Centennial

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARIZONA!

FEBRUARY 14, 2012

I wrote this two days ago but WordPress said that it was published, then didn’t do it, so sue me. Oh wait, the State already has been…

On February 14, 1912, after nearly 49 years as a U.S. territory and thousands of years as a sacred home to indigenous peoples, Arizona became the 48th and last of the contiguous states to enter the Union of the United States of America.

At the time of its statehood, Arizona epitomized the economic promise of the American West. Rich in natural resources, the state was earning its reputation as the home of the Five C’s – copper, cattle, cotton, citrus, and climate. Its people reflected the rich history and heritage of the Southwest, from the influences of its Native American and Hispanic cultures to the adventurous spirit of its early prospectors, ranchers, and farmers. All embraced Arizona’s rugged and rich environment to create a unique and prosperous lifestyle.

Arizona continues to be recognized for its natural beauty, a high quality of life, and its ongoing innovation in all fields, from agriculture to technology.

Arizona was founded on rugged individualism matched with hard work and vision. It was this indomitable spirit that shaped and molded our state into the place we now call home. From our school children to centenarians, from urban centers to rural communities—we all have the opportunity to come together and commemorate this indomitable spirit and the 100 years of growth, challenge and success it engendered. (az100years.org)

Now the state, which is the home to the 5th Largest Metropolitan City in the US, Phoenix, has many new challenges.

One of the hardest hit areas for the housing crash.

Illegal Aliens.

The US Government:  Under Obama (can you say being sued by them for wanting to enforce Federal Laws on Immigration; The gunwalking of Fast & Furious; The undermanned and under-armed Border)

Drug Cartels that freely operate across the border.

The Ministry of Truth Media always wanting to call us Racists at the drop of any hat.

La Raza (“The Race”) the anti-white Racists who are endemic in schools, especially in Southern Arizona.

Medical Marijuana Liberals from California. California Liberals in general are a pain in our backside.

But I love it here. July 30th will be 25 years since I left Michigan.

The “Five C’s” of Arizona’s economy are: Cattle, Copper, Citrus, Cotton, and Climate.

But, of course, mining is politically incorrect for Liberals, even though we produce more copper than anyone.

When England’s famous London Bridge was replaced in the 1960s, the original was purchased, dismantled, shipped stone by stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where it still stands today.

And I was on a Tour bus in Central London when we went across the current London Bridge there they mentioned it and I had stifle myself from cheering.

We have one of the 7 Great Wonders of the World– The Grand Canyon.

And yes, every man, woman, and child should see the grandeur that is Mother Nature.

In 25 years I have only been once because at 245 miles it’s not that easy to get to.

Which is also a fair point that many people don’t quite understand out here. It takes a while, some times a long while to get anywhere because of the vast distances.

Tucson is 140 miles from Phoenix and Flagstaff is about the same. The grand Canyon is over 90 miles North of Flagstaff.

Because of the lack of roads to go from the South Rim to the North Rim is around 200 miles driving distance even though if you stand at the South rim you can see the North Rim 13 miles away.

Many tourists don’t get that.

The Legendary Lost Dutchman Mine is purported to be in The Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. But no one has ever found it, but not for lack of trying.

Tucson is the oldest city. Having been founded by the Spanish in 1775. But the Navajos are the indigenous people and have been here since the time before Christ.

I am proud to live here, even if the US Government currently is trying to destroy us.

Sign Posted by The US Government INSIDE (facing south) the US in Southern Arizona: 80 miles North of the border on the South side of I-8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend urging U.S. citizens not to camp or hike in the “Active Drug and Human Smuggling Area” because “Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife staffers report that the 3,500 acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in this area is closed to U.S. citizens as well and is “adversely affected” by cartel operations.

But if you want the US Government to do anything about it: YOU’RE A RACIST!!

In an effort to quell accusations by the open borders lobby that the Administration has not gone far enough with its administrative amnesty program, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last week the creation of a new “public advocate” position for illegal aliens. Senior ICE Advisor Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, who was appointed as the new advocate, will serve as a point of contact for aliens in removal proceedings, community and advocacy groups, and others who have concerns, questions, recommendations or other issues they would like to raise about the Administration’s executive amnesty efforts.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), called the Administration’s creation of the new position outrageous. “It’s outrageous that the Obama administration has appointed a taxpayer-funded activist for illegal and criminal immigrants who are detained or ordered deported.  The administration all too often acts more like a lobbying firm for illegal immigrants than as an advocate for the American people.”

“This is just further proof that the Obama administration puts illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of Americans,” he further added in a press release. “The Obama administration’s lack of immigration enforcement allows illegal immigrants to steal jobs away from American workers and now their in-house lobbyist for illegal immigrants costs U.S. taxpayers more money.”

But don’t worry, the Border is more secure now than it has ever been, according to Big Sis Janet Napalitano, former Governor of Arizona, who did her very best when she was here to ignore the problem and bailed on the state just before the crash to take ignoring the problem National. You go Girl!

https://indyfromaz.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/arizonaobamademocrats.jpg

Hmmm…

In light of new information emerging about the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Operation Fast and Furious (read here about ATF targeting FBI informants), we thought revisiting this video ain’t a bad idea.

Back in April of 2009, President Obama alluded in a question and answer session to the notion of “gun tracing” in Mexico . . . leading many to conclude that he may have known more than he’s ever admitted about Operation Fast & Furious and long before he says he knew anything.  You be the judge . . .

Hmmmm….

The Wisdom of Samuel L Jackson (He ain’t no Jedi…)

Barack Obama‘s politics meant nothing to Samuel L. Jackson because the “Pulp Fiction” star only voted for the president for one reason and one reason only … because he’s black. 

In an interview with Ebony magazine, Jackson explained, “I voted for Barack because he was black. ‘Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them … That’s American politics, pure and simple. [Obama’s] message didn’t mean [bleep] to me.”

Jackson then went on to drop the N-word several times when discussing Obama, telling the mag, “When it comes down to it, they wouldn’t have elected a [bleep]. Because, what’s a [bleep]? A [bleep] is scary. Obama ain’t scary at all. [Bleeps] don’t have beers at the White House. [Bleeps] don’t let some white dude, while you in the middle of a speech, call [him] a liar. A [bleep] would have stopped the meeting right there and said, ‘Who the [bleep] said that?’ I hope Obama gets scary in the next four years, ‘cuz he ain’t gotta worry about getting re-elected.” (TMZ)

But if you disagree with a Liberal you’re a racist. 🙂

Hmmm….

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Late last week, the White House tried claimed to “compromise” on the new ObamaCare requirement that all employers provide insurance with free birth control coverage, including religious employers. The compromise actually wasn’t a compromise at all, yet the White House is shutting down debate on the issue and saying it’s a done deal.

President Barack Obama and his deputies are using the demeaning language of disease and green-eyeshade accounting to establish free birth control as a government-backed right, and also to downgrade the value of human lives, say social conservatives.

“They’re claiming that children are like a disease and increase health costs,” said former Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright.

Unborn children, however, “are humans beings and that’s what Obama and the abortion crowd refuse to recognize,” she told The Daily Caller.

The Catholic Church’s opposition to the new Obama administration regulations is heavily influenced by its ideological and religious support for human life, and its twinned opposition to birth control, including contraception, and abortion.

That ideological point was prominently displayed in the Feb. 10 response to Obama’s announcement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“First, we objected to the rule forcing private health plans — nationwide, by the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen — to cover sterilization and contraception … [but] pregnancy is not a disease,” said the response.

Obama’s unsympathetic language was showcased in his Feb. 10 announcement that he would require health insurance companies to offer free birth-control services to the employees of religious groups, despite the congregations’ constitutional protection from state regulation.

“It’s a lot cheaper to prevent an illness than to treat one … [and] preventive care should include coverage of contraceptive services such as birth control,” the president said in brief remarks in the White House press room.

Even when Obama championed the claim that women have a moral right to use birth control, he talked about biological health, not of moral freedom. “Every woman should be in control of the decisions that affect her own health,” he said.

Except that he passed a law MANDATING their “pro-choice”  “pro-Control”–it was called ObamaCare.

MANDATING Freedom of Choice…Hmmm….

White House officials also justified the far-reaching policy by saying it would cost nothing, and therefore would impose no real burden on religious organizations.

Cost Nothing? Boy he really has no idea how capitalism works does he…Hmmm…

“Covering contraception saves money for insurance companies by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services,” said a White House statement released Feb. 10.

But if you’re oppose to birth control to begin with, Like the Catholic Church…well, screw you… Hmmm…

Making Insurance Companies pay for something without any recourse is “free”.
Hmmm…

The Catholic Church’s advocates have reserved their strongest condemnation, however, for the White House’s description of pregnancy as a disease.

The administration believes “pregnancy is some sort of health care anomaly… [and] to be pregnant is some sort of illness,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C. They believe, he said, that they “must prevent that illness. … A pregnancy becomes the problem.”

“Kids aren’t commodities — they’re humans beings and that’s what Obama and the abortion crowd refuse to recognize,” added Wright, who is now advocating for socially conservative policies at the United Nations.

But they are political footballs…Hmm…

Now, after the many genuine concerns that have been raised over the last few weeks, as well as, frankly, the more cynical desire on the part of some to make this into a political football, it became clear that spending months hammering out a solution was not going to be an option, that we needed to move this faster.  So last week, I directed the Department of Health and Human Services to speed up the process that had already been envisioned.  We weren’t going to spend a year doing this; we’re going to spend a week or two doing this.

Not to be too cynical about this, but Obama last spoke with those Catholic officials months ago regarding his mandate.  And no one at the White House bothered to contact them when it came time to offer this “accommodation,” as the bishops made clear on Friday after the Obama administration announced it.  That sounds a lot like a cynical desire to punt a political football rather than figuring out exactly why the church objected to it in the first place.  And that failure looks like the product of a cynical desire to impose the same mandate while making it look like a compromise.

Following the announced “accommodations” from the White House for religious organizations whose beliefs preclude them from offering birth control, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, had some tough words for President Obama.

According to Land, the adjustment in the mandate requiring all employers — including religious organizations — to provide birth control is “a distinction without a difference.”

“My initial reaction is: How dumb does he think we are?” Land wondered in an interview with The Daily Caller. “Does he think when he puts lip stick on a pig, that we don’t understand that it is still a pig?”

Yes, he does. Because that’s they way the Liberal mind works. Someone objects to your idea so you just change the wording or the word and suddenly a totally new idea and if object to that it’s just because you’re “obstructionist”.

Perfect Example: Global Cooling/Warming/Climate Change etc.

Next up: Deficit Reduction (aka spending more than we have but spending less of the more than before) is good. And if you’re against it you’re just an “obstructionist”

The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last year.

The problem by now is familiar to most. Politicians have expanded the safety net without a commensurate increase in revenues, a primary reason for the government’s annual deficits and mushrooming debt. In 2000, federal and state governments spent about 37 cents on the safety net from every dollar they collected in revenue, according to a New York Times analysis. A decade later, after one Medicare expansion, two recessions and three rounds of tax cuts, spending on the safety net consumed nearly 66 cents of every dollar of revenue.

The recent recession increased dependence on government, and stronger economic growth would reduce demand for programs like unemployment benefits. But the long-term trend is clear. Over the next 25 years, as the population ages and medical costs climb, the budget office projects that benefits programs will grow faster than any other part of government, driving the federal debt to dangerous heights.

Americans are divided about the way forward. Seventy percent of respondents to a recent New York Times poll said the government should raise taxes. Fifty-six percent supported cuts in Medicare and Social Security. Forty-four percent favored both.

But now Obama wants to cut the Deficit (not the debt) so that he’ll promise to have less and less deficits (money we don’t have) every year for the next 4 years.

He’ll have it down to 1/2 trillion in deficits by the time he leaves.

Making it 7 years in a row!

And this is an improvement, and if you don’t want to go for it you’re an “obstructionist” who just wants to protect the “rich” (the same people giving him $38,500 a person).

Hmmm…

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 

Dismiss,Diminish,Distract,Delay,Deflect…

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

“I am not a crook” — Richard Nixon.

“I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky” — Bill Clinton

“it’s Complicated”– AG Eric Holder about lying to Congress.

“There’s no attempt at any kind of cover-up,” Holder told lawmakers well into a hearing about whether he had been forthright in responding to requests of the House Oversight and Government Relations Committee led by Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

“We’re not going to be hiding behind any kind of privileges or anything,” he said.

I know I believe him…:(   NOT!
“That was among the worst things I’ve ever seen in Congress” Holder scolded. “There’s a whole bunch of things that I could say about what you just did, maybe this is the way you do things in Idaho or wherever you’re from, but understand something — I‘m proud of the work that I’ve done as attorney general of the United States, and looked at fairly, I think that I’ve done a pretty good job.”
Sound like Obama giving himself a B+, anyone?
“And what you have just done is if nothing else, disrespectful. And if you don‘t like me that’s one thing. You should respect the fact that I hold an office that is deserving of respect.”“And you know, maybe you’re new to this committee, I don’t know, I don‘t know how long you’ve been here,” Holder continued. “But my hope would be that we can get beyond that kind of interaction, that kind of treatment of a witness whether it’s me or somebody else because I think what you just did was fundamentally unfair, just not right,”
My, me thinks he doth protest (childishly) too much!  So will he hold his breath and turn blue until people stop picking me on him! 🙂
“Not only did I not authorize those tactics, when I found out about them I told the field and everybody in the United States Department of Justice that those tactics had to stop. That they were not acceptable and that gunwalking was to stop. That was what my reaction [was] to my finding out about the use of that technique,” he added.

Mind you no one found out about it until Agent Brian Terry was Dead! Then the fecal matter hit the air circulation device and the fan blades of doublespeak have been working overtime ever since.
Then comes the usual response from a politician caught with his privates in a bear trap…(but especially a Liberal one)
Diminish, Distract, Delay and say “oh, it’s nothing”
He added that he doesn’t think that the situation warranted the kind of response Republicans were giving after his department provided thousands of documents, and planned to deliver more. 
It’s no big deal.
Having Sex in the Oval Office was not a big deal either remember.
“What he did with the intern and the kind of activity they engaged in…he told everybody, ‘look, what we did, that’s not sex,’.
No big Deal.
Now, run up a fake “covert agent”‘s cover being blown (when they were in Virginia) into a Crisis of epic proportions when it was totally bogus AND totally political that’s a real “scandal”!!!. 😦  (Deliberately walking assault rifles and guns into a foreign country and knowingly selling them to violent sociopaths is not apparently)
Because that was George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. The 3 horseman of the Apocalypse to the Liberal Media!!
The Liberal Media has tried to stay away from this story as much as possible.
But so far no one, not even a ‘Scotter’ Libby has been arrested, convicted or even charged in Fast & Furious.
One resigned (so naturally it’s all HIS fault!). The others got ‘lateral’ promotions to Departments deep in the bowels of the Federal Castle so they can’t talk.
Keep your Friends Close and your Enemies (or potential squealers) Closer!
“I don’t think the American people have lost trust in me. … This has become political, I get that,” he said.

The Black Panther Case, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Illegal Immigration, Voter ID Registration,etc.
Yeah, Eric, everyone loves you, except evil partisan Republicans.
You are immune from political forces.
<<barf bag on standby>>

“I didn’t know about Operation Fast and Furious until the beginning parts of 2011 after I received that letter from Senator Grassley, I guess at the end of January and then that was about Operation Gun Runner. I actually learned about the Fast and Furious operation in February of that year.”

Gun Runner was Fast & Furious effectively But done by the Evil Bush (and the Mexicans were in on it and when it went pear shape they shut it down- not cover it up!!), but don’t tell him that, he’s too busy weaseling and blaming someone else!

A “few weeks”,a “few months”, “beginning of the year” “February” what will it be next time I wonder??

Especially when the emails in the document dump last week clearly show he was told the night that Terry died and why. But don’t let the truth get in the way of a political weasel job– it never does.

Holder told the committee, “I’m not sure exactly how I found out about the term, ‘Fast and Furious.'” He testified repeatedly that he never authorized the controversial tactics employed in the operation. 

This the Orwellian Liberal word game. The “term” “Fast and Furious”. If someone told him about it but didn’t use that exact “term” then that doesn’t count. 🙂

It’s all about what the definition of “is” is…. 🙂

“There is no attempt at any kind of cover-up,” Holder said. “We have shared huge amounts of information” and will continue to do so, he said.

But the Committee’s count 8% of the requested info and 2 Friday Night Info Dumps later that’s “huge”. 🙂

Sen. Burton went on to say that 93,000 documents related to the operation are being withheld by the Justice Department even though they’ve been turned over internally to the department’s inspector general, a political appointee, Burton said. 

“And you’re saying, well, the separation of powers prohibits you from (delivering them to Congress). That’s baloney. That is just baloney,” Burton said. 

Dismiss, Delay…

Holder said earlier during testimony that he would release additional materials “to the extent that I can.”

Weasel!

The mother of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry had harsh words for Attorney General Eric Holder after Thursday’s House oversight committee hearing on Operation Fast and Furious.

“THIS IS FOR YOU SON,” Mrs. Terry posted on Facebook at about 3:30 p.m. “Mr. Holder. How come you can never say my sons name. You never have. All i ever hear you say is ‘i didnt find out or I cant say’ Im actually tired of hearing your double talk in answering questions. What a joke you are. You know my son was a real AMERICAN, a WARRIOR, and a HERO, who was also protecting COWARD POLITICANS like you.”

“Hope you remember that,” Mrs. Terry added in her message to Holder before signing it: “PROUD MOM OF BRIAN A. TERRY.”

Dismiss,Diminish,Distract,Delay,Deflect…Democrat.

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Lying is Complicated

Last week, the DOJ took the rare step of formally withdrawing a letter it sent to Congress in February that falsely claimed the program being executed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not allow guns to “walk” into Mexico.

Confronted about this by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., Holder defended the DOJ.

“Nobody at the Justice Department has lied,” Holder insisted.

When Sensenbrenner pressed Holder on the distinction between lying and misleading Congress, Holder said it was a matter of a person’s “state of mind.”

Lying’ Is Such A Complicated Concept.

“First let me make something very clear, in response to an assertion you made, or hinted at: Nobody in the Justice Department has lied,” Holder said in response to accusations that he or his confidantes lied to Congress. “Nobody has lied.”

“Then why was the letter withdrawn?,” Sensenbrenner retorted, referring to a factually inaccurate letter one of Holder’s deputies, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, sent to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley on February 4. In that letter, Weich claimed that guns were never allowed to walk.

Holder and one of his other deputies, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, have both admitted that statement was false in recent Senate hearings.

“The letter was withdrawn because there was information in there that was inaccurate,” Holder replied to Sensenbrenner’s question.

Still unsatisfied, Sensenbrenner followed up again. “Tell me what the difference is between lying and misleading Congress in this context?,” he asked Holder.

Holder responded that whether a statement is a lie or misleading comment depends on what the person making it is thinking at the time.

“If you want to have this legal conversation, it all has to do with your state of mind, and whether or not you had the requisite intent to come up with something that can be considered perjury or a lie,” Holder said. “The information that was provided in that February 4 letter was gleaned by the people who drafted the letter after they interacted with people who they thought were in the best position to have the information.

I guess it depends on the definition of what “is” is.

Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.

PICTURES: ATF “Gunwalking” scandal timeline

In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the “big fish.” But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called “gunwalking,” and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.” 

More Fast and Furious coverage:
Memos contradict Holder on Fast and Furious
Agent: I was ordered to let guns “walk” into Mexico
Gunwalking scandal uncovered at ATF

On Jan. 4, 2011, as ATF prepared a press conference to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, Newell saw it as “(A)nother time to address Multiple Sale on Long Guns issue.” And a day after the press conference, Chait emailed Newell: “Bill–well done yesterday… (I)n light of our request for Demand letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case.” 

This revelation angers gun rights advocates. Larry Keane, a spokesman for National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry trade group, calls the discussion of Fast and Furious to argue for Demand Letter 3 “disappointing and ironic.” Keane says it’s “deeply troubling” if sales made by gun dealers “voluntarily cooperating with ATF’s flawed ‘Operation Fast & Furious’ were going to be used by some individuals within ATF to justify imposing a multiple sales reporting requirement for rifles.” (DC)

The Gun Dealers’ Quandary

Several gun dealers who cooperated with ATF told CBS News and Congressional investigators they only went through with suspicious sales because ATF asked them to.

Sometimes it was against the gun dealer’s own best judgment.

Read the email

In April, 2010 a licensed gun dealer cooperating with ATF was increasingly concerned about selling so many guns. “We just want to make sure we are cooperating with ATF and that we are not viewed as selling to the bad guys,” writes the gun dealer to ATF Phoenix officials, “(W)e were hoping to put together something like a letter of understanding to alleviate concerns of some type of recourse against us down the road for selling these items.”

Read the email

ATF’s group supervisor on Fast and Furious David Voth assures the gun dealer there’s nothing to worry about. “We (ATF) are continually monitoring these suspects using a variety of investigative techniques which I cannot go into detail.”

Two months later, the same gun dealer grew more agitated.

“I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys. I guess I am looking for a bit of reassurance that the guns are not getting south or in the wrong hands…I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents (sic) safety because I have some very close friends that are US Border Patrol agents in southern AZ as well as my concern for all the agents (sic) safety that protect our country.” 

“It’s like ATF created or added to the problem so they could be the solution to it and pat themselves on the back,” says one law enforcement source familiar with the facts. “It’s a circular way of thinking.”

The Justice Department and ATF declined to comment. ATF officials mentioned in this report did not respond to requests from CBS News to speak with them.

The “Demand Letter 3” Debate

The two sides in the gun debate have long clashed over whether gun dealers should have to report multiple rifle sales. On one side, ATF officials argue that a large number of semi-automatic, high-caliber rifles from the U.S. are being used by violent cartels in Mexico. They believe more reporting requirements would help ATF crack down. On the other side, gun rights advocates say that’s unconstitutional, and would not make a difference in Mexican cartel crimes.

Two earlier Demand Letters were initiated in 2000 and affected a relatively small number of gun shops. Demand Letter 3 was to be much more sweeping, affecting 8,500 firearms dealers in four southwest border states: Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. ATF chose those states because they “have a significant number of crime guns traced back to them from Mexico.” The reporting requirements were to apply if a gun dealer sells two or more long guns to a single person within five business days, and only if the guns are semi-automatic, greater than .22 caliber and can be fitted with a detachable magazine.

On April 25, 2011, ATF announced plans to implement Demand Letter 3. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is suing the ATF to stop the new rules. It calls the regulation an illegal attempt to enforce a law Congress never passed. ATF counters that it has reasonably targeted guns used most often to “commit violent crimes in Mexico, especially by drug gangs.”

Reaction

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is investigating Fast and Furious, as well as the alleged use of the case to advance gun regulations. “There’s plenty of evidence showing that this administration planned to use the tragedies of Fast and Furious as rationale to further their goals of a long gun reporting requirement. But, we’ve learned from our investigation that reporting multiple long gun sales would do nothing to stop the flow of firearms to known straw purchasers because many Federal Firearms Dealers are already voluntarily reporting suspicious transactions. It’s pretty clear that the problem isn’t lack of burdensome reporting requirements.”

On July 12, 2011, Sen. Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department oversees ATF. They asked Holder whether officials in his agency discussed how “Fast and Furious could be used to justify additional regulatory authorities.” So far, they have not received a response. CBS News asked the Justice Department for comment and context on ATF emails about Fast and Furious and Demand Letter 3, but officials declined to speak with us.

“In light of the evidence, the Justice Department’s refusal to answer questions about the role Operation Fast and Furious was supposed to play in advancing new firearms regulations is simply unacceptable,” Rep. Issa told CBS News.

Oh and by the way:

Selling weapons to Mexico – where cartel violence is out of control – is controversial because so many guns fall into the wrong hands due to incompetence and corruption. The Mexican military recently reported nearly 9,000 police weapons “missing.”

Yet the U.S. has approved the sale of more guns to Mexico in recent years than ever before through a program called “direct commercial sales.” It’s a program that some say is worse than the highly-criticized “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal, where U.S. agents allowed thousands of weapons to pass from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels.

The problem of weapons legally sold to Mexico – then diverted to violent cartels – is becoming more urgent. That’s because the U.S. has quietly authorized a massive escalation in the number of guns sold to Mexico through “direct commercial sales. It’s a way foreign countries can acquire firearms faster and with less disclosure than going through the Pentagon.

Here’s how it works: A foreign government fills out an application to buy weapons from private gun manufacturers in the U.S. Then the State Department decides whether to approve.

And it did approve 2,476 guns to be sold to Mexico in 2006. In 2009, that number was up nearly 10 times, to 18,709. The State Department has since stopped disclosing numbers of guns it approves.

Mexico is now one of the world’s largest purchasers of U.S. guns through direct commercial sales, beating out countries like Iraq.

Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee continually asked Holder what Congress can do to stop the trafficking of firearms into Mexico, implying Congress should be implementing more gun control as a result of this program.(DC)

DOH!

At least 300 people in Mexico were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, as was U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Security, It’s Our Job

Notes on that “more secure” Border.

PHOENIX (KPHO) –   A suspected human smuggler who  has been deported 14 times was among a group of illegal immigrants  arrested Monday night in Arizona, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office  said.

Juan Ramos-Alegria was most recently arrested one week ago in Colorado, MCSO said.

Five suspected illegal immigrants, including Ramos-Alegria, were apprehended without incident.

Sheriff’s investigators said the immigrants  had paid anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 each to be smuggled into the  U.S. Those arrested reported to be heading to Arkansas and Georgia as  their final destination, MCSO said.

So how long before #15??

Just days prior to that:

(Maricopa County, AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio reports that the Maricopa County
Sheriffs Office Human Smuggling Unit arrested 12 illegal aliens involved in
smuggling operations last night in the north valley, including the smuggler Ivan
Lara-Roque who has been previously deported from the United States 13 times
and has been permanently banned from entering the United States.

But don’t worry, if you want to enforce the law Attorney General Holder will just sue you and sell guns to the Drug Cartel members who are trying to kill you.

No Problem. If they, the Government, want to ignore the law and the security and safety of the US Citizens there is nothing you can do. Just suck it up, even if it’s lead.

Documents show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.

In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the “big fish.” But ATF whistleblowers told Congress it was a dangerous practice called “gunwalking,” and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”

At least 300 people in Mexico have been killed with Fast and Furious weapons, as was U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry who records were sealed by the Administration so no one can see them. But they have nothing to hide. 🙂
And who will Holder through under the bus tomorrow to deflect blame from himself and his cronies???
Now, Would you like some salt for those wounds?
Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

The House committee probing government gun-running now sets it sights on possible money-laundering involving drug cartel funds run in the name of drug enforcement. Why should we believe DOJ this time?It’s an old adage that when investigating criminal activity you should follow the money. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has announced an investigation into a money-laundering operation allegedly run by the Drug Enforcement Administration. We may need to follow the people following the money.

Just as Fast and Furious was allegedly intended to track and interdict gun-trafficking into Mexico, this operation, detailed in a New York Times article Sunday, is said to have as its purpose to follow how criminal organizations move their money, where they keep their assets and, most important, who their leaders are.

But the question once again arises: Have the feds interrupted or aided the flow?

After a Friday document dump showing how deliberately deceptive the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder were regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the government’s gun-running operation that led to the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, it’s hard to believe this latest scheme was well-run.

In a Monday letter to Holder, Issa noted that as in Fast and Furious “this same goal of dismantling Mexican drug cartels motivated the Drug Enforcement Administration in aiding and abetting these same cartels in laundering millions of dollars in cash.”

It may have produced equally tragic results.

According to the Times report, agents said the requirement that the laundering of amounts greater than $10 million get formal DOJ approval was routinely waived.

According to Issa, that means “hundreds of millions of dollars” could’ve been “laundered” into the hands of drug cartels by the Obama administration and Holder’s Justice Department.

The Times quoted an agency official, who asked not to be identified: “My rule was that if we are going to launder money, we better show results. Otherwise, the DEA could wind up being the largest money launderer in the business, and that money results in violence and deaths.”

Is that the case?

In anticipation of Holder’s testimony on Thursday, Issa requested that his staff be fully briefed on the money-laundering operation no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday and that he would not accept on Thursday another my-dog-ate-the-memo excuse for not knowing what his department and its agencies were doing.

If this was a clone of Fast and Furious, this time involving money rather than guns, we need to know the extent of the damage. Money is the lifeblood of drug-trafficking, and we may have only succeeded in giving the drug lords a transfusion.

We have argued the possibility that Fast and Furious was a planned attempt to augment gun violence in Mexico using U.S. weapons as a predicate to pushing for more gun control.

Aiding and abetting the money laundering of these same drug cartels is equally unconscionable.

We agree with Issa that it is “almost unfathomable to contemplate the degree to which the United States government has made itself an accomplice to the Mexican drug trade, which has thus far left more than 40,000 people dead in Mexico since December 2006.”

This latest scheme involves handling blood money.

Some 52 GOP congressmen and two senators have called for Eric Holder’s resignation or firing. Maybe when President Obama gets back from his 17-day vacation. (IBD)

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie