Chuck Norris:After 5 1/2 bumpy years of controversial service, the besieged but bolstered attorney general, Eric Holder, resigned. But is this close friend and confidant of President Barack Obama’s really stepping down for some benign reason at a critical time for our country, or is there a sinister and strategic plan behind it all?
First, it’s far more than a coincidence that the United States’ chief lawyer is leaving office with more unanswered questions about crucial life-and-death national dilemmas than any previous attorney general. Though most have been accused of sitting on issues, none has been so assailed as Holder for personally stonewalling investigations, covering up government involvement and refusing to deal with politically explosive controversies. Holder has not prosecuted such monumental and rights-infringing crimes as the Fast and Furious debacle; the Benghazi, Libya, tragedy; National Security Agency wiretappings; press infringements; drone attacks on U.S. citizens; and the Internal Revenue Service scandal.
The Bronx, New York-born 63-year-old Holder proudly boasted that he had “taken steps to protect the environment,” taken swift action in Ferguson, Missouri, and even opened a broad probe into the police department in Ferguson. However, he — like our president and even Secretary of State John Kerry — hasn’t said a single word over the past six months about Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi’s being wrongly imprisoned in Mexico.
Sadly, it has been recently reported that Tahmooressi, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, is “highly despondent” because of the drastic deterioration of his mental health. And still, Holder refuses to speak up on behalf of this suffering, imprisoned American patriot.
Can you say resignation of denial and avoidance?
If Obama invoked executive privilege when Holder sat before Congress to protect him from his role in Fast and Furious, who’s to say he isn’t protecting him again — or vice versa — through Holder’s resignation? What better way to avoid the line of fire than to move completely out of the way? And what if Obama and Holder are not only protecting themselves from some past public sin through his resignation but also prepping Holder for some future position by his absence from the public stage?
That’s exactly what Rush Limbaugh proposed this past week. He explained the scary scenario this way:
“After you perform your six years of government service, you then retire to the private sector and get paid off for it. People hire you who are grateful for what you did, or you go back to your law firm, where you are a rainmaker, don’t even have to do any work.
“They put your name on the letterhead, on the door, and you attract clients and get a percentage of what walks in the door. There is any number of ways this can happen. But there’s also another possibility regarding Eric Holder. I just want you to prepare yourself. It may happen. We still have two years to go.
“There may be a Supreme Court vacancy, and I can see Barack Obama nominating Eric Holder to fill it, and it would be much easier for Eric Holder to make the jump from private-sector law firm rainmaker after six years at (the Department of Justice) to the Supreme Court than from DOJ straight to the Supreme Court. I don’t know how much that would matter, but don’t rule any of that out. I don’t think there’s any scandal. I don’t think it’s Fast and Furious. I don’t think he’s worried about the Republicans investigating anything if they win the Senate.”
It is worth noting that Rahm Emanuel resigned as Obama’s chief of staff two years before the end of the president’s first term in order to attain the post of mayor of Chicago — a resignation that Obama labeled as “bittersweet,” which he also did with Holder’s.
Hillary Clinton was next, with her resignation as secretary of state, which most people think was in order to run for president in 2016.
Now, two years before the end of the president’s second term, could Obama and Holder’s scope be set on SCOTUS? Given they are the kings of corrupt calculated chess moves, I believe the odds are incredibly high.
Having finished their insider dirty work, this trinity of terror (Emanuel, Clinton and Holder) is being sent out like apostles onto the mission field to infuse Obama’s Cabinet’s secular progressive agenda into the deepest roots of the land.
Liberal legacy and progressive perpetuity is the name of their game and their master plan.
Idiocracy: a dystopian society wherein advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism have run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly unthinking society devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights.
So let’s re-cap America 2014.
You’re a Racist if you disagree with The Left, on just about anything, but especially on things like Illegal Aliens, Voter Fraud, Global Warming, and any time you’re white and their black.
You hate Women if you disagree with the radical leftist feminist and are in any way anti-abortion or dislike Hillary Clinton as the next Queen of of Amerika.
You’re homophobic (“bigot”) if you cross the Gay Mafia in any way whatsoever. They should be allowed to do or say anything they want, when they want, because they want.
And Christians are bigots automatically because religion is oppressive. But Muslims who cut people’s head off and ACTUALLY oppress women are politically correct and restricting them is “bigotry” and “intolerance”.
Got it? 🙂
Which brings us to…
Old Glory is Offensive!
An apartment complex told a tenant to remove his American flag because they deemed it “offensive” to foreigners.
San Diego State University sophomore Brad Smith moved into the Boulevard 63 State Apartments last month and hung an American flag off his balcony, ABC10 reports.
A month later, he received a notice asking him to remove it:
“We were then told that it was for political reasons and that the flag could offend foreign people that live here, foreign exchange students,” Smith told ABC10.
“I’ve had friends and family fight to defend that flag.”
EAGNews reports that under the leasing office and apartment community’s rules, flags could not be displayed:
The rules do say “no signs or other personal property may be kept outside the premises” and management determines what is “permissible and acceptable.”
Even the notice that Smith got said flags could not be displayed.
Smith said that none of the rules were brought to his attention when he started to live there.
However, the leasing office started to change its tune later on when a representative admitted that the complex would allow “state and country flags,” according to ABC10.
Flag bans seem to be trending in the news over the past few months in both public and private spaces.
CNSNews reported last Friday that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a California high school’s ban on wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo:
School administrators said that they feared the students would face violence from Latino students for wearing the American flag-themed clothing during the school-sanctioned celebration because there had been at least 30 fights between Caucasian and Hispanic students on campus during the preceding six years.
KHOU reported back in June about a similar situation where an apartment complex in Texas ordered a man to take his American flag down because it was offensive to Muslims. (CNS)
Feb 2014: A federal court ruled Thursday that a northern California high school did not violate the constitutional rights of its students when school officials made them turn their American flag T-shirts inside out on Cinco de Mayo or be sent home due to fears of racial violence.
It’s done. We’re toast. Turn out the lights, the idiots rule the world and they have the news media and the “justice” system to back them up.
In truth, THEY just don’t like what you said and have no respect for The First Amendment because after all, their offense is SO MUCH more important but they won’t tell you that. They will just hide behind some rule or regulation and expect you to respect THEIR authority over you and that’s it. So shut up you bigoted peasant and do as you are ordered by your Lord and Master!
2011 Article: Increasingly, it seems that the American flag is joining toy guns and dodgeball on the banned-from-school list. And the latest story on this front involves The Butterfield Elementary in Orange, Massachusetts, where a teacher told an eleven-year-old boy that he may not hang his depiction of Old Glory because it might “offend” another student.
The boy, Frankie Girard, had drawn the picture in art class but then found that his teacher didn’t share his patriotism. Says his father, John, “He was denied hanging the flag up. And he asked if he could just even hang it on his desk, and he was told no. He could take the picture that he drew and take it home and be proud of it there.”
I guess patriotism has joined piety as a “private matter.” (Leftists tend to confuse closets with shelves. Everything that should be in the former, they display; everything that should be on the latter, they hide.)
There is a bit of a back story here, too. It is claimed that this incident followed an altercation in which the offended one struck Frankie after Frankie asked him why he didn’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
As for the accusation leveled against the teacher, it’s denied by the school superintendent, Dr. Paul Burnim. He refused to go on camera, but, reports WWLP.com’s Matt Caron, he “told 22News over the phone that nobody ever told Franklin the drawing was offensive, and said the only reason it wasn’t hung was because Franklin was supposed to be doing other work; [sic] not drawing a picture.”
Nose growing much, doctor?
The reason why I don’t believe this man for a second is this: What eleven-year-old is going to concoct a story that his teacher said his flag drawing was “offensive”? Oh, I understand that kids can lie almost as well as educators, but such a fabrication would require a level of cultural knowledge and sophistication beyond the grammar-school set. No, what we have here is a guilty teacher and a superintendent doing damage control and hiding under his desk.
As to this, Frankie’s father, John — who has contacted the ACLU (which makes me wonder about his cultural knowledge) and gotten a lot of press — said that Dr. Burnim asked him if this would “go away” if his son were allowed to hang the flag now. Obviously, this educator is worried about being hanged himself. Doctor, the time for that is past.
And you are a coward.
If you were any kind of man, you would have been offended that a teacher would look askance upon the flag. If you were any kind of a man, you would have leapt into action without hesitation. If you were any kind of man, you would have defended our culture. But you’re something other than a man.
It’s called a leftist.
And this is typical of leftists. They persecute traditionalist students in thousands of schools and universities nationwide (see Campus-Watch.org), and, when they are occasionally caught with their hands in the commie jar, they don’t even have the guts to come on camera and defend their “beliefs.”
This is because they operate based on popularity, not principle. They are pack animals, fawners over the fashionable. In 1936 Germany, they would have been doing the goosestep, and in 1917 Russia, they would have sported the hammer and sickle. This malleability isn’t surprising, either. “Left,” like “right,” is a relative term. Left of what? In the case of these folks, the only constant is that they’re left of sanity.
Now, in the comments section under Caron’s article, someone in the community accused Frankie of being a bully. But this is irrelevant. It would be a mistake to conflate a defense of the flag with a defense of a flag-waver. If the boy misbehaved, punish him, but you don’t prohibit the flag’s display because it’s “offensive.” You hang the flag — and then “hang” the child if necessary.
Speaking of which, was the little offended offender punished for striking Frankie? Or is that allowed now when someone has the temerity to express patriotic sentiments?
And who is offended by the flag, anyway? Is this classmate a budding al-Qaeda member? A La Raza Reconquista type? Is his last name Chavez? (Actually, Frankie’s sister claims he’s a Jehovah’s Witness.) Whatever the case, if the American flag offends him, I suggest that he’s in the wrong country.
The thing I find most irritating about this story is the ridiculous idea that “offensiveness” should be a guide for anything. And it not only shouldn’t be…
…but it cannot be.
This is because offensiveness is completely relative and subjective: most everything offends someone and most everyone is offended by something. Yet we won’t prohibit everything. Would we kowtow to a child who was offended by sitting next to a black classmate? In short, we have to discriminate among people’s feelings. And what will be the yardstick that we use to judge? Unless it is the “feelings” of the given authority figure — in which case the judgments are completely arbitrary — the standard of right and wrong must be applied.
Once you recognize this, the offensiveness argument goes out the window. It passes muster only in a relativistic universe in which, without a conception of Truth as a yardstick for making decisions, people use the only thing they have left: emotion. Yet this reduces society to the law of the jungle: we fight, using fists, votes, or words (maybe lies), and those who prevail see their will done. And that higher one, and civilization, are casualties.
The truth is that when people take offense, it’s usually just a ploy. They’re not really offended.
They just don’t happen to like what you’re saying.
But if they were honest and said just that, they’d seem intolerant. So they try to seize the moral high ground by putting the onus on you and claiming you’re “offensive.” Yet they usually have neither the high ground nor anything moral. If they had the latter, they’d likely be able to mount an argument as to why you’re wrong in a real, absolute sense. Instead, all they’re saying, properly translated, is that they don’t like how you taste. If they looked to Truth, however, they might find that the problem actually lies with their palate.
Something else that can exist only in a relativistic universe is the spiritual disease that today wears the label “liberalism.” Get people to believe in Truth, and this disease will die as surely as will a fungus exposed to the light. (American Thinker)
Take your orders and never forget the words of Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “I see that the old flagpole still stands. Have our troops hoist the colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down.”
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
But what do I know I’m a patriotic bigot, after all.
Decades from now, when academic historians describe today’s Tea Party movement, they will almost surely repeat the tripe we often hear today—that the movement is motivated primarily by racism, that Tea Party members have no real principles, that instead their main goal is to deter President Obama from achieving significant accomplishments, that the movement is funded and largely controlled by the Koch brothers, who support the movement mainly because it would help their personal financial interests, etc.
“Wacko Birds” tells the story of the Tea Party, the conservative movement that has become the backbone of political opposition in the Obama era. Loved by many, feared by many, the activists of the Tea Party and the political leaders they support have built a new constituency for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional restraint. In a few short years, they have restrained the growth of the federal government, pushed back against presidential abuses of power, and rolled back the clout of the public sector unions. They have succeeded despite unprecedented repression by the IRS and relentless demonization by the mainstream media.
Yet the Tea Party has also failed in several important respects, especially in the quest for power. Ambivalent about governing, the movement has not yet taken charge of the Republican Party agenda, nor has it fulfilled many of its own policy goals. It has often proved adept at replacing Republican moderate incumbents, but less so in winning elections against Democrats. And at several critical moments, both the Tea Party and the “establishment” it often challenges have failed to find ways to work together toward achieving common goals or against common threats.
The book tells the story of the Tea Party in two ways. First, it traces the broad history of the movement and its political battles, from the fight over Obamacare in 2009-10, to the debt ceiling negotiations of 2011, through the elections of 2012, the federal government shutdown of 2013, and the ongoing fight over immigration reform. Second, the book focuses on the roles played by particular political leaders and the issues with which they become most closely identified: Michele Bachmann and leadership; Paul Ryan and the budget; Rand Paul and foreign policy; Ted Cruz and Obamacare; Marco Rubio and immigration; Scott Walker and public sector unions. The book also discusses troubled candidates who ran under the Tea Party banner, the exposure of the IRS scandal; the role of Gov. Sarah Palin; and the important role played by Andrew Breitbart and conservative new media in defending the Tea Party at several critical moments.
Despite many setbacks, the Tea Party has persisted, and remains an important factor in our political system. Indeed, the success of the “Wacko Birds” remains crucial to the future of American democracy. Without the Tea Party, political opposition in the United States would be both weak and incoherent, and our republic would be in even greater danger than it finds itself at present. “Wacko Birds” provides a concise contemporary history of the Tea Party movement–as well as a criticism of its record so far, and a defense of its ongoing role in the future.
Pollak’s first step into the world of punditry occurred in April 2009, when he was a student at Harvard Law School. During the Q&A period of a speech by Barney Frank, Pollak asked Frank a simple question: How much, if any, responsibility do you have for the sub-prime mortgage crisis? Frank became defensive and visibly agitated. In fact, Pollak had to persist through several interruptions by Frank before he could even finish his question. Frank kept evading the question, and at one point Pollak offered “You can say ‘none.’ That’s fine.” Frank still would not answer. Soon after, Greta van Sustern invited Pollak on her show to discuss, what she called, his “showdown” with Frank.
After an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Rep. Jan Schakowsky from the House of Representatives, Pollak received an offer from Andrew Breitbart to become the chief legal counsel for his “Big” web sites. Pollak accepted, and he still holds that position, while also serving as an occasional editor and writer for the sites.
In March, 2012, Pollak appeared on CNN to discuss a video, which Breitbart.com had recently released, showing a young Barack Obama expressing his support and admiration for law professor Derrick Bell, an advocate of “critical race theory.” People who’ve spent significant time at a university campus know that the theory is radical and held only by people on the very far left. The CNN moderator, Soledad O’Brien, however, insisted that the theory was much more tame, that it is nothing more than the study of “the intersection of race and politics and law.” When Pollak wouldn’t concede to O’Brien’s point, one of her panelists chimed in. “Can I say something as a white person? What are you so frightened of? Are you frightened that some black people are going to do something to you? … What are you afraid that Barack Obama is going to do to you? Is there a secret black movement that’s going to start killing white people? What are you talking about—as a white guy?”
At the time (and still), Pollak was married to a black woman, yet he chose not to mention that. Instead, he calmly responded, “You’ve accused me of being a racist. You’ve accused me of being afraid of black people. And that doesn’t even deserve a response. But let me respond anyway. No, I’m not afraid that black people are going to be violent and take over the country. What I’m trying point out is that there is a pattern in Barack Obama’s associations with Derrick Bell, with Rev. Wright, that carries over into his governance…”
Similarly, when O’Brien spouted an inaccurate definition of critical race theory, the most natural response would have been to point out her intellectual shortcomings—to respond something like “Soledad, you have no idea what you’re talking about”—yet he did not. Instead, he coolly responded, “I’m glad that we’ve got you saying that on tape.”
In many ways the tone that Pollak adopts in Wacko Birds is similar to the tone he adopted during his CNN appearance.
First, in Wacko Birds he almost never makes himself part of the narrative. Although this helps make the book more detached and scholarly, at least at times I think it may detract from the book. For instance, Pollak never relates inside stories about his interactions with Breitbart, one of the most important figures of the Tea Party, even though I’m certain that most readers would appreciate such stories. Similarly, Pollak does not mention his on-air scuffle with O’Brien, even though many believe that it was a major embarrassment to CNN and it contributed to O’Brien’s dismissal from the news channel.
Second, although Pollak is a strong supporter of the Tea Party, his tone for the most part is stoic and even-handed. Indeed in many paragraphs of the book he sounds more like an opponent than a supporter of the Tea Party. His goal seems more to chronicle events—to get them “on tape”—than to argue for a position.
A major contribution of the book is Pollak’s efforts to define the Tea Party and, as part of the definition, to list its principles and purpose. This is a slippery endeavor, since the Tea Party has no founding documents, no headquarters, no organizational structure, nor a leader. He writes that the Tea Party is a “grassroots conservative movement restoring the spirit of the U.S. Constitution, restraining a runaway federal government, and bringing power back into the hands of the people, often against the will of an entrenched GOP establishment that prefers power to principle.”
Some may disagree with this characterization, but I believe it is at least an accurate approximation. That is, if one were to survey people who call themselves members of the Tea Party, I believe that the vast majority of them would define their movement something like the way Pollak describes.
If so, an interesting aspect of Pollak’s definition is that it is silent about social issues. That is, for instance, it does not mention things like abortion, gay marriage, or legalizing drugs. Indeed, I suspect that at a typical Tea Party rally the participants would not be at anything close to a consensus on these issues.
Another aspect of Pollak’s definition is its emphasis on minimal government. This is consistent with an academic study by UCLA graduate student Emily Ekins, who attended a number of Tea Party rallies, at which she photographed all the signs she saw. She notes that a plurality of the signs advocate, in some form, minimal government.
The most interesting aspect of Pollak’s definition, I believe, is the part about “restoring the spirit of the U.S. Constitution.” I think this aspect of the Tea Party has gone largely unnoticed by the left—that is, the left has not yet recognized that people really can get worked up over things like the rule of law and constitutional principles. However, to such skeptics, I invite them to conduct the following experiment: 1) Enter “constitutional conservative” in Google, Twitter, or any other search engine or social media site. 2) Note the frequency of the phrase and how many people use it to describe their political views. 3) Do the same with the phrase “constitutional liberal” or “constitutional progressive” and note the scarcity of people who use the phrase to describe their political views.
As the above experiment demonstrates, there is a genuine asymmetry between conservatives’ and liberals’ regard for the Constitution and the rule of law. While the asymmetry, I believe, was small three or four decades ago, I believe that now the asymmetry is large, and it is growing larger. Pollak’s book and the very existence of the Tea Party help to illustrate this asymmetry.
The closest thing I have to a criticism of the book is that most of it is little more than a retelling of recent events that involved the Tea Party or its key figures. In the retelling of these, Pollak is often short on analysis and reporting of new news.
While the book’s descriptions of these events will be extremely useful to, say, students reading about the Tea Party twenty years from now, they will be less interesting to present-day news junkies who lived through the events.
Still, many readers will be like me: They will have forgotten, or never learned, some of the important details of these events, and they will appreciate Pollak’s re-telling. Some examples of such details include the following:
During the IRS scandal (in which the IRS devoted heightened scrutiny to conservative groups), its staff urged a pro-life group to give equal weight to the pro-choice side of the abortion issue.
The Treasury Department completed an internal investigation of the IRS scandal in mid-2012. However, that was not revealed to the public until after the 2012 election.
Once the investigation became known, President Obama expressed his outrage at the IRS. However, once evidence was revealed that suggested possible White House involvement, Obama mocked the scandal. “[S]uddenly everybody’s outraged,” he told MSNBC’s Chris Mathews in December, 2013.
According to conventional wisdom, the debt-limit crisis of 2011 occurred because John Boehner and House Republicans provoked the White House into a political fight. However, the confrontation began in January, 2011, when with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to John Boehner. Before that time Republicans were not even discussing the issue.
After CNBC’s Rick Santelli delivered his “rant heard round the world,” Mark Ames, a frequent guest on MSNBC, claimed that the rant was not spontaneous but part of a carefully planned campaign engineered by the Koch brothers. (Pollak—as would any reasonable person, I believe—dismisses this theory.)
Another interesting detail that Pollak provides involves Andrew Breitbart, a man whose status, deservedly, is legendary in the Tea Party movement. Breitbart, in a moment of spontaneous passion, gives a description of the Tea Party that is perhaps better than anyone else has ever offered or will offer.
First some background: In 2011, during his first weeks as governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker decided to reform public-sector unions in his state. When Walker had earlier served on the Milwaukee County Board, he’d seen how collective bargaining forced local authorities to provide lavish benefits to their employees, which the localities often could not afford. Worse, the benefit plans of these employees were run by companies that were controlled by the unions. This meant that the benefit plans could charge exorbitant fees not charged by their private-sector competitors. To change this, Walker wanted to restrict the ability of unions to bargain collectively for non-wage provisions.
Union members and their supporters were naturally angry, and they mounted a vigorous opposition. This included a “disappearing quorum,” whereby Democratic legislators fled the state in order to prevent a vote on Walker’s reforms. It also included many union members and supporters skipping work or school so that they could attend demonstrations. Some sympathetic doctors roamed the crowd of the demonstrations, offering to write notes that would falsely claim that the workers and students were ill and thus needed to skip work or school.
Two months after the union demonstration, the Tea Party staged a counter demonstration. Several union members showed up to disrupt it, and police officers directed them to stand at the periphery. One of their tactics was to shout down the Tea Party speakers. One speaker said that the union members were so loud that he could not even hear himself.
Andrew Breitbart was at the counter demonstration to introduce Sarah Palin. As Pollak notes, “When Breitbart spoke—wearing an open-necked shirt in a driving snowstorm—he took on [the union protesters] directly:
“I was here two months ago—good to see you guys! … Do you know what you’re seeing on the periphery here, and what you’re hearing? The death of community organizing. … The Tea Party has been the most peaceful, law-abiding, clean-up-after-themselves group in the history of American protest. And to be lectured by you in the periphery, who have lied in getting the “doctors’ notes”—you have no right to lecture us on civility. You have no right to lecture us on language. Your “Koch suckers” business—Go to hell! No, serious! Go to hell! Go to hell! You’ve been so rude, you’re trying to divide America. Class warfare is not American. Class warfare is not American.”
Thanks to Pollak’s excellent book, details such as this are now preserved for posterity. (ricochet)
A Northern California case against wearing American flag T-shirts could be headed to the Supreme Court. AP
Rights: A Ninth Circuit Court ruling that students can’t wear American flag T-shirts because they may offend Mexican students celebrating Cinco de Mayo is a ridiculous yet dangerous assault on the First Amendment.
On Sept. 17, more than four years after Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif., sent students home for wearing American flag t-shirts, an 11-judge Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that it was the right choice, “tailored to avert violence and focused on student safety.”
The decision upheld the court’s three-judge ruling in February that justified the school’s actions based on tensions between Mexican and American students. Past events, Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote, “made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.”
We are not making up this surreal situation. Oh, yeah, the incident occurred on Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates the defeat of the French army of Napoleon III by Mexican forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
It’s often mistaken as Mexico’s independence day and is actually celebrated more in the U.S. than in Mexico.
The shirts offended Mexican students who, the Ninth Circuit ruling states, responded by shouting, “They are being racist. F*** them white boys. Let’s f*** them up.”
According to the court, the wearing of an American flag t-shirt on Cinco de Mayo was the functional equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.
“The controversy and tension remained,” a panel of judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said in their opinion, “but the school’s actions presciently avoided an altercation.”
William Becker, a lawyer for the students, has said that he’ll take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The 9th Circuit upheld the rights of Mexican students celebrating the holiday of another country over U.S. students proudly supporting this country,” he said.
The ruling sets a chilling precedent that “by threatening violence against those with whom you disagree, you can enlist the power of the state to silence them,” wrote Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain in a dissent.
What about the students, O’Scannlain asked, wearing Che Guevara, Martin Luther King or a President Obama “Hope” t-shirt? Ban them, too?
The irony here is that Sept. 17 was the 200th anniversary of the first printing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The song celebrated the Battle of Baltimore, in which American forces beat the British In that battle, the rights and freedoms that we hopefully still enjoy were defended.
Come to think of it, that would make a great t-shirt.
Maybe we just need more Burkhas!
Or Halal Food Mandates…
Muslims in Minnesota facing poverty and tapping local food banks say they need a program that recognizes their pork-free needs.
Somali-Americans in one Minneapolis community have called for local government officials to create a no-pork zone via a special food shelf just for foods that conform to their faith, a local CBS News affiliate reported.
“It’s about human rights also — basic human rights to get the proper food and also healthy food,” Imam Hassan Mohamud told the affiliate.
“Some food shelves are trying to meet the need, but some of them already got canned beans that have already been mixed with pork — and there is a literacy issue here,” Mr. Weli said, CBS reported.
So Americans need to cater to illiterate unemployed Muslims on welfare. Human rights doesn’t mean having the government give you pork-free products. It means not being forced to eat pork products.
How dare you give people a choice to buy Pork & Beans with the Pork in it! How Racist are you!
Maybe Pork should be banned from Grocery Stores out of consideration for our Muslim brothers and sisters! 🙂
After all, you don’t want to “offend” anyone now do you… 🙂
So Eric Holder, Obama’s chief Ideological butt-buddy and Chief Lawless Enforcer of Extreme Left Wing Social Justice is resigning, eventually. They have to nominate someone who is even crazier first, say before the election. 🙂 After all, making Republicans look mean and nasty and “partisan” is what Obama loves to do when he’s being even worse.
And the Leftist Media I’m sure is in mourning. Their national Hero, champion of Social Justice, “informal workers” (aka illegal aliens),the gay mafia, defender of the(ir) one true faith.
Who cares about The Black Panthers suppressing votes, it’s the voting rights of illegal aliens, “minorities” and “the poor” that matters (especially if you’re all 3 and NOT white). So what if you need more ID to rent a Video than vote in his eyes, he was their Ideological hardline champion of the cause.
“Fast & Furious”, fah, who cares about that silly old thing.
National Security on the Border, who gives a crap. And if YOU try to enforce it we’ll sue your ass and crush you like the insignificant bug you are compared to the might of the All-Powerful Federal Government!
If we want to ignore the problem you can’t do anything about it! <sticking tongue out>
He was a warrior of the Leftist faith. The Defender of The Federal Supremacy Clause!
He was their strong man. The “Justice is Blind” and impartial was completely destroyed, but since it was to enforce with an iron first the Leftist Ideology, he was a Demi-God to the Left.
Justice was Blind Partisanship and “Fair” only to those of Faith. The infidels needed to be crushed.
I wonder if he’ll be Sainted or just get 72 virgins?
And if you didn’t like it, you were a RACIST! 🙂
As a longtime, current employee of the Justice Department told us, Mr. Holder and his subordinates have “racialized and radicalized” the department “to the point of corruption.” They have “embedded politically leftist extremists in the career ranks who have an agenda that does not comport with equal protection or the rule of law; who believe that the ends justify the means; and who behave unprofessionally and unethically. (why does this sound like that new “hit” show ‘How to get away with Murder? 🙂 ) Their policy is to intimidate and threaten employees who do not agree with their politics, and even moderate Democrats have left the department, because they were treated as enemies by administration officials and their lackeys. Another black employee who has worked for the Justice Department for decades said to me, ‘There is no justice left in Justice under this administration.’”
… Mr. Holder is an ideologue who considers himself part of Mr. Obama’s political team first and the attorney general a very distant second. His first loyalty has been to helping the president break, bend, ignore or fail to enforce the law, doing untold damage to our constitutional system and the rule of law.
As former Justice Department prosecutor Andy McCarthy has said, the Justice Department under Mr. Holder has become “a sort of full-employment program for progressive activists, race-obsessed bean counters and lawyers who volunteered their services during the Bush years to help al Qaeda operatives file lawsuits against the United States.”
Meanwhile, the Left is mourning. But at least they have all those Hydra Agents in The “Justice” Department to carry on Their God’s work and Obama will find another ideologue to replace him.
The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old’s asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.
The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.
Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.
“I felt absolutely helpless,” said Ms. Bolender, a single mother who stopped working to care for her daughter. It was not the only time this happened: Her car was shut down that March, once in April and again in June.
This new technology is bringing auto loans — and Wall Street’s version of Big Brother — into the lives of people with credit scores battered by the financial downturn.
Maybe now they’ll get the idea even more Big Brother (government or companies) is not a good thing. I wonder when ObamaCare will adopt this? Or Maybe your Electric Company? or even Momma Obama and her Food Police?
I know! If you use too much gas and don’t have a required level of “carbon footprint” you’re tech shuts down until you learn to be a better citizen of the planet! 🙂
Naw, they’ll just expect government to “save” them from the big, bad corporations, after all this was in the The New York Times. I’m sure this was a “big bad corporate” story and I read more into it that the normal idiot on the street worried about “Dancing With The Stars”. After all, personal responsibility has no place in 21st Century America and the answer to everything is government intervention…
But Obama makes the economy, and keeps it, bad and people vote for him. So you made your bed…
Auto loans to borrowers considered subprime, those with credit scores at or below 640, have spiked in the last five years. The jump has been driven in large part by the demand among investors for securities backed by the loans, which offer high returns at a time of low interest rates. Roughly 25 percent of all new auto loans made last year were subprime, and the volume of subprime auto loans reached more than $145 billion in the first three months of this year.
Just like the housing market. Boy, when this subprime crashes, it could really CRASH…
But before they can drive off the lot, many subprime borrowers like Ms. Bolender must have their car outfitted with a so-called starter interrupt device, which allows lenders to remotely disable the ignition. Using the GPS technology on the devices, the lenders can also track the cars’ location and movements.
Big Brother is watching you. But ObamaCare is ok… 🙂
The devices, which have been installed in about two million vehicles, are helping feed the subprime boom by enabling more high-risk borrowers to get loans. But there is a big catch. By simply clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone, lenders retain the ultimate control. Borrowers must stay current with their payments, or lose access to their vehicle.
Sound like the Housing crash, 10 years prior to the crash? 🙂
“I have disabled a car while I was shopping at Walmart,” said Lionel M. Vead Jr., the head of collections at First Castle Federal Credit Union in Covington, La. Roughly 30 percent of customers with an auto loan at the credit union have starter interrupt devices.
Now used in about one-quarter of subprime auto loans nationwide, the devices are reshaping the dynamics of auto lending by making timely payments as vital to driving a car as gasoline.
Seizing on such technological advances, lenders are reaching deeper and deeper into the ranks of Americans on the financial margins, with interest rates on some of the loans exceeding 29 percent. Concerns raised by regulators and some rating firms about loose lending standards have disturbing echoes of the subprime-mortgage crisis.
ECHO ECHO ECHO!!! Now pinch hitting for Pedro Borbone…Manny Mota! 🙂
When in Debt, Spend even more! The Obama Mantra!
As the ignition devices proliferate, so have complaints from troubled borrowers, many of whom are finding that credit comes at a steep price to their privacy and, at times, their dignity, according to interviews with state and federal regulators, borrowers and consumer lawyers.
Welcome to Big Brother land. The land where your overseers are everywhere and know everything at all times. But not to worry, The IRS and The NSA are there to save you… 🙂
Some borrowers say their cars were disabled when they were only a few days behind on their payments, leaving them stranded in dangerous neighborhoods. Others said their cars were shut down while idling at stoplights. Some described how they could not take their children to school or to doctor’s appointments. One woman in Nevada said her car was shut down while she was driving on the freeway.
Beyond the ability to disable a vehicle, the devices have tracking capabilities that allow lenders and others to know the movements of borrowers, a major concern for privacy advocates. And the warnings the devices emit — beeps that become more persistent as the due date for the loan payment approaches — are seen by some borrowers as more degrading than helpful.
I wonder when there Air Conditioner/Heater in their house starts beeping because the EPA doesn’t like you “wasting” energy will they get it?
Oh, that’s right, The EPA Hates fossil fuels to begin with. Problem solved! 🙂
“No middle-class person would ever be hounded for being a day late,” said Robert Swearingen, a lawyer with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, in St. Louis. “But for poor people, there is a debt collector right there in the car with them.”
So No Democrat has seized on this one yet? They love a good “corporate exploitation”
while they promote Government exploitation! 🙂
Lenders and manufacturers of the technology say borrowers consent to having these devices installed in their cars. And without them, they say, millions of Americans might not qualify for a car loan at all.
Just like the houses in the 1990s.
A Virtual Repo Man
From his office outside New Orleans, Mr. Vead can monitor the movements of about 880 subprime borrowers on a computerized map that shows the location of their cars with a red marker. Mr. Vead can spot drivers who have fallen behind on their payments and remotely disable their vehicles on his computer or mobile phone.
The devices are reshaping how people like Mr. Vead collect on debts. He can quickly locate the collateral without relying on a repo man to hunt down delinquent borrowers.
Gone are the days when Mr. Vead, a debt collector for nearly 20 years, had to hire someone to scour neighborhoods for cars belonging to delinquent borrowers. Sometimes locating one could take years. Now, within minutes of a car’s ignition being disabled, Mr. Vead said, the borrower calls him offering to pay.
“It gets their attention,” he said.
Mr. Vead, who has a coffee cup that reads “The GPS Man,” has been encouraging other credit unions to use the technology. And the devices — one version was first used to help pet owners keep track of their animals — are catching on with a range of subprime auto lenders, including companies backed by private equity firms and credit unions.
Mr. Vead says that first, he tries reaching a delinquent borrower on the phone or in person. Then, only after at least 30 days of missed payments, he typically shuts down cars when they are parked at the borrower’s house or workplace. If there is an emergency, he says, he will turn a car back on.
None of the borrowers or consumer lawyers interviewed by The New York Times raised concerns about the way Mr. Vead’s credit union uses the devices. But other lenders, they said, were not as considerate, marooning drivers in far-flung places and often giving no advance notice of a shut-off. Lenders say that they exercise caution when disabling vehicles and that the devices enable them to extend more credit.
Without the use of such devices, said John Pena, general manager of C.A.G. Acceptance, “we would be unable to extend loans because of the high-risk nature of the loans.”
But then their new cash cow would dry up, just like the housing market…
The growth in the subprime market has been good for the devices’ manufacturers. At Lender Systems of Temecula, Calif., which sells a range of starter interrupt devices, revenue has more than doubled so far this year, buoyed by an influx of new credit union customers, said David Sailors, the company’s executive vice president.
Mr. Sailors noted that GPS tracking on his company’s devices could be turned on only when borrowers were in default — a policy, he said, that has cost it business.
The devices, manufacturers say, are selling well because they are proving effective in coaxing payments from even the most troubled borrowers.
I wonder if Michelle Obama could get this for Grocery Carts or Cash Registers? Instead of nagging you not to buy that Cheesecake it simply won’t let you buy it!!
Imagine that as a way to make “fat” people do what Momma Obama Wants! 🙂
A leading device maker, PassTime of Littleton, Colo., says its technology has reduced late payments to roughly 7 percent from nearly 29 percent. Spireon, which offers a GPS device called the Talon, has a tool on its website where lenders can calculate their return on capital.
Fears of SurveillanceCredit
While the devices make life easier for lenders, their ability to track drivers’ movements has struck a nerve with a number of borrowers and some government authorities, who say they are a particularly troubling example of personal-data gathering and surveillance.
At its extreme, consumer lawyers say, such surveillance can compromise borrowers’ safety. In Austin, Tex., a large subprime lender used a device to track down and repossess the car of a woman who had fled to a shelter to escape her abusive husband, said her lawyer, Amy Clark Kleinpeter.
The move to the shelter violated a clause in her auto loan contract that restricted her from driving outside a four-county radius, and that prompted the lender to send a tow truck to take back the vehicle. If the lender could so easily locate the client, Ms. Kleinpeter said, what was stopping her husband?
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. Say is that a drone outside your window, or just the IRS? 🙂
“She was terrified her husband would be able to find out where she was from the tow truck company,” said Ms. Kleinpeter, a consumer lawyer in Austin, who said a growing number of her clients had the devices installed in their cars.
Lenders and manufacturers emphasize that they have strict guidelines in place to protect drivers’ information. The GPS devices, they say, are predominantly intended to help lenders and car dealerships locate a car if they need to repossess it, not to put borrowers under surveillance.
Spireon says it can help lenders identify signs of trouble by analyzing data on a borrower’s behavior. Lenders using Spireon’s software can create “geo-fences” that alert them if borrowers are no longer traveling to their regular place of employment — a development that could affect a person’s ability to repay the loan.
A Spireon spokeswoman said the company takes privacy seriously and works to ensure that it complies with all state regulations.
Corinne Kirkendall, vice president for compliance and public relations for PassTime, which has sold 1.5 million devices worldwide, says the company also calls lenders “if we see an excessive use” of the tracking device.
Even though the device made her squeamish, Michelle Fahy of Jacksonville, Fla., agreed to have one installed in her 2001 Dodge Ram because she needed the pickup truck for her job delivering pizza.
Shortly after picking up her four children from school one afternoon in January, Ms. Fahy, 42, said she pulled into a gas station to fill up. But when she tried to restart the truck, she was not able to do so.
Then she looked at her cellphone and noticed a string of missed calls from her lender. She called back and asked, “Did you just shut down my truck?” and the response was “Yes, I did.”
To get her truck restarted, Ms. Fahy had to agree to pay the $255.99 she owed. As she pleaded for more time, her children grew confused and worried. “They were in panic mode,” she said. Finally, she said she would pay, and within minutes she was able to start her engine.
Borrowers are typically provided with codes that are supposed to restart the vehicle for 24 hours in case of an emergency. But some drivers say the codes fail. Others say they are given only one code a month, even though their cars are shut down more often.
Some drivers take matters into their own hands. Homemade videos on the Internet teach borrowers how to disable their devices, and Spireon has started selling lenders a fake GPS device called the Decoy, which is meant to trick borrowers into thinking they have removed the actual tracking system, which is installed along with the Decoy.
The War Begins…
Oscar Fabela Jr., who said his 2007 Dodge Magnum was routinely shut down even when he was current on his $362 monthly car payment, discovered a way to circumvent the system.
That trick came in handy when he returned from seeing a movie with a date, only to find his car would not start and the payment reminder was screaming like a burglar alarm.
“It sounded like I was breaking into my own car,” said Mr. Fabela, 26, who works at a phone company in San Antonio.
While his date turned the ignition switch, Mr. Fabela used a screwdriver to rig the starter, allowing him to bypass the starter interruption device.
Mr. Fabela’s car eventually started, but it was their only date.
“It didn’t end well,” he said.
Across the country, state and federal authorities are grappling with how to regulate the new technology.
Consumer lawyers, including dozens whose clients’ cars have been shut down, argue that the devices amount to “electronic repossession” and their use should be governed by state laws, which outline how much time borrowers have before their cars can be seized.
State laws governing repossession typically prevent lenders from seizing cars until the borrowers are in default, which often means that they have not made their payments for at least 30 days.
The devices, lawyers for borrowers argue, violate those laws because they may effectively repossess the car only days after a missed payment. Payment records show that Ms. Bolender, the Las Vegas mother with the sick daughter, was not in default in any of the four instances her ignition was disabled this year.
PassTime and the other manufacturers say they ensure that their devices comply with state laws. C.A.G. declined to comment on Ms. Bolender’s experiences.
State regulators are also examining whether a defective device could endanger the borrowers or other drivers on the road, according to people with knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Last year, Nevada’s Legislature heard testimony from T. Candice Smith, 31, who said she thought she was going to die when her car suddenly shut down, sending her careening across a three-lane Las Vegas highway.
“It was horrifying,” she recalled.
Ms. Smith said that her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance, had remotely activated her ignition interruption device.
“It’s a safety hazard for the driver and for all others on the road,” said her lawyer, Sophia A. Medina, with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.
Mr. Pena of C.A.G. Acceptance said, “It is impossible to cause a vehicle to shut off while it is operating,” He added, “We take extra precautions to try and work with and be professional with our customers.” While PassTime, the device’s maker, declined to comment on Ms. Smith’s case, the company emphasized that its products were designed to prevent a car from starting, not to shut it down while it was in operation.
“PassTime has no recognition of our devices shutting off a customer while driving,” Ms. Kirkendall of PassTime said.
In her testimony, Ms. Smith, who reached a confidential settlement with C.A.G., said the device made her feel helpless.
“I felt like even though I made my payments and was never late under my contract, these people could do whatever they wanted,” she testified, “and there was nothing I could do to stop them.”
But you want Big Brother,especially King Obama, to fix it!
President Obama announced a series of executive actions to fight climate change on Tuesday, during a speech to the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City.
Obama ordered all federal agencies to begin factoring “climate resilience” into all of their international development programs and investments.
The action is expected to complement efforts by the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the White House.
Obama is also expected to release climate monitoring data used by the federal government to developing nations.
The NOAA will also begin developing “extreme-weather risk outlooks” for as long as 30 days in advance to help local communities to prepare for damaging weather and prevent “loss of life and property,” partnering with private companies to monitor and predict climate change.
“This effort includes a new partnership that will draw on the resources and expertise of our leading private sector companies and philanthropies to help vulnerable nations better prepare for weather-related disasters, and better plan for long-term threats like steadily rising seas,” Obama said during his speech at the United Nations Summit. (Breitbart)
Ineffective solutions to a non-existent problems and “lead from behind” on the ones that do matter. The Legacy of Barack 0bama.
Environmentalists gathered in New York City on Tuesday for the UN Climate Summit 2014, which, according to its website, “will serve as a public platform for leaders at the highest level … to catalyze ambitious action on the ground to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience and mobilize political will for an ambitious global agreement by 2015 that limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.”
And to attend this important meeting, speakers from across the world flew a total of 1,036,537 miles. That’s awfully hypocritical considering environmentalists believe air travel to be the “most serious environmental sin,” don’t you think?
CNS News reports:
The UN Climate Summit 2014 is a glaring example of hypocrisy. Just the speakers alone, not the attendees or notable guests for the summit, traveled a grand total of 1,036,537 miles from locations as distant as China, India and Peru. That’s enough miles to circle the equator41.6 times.
According to the UN itself, in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “more than 95 percent of our total carbon footprint resulted from air travel.”
But do I know, I’m just a Racist! 🙂
The Environmental Protection Agency last week issued the first proposed rules for regulating emissions from existing power plants that contribute to global warming.
They aim to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 30 percent by 2030,CQ though individual state targets vary widely. Arizona has the second-highest target among all the states, with the EPA expectation that the state could reduce the carbon intensity of its power generation 52 percent by 2030.
“It is a much higher goal than they set for the country,” Darwin told lawmakers. “We believe EPA made a mistake in setting the goal for Arizona.”
States will be responsible for developing a plan to reduce their carbon emissions to meet the new rules.
He said the EPA might have over-estimated the amount of carbon pollution generated in the state and then set a goal to reduce that pollution that is too high, though the department still is reviewing the more than 600 pages of proposed rules and hundreds more in supporting documents.
“We are trying to recreate the math they used to come up with all of this,” said Eric Massey, director of the ADEQ air-quality division. “My staff had done some work and didn’t come up with same numbers.”
By comparison, Vermont doesn’t have to do anything, as it houses no fossil fuel plants. Same for Washington, D.C. (AZ Central)
It had to happen eventually, with the Left it always does. Now if you disagree with global cooling/warming/climate change/disruption you’re a racist! 🙂
You can’t argue with global warming zealots: Whatever the thermometer reads, they’re right and you’re wrong. Whatever the short-term, intermediate or long-term data suggest, all these eco-radicals see is additional proof of their distorted worldview.
Hot summers? Mild winters? That’s global warming. Mild summers? Frigid winters? That’s global warming, too.
You see, if you’re a disciple of climate change, it all makes perfect sense — every measurement is further validation, and every validation is an excuse to impose costlier obligations on taxpayers (and more onerous restrictions on what’s left of our free market).
Responding to an unseasonably cool summer in New England (and predictions of a colder-than-usual winter), columnist Tom Keane of the Boston Globe assured his liberal readers that “climate change proceeds apace.”
“We’re like a guy with his head in the refrigerator while his house is burning down, thinking nothing’s wrong,” Keane wrote.
Never mind that satellite data released this spring by NASA showed no statistical change in the Earth’s temperature over the past 17-1/2 years. (IBD)
Actor Emma Thompson says climate change deniers are ‘bonkers’. She speaks as she joins thousands of protesters marching to the steps of the Houses of Parliament on Sunday to demand action to halt climate change. ‘Anyone who tries to deny it looks a little bit bonkers. It’s a form of collective suicide,’ she says (Guardian)
Trapped In Ice
Or that a leaked report to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year revealed that Earth was headed for a period of sustained cooling over the next few decades.
Or that as of last fall, the Antarctic sea ice extent was at record-high levels.
In fact, the research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy — which was dispatched to the South Pole last December ostensibly to document melting polar ice caps — instead found itself trapped in frozen seas.
And yes, the boat’s top researcher blamed his crew’s ironic predicament on “global warming.”
“We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said, insisting climate change caused ice up to 10 feet thick to envelop his fossil fuel-powered boat, making it impossible for fossil fuel-powered ice breakers to get within 10 miles of the ship (forcing the crew to be rescued by a fossil fuel-powered Chinese helicopter).
If you missed that story, you’re not alone: Most mainstream media outlets refused to cover it.
Of course, when the head of Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency — avowed eco-radical Gina McCarthy — played the race card in an effort to pressure lawmakers into adopting harsher anti-free market regulations, her pronouncements were broadly disseminated and treated as gospel.
“Carbon pollution standards are an issue of justice,” McCarthy said recently. “If we want to protect communities of color, we need to protect them from climate change.”
McCarthy’s bizarre comments were offered on a conference call sponsored by Green For All, a group that publicly supports “the need to disrupt the current economy” — which it claims is “based upon human trafficking, the exploitation of labor and violent racism.”But are “climate change” and “violent racism” really the issues responsible for the destruction of America’s “communities of color?” Or is the problem the reckless, feckless, unsustainable and un-American policies being advanced by McCarthy and Obama?
Thanks to the Obama administration’s policies, black unemployment is more than twice as high as white unemployment (11.4% to 5.3%). The black labor force has shrunk from 63.2% to 61.7% of the working-age population. The median household income for blacks is nearly $25,000 less per year than whites — a gap that continues to widen.
White homeownership outpaces black homeownership by nearly 30 percentage points (72.9% to 43.5%) — and record numbers of blacks are living in poverty.
Rather than addressing any of these pernicious realities, Obama is busy scheming of ways to introduce more illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America into our workforce — which would compound the employment dilemma for all American workers.
The fuzzy science of climate change isn’t what’s harming “communities of color.” It’s a fundamental lack of opportunity — deteriorating economic conditions that are being exacerbated by Obama, and by rogue bureaucracies such McCarthy’s EPA. (IBD)
But what do we know, we’re all racists and not “of the body” anyhow… 🙂
Addendum: Eric Massey is the director of the Air Quality Division for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. He says the federal haze plan is too aggressive.
“It’s my understanding that EPA’s proposed plan costs significantly more money — in the hundreds of millions of dollars to Arizona’s economy through controls that don’t actually achieve a visibility improvement that any human being could see … We felt like our solution was more economically balanced and still achieved basically the same environmental impact,” Massey says.
The notice said the new emission guidelines will take effect Oct. 3.
“The companies have to decide how they’re going to meet the rules,” Webb said. “We aren’t telling them how to do it, we’re just telling them they have to do it.”
We are from the Government and we are here to make your life better… 🙂
The asinine ambitions of our know-it-all federal bureaucrats know no bounds. Really. No. Bounds.
A collection of bureaucrats at the National Science Foundation (NSF) used $700,000 of taxpayer money this spring to play out their Broadway fantasies by funding what they surely thought was a sure-fire hit play.
It would combine the prose of Al Gore with music that would elevate it above his usual drone that makes audiences want to stab their ears with pencils. And there would be dancing! Combine all that with actors who can make anything come alive, and audiences around the country will not only be entertained, but informed! We will change the world!
That’s the best pitch I can give this stinker — and probably close to the actual pitch the producers gave to the NSF. The actual result was a musical titled “The Great Immensity.”
And with a pretentious and sanctimonious title like that it must be good… 🙂
Shocker: It was an enormous flop. Via reporter Jessica Chasmar at one of my former employers, the Washington Times:
A taxpayer-funded musical on climate change is closing its curtains early amid a storm of criticism from reviewers and lawmakers.
“The Great Immensity,” produced by Brooklyn-based theater company The Civilians Inc. with a $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), has ended its run after reaching just 5 percent of its anticipated audience, Fox News reported.
The play also opened a year late and failed to produce a buzz once it did.
“Despite fine performances, the musical mystery tour is an uneasy mix of fact and credulity-stretching fiction. It’s neither flora nor fauna,” New York Daily News reviewer Joe Dziemianowicz wrote in a review at the time, Fox News reported. “[The] songs — whether about a doomed passenger pigeon or storm-wrecked towns — feel shoehorned in and not, pardon the pun, organic.”
The play’s description describes the itself as “a thrilling and timely production” with “a highly theatrical look into one of the most vital questions of our time: How can we change ourselves and our society in time to solve the enormous environmental challenges that confront us?”
“Even the best adventurers can wander off course, and the Civilians do so on a global scale in ‘The Great Immensity,’ ” read a review from Time Out New York. “The inventive troupe’s latest effort is all over the map. … It’s not easy preaching green.”
The play opened late. The play reached only five percent of its expected audience. It was terrible — so terrible even theater critics eager to give a hipster-Brooklyn production sending the “correct message” about the need to act on climate change couldn’t give it positive reviews. Good enough for government work, right? Read on.
The play ran for three weeks in New York in April before going on a national tour. It stalled out after a single production in Kansas City, Fox News reported.
Golly. What a surprise. When your big New York production hits the road, and then grinds to a halt after a single performance in Kansas City… well, even people like me with a very low threshold for “good enough for government work” are disappointed. But if you think the bureaucrats at the NSF are disappointed in their investment of your money in this stinker, think again.
The NSF said it is too soon to tell if the grant funds were wasted.
“This particular project just concluded in August, and the final report has not yet been submitted to NSF,” it said in a statement, Fox News reported. “Final reports are due to NSF within 90 days following expiration of the grant. The final report will contain information about project outcomes, impacts and other data.”
This is the state of the modern administrative state. An obvious failure cannot be called a failure. Give us a few more weeks and we’ll produce the documents to prove an obvious failure needs to be funded at triple the previous level to ensure even greater success!
Fire 75 percent of the federal bureaucracy. Today. Figure out who needs to be re-hired next week. (John Lakely)
Amen to that. Never happen. These are the same idiots who think when in debt spend even more or that the Stimulus didn’t work because we didn’t spend enough!
I know a lot of people are giddy at the prospect of Republicans taking the Senate this November, but that’s becoming less and less likely. It’s not because Democrats are rallying around a particular mission or set of candidates; it’s because Republicans and conservatives aren’t.
Thanks, Jar Jar! (Boehner)
It seems like I’m always writing on issues no one wants to hear are mistakes, such as messaging or social issues. But I don’t care. These things have to be said. If these columns are received like a gaseous cousin on a long car trip through the desert, so be it. Crack a window…
If things continue on their current course, the GOP will not retake the Senate. Anyone telling you differently is selling something.
Or is a 24/7 News Outlet with too many “analysts”.
There are many reasons for this: tough primary fights, the “establishment vs. Tea Party” meme, stubbornness, arrogance, ignorance, ego. You name it, a segment of the center-right coalition suffers from it.
Too many people and groups on the right are content to take their ball and go home because their candidate lost a primary and/or the nominee doesn’t pay enough attention to whatever pet issue they care about most. They may vote, but their email lists sit idle and their wallets remain closed.
GET OVER YOURSELVES!
Have the Republicans gotten addicted to losing?
As upset as you may be, this election is not about any of the candidates you dislike. This election is about the following things, and the following things only – Barack Obama, Harry Reid and the Supreme Court.
I don’t care where someone lives or who their Senate candidate is … if you don’t support the Republican candidate, for whatever reason, with everything you have, you are voting to retain Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader.
In spite of what you may have heard, the Senate is very much in play and too close to call. As unpopular as Barack Obama is, that isn’t enough to win. You have to be involved – through donations, volunteering, talking to everyone you know – or else Democrats will win.
I’m not making this up, I’m not trying to scare you; these are real numbers in real races that will make the difference. And they don’t look good.
The next two years can be spent either forcing an unpopular president to veto popular, pro-growth, pro-liberty legislation, acts that will harm his party for years; or spent with an unfettered activist president complaining about a do-nothing Congress while he initiates executive actions to implement a radical agenda and worse – packing the Supreme Court.
Live in Kansas and think Pat Roberts is a squish? Tough! Suck it up and support him.
Live in Kentucky and think Mitch McConnell is awful? Get over it and support him.
Live in Iowa and not a particular fan of Joni Ernst? Grow up and support her come hell or high water.
Live in Colorado and don’t think Cory Gardner is for you? Who cares? Support him or you are supporting Harry Reid.
Live in Arkansas and wish Tom Cotton wasn’t the nominee? So what? He’s the nominee, support him or lose more than that one race.
100% “my guy” or I’m taking my ball and going home. How petulant are you?
It doesn’t matter where you live—Louisiana, Michigan, Alaska, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, New Hampshire, anywhere—if you don’t suck it up, fight and work like your candidate won, you will be handing the Senate back to Harry Reid and the power to President Obama he has always sought – to fundamentally transform America.
It’s not the Senate that’s on the ballot this fall; it’s the Supreme Court.
In the last two years of his presidency, Barack Obama could appoint as many as three new justices to the Supreme Court. Would you like to see retiring justices replaced by young activist progressive nominees rubber-stamped by Harry Reid? Then work!
Yes, a Supreme Court nominee must overcome a filibuster according to Senate rules. But those are current rules and, as Harry Reid demonstrated for all other federal appointees, those rules can be changed at a moment’s notice and by a simple majority to fit whatever he and the president want at any time.
If you stay home, or if you simply vote and that’s it, you might as well be working for Harry Reid and Barack Obama. If the Supreme Court is lost, it will be lost for at least a generation. Then it won’t matter who you elect or who the next president is, the progressive agenda will be locked in as the law of the land for the foreseeable future.
You have a choice this fall: Sit on the bench or work to defeat whoever the Democrat is running for the Senate in your state. One choice is a vote for Harry Reid for Senate Majority Leader and more cover for President Obama’s abuses of power. The other will at a minimum apply pressure on the hemorrhaging wound from which our liberty is seeping.
The damage done to this country in recent years won’t be reversed by one election. No ship as big as the United States can be righted immediately. It will take time. But it can’t start being corrected until it stops getting worse. It can stop getting worse this fall if you vote and work to get others to do the same.
If you’re unhappy with your choices this fall, if your candidate didn’t win, you face a simple choice this November: Check your ego, pull your head out from where your hands are and get in the game. Or just quit. Which way are you going to go? (Derek Hunter)
What was the Islamic State thinking? We know it is sophisticated in its use of modern media. But what was the logic of propagating to the world videos of its beheadings of two Americans (and subsequently a Briton) — sure to inflame public opinion?
There are two possible explanations. One is that these terrorists are more depraved and less savvy than we think. They so glory in blood that they could not resist making an international spectacle of their savagery and did not quite fathom how such a brazen, contemptuous slaughter of Americans would radically alter public opinion and risk bringing down upon them the furies of the U.S. Air Force.
The second theory is that they were fully aware of the inevitable consequence of their broadcast beheadings — and they intended the outcome. It was an easily sprung trap to provoke America into entering the Mesopotamian war.
Because they’re sure we will lose. Not immediately and not militarily. They know we always win the battles, but they are convinced that, as war drags on, we lose heart and go home.
They count on Barack Obama’s quitting the Iraq/Syria campaign just as he quit Iraq and Libya in 2011 and is in the process of leaving Afghanistan now. And this goes beyond Obama. They see a post-9/11 pattern: America experiences shock and outrage and demands action. Then, seeing no quick resolution, it tires and seeks out leaders who will order the retreat. In Obama, they found the quintessential such leader.
As for the short run, the Islamic State knows it will be pounded from the air. But it deems that price worth paying, given its gains in propaganda and prestige — translated into renown and recruiting — from these public executions.
Understanding this requires adjusting our thinking. A common mantra is that American cruelty — Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, “torture,” the Iraq War itself — is the great jihadist recruiting tool. But leaving Iraq, closing Abu Ghraib, and prohibiting “enhanced interrogation” has had zero effect on recruiting. In fact, jihadi cadres from Mali to Mosul have only swelled during Obama’s outstretched-hand presidency.
Turns out the Islamic State’s best recruiting tool is indeed savagery — its own. Deliberate, defiant, triumphant. The beheadings are not just a magnet for psychopaths around the world. They are choreographed demonstrations of its own unbounded determination and of American helplessness. In Osama bin Laden’s famous formulation, who is the “strong horse” now?
We tend to forget that at this stage in its career, the Islamic State’s principal fight is intramural. It seeks to supersede and supplant its jihadi rivals — from al-Qaeda in Pakistan to Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria — to emerge as champion of the one true jihad.
The strategy is simple: Draw in the world’s great superpower, create the ultimate foil, and thus instantly achieve supreme stature in radical Islam as America’s nemesis.
It worked. A year ago, the world had never heard of this group, then named ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). Now it is the subject of presidential addresses, parliamentary debates, and international conferences. It is the new al-Qaeda, which itself has been demoted to JV.
Indeed, so eclipsed and upstaged is al-Qaeda that its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, scrambled to reveal the creation of a new India/South Asia branch. It announced itself this month with its first operation — a comically botched attack on a Pakistani frigate that left ten al-Qaeda fighters dead and the ship intact.
While al-Qaeda was being humiliated, a huge Paris conference devoted entirely to the Islamic State was convened by Secretary of State John Kerry. Like his other conferences, it failed. Obama’s “broad coalition” remains a fantasy.
It’s more a coalition of the unwilling. Turkey denied us the use of its air bases. The Sunni Arab states are reluctant to do anything militarily significant. And not a single country has volunteered combat troops. Hardly a surprise, given that Obama has repeatedly ruled that out for the U.S. itself.
Testifying on Wednesday to the Senate, Kerry issued a stern declaration: “ISIL must be defeated. Period. End of story.” Not the most wisely crafted of declarations: The punctuational emphasis carried unfortunate echoes of Obama’s promise about health-care plans, and the word “must” carried similar echoes of Obama’s assertions that Bashar al-Assad had to go.
But Kerry’s statement remains true for strategic and even moral reasons. But especially because when the enemy deliberately brings you into combat, it is all the more imperative to show the world that he made a big mistake. (Charles Krauthammer)
But with Mr. “Lead From Behind” “Is it My Tee Time yet” the only big mistake will be soldiers and American people who die because of his ideological narcissism.
Senate Democrats plan to debate and vote on a broad resolution authorizing military strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after the election, dodging the danger of angering liberal voters this fall.
Above: Democratic senators emerge from the caucus room and announce their decision to postpone a vote on military action until after the election.
Senate Democrats succeeded in blocking a vote on President Obama’s promised post-election executive orders providing administrative amnesty to illegal immigrants — but only by the barest of margins.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) wanted to offer an amendment opposing the orders, but Senate Democrats thwarted the attempt.
“I am going to make a motion that would allow this Senate to block the President’s planned executive amnesty,” Sessions said Thursday afternoon. “This is a common Senate action. If you believe we are sovereign nation, with the right to control our own borders, then you must vote ‘yes.’ If you believe America is an oligarchy, run by a group of special interests meeting in the White House to rewrite our immigration laws, then vote ‘no.’”
Fifty senators voted for Sessions’ motion and fifty voted against, so the proposal failed.
Four embattled Democratic lawmakers — North Carolina senator Kay Hagan, Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu, New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Arkansas senator Mark Pryor — voted with Sessions after opposing the same motion earlier this year. Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) voted with Sessions both times.
“Begich saved the day for Ds,” Politico’s Manu Raju tweeted, referring to Senator Mark Begich (D., Alaska), a vulnerable Democrat who voted with Democratic leadership.
The latest polls suggest the GOP now has only a 50/50 chance of retaking the Senate. “autopsy.”
There needs to be a mass layoff — of highly paid GOP consultants. Otherwise we risk a repeat of 2012, when overconfident Republicans in the middle of the worst economy since the 1970s became convinced that all they had to do to win was not be Obama. And they lost.
Romney’s strategy was simple. On the social issues, avoid, downplay, mute. On the economic issues, sound vague, promise to help job creators, and wait for the other team to self-destruct.
The RNC’s “autopsy” of the 2012 election reinforced the idea that doing more of what didn’t work would be the pathway to victory. If only we add more women and more diverse ethnicities to the GOP ticket while avoiding Akin-esque gaffes, we can win. “Don’t do stupid stuff,” while always good advice, is no more a winning strategy for the GOP than it is a foreign policy for a great nation.
It didn’t work then, and it is not working now.
In the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove acknowledged that despite the horrible environment for Democrats “a GOP senate majority is still in doubt.” Why? The Architect is convinced that his model is sound — donors just need to open their wallets to the consultants to script more TV ads.
While Democrats are out-spending Republicans, and GOP donors should take notice and correct this, the relatively narrow spending gap would not make the difference in a wave election.
The Romney strategy failed in 2012. And regardless of whether or not Republicans narrowly retake the Senate this November, the neo-Romney strategy is in danger of failing massively to deliver what America really needs in 2014: a “wave election” in which the country definitively rejects the Obamanomics that are[can be plural in construction, per Webster’s] strangling average Americans’ economic prospects while producing a Wall Street boomlet. Wall Street, with its downside subsidized by taxpayers, is getting richer and donating money to the Democrats. The great middle class feels our dream dying, and most people aren’t sure why.
And too many GOP candidates, listening to consultants who get paid whether or not the candidates lose, and listening to the donors who foolishly continue to believe the consultants, are reenacting a failing strategy before our eyes. (NRO)
“Hard drive crashes continue as we speak,” Internal Revenue Service (IRS) commissioner John Koskinen admitted at a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing when asked if any computers had recently crashed under his watch.
The IRS has to worst hard drives made by man, and probably cost 10 times more than yours or mine too. 🙂 Either that or they have a ideological ass saving deletion program. 🙂
Koskinen admitted that destroying records would be an act “not consistent with the law,” but maintained that there’s no evidence that the IRS intentionally destroyed records. (DC)
And if you believe that….
Koskinen didn’t mention that the IRS terminated its years-long contract with its email archiving company Sonasoft shortly after Lerner’s computer crashed.
“It is not clear that there are backup tapes that have any information on them,” Koskinen said. “I never said they disappeared, I said they were recycled.”
Then you’re a Liberal who’ll believe anything the Ministry of Truth and their minions tell you. Hope you like a Moon made of cheese.
Koskinen also admitted that IRS employees routinely use personal email accounts to conduct agency business but maintained that “they do it inadvertently.”
Inadvertently routine. Orwell is proud of you my son. That’s Baffling them with BS. And the only people who’d buy it are the ideologically inclined or the stupid.
Last week, Republican senators sent a letter to Archivist of the United States David Ferriero after receiving reports that an Environmental Protection Agency official’s hard drive had crashed just as congressional investigators began looking into questions about the EPA’s review of an Alaska mining project.
Investigators sought computer records of a former EPA official, Phillip North, who later fled the country. More than a year after his retirement, senators said, EPA officials belatedly told the National Archives and Records Administration that they failed to preserve Mr. North’s computer records.
“First the IRS, and now the EPA — these hard-drive crashes seem to be a growing epidemic throughout the administration,” Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, said in a statement. “This ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse is getting ridiculous.”
But like all Liberals, they are innocent until you’re proven guilty of partisan bias, right? 🙂
Obama’s half-hearted decision to take on ISIS has confused everyone. Even as the President sends the U.S. military into harm’s way, he hasn’t articulated a clear strategy, nor even defined the action. Some days it’s called a counter-terrorism effort, other days a war, while its purpose meanders between degrading ISIS, destroying ISIS, or following ISIS to the gates of hell.
Whatever works for that moment, politically.
As Islamists continue to taunt America, ersatz allies are understandably slow to side with a dithering leader. Despite our excellent armed forces, observers wonder if any military action can be successful with a leader so reticent to lead.
A Coalition of the willing to take the heat for him while he golfs and plans his next Domestic Executive Fiat.
Let’s be honest: No effort can be successful if the Commander-in-Chief is unwilling to even define victory. This semantic murkiness is intentional, since it provides maximum political cover for the poll-watching president. Obama can declare that we “degraded” the terrorist threat with a single air strike or a thousand.
But if he keeps it up until after the election and The media hype it enough he just might hold onto the Senate, and that’s much more important than any old terrorist threat.
The only reason that Obama acted at all is politics. Polls showed that midterm voters demanded a military response to ISIS’ beheading of American journalists and repeated threats to our homeland. Drones, air strikes and military advisors are merely a PR campaign to assuage moderates that their Democratic president is “doing something.”
If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS!
Obama does not want to win his new Iraq war. He can’t afford to. If the projection of American military power successfully solved the problem of Islamic terrorism, it would shatter Obama’s entire worldview.
Nor can the economy truly recover, because then he has less dependents.
A pragmatist would welcome victory regardless of its origins. Sadly, America is stuck with the most rigid ideologue ever to occupy the White House.
The Agenda is The Agenda.
Obama adheres to a transnational progressive morality that has replaced “Good versus Evil” with “Weak versus Strong.” As the strongest nation on the planet, America is viewed not as its “last best hope,” but the chief among oppressors. He has been steeped in this intellectual environment from birth.
But Paradoxically the Democrats have to show nothing but Strength, no weakness, and can never be wrong ABOUT ANYTHING.
U.S. military power is an inherently bad thing, causing untold suffering to the peoples of Mexico, Japan, the Koreas, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond. It is an extension of European colonialism, which is to blame for the broader power imbalances ravaging the Third World.
American force isn’t the solution to terrorism, but the cause. Poor, powerless Middle Easterners are merely rising up against their oppressors with the few weapons they have. This is blowback and America is the root cause. The chickens have come home to roost.
The only way to end terrorism is for America to apologize to those we have oppressed. To make ourselves weaker, and thus, more moral. To surrender our material advantages, making our world more fair.
Obama might employ military solutions here and there to buy a couple more years for his great liberal project. But his ego cannot afford a sweeping military victory against third-world enemies. (Ricochet)
Militants for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have traveled to Mexico and are just miles from the United States. They plan to cross over the porous border and will “imminently” launch car bomb attacks. And the threat is so real that federal law enforcement officers have been placed at a heightened state of alert, and an American military base near the border has increased its security.
But isn’t that racist? After all “securing the border” is a Liberal buzz phrase signalling that the speaker is a massive, hate-filled, vile,racist? 🙂
If I were ISIS this is where I would attack because it IS the weakest point. And whats even better is that Mr. I-wanna-look-tough can’t do anything about it without completely pissing off the millions of new Democrats he’s recruited and his left wing base.
He’s stuck between and ISIS and a Ideological Hard Place.
And guess who’s going to get killed for it?
Happy? Hope and Change everybody…
“There is no credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL to attempt to cross the southern border,” Homeland Security officials said in a written statement, using an alternative acronym for the group.
Democrats say opponents of President Obama are simply playing on concerns about terrorism as part of their attempt to portray Mr. Obama as having failed to secure the border against illegal immigration.
“There’s a longstanding history in this country of projecting whatever fears we have onto the border,” said Representative Beto O’Rourke, Democrat of Texas, who represents El Paso and other areas near the border. “In the absence of understanding the border, they insert their fears. Before it was Iran and Al Qaeda. Now it’s ISIS. They just reach the conclusion that invasion is imminent, and it never is.”
And the Democrats blame someone else AFTERWARDS anyhow, or will it just be another You Tube Video?
Even after the car bomb, or worse, goes off the Left will be Ideologically hog-tied into trying to discount it as “terrorism” until hell freezes over because they are they committed to their own arrogance and pride. They can’t be wrong. They can’t be “weak”. They must be right at all costs.
So how many attacks will it take for them to admit they were wrong?
But since they haven’t haven’t happened YET (much like 9/11) then it’s all fear.
Just like Pelosi’s “It would be very important for the Democrats to retain control of the Senate,” Pelosi told Maher. “Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.” is NOT fear-mongering BECAUSE THEY said it. Even if it is.
It’s Orwell personified, and many could be killed catastrophically and needlessly. To the Democrats THAT’s fear-mongering.
The Vandals and The Goths are Coming…
Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, said the Obama administration had a history of looking the other way on national security threats, particularly ones involving the border.
“President Obama or his administration should acknowledge this dire threat on the border, whatever its political ramifications are for the debate on immigration,” Mr. Fitton said.
“High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued,” the report said. “Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.” (NYT)
But it’s the threat to The Democrat Senate and all those new Amnesty-starved New Democrats that worry the President and his party.
You are not important enough to violate the sanctity of THE AGENDA!
THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA!
But what do i know, I’m just a fear-mongering racist, after all… 🙂
“A View of the Bombardment of Fort McHenry” – the view inspired Francis Scott Key to write the NationalAnthem.
The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
On the one hand, California U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi claims that Democrats are not “fear-mongers;” on the other hand, she believes civilization is doomed if Republicans take control of the Senate from Democrats in November.
It’s time to go Bat Crazy with Nancy. Same Bat Time (elections). Same Bat Channel (Vote for a Democrats because Republicans are evil assholes!).
The former speaker of the House made those dramatic, incongruous statements on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” which aired live from Washington, D.C. Friday.
Maher asked Pelosi about recent polling which shows that the GOP is likely to take over the upper chamber and asked, given gridlock in Washingon, why it matters that Democrats keep control.
“It would be very important for the Democrats to retain control of the Senate,” Pelosi told Maher. “Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.”
Democrats currently hold 53 seats in the Senate. Republicans have 45. Two independents caucus with Democrats.
Maher asked about voter turnout for Democrats, which he asserted was too low to carry the party in the mid-term.
“Nobody comes about to vote to say ‘thank you,’” Maher said. “The people who get health care now — they’re the people least likely to vote. The people who come out to vote are the angry people.”
“That’s true,” said Pelosi. “Fear is a motivator, and we are not fear-mongers. The Democrats are messengers of hope, and that’s what we will continue to be.”
And now from the woman who lied her ass off for her promotion:
SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, Wolf, as the president said very clearly last night, we are going to do what is necessary to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL. And so that’s going to entail a comprehensive approach.
Like “comprehensive immigration reform” ?? 🙂
There isn’t a political trick they won’t try (that’s “comprehensive”).
On the one hand, as the president made clear, we’ll be involved in sustained airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq, and to the extent necessary, in Syria. We’ll also be building up the capacity of partners on the ground — Iraqi security forces, our Kurdish partners and, also, with the support of Congress, we hope the moderate Syrian opposition.
So we will combine that with a political strategy in support of inclusive and representative governance in Iraq. We will also support the Sunni elements inside of Iraq to take the fight to ISIL, since they are the ones most directly affected by the ISIL terrorism.
And so this will be a political, diplomatic, as well as military strategy. It will involve partners in a broad coalition from the countries in the region who met today in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with Secretary Kerry and pledged to support this effort, to partners in Europe and Australia and others in the West. It will be a broad coalition to deal with the threat that ISIL poses.
BLITZER: It sounds like a war to me.
Is it fair to call it a war?
RICE: Well, Wolf, I don’t know whether you want to call it a war or a sustained counterterrorism campaign or — I think, frankly, this is a counterterrorism operation that will take time. It will be sustained. We will not have American combat forces on the ground fighting, as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is what I think the American people think of when they think of a war.
So I think this is very different from that. But nonetheless, we’ll be dealing with a significant threat to the region, to American personnel in the region and, potentially, also to Europe and the United States. And we’ll be doing it with partners. We will not be fighting ourselves on the ground, but we will be using American air power, as we have been over the last several weeks, as necessary. (RP)
You heard it here first, Obama doesn’t do “war”. That’s too BUSH-league… 🙂
Gee, I preferred it when they called an invasion a “pre-dawn vertical insertion” or a compromise that “continues to violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity …”
“The United States stands shoulder to shoulder tonight with our close friend and ally in grief and resolve,” Obama said.
“We will work with the United Kingdom and a broad coalition of nations from the region and around the world to bring the perpetrators of this outrageous act to justice, and to degrade and destroy this threat to the people of our countries, the region and the world,” he said.
On September 11 and 12, 2012, in an attack by Islamist militants on the U.S. Diplomatic Compound (unofficially sometimes called a consulate) in Benghazi, Libya, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed — the first death of an American ambassador by a violent act since 1979. Chris Stevens had earned the admiration and respect of many local Benghazans by making improved relations between Libyans and Americans his calling — one that he was willing to take great risks to accomplish. Also killed that fateful night was the affable State Department computer specialist Sean Smith, known ironically to his friends in the online gaming world as “Vile Rat.”
Far more people would have died had it not been for the efforts of the Annex Security Team, a group of private security contractors, each of whom had served in the United States Marines, Army, or Navy, working for an organization called the Global Response Staff (“GRS”), who risked their lives and defied orders by leaving the nearby CIA Annex in order to save the State Department staff at the Diplomatic Compound.
But the terrorists weren’t finished. A few hours after the “consulate” burned, killing Stevens and Smith by smoke inhalation in what was supposed to be a safe haven within the primary residence on the walled property, they massed in force and attacked the CIA Annex to which the Team and the evacuated State Department staff had fallen back.
In that series of firefights, two more men, Glen “Bub” Doherty — who had arrived from Tripoli as part of a group of reinforcements — and Tyrone “Rone” Woods — a Team member and former Navy SEAL who also had paramedic training — lost their lives. Another member of the team, Mark “Oz” Geist, suffered devastating injuries to his arm (requiring 15 surgeries so far), while a Diplomatic Security agent, Dave Ubben, was also badly hurt.
The deaths of Bub and Rone, and the injuries to Oz and Ubben, occurred in the last major violent episode of the battle: a series of mortar attacks that were too precise to have been just “good luck” for the terrorists and belie the Obama administration’s early claims of a disorganized protest that simply turned violent.
The story of the attacks on both Compounds, the bravery of the Annex Security Team and others — as well as the apparent cowardice of some, including the CIA station chief on location — is told in a riveting new book entitled 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi.
The book, written by New York Times bestselling author Mitchell Zuckoff in collaboration with the remaining members of the Team, is a riveting account of heroism and tragedy, something that you might expect to find (and equally not be able to put down) in a Tom Clancy novel and from which there will no doubt be a most adrenaline-pumping movie.
After all, how could a director improve on Oz, his body pounded and his left arm shredded by a mortar blast, about to be carried on a stretcher to the evacuation airplane, standing up and saying “Hell no! I walked into this country and I’m going to f***ing walk out of this town”?
Of the five surviving Team members, three use their real names in the book: Mark “Oz” Geist (Marines), Kris “Tanto” Paronto (Army), and John “Tig” Tiegen (Marines). Two others use pseudonyms, going by Jack Silva (Navy) and Dave “D.B.” Benton (Marines). Each of them, including Rone, is a father, making even more remarkable the risks they took for their countrymen and more scandalous the reasonable conclusion that but for poor decision-making by high-ranking State Department and others the deaths in Benghazi, and perhaps the attack itself, might never have happened.
The book begins with Jack’s arrival in Benghazi, being wary of surveillance as soon as arriving at baggage claim, and being shown to the CIA Annex by Rone, who “told Jack that the summer in Benghazi would be his last job for the GRS… he wanted to spend more time with his wife and to help raise their infant son.”
After descriptions of the other team members — in which you really feel as if you know them at least a little bit — and an introduction to Ambassador Stevens, whose “optimism was tested from the start by instability and violence,” 13 Hours moves quickly into the violent events of the night of September 11 and the morning of September 12, 2012, beginning with the State Department Compound’s Libyan gate security fleeing — though they were unarmed in any case — allowing in “armed invaders ([who]… roamed freely through the dimly lit Compound, firing their weapons and chanting as they approached the buildings in packs, some stealing what they could carry, all trying to find the Americans.”
Your next enthralling hour or two of reading is of battles and tactics and bravery and confusion which for civilians is only imaginable as a 21st century Alamo — under attack by al Qaeda instead of Santa Ana’s army: “As Tig moved to join in, a [friendly] 17 February militiaman on the west side of Gunfighter Road fired two rocket-propelled grenades toward the men outside the Compound gate. The grenade-firing militiaman was positioned about twenty yards behind Tig, who heard the alarming sound of shells whizzing over his head. The grenades didn’t faze the attackers, who kept firing.”
And while I’ve offered an example involving John “Tig” Tiegen, every member of the team demonstrated almost inconceivable — again, at least to civilians — courage and determination. They would (and do) say that it’s simply what they were trained to do. Which does not lessen my admiration for them by even the smallest measure.
Yet despite everything, and this is the intention of the surviving members of the Team, if one person comes through the book as most memorable and, although I hesitate to suggest degrees of heroism, a man whom the other heroes themselves see as a hero, it is Tyrone “Rone” Woods, whom everyone on the team liked, trusted, and respected, and who lost his life in a terrorist mortar attack on a roof in Benghazi:
The former SEAL with the King Leonidas beard, who’d extended his stay in Benghazi to help protect Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, who intended to retire from GRS operator trips to work with his wife, who was eager to raise his infant son and see his two older boys grow into men, who instinctively and compulsively watched over his fellow operators, who led the rescue charge into the Compound, who searched through a burning building for two missing men, and who answered the first two explosions by rising with a machine gun and returning fire, had absorbed the deadly concussive force of the explosion.
13 Hours recognizes but deliberately avoids partisan politics. Regarding some of the most common questions about what happened in Benghazi, such as “During the attack, was the U.S. military response appropriate, and if not, why not?”
Most answers have fallen on one side or the other of a partisan divide… Media reports have run the gamut on who, if anyone, in Washington deserves blame and punishment, and whether the attacks should be considered a tragedy, a scandal, or both. However, by early 2014 one conclusion had gained considerable traction across partisan lines: The attacks could have been prevented. That is, if only the State Department had taken appropriate steps to improve security at the Compound in response to the numerous warnings and incidents during the months prior.
Yes, the brave men of Benghazi are simply telling their story, but the words of Pericles ring as true as ever: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” Simply as a matter of “the buck stops here” management responsibility, one can’t avoid the feeling that 13 Hours means that Hillary Clinton has more ’splainin’ to do if she seeks to be the next president of the United States.
As you look beyond the incredible story, the events in Benghazi offer as many questions as answers. Again, one cannot help but ask questions that might have political implications despite the authors’ explicit declarations that they are not trying to make political statements but simply to get the truth of that night’s events into the public sphere.
On Monday, in an exclusive interview for The American Spectator, I asked a few of these and other questions of Mark “Oz” Geist and John “Tig” Tiegen — three men who after enduring Benghazi have been willing to risk their own now-civilian privacy in order to tell their story:
Ross Kaminsky: Many aspects of that night seem like they might have been preventable. Let’s start with the initial situation on the ground. What did you make of it at the time and what do you make of it in retrospect?
Mark Geist: It was about like every other Third World country I’d been in… kind of a piece of crap. It was a lawless city. After the fall of Gaddafi, it was controlled by several different militias and they were all vying for control of various entities within the city, like the airport, the port, commerce, things like that, so they can make money.
RK: Did you think that the State Dept. security people, the State Department more broadly, even the CIA, had taken their own security seriously enough and done enough to be prepared for what could happen in a lawless city, much less in a lawless city on September 11th?
John Tiegen: Our side, we took measures, from the get-go, when we first got into Benghazi. For the State Dept. guys I’d say no. Even the very first trip that I did down in Benghazi, they were shorthanded. There’d be only like two Americans on that Compound, no principal officer, just two RSOs [Regional Security Officers] sitting there, not doing anything. Or they’d go on a move and only leave one American on the Compound. They were always understaffed and basically no security. I mean, the guys at the gate, they had no weapons; I don’t even think they had batons. There was a total lack of security over there.
RK: Did you think at the time that there was an unsafe reliance on Libyans for the security at the Compounds?
MG: My personal opinion is because of the relationship that people felt they had with the Libyans — most of the Libyans who lived there were supportive of us — it gave a false sense of security to some people. You have a town that’s controlled by militias. The militias weren’t friendly. At best, they were neutral to us. Some of them I guess were quasi-friendly but not somebody you’d want to trust your life to.
RK: One thing that I don’t really know even after reading the book: What was your team’s explicit responsibility, if any, for the State Department Compound?
JT: We had no requirement to go rescue them or do anything with them. We were augmenting our time to even escort the ambassador to the different events he was attending, just so they’d have extra security.
RK: During the attacks, you told the Team Leader that you wanted aerial military support as well as surveillance. What happened and didn’t happen when you made that request?
JT: It was Tanto who made that request. He made it pretty quick. He requested the IR and a Spectre gunship within 10 or 15 minutes. They just kinda said “Roger that. We’ll look into it.” All we ever got was the IR (drone surveillance), obviously.
RK: Did you ever figure out why?
RK: What do you make of the fact that you never figured out why?
MG: I think somebody was either afraid to make the decision or they felt that the situation wasn’t as grave as it was, which could lead you to the conclusion that maybe that’s [also] why they had us stand down and hold off for 30 minutes. Because they thought it could be handled in an easier manner, or they didn’t want the exposure or something.
RK: It’s not as if you guys are the type of people to call and say you need help except in the absolute worst possible situations. I just can’t imagine who would hear a call from any one of you and say “Well, maybe it’s not that serious.” I suppose that’s more of a comment than a question…
MG and JT: I would agree. I would agree with that.
RK: You talk in the book about the CIA station chief in Benghazi, whom you call “Bob,” and who refused to be interviewed for the book, as I gather from the book’s notes. Bob made some decisions which you’ve made clear you believe cost American lives. What did Bob do or not do, and what were the impacts of his actions or inactions, and perhaps you can include any thoughts on why he did what he did.
JT: Initially it would be to coordinate with [supposedly friendly militia] 17th Feb[ruary] guys so they knew we were coming. But it doesn’t — it shouldn’t — take 30 minutes to coordinate. That’s just “Hey, we have guys coming over. Don’t shoot at them…” kind of thing.
RK: In the book, you go a little further… it really seems that you guys think that Bob was a bit of a coward.
JT: Well, there were quite a few incidents in Benghazi before this where somebody would get tied up at a checkpoint, even at gunpoint, and he wouldn’t let the QRF team leave, not even just to get to the area. We don’t just rush in and start shooting people just because something happened. We go in, assess the situation, and then we adapt to it. And he just never would — I don’t know, maybe he just didn’t know what our capabilities really were. He just blatantly didn’t want us to ever do anything.
[Note: The Daily Beast reported in May 2013 that “Bob” received “one of the [CIA’s] highest intelligence medals.”]
RK: Tell us what that time was like from the moment when you guys got into the vehicles to get ready to go [from the CIA Annex to the State Department Compound which was under attack], waiting for Bob to give you the “go,” and what happened over the next 30 to 40 minutes.
JT: A lot of anger. A lot of us were getting extremely pissed off.
RK: What did Bob say to you?
JT: He told me directly, he just looked right at me when I got out of the car, “Hey, you need to stand down. You need to wait.” And that was it. It wasn’t, “You need to wait for this.” It was just, “You need to wait.” And from previous experiences, his “stand down” or even just “wait” meant “you ain’t gonna leave this compound.”
RK: Did he use the actual words “stand down” or did he just say “wait”?
JT: He used the words “stand down.”
RK: So do you believe that the delay caused by the CIA station chief probably cost the lives of Sean Smith and Chris Stevens?
JT: I strongly believe that if we had left immediately, they’d still be alive. They didn’t die of gunshot wounds or knife stabbing. They died of smoke inhalation. And that takes time. It’s not something that just happens in a split second. Their house was on fire. Every second counts. Firefighters know every second counts. So, yeah, it directly impacted their deaths.
MG: I wasn’t there at the time that the stand down order was given, but in any emergency situation, every second is critical. And how you use that time is critical. And to save those five people there and the 20-plus people at the Annex, the time had to be used in a very efficient manner. With the delay, I think we’re lucky that they all didn’t die.
RK: So Bob was a CIA guy. One thing I’m still trying to understand is why was there a relatively significant CIA presence in Benghazi at that time?
JT: They’re trying to gather information on terrorists. [Islamic radicals] were all over [the port city of] Derna [about 150 miles northeast of Benghazi]. Derna was pretty much overrun by [terrorists] months before Benghazi. So they’re out there collecting intel.Initially, they were out there trying to find the yellow cake [uranium] that Gaddafi had.
RK: Some people wonder whether the CIA was trying to send arms to Syria through Libya. Do you have any opinion about that?
JT: I’ve been there three trips and I never once even heard them talk about running AKs or anything. Yeah, they would try to find the shoulder-fired missiles, but they did that in just about every country, so [terrorists] couldn’t shoot down airliners. But for running AKs and stuff, I even went to the port with them and that never came up, and I was in a meeting there and they were just discussing the situation at the port. That’s all it was.
[Note: Another new book on Benghazi continues to assert that the State Department and Ambassador Stevens were involved in highly secret arms transfers, both within Libya (to keep large quantities of weapons out of the hands of the most radical militias) and from Libya to Turkey and then on to Syria.]
RK: Did this experience change how you think about government and bureaucracy?
MG: I was in the Marine Corps for 12 years. We don’t do the job that we do because of government or higher-ups in the chain of command. We do it because there’s a need to serve people and protect people. To me, it’s a calling. It’s just something I do. Like a firefighter who runs to the fire instead of away from it. We’re the same way.
RK: Does the government understand national security?
JT: This administration, I’d say no.
RK: I know what you’re going to say but I’m going to ask you anyway: What goes through your mind when someone calls you a hero?
JT: I’m no hero. I mean, this is something we’ve been trained to do. We all joined the military and we like doing it. We like protecting people, obviously.
MG: It seems to me that everybody should just be this way, be there to help people who can’t help themselves. If doing that… that’s just helping other people. That ain’t being a hero.
RK: How are you guys doing now? Are you happy? Do you miss that aspect of your life? Do you feel like that was just a chapter of your life and now you’re on to a new one, or do you feel as if you’re missing something fundamental?
JT: We’re always going to miss it. I mean, you’re working around people who think the same. The camaraderie that was there. I mean, God, I miss it every day. It was fun. I enjoyed it.
RK: So did you give it up mainly because you have kids?
JT: I’d probably say yes. That’s one of the main reasons. I mean, I went back. I did two trips. My twins are only two and a half. They weren’t even six months old when Benghazi happened. The first trip was kinda hard. The second trip was even harder. I just said, “That’s it.”
MG: I can’t work doing that anymore, at least not in that capacity, due to my injuries. It’s hard to say why… but I’d go back in a heartbeat. But I also am glad that I’m able to be home now because out of — I started contracting in 2004, so since 2004 I’ve probably been gone for two thirds of that time. So my two older kids, one who’s 18 and one who’s 13, I’ve missed a lot of their growing up. So it’s really nice to be home but there’s always that — like we said — camaraderie, being around people who think like you and can understand why you think the way you do and why you look at things the way you do. You, having grown up on a military base, probably understand that a little more than most. But the civilian population doesn’t think like we do.
JT: Plus it’s a job where you get to take out terrorists. I mean, you’re taking out the bad guy. It’s not as if you’re sitting around not accomplishing anything. It’s a very rewarding job even though the public doesn’t get to know about it.
RK: Last question for you: What question should you be asked that people are missing and not asking you?
MG: The thing that should be asked is, “Why did we write the book?” And the answer to that is because it’s the story that hasn’t been told. The media has talked about the beginning and what should have been done and they’ve talked about all the things that happened since and why people did what they did. But nobody’s asked the question of what happened during those 13 hours. Not because we care about some political thing — but because we want people to know what happened on the ground. And to honor Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and the sacrifices they made to try to save Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith. And to honor them, too. Because they were serving their country, in a different way than we did, but they were serving their country and they died doing it. You know, no one has honored them the way they should be honored, all four of them who died.
Published today, 13 Hours may indeed set the record straight on what really happened during a night which has itself become a political RPG and could threaten the presidential aspirations of the next would-be President Clinton, whose infamous “what difference at this point does it make?” should be disqualifying, even if her failure to protect Ambassador Stevens were somehow overlooked.
More importantly, 13 Hours is also an incredible, harrowing, engrossing story of American warriors demonstrating heroism and bravery at a level that most of us can barely imagine — fighting against a much larger, well-armed radical militia force and saving the lives of many despite cowardice, cynicism, and incompetence all around them. (American Spectator)
If you see something that is not within the ideology, say nothing or lie, that’s the Democrat way.
“We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” Mr. Obama declared in a 14-minute address. “That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq,” he added, using an alternative name for ISIS. “This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
How many believe this is campaign rhetoric? How many actually believe Mr “Red Line” is serious?
Certainly not the terrorists.
The Left has completely forgotten 9/11. They had to, so they did.
“They were at war with us, but we weren’t at war with them” — 9/11 Report. Sound Familiar?
“These American forces will not have a combat mission; we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq,” Mr. Obama pledged, adding that the mission “will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; it will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” (NYT)
Don’t you love how he telegraphs everything in the media? 🙂
Then we can’t possibly win. But then again, he’s just looking to win just enough to get the critics off his back so he can go back to golfing and the Democrats stand a chance in November.
Nothing more than that.
Another “campaign” war. More “symbolism” and “jingoism” that’s his “strategy”.
Make it look like’s doing something….ANYTHING…Just get off his back so he can go back to be King!
We need more Winston Churchill and less Ward Churchill.
Those people who say that President Obama has no clear vision and no clear strategy for dealing with the ISIS terrorists in the Middle East may be mistaken. It seems to me that he has a very clear and very consistent strategy. And a vision behind that strategy.
First the strategy — which is to get each crisis off the front pages and off television news programs as quickly as he can, in whatever way he can, at the lowest political cost. Calling ISIS a junior varsity months ago accomplished that goal.
Saying before the 2012 elections that “bin Laden is dead” and that terrorism was defeated accomplished the goal of getting reelected.
Ineffective sanctions against Iran and Russia likewise serve a clear purpose. They serve to give the illusion that Obama is doing something that will stop Iran from getting nuclear bombs and stop Russia from invading Ukraine.
This forestalls the massive and enraged outcries there would be if the public were fully aware that he was doing nothing serious enough to prevent either of these things from happening. Generations of Americans yet unborn may curse us all for leaving them hostage to a nuclear terrorist Iran. But generations yet unborn do not vote, so they carry no weight with Barack Obama.
No one has a perfect batting average in any field, so Obama has been caught in some dicey situations, such as the sudden eruption of ISIS on the world stage, with their videotaped beheadings that make it hard to get them off the front pages and off the TV newscasts.
Caught off guard, the president has played for time — time for Iraq to get its internal politics fixed, time for our allies to come together, time for the military to create a strategy. Ideally, from his standpoint, time for the whole ISIS crisis to blow over.
There is always someone else to blame for whatever goes wrong in the Obama administration. Supposedly the intelligence services had not kept him informed about how imminent the ISIS threat was. But others who received top-secret briefings by the intelligence services say otherwise.
Some people are wondering how someone of obvious intelligence like Barack Obama could be so mistaken about so many things, especially in deadly foreign policy issues. But there is no way of knowing whether anyone is succeeding or failing without first knowing what they are trying to do.
If you assume that Barack Obama is trying to protect the safety and interests of the United States and its allies, then clearly he has been a monumental failure. It is hard to think of any part of the world where things have gotten better for us since the Obama administration began.
Certainly not in Iraq. Or Iran. Or Libya. Or China. Things went from bad to worse after Obama intervened in Egypt and helped put the murderous Muslim Brotherhood in power. Fortunately for Egypt — and for the whole Middle East — the Egyptian military took the Muslim Brotherhood out of power, in defiance of Obama.
If you start from the assumption that Barack Obama wanted to advance America’s interests, this is truly an unbelievable record of failure. But what is there in Obama’s background that would justify the assumption that America’s best interests are his goal?
He has, from childhood on, been mentored by, or allied with, people hostile to the United States and to American values. His mentors and allies have all been very much like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, even if they were not as flamboyant.
Barack Obama has succeeded in reducing America’s military strength while our adversaries are increasing theirs, and reducing our credibility and influence with our allies. That is completely consistent with his vision of how the world ought to be, with the West taken down a peg and humbled.
We are currently at a point where we can either kill as many of the ISIS terrorists as possible over there — where they are bunched together and visible against a desert background — or else leave the job half done and have them come over here, where they will be hard to find, and can start beheading Americans in America.
Everything in Barack Obama’s history suggests that he is going to leave the job half done, so long as that gets the issue off the front pages and off the TV newscasts. (Thomas Sowell)