 11, 2013
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer lost a close Democratic primary for New York’s city comptroller position. http://t.co/U16uf1gJvs— POLITICO (@politico) September 11, 2013
Good day for decency. RT @susquinn: Spritzer and Weiner lost. Bad day for bad boys.— Emily Miller (@EmilyMiller) September 11, 2013
In Colorado... ‘Total recall’: Colorado Second Amendment activists celebrate historic recall elections
BREAKING: Colo state Senate president ousted in recall election over his advocacy for new gun control restrictions http://t.co/mWec9kI1Kd— Andrew Malcolm (@AHMalcolm) September 11, 2013
◼ Colorado strong: Army of grass-roots Davids boots gun-grabbing Democrat state Senate president John Morse; Update: Giron recalled! - Michelle Malkin
If you’ve been following my Twitter feed all night, you already know the news: Here in my adopted hometown of Colorado Springs, freedom-loving citizens have successfully recalled state Sen. president John Morse — who spearheaded the legislative push for extreme gun control laws backed by outgoing NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, Vice President Joe Biden, and out-of-state gun-grabbing lobbyists.◼ Anti-gun Colorado state Senate President recalled - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
The significance of this historic and unprecedented battle cannot be overstated. As I’ve reported over the past several months, the effort was an astonishing grass-roots effort in which ordinary citizens gathered more than 16,000 signatures for a recall petition in Colorado Springs over a matter of weeks. The role of women (Coloradans Laura Carno, Kelly Maher, Kim Weeks were among the leading lights) in pushing back against false gun-grabbing narratives and smears was invaluable. The birth control fear-mongering failed. The use of social media to organize echoes other successful Tea Party efforts.
◼ ‘Total recall’: Colorado Second Amendment activists celebrate historic recall elections - Twitchy, Who Said What on Twitter
◼ An emotional gun control debate culminates in a recall election that ousts Colorado's state senate president - Politico
◼ Video - The Right Scoop
◼ Reviews in for Obama speech: “Incoherent,” “disingenuous,” “nothing new” - Ed Morrissey/HotAir
◼ Annotated Transcript Of Obama's Confusing Syria Speech (With Snark and Truth Added) - Yid With Lid
The president's speech tonight in a sentence: Assad will remain Syria's dictator as long as Russia and Iran want him to be.— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) September 11, 2013
◼ Obama Syria address: Mike Allen's top takeaways - Politico
◼ Obama's Strange FDR Quotation - Bill Kristol/Weekly Standard
Presumably Obama didn't know the context of his quotation from FDR. But it seems inadvertently fitting that Obama quoted not the FDR who fought Hitler but the FDR of the 1930s. As it happens, the day after the San Diego speech, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia. Italian troops repeatedly and brazenly used poison gas in that conflict. The world, including of course the U.S., expressed "deep concern"—but did nothing.
◼ Obama’s Syria speech: An illogical argument from a paralyzed president - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post
The president is paralyzed because the first part of his argument, one which conservatives wholeheartedly agree with, does not match his call for inaction or, in the best case scenario, a Russian brokered deal.◼ No passion, no new arguments as Barack Obama restates unpopular case for Syria strike - Peter Foster, in Washington/Telegraph
Gone is the demand that Assad “must go.” Gone is any penalty for using chemical weapons. Gone is the demonstration of resolve meant to signal seriousness about chemical weapons. Gone is the notion that we care about the plight of Syrians or that 100,000 dead stir something beyond empty rhetoric. Gone is any deterrent effect to Iran. By throwing the ball to Congress and then to Russia, Obama has effectively taken the use of force off the table, letting the Russians and Assad set the ground rules. From a moral and geopolitical standpoint, this is a debacle that will extend throughout the Middle East and beyond.
◼ Barack Obama’s Syria speech was an incoherent mess – he is outperforming Jimmy Carter as the most feeble US president of modern times - Nile Gardiner/Telegraph
◼ Obama´s Syria speech almost irrelevant - BBC
◼ Syria Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Barack Obama: Fumbling, Flip-flopping, Marble-mouthing... - Ron Fournier/National Journal
◼ Unbelievably Small: Obama Cuts Syria Speech to 15 Minutes, Will Pitch Diplomacy and War - Ben Shapiro/Breitbart
◼ Making Sense of Syria - Peggy Noonan/Wall St. Journal
◼ There´s Almost No Chance Russia´s Plan for Syria´s Chemical Weapons Will Work - Yochi Dreazen/Foreign Policy
◼ About a million more square miles of ocean are covered in ice in 2013 than in 2012, a whopping 60 percent increase -- and a dramatic deviation from predictions of an "ice-free Arctic in 2013," - FOX
Noting the year over year surge, one scientist even argued that "global cooling" was here.
"We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped,” Anastasios Tsonis of the University of Wisconsin told London’s Mail on Sunday.
Russia is also now taking away Obama’s fig leaf that the threat of force is driving this phony weapons deal, by taking the threat of force entirely off the table. Obama is playing cards with Reggie Love, Putin is playing 3D chess like a boss.
Obama is being played. The Russian deal forced him to change course and re-write tonight’s speech at the last minute. Now he has to re-write it again, or pretend that the Russians didn’t just drop a flaming bag of something on the White House doorstep. It will be grimly amusing to see what Obama tells the American people about all this now. The words “fiasco” and “clusterf*ck” have been said by others today. He won’t use either word, but that doesn’t mean both don’t apply.
Harry Reid pretended that the Russia deal drove him to halt a vote on force in the Senate. The reality is that Democrat votes for force were “dropping like flies,” and the prospect of passage in the House was always grim. ◼ Obama lost the Congressional Black Caucus today. Sen. Mitch McConnell ◼ came out against bombing today, breaking with the House GOP leaders who had supported it, and probably killing off any chance that the Senate would help Obama out by at least giving him a split vote in Congress. The likelihood now is that he gets rejected by both houses with actual “No” votes or implicitly if neither brings the authorization to a vote, and then has to decide if he wants to strike Syria anyway. Does Barry feel lucky?
So Obama is being played by Putin. The question is, does he know or even care that he’s being played?
◼ SYRIA ACCEPTS RUSSIAN WEAPONS PROPOSAL - AP
◼ PUTIN: U.S. must call off strike - Russia Today
◼ Ships Assad more weapons - Times Of Israel
◼ Obama revises address to U.S. - New York Times
◼ 'Rebels' oppose proposal - Josh Rogin/Daily Beast
◼ MAG: Putin Didn't Save Obama, He Beat Him - Weekly Standard
Maybe Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin really did discuss the idea of putting Syrian chemical weapons under international control last week on the sidelines of the G20 conference. Putin sure doesn’t care that Obama’s taking credit for the proposal, or that the administration is posturing like a Mob enforcer. “The only reason why we are seeing this proposal,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney, “is because of the U.S. threat of military action.”◼ Navy Deploys 'USS Barry' Off Coast of Syria - National Review
Right, Putin is laughing to himself. Whatever. If Obama wants to sell it like a Christmas miracle on Pennsylvania Avenue that’s fine with Putin, because Putin won.
◼ NOONAN: 'We've never had a presidential speech like this!' Wall St. Journal
◼ Russian Parliament Gloats as Putin Checkmates Obama Over Syria - Breitbart
Monday morning, Secretary of State John Kerry made what an administration official called a "major goof" with a never-going-to-happen hypothetical that suggested Syria could avoid American airstrikes by surrendering their chemical weapons. Even the State Department walked Kerry's statement back. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov immediately seized upon Kerry's flub, and now a member of the Russian parliament is gloating over Putin's checkmate of Obama.◼ John Kerry changes story to claim credit - Buzzfeed
◼ SLAM! Obama should give Putin his Nobel Peace Prize! - FOX
◼ DEM SEN: 'We're not trusting Assad; We are trusting Russians' - Washington Free Beacon
◼ Syrian 'Rebels' Giving U.S. Targets To Defeat Regime - Sky News
◼ WH downplays ties to al Qaeda - Washington Times
◼ German paper says intercepts show Assad rejecting Sarin use - McClatchy
◼ PAPER: Intel officials warned president al Qaeda was strengthening - Washington Times
◼ Flailing Obama slumps to lowest ratings of his presidency, as US voters see him as ‘a weak and indecisive leader’' - Nile Gardiner/Telegraph
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is a prospective candidate for Governor of California in 2014. You can meet him Saturday, September 14th. Plan to have lunch with us at Humboldt GOP's Meet & Greet at the ◼ Veterans Memorial Building in Fortuna. Doors Open at 11:30, catered lunch is at 12:15. $15 per person, $25 per couple, CALL FOR RESERVATIONS by September 8th, let us know what you'd like for lunch. 498-3101, Gwen Morris, 442-2788 Annette De Modena
◼ Tim Donnelly
A trainwreck of an interview between Lawrence O'Donnell and Anthony Weiner... - Ace Of Spades What is the point of this? Tomorrow, in the Democratic mayoral primary, Anthony Weiner will lose. This is not in much dispute. Weiner is appearing on O'Donnell to keep up appearances. Candidates do not announce "Well I sure was an asshole running for this thing" the night before an election. There is no actual threat of him winning, then. So why the heavy preening by O'Donnell? ◼ O’Donnell Goes Off on Weiner: ‘What Is Wrong With You?’ - Washington Free Beacon
◼ Norwegian centre-right leader Erna Solberg is set to form a new government after Labour Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg admitted election defeat. - BBC
Her Conservative Party is widely expected to form a government with the anti-immigration Progress Party.
◼ Conservative leader Abbott sweeps into power in Australian elections - Reuters
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday after meeting with Russian parliament speaker that his government quickly "agreed to the Russian initiative."
Al-Moallem added that Syria did so to "uproot U.S. aggression."
MSNBC orgasming over Obama's brilliant move on Syria to leave Assad intact and the Russians in charge of global WMD policy.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 10, 2013
Russia checkmates Obama on Syria: http://t.co/T9db3BMjNe If Obama tries to take credit for this, our last shred of credibility burns off.— Human Events (@HumanEvents) September 10, 2013
◼ Will the rebels do the same?
SYRIA ACCEPTS RUSSIAN WEAPONS PROPOSAL...
First proposed by -- Albert Brooks?
Obama revises address to U.S....
Rebels oppose proposal...
THis afternoon, Secy Kerry discusses US policy on Syria in a Google+ Hangout. Livestream on State,gov— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) September 10, 2013
Then, there's this:
◼ Report: Intercepts Caught Assad Repeatedly Rejecting Requests From Field Commanders To Use Chemical Weapons… - Weasel Zippers
◼ Intercepts caught Assad rejecting requests to use chemical weapons, German paper says - McClatchy
◼ Obama now is desperately trying to take credit for this turn around, but that is laughable. At least he is smart enough to jump on this train since his war wagon lost its wheels and horses. Obama was going to be completely emasculated in the House and the Senate had he pressed forward with the Syrian version of a Gulf of Tonkin resolution. - Larry Johnson/No Quarter
Looks like the Saudi/Israeli plan to isolate and weaken Iran has been derailed. As I have noted previously on this blog, the furor over Syria was manufactured by the United States and the United Kingdom as part of a broader strategy designed to go after Iran. Syria was just a proxy, Iran was the real target. But that’s all moot now with Russia’s bold move to put Syria’s chemical weapons under the auspices of international inspectors.
This is a very shrewd move and ultimately will either buy Iran protection and/or isolate Israel. How so? (Answer, at the link)
Monday, September 9, 2013
And in summer evenings thirty kids, girls and boys, played hide-and-seek across several blocks, and parents didn´t give it a thought. Why should they? It was safe. We were the dominant culture, the only culture, and we didn´t do pederasty, engage in gang attacks, or muggings, or drive fast on kid-littered streets. It wasn´t our way. If we had suffered a natural disaster, no one would have looted. It wasn´t what we did.
I´m not sure what would have happened if a gang of high-schoolers had robbed a candy store. It was impossible, because we didn´t do such things. A child molester? I don´t know. It would have one way or another been a case of God help him and he never would have been seen again. The culture didn´t tolerate child molesters.
And now, and now….
And now I read daily of armed police patrolling the halls of schools, of parents walking their kids to school because children aren´t safe by themselves, of metal detectors at the doors, of flash mobs of, er, teens robbing stores. Instead of homogeneity we have diversity, which means you have to buy a new bicycle twice a year. Leave on unattended for ten minutes, and it disappears....
Syrian 'rebels' threaten Christians with death if they don't convert to Islam...'You will be beheaded'
◼ The village of Maaloula has been taken over by Syrian rebels associated with al Qaeda, who have stormed the Christian center and offered local Christians a choice: conversion or death.
A resident of the town said the rebels shouted “Allahu Akhbar” as they moved through the village, and proceeded to assault Christian homes and churches.
“They shot and killed people,” he said. “I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village. Where is President Obama to see what has befallen us?” Another witness stated, “I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, ‘Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.’”
Environmental Protection Agency officials have from the beginning of President Obama's tenure in the Oval Office "pursued a path of obfuscation, operating in the shadows, and out of the sunlight," according to a Senate report.
The report by Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee provides a detailed description of violations of the Freedom of Information Act and other federal laws and regulations meant to encourage transparency and accountability in the government.
"The agency established an alias identity to hide the actions of the former administrator; has purposefully been unresponsive to FOIA request, oftentimes redacting information the public has a right to know; and mismanaged its electronic records system such that federal records have been jeopardized," the report said.
"Moreover, EPA’s leadership abandoned the historic model of a specialized public servant who seeks to fairly administer the law and has instead embraced a number of controversial tactics to advance a secretive agenda," the report said.
In addition to multiple abuses of the FOIA, the Senate report claims EPA officials have sought to cover up such activities when challenged by congressional oversight officials.
"As Congress has raised questions about EPA’s lack of transparency, the agency has steadfastly ignored its constitutional obligation to subject itself to congressional oversight, apparently in an effort to prevent the public from knowing what is going on behind closed doors," the report said.