Taken out to The Woodhouse

Brad Woodhouse, Communications Director for the Democratic Party, took to Twitter to respond to the media’s criticism of Holder’s off-the-record request:

POTUS asked AG to review how leak investigations are done but some in the media refuse to meet with him. Kind of forfeits your right gripe.

Got that? So if you refuse to do what the Attorney General wants, you forfeit your right to complain about the Attorney General trampling your First Amendment rights and spying on you.

Asked to elaborate, Woodhouse wrote this, in part, to the Erik Wemple Blog:

My point was there has been a lot of discussion about how these investigations are conducted and now the man reviewing that topic wants input from all the stakeholders. It just seems to me if you are concerned about a problem and are invited to provide input on solving it you may want to avail yourself of that opportunity.

Counterarguments:

1) The media’s right to gripe is a First Amendment thing. It will never be forfeited under any circumstances, regardless of who decides to attend or dis a meeting with Eric Holder. Woodhouse appears to have backtracked a bit on this point.

Of course people have a right to gripe, my feed demonstrates that. Main point was I don’t see how refusing to attend helps solve anything.

2) Journalists don’t “solve” stuff. Woodhouse appears to be writing from the well-intentioned perspective that there’s a problem here, and Washington’s key people should get together and figure things out. That’s fine; they may do just that.

But the setup is dicey for reporters and editors. Think about the particulars: The Justice Department is holding these sessions as part of a “review of existing Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters.” Which is to say that the off-the-record meeting in question isn’t like any other off-the-record meeting: It addresses a policy issue that has a direct impact on journalists. By walking into such a session, prominent Washington editors risk slipping into the role of lobbyists, pleading their case with federal officials in a private meeting. That happens all the time in these parts. Usually, though, the journalists are the ones on the outside looking in. Right where they belong, in other words.

3) Washington is already too unaccountable. Journalists won’t forfeit their right to gripe in general. If Holder gets away with this off-the-record thing, however, news organizations may forfeit their right to gripe about background and off-the-record briefings, which happen way too often around here.

4) Enough secrecy. There’s an important line in the Justice Department’s letter to the Associated Press regarding its secret subpoena for the wire service’s phone records. “Given the ongoing nature of this criminal investigation involving highly classified material, I am limited in the information that I can provide to you,” wrote Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole. Indeed, there are many legitimate secrets that the government needs to shroud from the public; one of them, however, is not policy discussion among a group of journalists and public servants. (WP)

Even a Huffpo Columist: Believe me, if the DOJ has sincere, heartfelt intentions of being “constructive,” it would cheerfully be constructive in full view of the public, because why would it want to keep the wraps on that? Instead, we have a situation where the DOJ official who is insisting that the off-the-record “format will best facilitate the candid, free-flowing discussions we hope to have in order to bring about meaningful engagement” will only say that “on the condition” that he or she “not be named.”

If the person promising “meaningful engagement” won’t put his or her name to that contention, it’s as good a sign as any that the engagement won’t be meaningful.

So screw that. Do not attend this off-the-record session.

I’m sure liberals like Holder aren’t petty and vindictive… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

The Future’s So Bright…

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Update: Holder sent a terse letter to Paul that read: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.” 

In response, Paul said Thursday that “we’re proud to announce that the president is not going to kill unarmed Americans on American soil.” He later took to the floor to promote the attorney general’s response.

Now, the question would be- Do you believe Holder? Especially after Fast & Furious?

And his earlier answer: Holder said “it is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under te Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States,” and quoted Pearl Harbor and 9/11 as examples of when the federal government would conceivably resort to military force.

You shouldn’t. He’s as “cuddly as a cactus and charming as an eel.” 🙂

But the torture with and grinding of teeth that Holder had to undergo to write it is very satisfying though.

But don’t worry, the American people are smart enough and informed to know it’s all a face-saving put up job…. <<smirk>>

NOW ON THE FUTURE…

Officials told CBS 2′s Kramer that nearly 80 percent of those who graduate from city high schools arrived at City University’s community college system without having mastered the skills to do college-level work.

In sheer numbers it means that nearly 11,000 kids who got diplomas from city high schools needed remedial courses to re-learn the basics.

To Combat Problem, CUNY Starts Low-Cost Immersion Remedial Program

So now the University has to pick up the slack for the Teacher’s who can teach Johnnie to read after 12 Fricking Years!

Why??

I bet they know they have a PHd already in Class Warfare, The evils Corporate Greed, Keynesian Economics, how the Government is the answer to everything, They think texting is spelling, and how to get Welfare from the State though!

And they can vote in 2014 and 2016. Doesn’t that just fill your heart with hope… 🙂

Comment on the site From a “Mark Urbo”:

Two words: Teacher Unions

Daddy, what did you used to do at work ?

Well son, I was a NEA union leader and I didn’t really work, I just collected dues from union teachers that did work, and then spent that money on corrupt Democratic politicians so the NEA union could gain an unfair bargaining position with the government education system. But the schools closed because the States couldn’t afford the unions teacher contracts and the country (government) went broke…

Daddy, is that why we live in a box ?

No son, this is Obama’s socialist utopia !

LOL!

“Mark Paquette” : I bet the kids will know how to pull the lever – or push a button with a picture on it (probably of $$$ or a cell-phone) – for a democrat, though.

So that’s why the Democrats want to raise the minimum wage. So employers can teach the stupid to read the pictures and do remedial math!!!

Now it all make sense! It’s only Fair! 🙂

******************

ATR: Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a six-year, $120.6 million contract making the star quarterback the highest-paid player in NFL history, earning an estimated $20.1 million per year. But being the “highest paid player” and earning the most after tax pay are two very different things.

By choosing to remain a Raven, Flacco is now set to pay a combined marginal income tax rate of 51.98 percent. This overwhelming tax rate is composed of the federal, Maryland, and Baltimore County income tax rate, as well as the Medicare tax. And that’s excluding his “jock tax” liability for away games – play the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, pay Massachusetts income tax on earnings for that game – and other taxes levied against him such as Maryland’s property tax.

Given that Flacco is coming off of his best season, the franchise quarterback could have commanded a similar contract from any other team in the league while keeping a greater percentage of his contract. Four of the nine no-income-tax states have professional teams in need of the Super Bowl MVP’s caliber and skill.

State

Team

Federal Income

Tax Burden

State and County

Tax Burden

Total

Tax Liability

Maryland

Baltimore Ravens

$8.72 million

$1.72 million

$10.44 million

Texas

Dallas Cowboys

$8.72 million

$0

$8.72 million

Florida

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

$8.72 million

$0

$8.72 million

Tennessee

Tennessee Titans

$8.72 million

$0

$8.72 million

Florida

Jacksonville Jaguars

$8.72 million

$0

$8.72 million

The Federal Income Tax Burden listed above is composed of the 39.6 percent tax bracket and 3.8 percent Medicare tax. For illustrative purposes, the marginal combined tax rate of 51.98 percent (which includes Federal, State, Medicare, and Baltimore County tax rates) is applied only to his contract salary and does not take into account his bonuses, endorsements, and other sources of viable income.

Had Flacco sought a new contract with one of the teams listed above, he would have saved $1.72 million in total marginal tax liability. Flacco may have the distinction of being the highest paid player in NFL history, but New Orleans Saints’ QB Drew Brees still earns more after tax pay.

Brees’s contract, which he signed before last season, is a 5-year, $100 million dollar contract that pays around $20 million per year. After applying the marginal combined tax rate of 49.4 percent to the Saints QB’s contract salary, he stands to make $470,000 more after tax pay than the newly crowned “highest paid player.” Consider how much more Brees will earn if Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal successfully eliminates the Pelican State’s income tax. Don’t be surprised if players begin to consider their tax liabilities even more now when making the decision of which team to ultimately sign with.

Yes, the Ravens may have the personnel to repeat as Super Bowl champions next year after signing Flacco to his new deal, but football careers are relatively short and Flacco is not receiving the greatest return for his physical investment in the game as he pursues his second championship. For now, by virtue of living in tax-heavy Maryland, he’ll just have to settle for being compensated second best.

Now, are you focused on his 9 million dollars a year as “enough” or the 52% tax rate?

That’s is the Difference between a Liberal and a Conservative. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Droning On…

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

The Eric Holder Thrill of the week:

Barack Obama ‘has authority to use drone strikes to kill Americans on US soil’. President Barack Obama has the authority to use an unmanned drone strike to kill US citizens on American soil, his attorney general has said.

“The president could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland,” Mr Holder said.

Under close questioning by Sen. Ted Cruz, Mr. Holder repeatedly said American citizens on U.S. soil were not “appropriate” targets for extrajudicial executions.

Mr. Cruz said that wasn’t good enough.

“You keep saying ‘appropriate.’ My question isn’t about propriety. My question is about whether something is constitutional or not,” the Texas Republican said.

“Let me be clear: Translate my ‘appropriate’ to ‘no.’ I thought I was saying no, all right? No,” Mr. Holder said.

Mr. Holder also said he is not sure Congress could ban the president from using drones to kill Americans on U.S. soil.

Translation:  YES.

Mind you this is the same Eric Holder who sued a State for enforcing FEDERAL Immigration law, and also covered up best he could Selling Guns the Left doesn’t want Americans to own to Mexican Drug Cartels!!

The Agenda is the Agenda.

Do as I say, Not as I do.

OBAMACARE UPDATE

The shift to part-time work accelerated in February ahead of a key, midyear ObamaCare deadline, Gallup reported on Monday.

Gallup’s survey found that the percentage of part-time workers as a share of the overall labor force surged to 20.6%, the highest level in data going back to the start of 2010 — just as the employment recovery began.

The report provides the most dramatic evidence yet of the impact the 2010 health law is now beginning to have on employers of modest-wage workers and — even more importantly — on their workers.

Treasury Department guidelines released in January gave businesses until June 30 before their staffing levels begin to influence fines that may apply in 2014 when the ObamaCare exchanges launch.

The law exempts companies with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees from providing health care coverage. Firms with at least 50 workers face fines based on the number of employees who receive ObamaCare subsidies, which are only available to people who lack affordable coverage from an employer.

But those fines — up to $3,000 per ObamaCare subsidized worker — won’t apply for part-time workers, which the law defines as 30 hours per week.

An obvious strategy to minimize fines is to cut some workers to just below the 30-hour threshold. Staying below the 50-worker threshold also may be an option.

A check of new Securities and Exchange Commission filings adds to the list of companies considering employment changes to limit the cost of complying with ObamaCare.

“Our compliance … may result in significant modifications to our employment and benefits policies and practices,” The Wendy’s Co. (WEN) said.

It also warned that “modifications to our business practices may be disruptive to our operations and impact our ability to attract and retain personnel.”

Fiesta Restaurant Group (FRGI), which operates 251 restaurants in four states, said it is “reviewing our strategy for employing part-time vs. full-time employees” in managing compliance costs.

O’Reilly Automotive (ORLY), an auto parts retailer, said it was evaluating “operational changes to minimize the impact of the legislation to our cost structure.”

As Washington considers action on raising the minimum wage, Jacobe said that full-time jobs were “certainly as important” on the policy agenda.

“Part-time workers find it hard to live on their own, let alone support a family.” (IBD)

But don’t worry, only the Left cares about the Poor and Middle Class! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

The Third Shoe Dropping?

You know you have liberal over a barrel when: The Department of Justice is using the liberal “watchdog” group Media Matters for America to deflect questions about the Fast and Furious scandal, including those regarding a gun that might have been used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Media Matters!

So it is now officially a propaganda arm of this Administration.

It was unofficial until this point.

So whatever BS they spew now can be officially disregarded as propaganda.

In response to an inquiry from the Free Beacon, a Justice Department spokeswoman said in an email that she “was told to direct your questions to the FBI, and also to provide you with a link to this story: http://mediamatters.org/research/201204190011”

And Media Matters was also partially founded by Democrat Donor Extraordinaire/Brazilian Oil Socialist- George Soros.

The link was to a story at the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America supposedly refuting many of Pavlich’s claims. Media Matters is a partisan organization whose founder, David Brock, is also running a pro-Obama super PAC.

Border Patrol agents, who have since been issued gag orders, were overheard at Terry’s funeral discussing the third gun.

“The idea that the border patrol agents were issued gag orders and not allowed to talk about this is very telling,” Pavlich said in an interview with the Free Beacon.

An email sent less than 12 hours after Terry’s death also mentioned the weapon.

Finally, an audio recording of a discussion between Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company, and ATF agent Hope MacAllister also references a third gun.

“The reason they’re covering up the third gun is because it could lead to the confidential informant,” Pavlich said. “They’re protecting him at the cost of justice to Brian Terry and his family. I am not an expert on what confidential informants are allowed to get away with, but I guarantee they’re not allowed to kill federal agents.”

Unless it goes somewhere else, like Holder or Obama… 🙂

GLACIERS GROWING

No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…
climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
bring about justice and equality in the world
.”
– Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

This can’t be possible with the Chicken Little Environmentalist running around the world decrying the end of the world, aka Global Warming…

A new study reveals that some Himalayan glaciers in the Karakoram mountain range may actually be getting bigger, according to a study published in the April issue of the journal Nature Geoscience — a surprising quirk in the planet’s response to a changing climate.

The Karakoram range runs along the India-China-Pakistan border and is home to about half the volume of the Himalayan glaciers, including K2 — the world’s second highest peak. Using computer models to compare the ice volume in satellite photos from 1999 and 2008, the study showed that some glaciers are holding steady and even gaining ice mass.

The new finding appears to align with another startling report published Feb. 9 in the science journal Nature, which found that the Himalayas have barely melted at all in the past 10 years. (FOX)

HERESY! WE HAVE BURN THEM AT THE STAKE!!!
The Religion of Global Warming will not be mocked by the likes of you!!!

A new report published Thursday, Feb. 9, in the science journal Nature offers the first comprehensive study of the world’s glaciers and ice caps, and one of its conclusions has shocked scientists. Using GRACE, a pair of orbiting satellites racing around the planet at an altitude of 300 miles, it comes to the eye-popping conclusion that the Himalayas have barely melted at all in the past 10 years.

“The GRACE results in this region really were a surprise,” said University of Colorado at Boulder physics John Wahr, who led the study.

The U.N. got it wrong on Himalayan glaciers — and the proof is finally here.

The authors of the U.N.’s climate policy guide were red-faced two years ago when it was revealed that they had inaccurately forecast that the Himalayan glaciers would melt completely in 25 years, vanishing by the year 2035.

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and director general of the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Dehli, India, ultimately issued a statement offering regret for what turned out to be a poorly vetted statement.

So now it these satellites vs the Religious Faith of Global Warming. Science Vs Religion, always fascinating.

MODERN SLAVERY
If you’re not in a Union where you are forced to give money to the Democrats (via the Union Leadership) you’re a “slave”.

In a lawsuit against three Indiana government officials, a labor union alleged on Wednesday that its constitutional rights under the Thirteenth Amendment — which outlawed “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” — are violated whenever its members are forced to work alongside nonunion employees.

The International Union of Operating Engineers, whose members work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics and construction surveyors, sued Indiana’s governor, attorney general, and labor commissioner in February, alleging that the state’s “right to work” law is unconstitutional.

Indiana’s law prohibits employers from making union membership a condition of getting or keeping a job. The union’s February lawsuit claimed the law violated its members’ Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of “equal protection” under the law.

But an amended complaint filed on Wednesday added a Thirteenth Amendment claim as well. The new lawsuit suggests that when nonunion employees earn higher salaries and better benefits because of the union’s negotiation on behalf of its members, the union has been forced to work for those nonunion employees for free.

And being forced to work without compensation, the union suggested in its revised lawsuit, is slavery.

“In this case, the Defendants have exacted compulsory service and/or involuntary servitude from the Union through the combination of the passage of the Right to Work law and the existing federal requirement of the duty of fair representation,” the amended complaint reads.

“Through these laws, the Union is compelled to furnish services to all persons in bargaining units that it represents, but it may not require payment for those services because of the Right to Work law. The statute also requires dues-paying union members to work alongside non-union personnel, and that is compulsory service and/or involuntary servitude within the meaning of the Thirteenth Amendment.”

Mackinac Center for Public Policy senior legal analyst Patrick Wright said on Friday that the union’s legal argument “expands the definition of chutzpah.”

“Compulsory membership and coerced dues and fees are the hallmarks of the union movement, yet they claim that giving workers more choice is an act of enslavement.”

Competitive Enterprise Institute labor policy counsel Vincent Vernuccio told the Mackinac Center that “it’s insulting to the great civil rights leaders to compare the new forced unionism movement to what civil rights leaders went through in the 1950s and 1960s.”

Including Indiana, 23 U.S. states have “right to work” laws in force. (DC)

I love it when Liberals get hysterical. 🙂

But is also when they are the most irrational and dangerously unstable and unhinged.

So Stay Tuned.

Addendum: There is a poll by a San Diego Newspaper about what we should call Illegal Aliens.

I included it so you can vote  🙂

http://www.utsandiego.com/polls/2012/apr/whats-best-term-people-us-without-permission/results/

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Remodeling

At a time of record deficits, a new soccer field for detainees at Camp 6 in Guantanamo Bay is just getting the finishing touches — at a cost of $750,000 to taxpayers.

But I thought Obama promised to close it? 🙂

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court have affirmed they are not willing to listen to arguments over Justice Elena Kagan’s impartiality on the issue of Obamacare, a case that’s to be before the court in a few weeks.

Kagan was solicitor general in the Obama White House when Obamacare was developed, and emails released from that time reveal she was rooting for its passage.

There are concerns she participated in strategy sessions to defend the law before Obama gave her a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court bench, where she now has great influence in a decision about the fate of the plan to nationalize health-care decision-making.

Generally judges are to prevent even the appearance of partiality in a case on which they rule.

But this was the whole reason she was appointed!!

“That was a fundamentally flawed program, fundamentally flawed,” Holder said of Fast and Furious. “And, I think that I can agree with some of my harshest critics that there are legitimate issues that need to be explored with regard in which the way Fast and Furious was carried out.”

“But, I think one thing that also has to be understood is that once this was brought to my attention” — Holder said before slamming his hand on the committee room table he was sitting at — “I stopped it. I stopped it.”

So when was that? a couple of weeks, couple of months, right after  Brian terry was killed, before that??

During an interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly shortly after Holder’s comments, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa — the lead congressional investigator into the Fast and Furious scandal with Sen. Chuck Grassley — said he and others in Congress don’t think Holder is telling the full truth.

“Well, certainly one of the reasons we doubt the legitimacy of that claim is, on Feb. 4 [2011], we received what was in fact an untruthful, a lie, a false letter that has now been retracted,” Issa said. “Lanny Breuer, one of his chief aides and number three at Justice, was in Mexico lobbying for more gun-walking. Additional evidence shows that [U.S. agent] Jaime Zapata was killed with a similar program weapon. In other words, this was a policy change that happened and continued up until fairly recently. We need to get to the bottom of it.”

In addition, Issa said that if Holder wants to show he’s cooperating with the congressional investigation and is interested in really ending gun-walking, he’d fork over the rest of the lawfully-subpoenaed documents he’s still hiding from Congress. 

“The inspector general at Justice has 80,000 pages and we have 6,000 pages, but even in those 6,000 pages we find damning evidence that high-ranking people in Justice knew all along and not only didn’t stop this program, but believed in it,” Issa said. (DC)

Organ Pipe National Monument,located near Tucson along the U.S.-Mexico border, you’ll need a heavily armed escort to do so. A decade ago, a park ranger was shot and killed in the park by armed illegal smugglers touting AK-47s. Just three years ago, the park started offering van tours escorted by rangers armed with semi-automatic weapons.

Since 2009, the park has offered van tours to the springs, as long as rangers armed with assault rifles go along to protect the visitors. Now, ten years after Eggle’s murder, the park’s leadership has decided to open up a portion of the closed areas to the public in March, citing improved safety conditions and a big increase in Border Patrol agents in the area.

“There is a chance we might have to cancel the tour if there’s some sort of apprehension in progress,” Park Ranger Karl Sommerhauser, wearing a bulky dark green bulletproof vest, told the tourists last week. Sommerhauser had an ear piece curling out of his left ear. “We expect you to take direction from Ken,” he said sternly.

Ken Hires, an unflaggingly cheerful park ranger dressed in reassuringly normal-looking tan ranger clothes, bounded to the front of the room. Hires is what’s called an interpretive ranger, which means he has no law enforcement duties and does not carry a weapon. (“I spent my five years in Vietnam. Enough shooting,” he said later.) Hires explained that some law enforcement officers would be hiding in the hills and closely watching the two-hour nature hike, while another pair of armed rangers would follow the tourists closely from the ground. “They’ll have M14s at hand,” he told the group. “Don’t be worried.”

“You might see something interesting off the trail, but please don’t go wandering off,” Hires continued, explaining that it made it difficult for the rangers to track people from the hills. “Please be respectful that those people are putting themselves on the line for us.”

This is happening in America and the park isn’t the only area in Arizona under control of drug cartels and where Americans are in danger.

Outside of safety concerns, where are the environmentalists? Drug runners and illegal immigrants are destroying thousands of acres of Sonoran desert by creating new roads and foot paths wherever they choose, damaging the habit of the cacti and animals living there. Organ Pipe National Monument is a unique and special place that drug runners have no problem destroying. So called “environmentalists” don’t seem to have a problem with the destruction either. (Katie Pavlich)

“I say this again as someone who has walked that border,” she said. “I’ve ridden that border. I’ve flown it. I’ve driven it. I know that border I think as well as anyone, and I will tell you it is as secure now as it has ever been.”–DHS Secretary Janet Napalitano.

Was that before or after you sent the Arizona National Guard to the border with no ammo and strict instructions to not engage anyone??  (which she did as Governor).

Now I feel Better… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

 

The Word

A “What you are up against” Update:

Woodhouse says he never remembers anyone going after Bush during his presidency the way Republicans are attacking Obama. Woodhouse said Democrats never equated Bush to a terrorist or as someone who had committed manslaughter.

“Many Republicans will say didn’t democrats attack George Bush in exactly the same way. what’s your response to that?,” Bashir asked Woodhouse.

“I don’t remember anything that equates from official Democratic Party. I mean, of course there are interest groups and people have their say, but I don’t remember anything coming from Democratic Party about George W. Bush being equated to a terrorist or George W. Bush being equated to somebody who has been accused of manslaughter. I don’t remember anybody questioning some of the things about George W. Bush that have been questioned about the president. I don’t remember an opposing Governor wagging his or her finger in president George W. Bush’s face,” Woodhouse said.
“The truth is, is that the Republican Party starts from a core of extreme positions and it seems that leads to extreme rhetoric when things don’t work out for them with the voters,” he said.

Search for Bush is A Chimp, a Moron, Stupid, or Hitler.

The cognitive dissonance or just plain dishonesty is what you are up against you.

************

For the first time, the Justice Department has made public a series of sensitive messages that passed to the highest levels of the agency within hours of an ambush  that killed a U.S. border patrol agent along the Southwest border in  December 2010, igniting a national scandal over a gun trafficking  investigation gone wrong.

Justice officials sent the documents to Congress late Friday evening, only a few days before Attorney General Eric Holder is set to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The  email messages show the former top federal prosecutor in Arizona,  Dennis Burke, notifying an aide to Holder via email on Dec. 15, 2010 (Holder testified in May 2011- he heard about in the “last few weeks”) that agent Brian Terry had been wounded and died. “Tragic,” responds the  aide, Monty Wilkinson. “I’ve alerted the AG, the acting Deputy Attorney  General…”

Only a few minutes later,  Wilkinson emailed again, saying, “Please provide any additional details  as they become available to you.”

An email from one official, whose name has been redacted from the  document, to now-former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke reads: On  December 14, 2010, a BORTAC agent working in the Nogales, AZ AOR was  shot. The agent was conducting Border Patrol operations 18 miles north  of the international boundary when he encountered [redacted word]  unidentified subjects. Shots were exchanged resulting in the agent being  shot. At this time, the agent is being transported to an area where he  can be air lifted to an emergency medical center.

Burke then delivered another piece of bad news: “The guns found in the desert near the murder [sic] … officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store.”

That investigation, dubbed Fast and Furious,  was supposed to follow U.S. weapons into the hands of kingpins in the  violent Sinaloa Mexico drug cartel, building a big case against the  gangs. Instead, it cost Burke his job, got the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reassigned, and has prompted multiple federal probes by Congress and the department’s own inspector general.

The Justice Department also sent a letter to lawmakers  Friday night outlining several changes they had made within their own  ranks and at the ATF: from requiring additional oversight in cases that  involve wiretaps and confidential informants to extra procedures at the  ATF for putting weapons purchases under surveillance to a realignment at  the U.S. Attorney’s office in Phoenix and the ATF itself.

The  new documents are certain to stoke the fires among congressional  Republicans, who have questioned what the attorney general knew about  the botched investigation and asked why the chief of the Justice  Department’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, didn’t do more when he found out about other questionable tactics used by ATF in gun trafficking probes in the Bush administration.

In  a meeting with Mexican government officials in February 2011, for  instance, Breuer “suggested allowing straw purchasers cross into Mexico  so [police] can arrest and [prosecutors] can convict. Such coordinated  activities between the US and Mexico may send a strong message to arms  traffickers.”

A Justice official,  speaking on background, said Breuer’s proposal involved coordination  between the governments and didn’t contemplate agents losing track of  guns, as happened in the Fast and Furious debacle.

A  few days after the meeting between Breuer and Mexican authorities, the  department’s attache to Mexico raised this issue, according to an email:  “there is an inherent risk in allowing weapons to pass from the U.S. to  Mexico. The possibility of the [government of Mexico] not seizing the  weapons, and the weapons being used to commit a crime in Mexico.”

The  attorney general, in testimony to the House and Senate last year, said  he feared the Justice Department could be living with the consequences  of more than 1,000 guns connected to Fast and Furious that remain  unaccounted for years to come.

So The AG is lying again…Will anyone care? Probably Not.

“Obviously I think if the question is referring to things like Fast and Furious, I think everyone has acknowledged that mistakes, serious mistakes, were made there,” Napolitano replied, “The key question [is] to make sure that those mistakes, from my standpoint, are never again repeated.”

Mistakes? To suggest that Fast and Furious was not a program that was intentionally designed to funnel firearms to straw purchasers is disingenuous and to use the mild word “mistake” to color over a program that led to the death of a U.S. border patrol agent and more than 200 Mexicans is irresponsible. While it’s encouraging that Napolitano wants to ensure that administration officials never design such a foolish and lethal program again, her language seems too calculated to also create the impression that administration officials have no possible culpability here. In her mind, it was all just a series of “mistakes” from which to learn and move forward — but, again, even if the operation was intended to lead to a different ending — to the prosecution of the biggest fish within Mexican drug cartels — the sale of the weapons to straw purchasers in the first place was not a mistake. It was that tactic that was and is and will continue to be controversial — and Napolitano’s comments should reflect that the tactic should never have been used in the first place.

While the congressional investigation into Fast and Furious is far from over and while those of us who are strongly suspicious of DOJ higher-ups have to fight not to ascribe to them the worst of ulterior motives until those motives are established by the evidence, administration officials should at the very least express a stronger sense of the inexcusable facts of Fast and Furious.

**********

A $500 million green jobs program at the Department of Labor has so far provided only 15 percent of current participants with jobs, leading the agency’s inspector general to recommend that the bulk of the money be returned to the Treasury.

The program, which was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aims to find employment for almost 80,000 people by providing grants for labor exchange and job training projects. With those grants expiring over the next 15 months, IG officials concluded that the program would fail to come close to that target.

So how many workers has this program actually placed?  As of June 30th … 8,035, or about a tenth of what was projected after burning through 40% of the funding.  That actually comes to a surprisingly modest $25,000 per job placement.  However, that total includes temp jobs; only 1,336 people found jobs lasting longer than 6 months.

In other words, this is just like Obamanomics in general.  It provides a short-term gimmicky gain at incredible expense that is designed to do nothing except give politicians a headline and a photo op.  It would be cheaper in the long run to buy politicians a camera and get them a blog.

 Not Mine! 🙂
As always, it’s all flash and cash and no actual solutions. It just looks good for the media and the talking points but the reality is, it’s crap on a stick.
During his Google+ hangout Pres. Obama tells a woman that her husband  shouldn’t be unemployed from the growth he has seen in the economy.  Obama said he finds it “interesting” because he is getting “the word”  that someone in her husband’s job field “should be able to find  something right away.”Obama offered to do something if she would just send him her husband’s resume.

The woman wants to know why Obama is extending visas for foreigners when there is tons of demand for American jobs by Americans.

(and ignoring the border)

President Obama takes a question from an “Occupy” protester during his Google+ Hangout web event.“Mr. President, I voted for you. I’m paying my taxes, I’m unemployed  five years now and I need help. I’m 52, what am I going to do? How will I  recover from this? Do you have a plan for me?,” the Occupy protester  ask.

Obama told her his solution is to “grow the economy.”

Maybe she should give him $38,500 for his autograph like the Wall Streeters. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

The Day After

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Then Liberals turn out more at the polls to vote for taking more of your money for themselves. Depressing…

The Obama economy is so bad that 77 percent of small business owners do not plan to hire any more workers despite all of Washington’s hype that the business climate is getting better.

Most shocking of all in the survey of small and medium sized business owners is that many would like to hire more workers but can’t, and new financing rules imposed by hurting banks have made getting loans sharply more difficult than in the past.

Team Obama’s attorneys have been laboring overtime to erect impenetrable information blockades around three festering scandals: Solyndra, LightSquared, and Fast and Furious.

This much is clear: The “most transparent administration ever” is hyper-allergic to sunlight and subpoenas.

I wish this was a Joke:

President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

Do Liberals even call it a Christmas Tree? I thought that wasn’t politically correct and not “inclusive” enough?

In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board.  The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” (7 CFR 1214.46(n)).  And the program of “information” is to include efforts to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States” (7 CFR 1214.10).

To pay for the new Federal Christmas tree image improvement and marketing program, the Department of Agriculture imposed a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year (7 CFR 1214.52).  And, of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent Federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees.

The economy is barely growing and nine percent of the American people have no jobs.  Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do?

The little Cindy Lou Who in Whoville is singing his praises… 🙂

Cindy-lou-who.jpg
The White House’s immigration lawyers have issued yet another bureaucratic order that will curb the election-year deportation of illegal immigrants, and perhaps spur the supply of Hispanic voters.
According to Pelta, the memo “realigns the agency’s goals to better reflect its original and intended purpose… [which is] adjudicating immigration petitions and applications,” not enforcement. The AILA’s membership consists of lawyers who are hired by foreigners to avoid deportation, and to gain a share of the many valuable benefits that come with residency and citizenship.

In a series of meetings with administration officials, and in many public statements, the leaders of the ethnic lobbies have said continued enforcement of immigration laws will reduce their ability to rally Hispanic voters behind Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

White House officials, including Obama, recognize the unpopularity of additional immigration during a recession, and publicly say they are required to enforce the nation’s laws. Officials, including Obama, have repeatedly urged the ethnic lobbies to persuade Congress to pass a so-called comprehensive immigration law that would provide valuable citizenship documents to millions of unskilled immigrants and their dependents.

Republican and Democratic legislators, like White House officials, show no desire to publicly champion a controversial immigration or amnesty bill.

Yet Obama’s campaign officials say they need a wave of new Hispanic voters in 2012 to offset his losses among American voters in the mid-West, in blue collar jobs and in swing states, such as Virginia, Colorado and North Carolina. In 2008, Obama won more than 60 percent of Hispanic vote.

And the Democrats are the ones who complain about the Republicans putting Party over Country?

However, the immigration boosters say the administration’s new policies haven’t gone far enough. For example, AILA officials are still “dismayed by the [new] guidance’s perpetuation of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System… [the government] should simply cease to apply these rules,” according to Pelta’s statement.

TSA UPDATE

A suspected radiation leak from a security checkpoint at a Hawaii airport not only reignited legitimate fears about the controversial body scanners – it also revealed more ignorance about TSA’s photo policies.

Eleven Transportation Security Administration workers fell ill Thursday after they were exposed to mysterious fumes emitting from a body scanner.

As a HAZMAT team arrived to inspect for radiation, the TSA workers were treated by paramedics, then urged to go to the hospital for further tests.

Research suggests that anywhere from six to 100 U.S. airline passengers each year could get cancer from the machines.

Still, the TSA has repeatedly defined the scanners as “safe,” glossing over the accepted scientific view that even low doses of ionizing radiation — the kind beamed directly at the body by the X-ray scanners — increase the risk of cancer.

But don’t worry, it’s “safe” and ObamaCare will save you!

Speaking of Cancer and other things Medical:

It would be nice if politicians and regulators left us alone. But they don’t. They always want to do more. Recently, there have been shortages of some medicines. Cancer patients can’t get drugs they need. Why not?

One reason is that a big drugmaker shut down for a year in part to meet Food and Drug Administration rules. The FDA makes it so expensive and difficult to sell drugs that there isn’t an eager pack of companies rushing to the fill the gap. The free market would provide that, but government intervention, such as low Medicare reimbursement, strangles it. So people suffer.

Does the FDA say it’s sorry for its part and back off? Of course not. Regulators almost never do that. In fact, the FDA wants more power.

It wants to regulate how your doctor uses his smartphone. I’m not kidding! The FDA wants the power to approve mobile medical apps that let doctors monitor patients’ vital signs over their phones. As one doctor put it, “Even though I’m away from the hospital, I can still look at … real-time wave form data just as if I were at the patient’s bedside.”

Sounds great. It makes doctors more efficient. But the FDA basically says, “No, you just can’t put something on your phone if it’s a medical device. What if it doesn’t work right? We have to approve it first.”

That caution makes sense to people. Our first instinct is to say, “I don’t want someone getting rich off a device that might not work right. It might kill me. I want the FDA to make sure everything is safe and effective.”

But lawyer Jonathan Emord says our instinct is wrong.

“It is wrong because these regulations are costly, burdensome, and they prevent essential medical apps from getting into the marketplace,” Emord said.

But an app might kill me.

Emord said that although many medical apps are available, there is “not a single complaint that someone has died or been seriously injured by a single one.”

But what’s the harm in running apps past the regulators?

“There is so much corruption at the Food and Drug Administration … so much anticompetitive bias.”

The FDA takes bribes?

“Almost,” Emord explained. “If you feather the right nest, you will do well for yourself after you leave. This is well known.”

This is known as “regulatory capture.” A regulator makes it tough for some company’s competitor and then gets a job with the first company when he leaves his government job.

There’s a big cost to the public when companies submit applications and then wait years for FDA approval.

“We’re losing time, precious time that lives are dependent upon,” Emord said. “MIM Software developed a simple mobile device that would combine MRI images, PET scans, CAT scans all together and produce a super image that was better for diagnosis … right on your phone. To get that through the agency, it took two and a half years and cost some hundreds of thousands of dollars. All the while it could have been in use, and ultimately it was approved.”

Lawyers and reporters encourage bureaucrats to move slowly. If something goes wrong, the media make a huge fuss about it, and the class-action parasites pounce. But when the FDA delays a device for years and people die, we don’t report that. We don’t even know who the victims are.

Useful HIV drugs were available in Europe for years before the FDA approved them for use here.

A doctor at the Cleveland Clinic invented a medical app that helped physicians calibrate the amount of radiation to give to women with breast cancer. The FDA demanded so much extra and expensive proof of its safety that he abandoned it.

The FDA’s caution leads many companies to just give up on potentially lifesaving ideas.

Yet I don’t hear companies complaining.

“If you raise your head above the parapet and you become vocal in your criticism, the FDA remembers like an elephant and will stamp you out of existence. They’ll punish you. It’s so much discretion in their hands. They sit like emperors reigning over this stuff.” (John Stossel)

I’m just really depressed this morning.

The City of Phoenix’s new Mayor is…A Tax & Spend Liberal!  Yippee! 😦

Phoenix residents Llian and Arthur Hood mailed in their votes for Stanton earlier this week.

“You know what, I don’t know anything about (Stanton),” Llian Hood said. “I just know he’s a Democrat.”

That light at the end of the Tunnel is a Train!

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson