Fast & Furious II: The Sequel

Two of every three suspected crime guns recovered by Mexican authorities and reported to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives came from the U.S., according to data the agency released Thursday.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) said the new data make it “very clear that we need to increase our efforts to starve the supply of American weapons that arm Mexico’s brutal drug trafficking organizations.”

Aka Gun Control. Something wanna-be dictators always want.

In the end, ATF counts stolen guns in this data, guns sold to foreign governments by FFLs under the approval of the State Department in this data and counts guns ATF and DOJ purposely sent into Mexico as “guns being traced back to the U.S.” (Kate Pavlich)

So they can inflate the statistics and make it look worse so they can push for more gun control which is what Fast & furious was all about anyhow originally until it went tits-up on them.

“We also have to remember that the only guns Mexico is going to submit for tracing are guns they know are from the United States, which clearly paints an incomplete picture of the firearms found in the Mexico,” Sen. Grassley said. (townhall.com)

Now we have…GRENADES!

First it was “Operation Fast & Furious”…now there is a new scandal in the ATF. “Grenade Gate” is centered around alleged cartel arms dealer Jean Baptist Kingrey. ATF agents were supposed to be tracking Kingrey…but they let him go TWICE! The Justice Department just handed over a slew of disturbing new photos (including the ones below) to Congress shedding light on the case.(Greta Van Sustren)

They were tracking him, they lost him and lots of explosives made it across the border.

The ATF and/or the US Attorney’s office in Phoenix allowed at least 1,400 guns to be smuggled from the US to drug cartels in Mexico, ostensibly so they could track the guns up the food chain and then make big arrests. Instead, and tragically, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered. One of the weapons nearby was indeed one that US law enforcement had allowed to pass through to Mexico. Other weapons have apparently been linked to other crimes.

US Attorney General for the District of Arizona, Dennis Burke, resigned  last year over Fast & Furious. But no one has actually been arrested, prosecuted or even charged because of this mess.

It gets worse. Burke may also have been involved in another smuggling attempt. This one involved parts for hundreds of grenades. The suspect, Jean Baptiste Kingery, was arrested in Arizona, only to be released hours later. ATF agents wanted him held but were overruled by the Attorney General’s office. Kingery was recently arrested in Mexico, with parts for yet hundreds of more grenades.

So how many guns and grenade parts have US law enforcement allowed to pass to drug cartels? More to the point, isn’t this against the law? It shouldn’t matter if law enforcement wanted to do a sting and track the weapons to cartel leaders. They did in fact allow guns to be smuggled into Mexico. This is not only wrong, it’s also, well, crazy. We’re supposed to be cooperating with Mexico yet they weren’t told.

The emails also show Obama administration officials acknowledging that they may lose track of grenades but would still be able to accomplish their original objective even if the grenades explode.

According to an internal email that was provided to Congress by the Department of Justice and first reported by CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson — who’s been the media’s most dogged reporter in tracking down facts on Fast and Furious – ATF began watching accused smuggler Jean Baptiste Kingery’s AK-47 purchases in 2004. In the 2009 internal ATF email, Obama administration officials admitted they believed Kingery was “trafficking them into Mexico.”

The 2009 email shows the ATF officials had then become aware of Kingery’s alleged grenade trafficking.

The administration officials then put together a plan: They secretly intercepted Kingery’s grenade parts after he ordered them online, marked them with special paint and gave them back to him. Then, they allowed him to take those grenade parts into Mexico. ATF was going to try to find his weapons factory there — even though the U.S. government and its federal law enforcement agencies have no jurisdiction in Mexico — with the apparent goal of building a bigger case against Kingery.

ATF agents had planned to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials — who, unlike ATF agents who ultimately report to Attorney General Eric Holder, report up the chain to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The emails show ATF agents were aware they might lose track of Kingery while they allowed him to transport the grenade parts into Mexico. The emails also show ATF agents knew that the grenades could end up exploding and killing innocent people if they proceeded with the plan. That didn’t stop the Obama administration’s ATF from allowing the grenades to walk.

“Even in a post blast, as long as the safety lever is recovered we will be able to identify these tagged grenades,” an official wrote in one email.

Hey, even if they explode and kill people it’s ok!!! No need to do anything about it because we can still get what WE want out of it!

According to Attkisson’s report, officials had taken Kingery into custody in 2010 — long before Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered with a Fast and Furious-supplied gun — after having caught him trying to transport that ammunition and those grenade parts and fuse assemblies into Mexico hidden inside the spare tire of the SUV he was travelling in.

Attkisson said that ATF agents questioned Kingery at that point but then “inexplicably released” him.

“We are forbidden from doing that type of activity,” ATF’s Mexico attaché, Carlos Canino wrote in one email. “If ICE is telling you they can do that, they are full of shit.”

According to the Journal article, the June decision to release Kingery:

“… is at the crux of a bitter fight between ATF agents and prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix. The lead ATF agent on the grenades case, Peter Forcelli, “was horrified with the thought of releasing this individual” and “practically begged” senior prosecutor Emory Hurley “for permission to arrest the suspect on a criminal complaint…”

An e-mail later surfaced in which Burke wrote, “Agree [with] the course of action as the variables play out.” (New Times 2011)

Sources tell CBS News that, in January 2010, ATF had Kingery under surveillance after he bought about 50 grenade bodies and headed to Mexico. But they say prosecutors wouldn’t agree to make a case. So, as ATF agents looked on, Kingery and the grenade parts crossed the border — and simply disappeared.

Six months later, Kingery allegedly got caught leaving the U.S. for Mexico with 114 disassembled grenades in a tire. One ATF agent told investigators he literally begged prosecutors to keep Kingery in custody this time, fearing he was supplying narco-terrorists, but was again ordered to let Kingery go.

The prosecutors — already the target of controversy for overseeing “Fast and Furious,” wouldn’t comment on the grenades case. U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke recently resigned and his assistant, Emory Hurley, has been transferred. Sources say Hurley is the one who let Kingery go, saying grenade parts are “novelty items” and the case “lacked jury appeal.” (Michelle Malkin 2011)

But don’t worry, they knew nothing about all this. It was all Bush’s/Someone else’s Fault! 🙂

And we just need more Gun Control in THIS country!!

Not one government official has been held accountable for Operation Fast and Furious. (DC)

The top Justice Department official who signed a letter erroneously telling lawmakers investigating “Operation Fast and Furious” that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives never allowed guns to be sold to cartel members will be leaving the department to head up a law school.

He previously served as Chief Counsel to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.,
Hmmm….
Another rat desserts the ship before he has to rat on Holder.

Weich himself testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform committee in June 2011. He mostly testified about the Justice Department’s efforts to comply with congressional subpoenas, but he was also asked about the Feb. 4, 2011, letter.

“Every time the Justice Department sends a letter to Congress, it is true to the best of our knowledge at the time that we send it,” he said. Still, he insisted again that ATF “doesn’t sanction or approve of the transfer of weapons to Mexico.” (FOX)

And if we have to retract it later, as this one was, as being blatantly false and misleading that wasn’t our fault that you discovered it was false. 🙂

So Burke is gone, his replacement was an idiot, and several other flunkies have deserted the Ship and ATF and ICE are both left with sh*t on their face but yet, curiously no is being prosecuted for this fiasco. Holder says they are “investigating” but curiously nothing has been happening for more than a year.

Attorney General Eric Holder and “Big Sis” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napalitano are curiously still here too. The Peter Principle in action.

Curiouser and Curiouser… 🙂

WASHINGTON — Republican House leaders have drafted a proposed contempt of Congress citation against Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. in which they charge that he and his Justice Department have repeatedly “obstructed and slowed” the Capitol Hill investigation into the ATF’s flawed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation.

The 48-page draft citation is being drawn up by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Top committee officials recently met for most of a day in the House speaker’s office and were given the green light to proceed toward a contempt citation, according to sources who declined to be identified.

The draft describes a 2010 meeting in the office of then-acting Deputy Atty. Gen. Gary G. Grindler in which charts were presented showing 31 people had illegally paid cash for 1,026 weapons. Also shown were the locations of “stash houses” before the weapons were moved to Mexico.

“Despite receiving all this information … Grindler did not order Fast and Furious to be shut down, nor did he follow up with ATF or his staff about the investigation,” the draft says.

Grindler, however, has told congressional investigators that he was not advised at the meeting about the unusual tactics used by ATF agents in allowing the guns to be illegally sold under Fast and Furious. (LA Times)

But he didn’t do anything about it either!!

Yet another, stooge. Geez, they come out of the woodwork like cockroaches!

Gun, Grenades, eh, so what…No Big Deal. It’s all Bush’s Fault anyhow! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

 Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

 

 

De-Railing Reality

The amount of money the federal government takes out of the U.S. economy in taxes will increase by more than 30 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to the Budget and Economic Outlook published yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office.

At the same time, according to CBO, the economy will remain sluggish, partly because of higher taxes.

“In particular, between 2012 and 2014, revenues in CBO’s baseline shoot up by more than 30 percent,” said CBO, “mostly because of the recent or scheduled expirations of tax provisions, such as those that lower income tax rates and limit the reach of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and the imposition of new taxes, fees, and penalties that are scheduled to go into effect.”

The U.S. economy, CBO projects, will perform “below its potential” for another six years and unemployment will remain above 7 percent for another three.

Now that”Hope and Change” you can believe in!

California has a huge state debt and Washington has a huge national debt. But that does not discourage either Governor Jerry Brown or President Barack Obama from wanting to launch a very costly high-speed rail system.

Most of us might be a little skittish about spending money if we were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. But the beauty of politics is that it is all other people’s money, including among those other people generations yet unborn.

The high-speed rail system proposed for California has been envisioned as a model for similar systems elsewhere in the United States. A recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle used the high-speed rail system in Spain as an analogy for California.

Spain is about the same size as California, and has a similar population density — and population density is the key to the economic viability of mass transportation, from subways to high-speed rail.

It so happens that I have ridden on Spain’s high-speed rail system. It was very nice, especially since I did not have to pay the full costs, which were subsidized by the Spanish taxpayers.

While the Spanish government has been subsidizing the passengers on its high-speed rail system, the European Union has been subsidizing the Spanish government. Someone once said that government is the illusion that we can all live off somebody else. Spain’s high-speed rail system is not even covering its operating costs, never mind the enormous costs of setting up the system in the first place. One reason is that half the seats are empty in the high-speed trains in Spain.

That is what happens when you don’t have the population density required for passengers to cover the operating costs. You would need the hordes of Genghis Khan riding the high-speed rail system to cover the additional costs of the rails and the trains.

An economics professor at the University of Barcelona says that Spain “has not recovered one single euro from the infrastructure investment.”

The most famous high-speed rail system is that in Japan, one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The “bullet train” between Tokyo and Osaka has 130 million riders a year. Tokyo alone has more than three times the population of San Francisco and Los Angeles put together.

In California, an element of farce has been added to the impending economic tragedy, if the envisioned high-speed rail system actually materializes.

The first leg of the system is planned to run between Fresno and Bakersfield. If those names don’t ring a bell with you, there is a reason. They are modest-sized communities out in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley, well removed from San Francisco or Los Angeles.

You can bet the rent money that high-speed rail traffic between Fresno and Bakersfield will never come within shouting distance of covering the operating costs. Some people have analogized putting such a rail line between these two towns to the infamous “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska.

Why are they doing it? Because they can.

If they began this project where they want it to go — between San Francisco and Los Angeles — they would run into so much opposition from the environmentalists, and from local politicians influenced by the environmentalists, that the delays could take the high-speed rail advocates beyond the time limit for using the federal subsidy money. But the green fanatics have not yet taken over politically out in the San Joaquin Valley.

The only reason for even thinking about building a high-speed rail line between Fresno and Bakersfield is just to get the project underway with federal money, making it politically more difficult to stop the larger project for a similar rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In other words, they are going to start wasting money out in the valley, so that they will be able to waste more money later on, along the coast. This may not make any sense economically, but it can make sense politically for Jerry Brown and Barack Obama.

An old song ended, “You’ve been running around in circles, getting nowhere — getting nowhere very fast.” On high-speed rail.

But since it’s all about the Politics of Me, it works for them.

And the Money and the debt, who cares.

FAST & FURIOUS

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are officially trying to cover for Attorney General Eric Holder just before he testifies on Thursday about Operation Fast and Furious, with anti-Second Amendment Ranking Member Elijah Cummings leading the way. Last night, Cummings released a 95 page waste of paper and taxpayer money report, alleging that top Justice Department officials did not authorize the program, despite evidence showing otherwise.  The report tries to pin the blame back on a few “rogue” managers in the ATF Phoenix Field Division. This is the same argument we’ve heard since the beginning of the scandal: it was a local operation, nobody important knew anything.

A few important points:

First, Deputy Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny Breuer (the number two man in DOJ), approved wiretaps for Operation Fast and Furious. Wiretap applications require excruciating detail about a case to be presented before approval. Wiretaps are considered the most intrusive tool law enforcement can use. Breuer, who read through the wiretap applications, knew details of the strategy used in Fast and Furious, letting guns walk into Mexico without alerting Mexican authorities, yet he approved it anyway. New emails released last Friday in a late night document dump, show Attorney General Eric Holder was briefed about Brian Terry’s death just hours after he was murdered in the early morning hours on December 15, 2010. Later in the day, Holder’s deputy chief of staff at the time Monty Wilkinson, was told directly by former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke that the guns found at the murder scene were part of Operation Fast and Furious. According to the report, Wilkinson doesn’t “recall” that email, despite replying to it with, “Call you tomorrow.” Burke, who resigned from his position as U.S. Attorney in August, was in “complete agreement” with former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Division Bill Newell about Fast and Furious tactics according to a January 8, 2010 briefing memo.

If Wilkinson’s “I don’t recall,” argument sounds familiar, there’s a reason why. On May 3, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder testifed before the House Judicary Committee that he had only known about Fast and Furious, “for a couple of weeks.” Five months later, memos addressed directly to Holder surfaced, with details and discussion about the program. In defense, Holder said he didn’t read the memos and that his staff didn’t inform him of their content.

Second, the report claims Fast and Furious was not used as a way for the Obama administration to push through back door gun control measures.

“The report debunks many unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Contrary to repeated claims by some, the Committee has obtained no evidence that Operation Fast and Furious was a politically-motivated operation conceived and directed by high-level Obama Administration political appointees at the Department of Justice,” Cummings wrote in the report.

But whenever catch a Liberal with his hands in cookie jar, just remember ” Nothing to see here…move on…” 🙂

Poke the Tiger


Now that the Justice Department got Brian Terry’s record sealed and it’s Friday (so the news media is away for the weekend) they finally decided who to throw under the bus for “Fast & Furious” and then baffle everyone else with bullshit.

Not Holder. It would never have been Holder.

With Grassley and Issa on their trail like a pack of raptors they threw one of their own out and apparent “apology” for lying as a distraction.

Just two days ago: The Obama Administration has abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.

Yep, we’ve been lying, but here’s why…  (that beeping bus noise you here is Eric Holder driving)…

The Justice Department on Friday provided Congress with documents detailing how department officials gave inaccurate information to a U.S. senator in the controversy surrounding Operation Fast and Furious, the flawed law enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling major arms trafficking networks on the Southwest border.

The materials contain clues into how misleading information about the botched gun trafficking operation made it into a Feb. 4, 2011 letter to Congress that department leaders have since acknowledged was false.

The February 2011 letter said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives makes “every effort” to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally before they cross into Mexico. It added that the allegation that the ATF had “sanctioned or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons” to suspicious people was false.

— Jason Weinstein, a senior aide in the Justice Department’s criminal division, played a key role in drafting the February 2011 letter. So he’s a target for “underling” assassination. 🙂

7 Months later and with no buying the bovine fecal matter, Time to get out the bus and start baffling them with bullshit.

Misleading Congress can be a prosecutable offense if a person who makes the statements knows they are false. But Attorney General Eric Holder has told lawmakers that so far he has no evidence anyone intended to deceive them. The matter remains under investigation not only by Republicans in Congress but also the Justice Department’s inspector general.

This distraction brought to you by Attorney General Eric Holder.

In a letter last February to Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had not sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser and that the agency makes every effort to intercept weapons that have been purchased illegally. In Operation Fast and Furious, both statements turned out to be incorrect.

The Justice Department letter was responding to Grassley’s statements that the Senate Judiciary Committee had received allegations the ATF had sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers. Grassley also said there were allegations that two of the assault weapons had been used in a shootout that killed customs agent Brian Terry.

In an email four days later to Justice Department colleagues, then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke in Phoenix said that “Grassley’s assertions regarding the Arizona investigation and the weapons recovered” at the “murder scene are based on categorical falsehoods. I worry that ATF will take 8 months to answer this when they should be refuting its underlying accusations right now.” That email marked the start of an internal debate in the Justice Department over what and how much to say in response to Grassley’s allegations. The fact that there was an ongoing criminal investigation into Terry’s murder prompted some at the Justice Department to argue for less disclosure.

Some of what turned out to be incorrect information was emailed to Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division. Breuer sent an email saying “let’s help as much as we can” in responding to Grassley.

The emails sent to Capitol Hill on Friday showed that Burke supplied additional incorrect information to the Justice Department’s criminal division that ended up being forwarded to Breuer. For example, Burke said that the guns found at the Terry murder scene were purchased at a Phoenix gun shop before Operation Fast and Furious began. In fact, the operation was under way at the time and the guns found at the Terry murder scene were part of the probe. Breuer was one of the recipients of that information. In written comments this week to Grassley, Breuer said that he was on a three-day official trip to Mexico at the time of the Justice Department response and that he was aware of, but not involved in, drafting the Justice Department statements to Grassley. Breuer says he cannot say for sure whether he saw a draft of the letter before it was sent to Grassley.

And with the records sealed who can argue? 🙂

Attorney General Eric Holder said it’s not fair to assume that mistakes in Operation Fast and Furious led to Terry’s death.

He’s sorry, and the records are sealed, so just forget it.

Where Burke got the inaccurate information is now part of an inquiry conducted by the inspector general’s office at the Justice Department.

But since some of those records are likely sealed unless there is more pressure what do you want to bet nothing new will come out until…2013 or never! 🙂

Burke’s information was followed by a three-day struggle in which officials in the office of the deputy attorney general, the criminal division and the ATF came up with what turned out to be an inaccurate response to Grassley’s assertions.

Meaning no one bought the bullshit, now what!?

The process became so intensive that Breuer aide Jason Weinstein emailed his boss, “The Magna Carta was easier to get done than this was.” A copy of the latest draft was attached to the emails.

Initial drafts of the letter reflected the hard tone of Burke’s unequivocal assertions that the allegations Grassley was hearing from ATF agents were wrong. Later drafts were more measured, prompting Burke to complain in one email: “Every version gets weaker. We will be apologizing” to Grassley “by tomorrow afternoon.” Regarding the allegation that ATF sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser, the Justice Department denial was scaled back slightly from “categorically false” to “false.” ”Why poke the tiger,” Lisa Monaco, the top aide to the deputy attorney general, explained in an email to Ron Weich, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs whose signature was on the letter.

In another email, Burke wrote, “By the way, what is so offensive about this whole project” of response “is that Grassley’s staff, acting as willing stooges for the Gun Lobby, have attempted to distract from the incredible success in dismantling” Southwest Border “gun trafficking operations” and “not uttering one word of rightful praise and thanks to ATF — but, instead, lobbing this reckless despicable accusation that ATF is complicit in the murder of a fellow federal law enforcement officer.”

It just more and more incredible doesn’t it. 😦

On Friday night, Grassley spokeswoman Beth Levine said that “Burke personally apologized to Sen. Grassley’s staff for the tone and the content of the emails” after learning from the Justice Department that the emails would be released.

Whoops! 🙂

It is unusual for the Justice Department to provide such detail of its internal deliberations as it did on Friday with Congress.

The department turned over 1,364 pages of material after concluding “that we will make a rare exception to the department’s recognized protocols and provide you with information related to how the inaccurate information came to be included in the letter,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is looking into the Obama administration’s handling of Operation Fast and Furious.

Please Make this go away…Please!! (Holder and the ATF to Grassley and Issa)

“After a first glance at today’s document dump from the Justice Department, there appears to be even more questions for Assistant Attorney General Breuer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Weinstein and former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke,” said Beth Levine, spokesperson for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IW), who has been leading a congressional investigation of the gunrunning program. “The congressional investigators will continue to scour the documents over the upcoming days and will have further questions for department officials.”

Operation Fast and Furious involved more than 2,000 weapons that were purchased by straw buyers at Phoenix-area gun stores. Nearly 700 of the Fast and Furious guns have been recovered — 276 in Mexico and 389 in the United States, according to ATF data as of Oct. 20.

Amid probes by Republicans in Congress and the IG, the Justice Department in August replaced Burke, acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson and the lead prosecutor in Operation Fast and Furious.

But they were too cowardly to do any other time than late on Friday when everyone had gone home.

And remember, Burke is the one guy in all of this that quit. The others were merely “reassigned” to other desk jobs in Washington where Daddy Holder can keep an eye on them.

Grassley, who has been leading an investigation into what went wrong in the Fast and Furious operation for most of this year, says, “the Justice Department can’t have it both ways.” He took to the Senate floor Thursday night to raise a series of new questions about the operation. Many of them could emerge anew next week, when Attorney General Holder testifies in a House oversight hearing December 8th.

“It is not about one person,” said Mr. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, during a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

“It is about a failure that seems to be pervasive within Justice that investigations play fast and loose with the expectations of what is right or wrong when it comes to what I am going to call collateral damage,” he said.

Like Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. 😦

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

They are More Important

You remember “Fast & Furious” don’t you?

Where the government deliberately sold 1,400+ guns to known drug cartel members and when gun owners and ATF field agents objected they made let them go to Mexico.

Then they lost them (they were supposed to be “tracking” them-at least that was there story).

Then one shows up at the scene of a Border Patrol agent being killed by drug smugglers. It’s the murder weapon.

The administration has been trying to suppress it ever since.

Well here’s an Update:

U.S. Attorney, Dennis Burke is opposing a motion routinely approved by prosecutors, that would have the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry, recognized as crime victims, Fox News is reporting.

Burke claims the gun purchases made by Jamie Avila, whose purchases of guns included the one that was allegedly used to kill Terry, “is not any particular person, but society in general.”

Being recognized as crime victims, the Terry family would have been able to speak at Avila’s sentencing, as well as conferring with prosecutors.

Former U,S, Attorney in Florida, Kendall Coffey, told in a Fox News report, “The government leaders responsible for the tragic mistakes of Operation Fast and Furious have a lot of explaining to do before Congress. But at the same time, they still have a duty under federal law to give answers, to consult and extend respect to the family.

Paul Charlton, the Terry’s attorney, alludes this may be a tactic used by the federal government to possibly cover their tracks.

“The government’s already been put on notice that they might be facing a wrongful action by the family. And you have to wonder if the government’s efforts to deny the family the status of ‘crime victims’ is part of a strategy to avoid legal responsibility for some of the tragic mistakes of Operation Fast and Furious,” Charlton told The Fox News Report.

Burke also writes in the case, the family is not a crime victim because they were not “directly of proximately harmed,” by the illegal purchase of murder weapon.

They actually want to screw over the family of a dead Border Agent in order to lessen the damage from the government deliberately selling guns to known drug cartel buyers.

They are more important than you are.

Which brings me to The “Emergency” Food Tax here in Phoenix.

If there was no food tax, there would be no pay raises, DiCiccio
said. Its as simple as that. The Arizona Republic, June 14, 2011

The food tax is expected to bring in $28 million this year. Meanwhile,
city employees got $27 million in raises and bonuses this year. Now
the Phoenix City Council has tentatively approved a budget that
includes another $28.9 million in pay raises and bonuses for the
coming year. – Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts, May 28, 2011

City management has admitted that they can find no documents that show
they told the City Council or public the AMOUNT of employee pay raises
until a month and a half after the budget was approved.

City Manager David Cavazos was given until noon today (Aug. 10, 2011)
to show that his staff didnt hide that information while the budget
was being formed and debated. He was unable to produce anything
showing that staff informed anyone of the pay raise amounts until
April 21, 2010. That is a month and a half after the budget was
approved and 2 1/2 months after the city imposed a 2 percent food tax
essentially equal to the amount of pay raises.

City Attorney Gary Verburg confirmed that City Manager Cavazos has no
more records to turn over nothing that supports his contention that
the Council knew the amount of the pay raises. Verburg wrote that the
documents provided to you contain whatever information the City has,
to my knowledge, relevant to your request.

During the budget process when the pay raises went unmentioned the
city said the food tax was needed or managers would have to lay off
police officers and cut back senior centers, libraries, pools, transit
routes, recreation and programs for schoolchildren.

Its taken more than a year to drag an admission out of the city that
no one was told the amount of pay raises and bonuses until long after
the budget was approved, said Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who had made
multiple requests of the city manager to produce that information.
City Manager Cavazos produced reams of documents talking about the
budget process, but he never answered the question about when the pay
raise amounts were first mentioned.

The simple question City Manager Cavazos refused to answer is:

Mr. Cavazos, when was the first time city staff told Council members
the AMOUNT of employee raises?

I challenge the press and the public to see if even today they can
get a direct and clear answer from him to that question without trying
to divert it to other issues, DiCiccio said.

Even today, he continues to dodge the question in spite of the
citys admission that no document exists prior to April 21.  Its time
for Mr. Cavazos to start leveling with the citizens of Phoenix about
budget matters rather than hiding behind a blizzard of diversion.

The April 21, 2010 document shows that the public was not told the
full amount of the pay raises until after the food tax was passed
(Feb. 2, 2010), 15 public hearings were held (February, 2010) and the
City Council voted on the budget and union contracts (March, 2010).

Phoenix faced the worst budget shortfall in history, $270 million,
closing pools, cuttings libraries and services for seniors and
schoolchildren. It still managed to give out $29 million in pay raises
and bonuses by adding a new food tax, which hurt the poor the most.

The public deserves better from the city of Phoenix.

Its one thing to refuse a councilman requested information. Its
worse to hide information from the public about how its taxes are
raised and spent. Phoenix has an obligation to provide information,
and taxpayers deserve to know how their city is being managed.

The reason this remains important to me is because a well-run Phoenix
that is citizen- and business-friendly could and should be leading the
nation out of this recession. We have great assets, including a
citizenry that truly cares about the community. We owe them honesty
and our best performance in their interest.

Thank you,
Sal DiCiccio
City of Phoenix
Councilman, District 6

So lying is now acceptable as a way to get your apparatchiks a raise when the City is facing the worst budget crisis in it’s history.

Everyone get’s a 2% hike on all their food to feed the greed of City Workers.

And you know what the liberals I have shown this to say?

“Well, they had a Union Contract they had to honor.”

Seriously…no joke.

Partisanship is that bad in this country that lying is ok if it fits in with your ideology.

Moral and ethics, honor, decency can just be chucked out the window at a seconds notice if you can find an ideological reason to support the lies.

No wonder we have young people who have no sense of right or wrong. Everything is relative….to your Political views.

And that way lies disaster.

“You’ve got to tell them you’ve had enough of the theatrics, you’ve had enough of the politics, stop sending out press releases. Start passing some bills that we all know will help the economy right now,” he said. “That’s what they need to do. They’ve got to hear from you.”–President in Michigan this week at a $35,000 a plate fundraiser (no evil “rich” people here).

That’s why he and they all went on vacation for a month! And you know he means it (not just Republicans). 😦

Is that an Iceberg I see up ahead?…

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers