The Audacity of Dishonesty

1. Announcing a massive $26 billion mortgage deal with “abusive” banks, the president blamed everybody for record foreclosures except the party most culpable: government.

Speaking Thursday from the White House, Obama scolded “irresponsible” and “reckless” lenders, who “sold homes to people who couldn’t afford them.”

Yeah, they dragged people into it, held them down and forced them to do it!

And the people came in and demanded it first!

Back in 2003, as the Examiner’s Philip Klein points out, <Barney> Frank said that the government-sponsored entities were not in any sort of crisis. “The more people exaggerate these problems,” Frank told the New York Times, “the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

For the most part, private firms such as Countrywide Financial were issuing “nontraditional” mortgages in order to package them off to Wall Street and make money, not to please Barney Frank. Like most policymakers, Frank didn’t appear to see the housing bubble or looming subprime crisis before it was too late. (WP)

He <Obama> also cited buyers who bought homes bigger than their budgets, and Wall Street bankers who packaged the shaky mortgages and traded them for “profit.”

“It was wrong,” he asserted. And now the nation’s “biggest banks will be required to right these wrongs.”

Obama acts as if the private sector bears all the responsibility for the mortgage mess. But he and his attorney general know it’s merely a scapegoat for the reckless government housing policies they and their ilk drafted and enforced in the run-up to the crisis.

Starting in the mid-1990s — in a historic first — it became federal regulatory policy to force all U.S. lenders to scrap traditional lending standards for home loans on the grounds they were “racially discriminatory.”

President Clinton fretted that blacks and other minorities could not qualify for mortgages at nearly the same rates as whites and Asians. So Clinton codified more “flexible” underwriting standards in a “Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending,” and entered it into the Federal Register.

At the same time, he set up a little-known federal body made up of 10 regulatory agencies — the Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending — to enforce the looser standards. It threatened lenders to either ease credit for low-income borrowers or face investigations for lending discrimination and suffer the related bad publicity. It also threatened to deny them expansion plans and access to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“The agencies will not tolerate lending discrimination in any form,” the 20-page document warned financial institutions. The task force enforced these policies throughout the Bush administration.

According to Peter Ferrara, senior fellow at the Carleson Center for Public Policy:

“This overregulation reached the point of forcing lenders to discount bad credit history, no credit history, no savings, lack of steady employment, a high ratio of mortgage obligations to income, undocumented income, and inability to finance down payment and closing costs, while counting unemployment benefits and even welfare as income in qualifying for a mortgage.

“This” he said, “turned into government-sanctioned looting of the banks.”

The Justice Department — along with HUD, which regulated Fannie and Freddie — proved the most aggressive members of the fair-lending task force. Eric Holder, then acting as deputy AG, ordered lenders to actually “target” African-Americans for home mortgages they couldn’t otherwise afford. Obama cheered Holder on as an inner-city community organizer who also pressured banks to ease credit for home borrowers.

In other words, the same two officials now leading the charge to punish “abusive” lenders had egged them on before the crisis.(IBD)

2. The Obama administration is now telling liberals that it is not backing down on its new health-care mandate, even as it coos of compromise to religious groups appalled by it. These messages may seem to be contradictory, but actually the administration has been quite consistent: Nothing it has ever said on this issue has been trustworthy.

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, has been the leading misleader. The administration, recall, has decided that almost all employers must cover contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients in their employees’ insurance plans — even if those employers are religious universities, hospitals, and charities that reject those practices.

So she has tried to make the mandate seem more moderate than it is. In USA Today, she writes that “in the rule we put forward, we specifically carved out from the policy religious organizations that primarily employ people of their own faith.” Taken at face value, this statement would seem to imply that Notre Dame could escape the mandate if it fired its non-Catholic employees. That policy would be outrageous: What gives the federal government the legitimate authority to tell a religious institution how it should structure its mission? But in fact the administration would make the university jump through several more hoops. It would also have to expel its non-Catholic students. And even these changes would not be enough, since the university would continue to do much more than attempt to inculcate religious beliefs in its students — which is another test the administration requires for the exemption to apply.

Sebelius says that three states have religious exemptions as narrow as the one the federal government has adopted. The notion that the federal government is imposing the model of three very liberal states — New York, Oregon, and Vermont — on the entire country is not comforting. But even in those states, some employers have been able to sidestep the mandates by, for example, organizing their insurance under federal regulation, which until now has not overridden conscience. The new mandate eliminates that escape route.

Joel Hunter, one of Obama’s pet pastors, says “this policy can be nuanced.” (“I have come to bring nuance,” as Matthew 10:34 does not say.) He is wrong. Either the administration will back off, and allow religious organizations to follow their consciences, or it will not. If it chooses the former course, it may still find a way to increase access to contraception — which is not especially scarce, by the way — but it will have to replace its current policy, not just “nuance” it. (NR)

“Nuance” is the new Orwellian phrase for LYING. 🙂

It’s “complicated” 🙂

But the assurances were greeted Tuesday with skepticism from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has been leading the opposition to the new requirement.

“So far, ‘work this thing through’ is just the sugar-coated version of ‘force you to comply,’ ” Anthony R. Picarello Jr., general counsel for the conference, said in an e-mail.

Remember, compromise with a Liberal means that you compromise your principles to do what THEY want you to do.

3. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked to respond to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comment that the lack of a budget creates “uncertainty” which is “negative for growth.”

Carney responded: “I have no opinion; the White House has no opinion on Chairman Bernanke’s assessment of how the Senate ought to do its business.”

1,017 Days and Counting!

4. EPIC <The Electronic Privacy Information Center >director Ginger McCall notes that monitoring what people are saying about government policies goes too far and has a chilling effect on free speech.

“The Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of political dissent has no legal basis and is contrary to core First Amendment principles,” she said.

“The language in the documents makes it quite clear that they are looking for media reports that are critical of the agency and the U.S. government more broadly,” said McCall. “This is entirely outside of the bounds of the agency’s statutory duties.”

DHS officials have admitted that monitoring of social networks for negative opinion was undertaken by the agency, but claim that the operation was a one off test and was quickly dropped as it did not meet “operational requirements or privacy standards,” which “expressly prohibit reporting on individuals’ First Amendment activities.”

EPIC argues otherwise and has presented evidence that suggests the practice is being held up by the DHS an an example that should be emulated.

“They are completely out of bounds here,” McCall said. “The idea that the government is constantly peering over your shoulder and listening to what you are saying creates a very chilling effect to legitimate dissent.(Info Wars)

5. Mexican cartel suspects targeted in the troubled gun-trafficking probe known as Operation Fast and Furious were actually working as FBI informants at the time, according to a congressional memo that describes the case’s mission as a “failure.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has acknowledged that guns were allowed into the hands of Mexican criminals for more than a year in the hope of catching “big fish.”

The memorandum from staffers with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform says the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration were investigating a drug-trafficking organization and had identified cartel associates a year before the ATF even learned who they were. At some point before the ATF’s Fast and Furious investigation progressed — congressional investigators don’t know when — the cartel members became FBI informants.

“These were the ‘big fish,’ ” says the memo, written on behalf of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. “DEA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had jointly opened a separate investigation targeting these two cartel associates. … Yet, ATF spent the next year engaging in the reckless tactics of Fast and Furious in attempting to identify them.”

According to Issa and Grassley, the cartel suspects, whose names were not released, were regarded by FBI as “national-security assets.” One pleaded guilty to a minor offense. The other was not charged. “Both became FBI informants and are now considered unindictable,” the memo says. “This means that the entire goal of Fast and Furious — to target these two individuals and bring them to justice — was a failure.”

Representatives with the Justice Department and its subagencies declined to comment.

6. Deputy Attorney General James Cole had informed the committee in a letter last week that it would be “impossible” to comply with the document request by Issa’s deadline.

At issue are thousands of pages of internal Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) documents from last year which the Justice Department has provided to the investigating Justice Inspector General, but which the Justice Department initially indicated are not subject to congressional review because of the constitutional separation of powers.

7. Last Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to answer questions about his role in the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal. However, instead of answers, Congress got more defiance, more arrogance, and more wasted time with an attorney general who clearly feels no sense of obligation to the American people or our rule of law. …

In a rash attempt to deflect attention away from himself and his own irresponsibility, Holder let Congress know that the Obama administration is still working toward the day when it can reinstate former President Bill Clinton’s so-called “assault weapons” ban. According to Holder:

“This administration has consistently favored the reinstitution of the assault weapons ban. It is something that we think was useful in the past with regard to the reduction that we’ve seen in crime, and certainly would have a positive impact on our relationship and the crime situation in Mexico.”

It’s difficult to follow Holder’s logic here, but it goes something like this …

The Obama administration — particularly Eric Holder’s Justice Department — oversaw an epic scandal whereby our own federal government illegally funneled thousands of firearms into the hands of Mexican drug lords. This contributed to the death of one U.S. Border Patrol agent and hundreds of Mexicans.

Despite being head of the Justice Department and our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Eric Holder claims he doesn’t know how or why this scandal occurred, or even who under his charge may have authorized it. He also refuses to turn over critical documents to congressional investigators that could help prevent something this tragic and corrupt from ever happening again.

Therefore, Obama and Holder are confident that if they can ban a large number of the legal firearms that law-abiding Americans use every day for self-defense, hunting, and recreational and competitive target shooting, it will help solve Mexico’s crime problem.

Now don’t you feel better… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

How to Stop the Elites…

 

congress-fe08-intro-tease

 

The STOCK Act would do little to address the problem of insider trading on Capitol Hill, says Hoover Institute fellow Peter Schweizer.

“My biggest concern is enforcement,” Schweizer told The Daily Caller.

He cited the example of former Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson, who famously stored $90,000 in cash bribes in his freezer.

“He had been taking bribes,” Schweizer explained. “The FBI heard about this, so they did everything they were supposed to do. They got a search warrant from a federal judge and they went in and searched his congressional office. … Congress went absolutely ballistic and said this was an infringement of constitutional rights and authority and there were actually threats to cut the FBI budget as a result of doing this.”

“I just don’t see the SEC wanting to have a fight like that,” said Schweizer. ”And that is why I think law is only as good as its likely or willing to be enforced.”

Remember, this is the SEC that was too busy taking bribes and watching porn at work to see the Mortgage/Banking Meltdown coming!!

Schweizer says the STOCK Act might do some good, but he prefers a bill called the RESTRICT Act, sponsored by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Sean Duffy.

“The RESTRICT Act basically says to members of Congress, number one, you need to put all of you assets into blind trust,” Schweizer explained. ”You know blind trusts aren’t perfect, but I think they are a help. And if you don’t want to do that then you have to disclose, I think on your website within three business days any financial transactions that you engage in.”

Schweizer says that transparency, above all else, is of paramount importance in wringing out lawmakers’ bad habits.

During congressional hearings on the STOCK Act, Schweizer noted, the Securities and Exchange Commission said that it has never charged a member of Congress with insider trading.

“If there was a health care bill going through Congress and people found out in real time that their congressman was trading stocks in the health care sector, I think they would be outraged and vote them out of office or take some sort of recourse,” he said. “The biggest issue is empowering individual voters in terms of disclosure, so I think the STOCK Act is important to pass because it makes clear that the same rules apply to members of Congress.”

The STOCK Act is insufficient because it doesn’t cover investments made in private companies, something he says has been a problem in the past.

In his book ”Throw Them All Out,” Schweizer discusses Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, who during the health care debate of 2009 bought millions of dollars’ worth of equity in BridgeHealth International, a private medical tourism company. Polis suspected, as did many, that health care reform would cause medical expenses to increase and that more people would seek medical procedures outside of the United States.

BridgeHealth is a private company, and therefore would not fall under the jurisdiction of the STOCK Act.

“He could go ahead and make that kind of trade and potentially use inside information, and he would not be prevented from doing that based on the way that this law currently exists,” Schweizer explained.

The STOCK Act also makes no attempt at guarding against conflict of interest in earmarks proposed by members.

“Bar is so low that basically so long as they can demonstrate at least one other person will benefit from the earmark, it is OK for them or their family members or whoever to profit from the use of taxpayer monies in this way,” Schweizer said. “That is an abysmally low standard.”

Several leaders in Congress have repeatedly sought earmarks that benefit their personal investments. Nancy Pelosi pushed for a $20 million earmark in 2005 “for waterfront redevelopment only two blocks away from the Belden Street property. The earmark was killed in July of that year. The Pelosis increased their financial stake in the property, and the next year Pelosi asked for the earmark again and this time she succeeded,” Schweizer noted in his book.

Earmarks like the Pelosi redevelopment example would not be considered an abuse of insider information under the STOCK Act.

While examining trades made around the time of the 2003 Medicare overhaul, Schweizer experienced what he calls his “Holy crap!” moment. The legislation, which created a new prescription-drug entitlement, promised to be a huge boon to the pharmaceutical industry—and to savvy investors in the Capitol. Among those with special insight on the issue was Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the health subcommittee of the Senate’s powerful Finance Committee. Kerry is one of the wealthiest members of the Senate and heavily invested in the stock market. As the final version of the drug program neared approval—one that didn’t include limits on the price of drugs—brokers for Kerry and his wife were busy trading in Big Pharma. Schweizer found that they completed 111 stock transactions of pharmaceutical companies in 2003, 103 of which were buys.

“They were all great picks,” Schweizer notes. The Kerrys’ capital gains on the transactions were at least $500,000, and as high as $2 million (such information is necessarily imprecise, as the disclosure rules allow members to report their gains in wide ranges). It was instructive to Schweizer that Kerry didn’t try to shape legislation to benefit his portfolio; the apparent key to success was the shaping of trades that anticipated the effect of government policy.

Remember, currently, Insider Trading will get YOU thrown in jail. It just makes Congressman richer. 🙂

Now that’s “fair” 🙂

Throw Them All Out

Fast & Furious

Former Tucson Drug Enforcement Administration chief Tony Coulson told The Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder either knew guns were walking during Operation Fast and Furious, or should have known about the deadly practice.

“[Fast and Furious] was driven locally and it was driven from Arizona, from the ground up, I mean it was not much oversight,” Coulson said in a phone interview. “And, I mean, I can only speak to the reporting, but people all the way up to the attorney general knew what was going on.”

Coulson, who ran the DEA’s Tucson office during Fast and Furious’ implementation, told TheDC he learned that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was letting guns walk back in 2009 or 2010. He said he learned this from people who were working in the Phoenix Immigration and Customs Enforcement office. He didn’t know it was called “Fast and Furious,” but said it was widely known guns were walking.

“Nothing that [ATF] was doing was running into what we were doing at DEA from the Tucson level,” Coulson said. “Now, Phoenix was a little bit different. They were, their targets kept running into DEA cases and I think that was reported out of the House letter last week. But in Tucson, we weren’t running into them. How I became aware of it was through Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

“At the time, [ATF’s] boss here, Bill Newell, was the face and the voice of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,” Coulson added. “If you go back during this time, he’s the one who’s on every major national news station. He’s talking about weapons in Mexico. You know, he was the voice of ATF. I mean, he was driving ATF’s policy. There was very little oversight at the time from anyone on what was going on. I became aware of it because ICE interceded on more than one occasion to seize weapons at the port of entry that ATF was trying to walk into Mexico.”

ICE falls under the Department of Homeland Security, and with the news that Holder hasn’t discussed Fast and Furious with its Secretary Janet Napolitano or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, there are likely to be new questions into what, if anything, those cabinet officials were told of Fast and Furious.

And, contrary to the picture Holder has tried to paint during his congressional hearing appearances, Coulson said that “yeah, absolutely” law enforcement officials were widely aware the ATF was using gun-walking tactics in Arizona. Coulson went so far as to say he suspects Holder himself was aware of the tactic, or was willfully unaware — meaning he didn’t want to know and made sure he wasn’t informed of gun-walking.

“If someone brings something to your attention and not really all the facts are brought to your attention, yeah we’re sending guns into Mexico, if he [Holder] chooses not to ask the next question, and then makes a statement ‘I didn’t know about that then’ but did find out about it when it became a hot topic issue when he decided well, ‘I should ask that next question now: Are you really walking guns into Mexico?’” Coulson said. “That leads to the next question, which is: ‘Are the Mexicans seizing, recovering those weapons before they’re used in a crime?’ The answer is no.”

And with the widespread knowledge of gun-walking among federal officials in Arizona, Coulson said there’s “no way” people in Washington, D.C., at ATF headquarters and in the Department of Justice didn’t know what was going on.

“I don’t have any firsthand knowledge, but there’s no way people [in Washington, D.C., at ATF headquarters and Main Justice] can say they didn’t know,” Coulson said. “Whether they paid attention to it, whether they thought it was important, how much information exactly did they have? But, you know, at the time, ATF was really laying the story on about these weapons and how this is how they were following investigations to the next level, and how this was leading to ‘big arrests’ and Mexicans tracking guns, which was all kind of smoke and mirrors.”

Coulson also said most other law enforcement officials in Arizona knew Newell had a gun control agenda behind his actions with Fast and Furious and other operations. “Whenever Bill would make those [anti-gun rights] statements [with inflated gun trafficking statistics], everyone would roll their eyes and say, ‘when is someone going to call him on this?’” Coulson said. “That’s because it was only weapons which the Mexican government seized which they chose to trace back to the United States.”

“[Newell] is trying to make this political statement that there is this river of guns, which then the Mexican government picked up on, and said ‘it’s your guns, that’s why we’re having all this violence here,’” Coulson added. “And there’s never any accounting for the fact that probably a majority of the guns, in terms of what law enforcement generally knows, are coming up through Central America and they’re coming from other countries. The 90 percent figure has been debunked as you go along the way. It’s actually something considerably less. … They’re just picking a figure and saying 90 percent of the weapons they seized come from the U.S. Well, really, it’s 90 percent of the weapons that they choose to do a search on results in it originating from the U.S.” (Daily Caller)

So is Holder lying or incompetent or Both!

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

More on that Secured Border

The bloody drug war in Mexico shows no sign of relenting. Neither do calls for tighter border security amid rising fears of spillover violence.

This hardly seems a time the U.S. would be willing to allow people to cross the border legally from Mexico without a customs officer in sight. But in this rugged, remote West Texas terrain where wading across the shallow Rio Grande undetected is all too easy, federal authorities are touting a proposal to open an unmanned port of entry as a security upgrade.

By the spring, kiosks could open up in Big Bend National Park allowing people from the tiny Mexican town of Boquillas del Carmen to scan their identity documents and talk to a customs officer in another location, at least 100 miles away.

The crossing, which would be the nation’s first such port of entry with Mexico, has sparked opposition from some who see it as counterintuitive in these days of heightened border security. Supporters say the crossing would give the isolated Mexican town long-awaited access to U.S. commerce, improve conservation efforts and be an unlikely target for criminal operations. (KFYI)

So given that stupidity, this will make you even happier.

Terrorists from several Middle Eastern groups have infiltrated Latin American countries — especially Mexico — in order to plot and carry out attacks against the United States, according to an alarming exposé broadcast this week by the world’s largest Spanish news network.

While the news media in Latin American countries are covering this ongoing story, the U.S. media is delivering scant coverage — or no coverage at all — a U.S. law enforcement commander told the Law Enforcement Examiner. 

Univision, a multi-national Spanish-language TV network, this week aired a disturbing documentary titled, “La Amenaza Irani,” (Iranian Threat), The documentary uses undercover, never-before-seen video footage to illustrate how Iran’s growing political, economic and military ties to Latin America threaten U.S. security, according to a blog published by the Washington, DC-based watchdog group Judicial Watch. 

According to the JW blogger, Univision documentary is the result of a seven-month investigative report in which college-aged Mexicans infiltrated diplomatic circles in Mexico to obtain recordings that prove diplomats from Iran, Venezuela and Cuba planned a cybernetic attack against the White House, FBI, Pentagon and U.S. nuclear plants.

The documentary reportedly features secret video taken by extremists linked to Iran and footage from an undercover journalist who infiltrated Venezuelan military camps where terrorists trained. The news network’s investigative team also tracked the expansion of Iranian interests in the hemisphere, including money-laundering and drug-trafficking activities by terrorist groups supported by Iran, the Judicial Watch blog detailed.

A segment of the often shocking documentary is allegedly dedicated to the connection between Mexican drug cartels and the foiled plot to murder the Saudi ambassador in Washington D.C. a few months ago. One of the Iranians charged had been ordered by that country’s Special Forces to travel to Mexico to recruit members of the notorious drug cartel “Los Zetas” to carry out the plot.

The massive scheme against U.S. government information and computer systems had been in the works years earlier, the documentary reveals.

The ties between Middle Eastern terrorists and Latin America are nothing new, though specific plots against the U.S. from the region have likely not been exposed in this manner. Since 1982 Cuba has appeared on the State Department’s list of countries that have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, which means restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales and other financial restrictions.

Earlier this year the Congressional Research Service (CRS), which examines issues for federal lawmakers, published a report on Latin American terrorist concerns to the United States. According to the Judicial Watch blog, the CRS report points out that, while Latin America has not been the focal point of the U.S. war on terrorism, the region has struggled with domestic terrorism for decades and international terrorist groups have used it as a battle ground to advance their causes.

The report specifically mentions Iran’s increasing activities in Latin America in its attempt to circumvent U.S. sanctions as well as its ties to the radical Lebanon-based Islamic group Hezbollah. In the past, both the Law Enforcement Examiner and Judicial Watch reported on several occasions that Hezbollah and other terrorist groups are active south of the border.

In fact, the CRS report quotes a separate State Department antiterrorism document that says the U.S. remains concerned that sympathizers of Hezbollah and the Sunni Muslim Palestinian group Hamas are raising money among the sizable Middle Eastern communities in the tri-border area of Argentina.

This confirms an earlier report by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Peter Pace, who as far back as 2007 warned the US Congress about terrorists in South America. (examiner)

Thanks, Janet, I feel so much better now. 🙂

But someone is watching YOU…

Unmanned aircraft from an Air Force base in North Dakota help local police with surveillance, raising questions that trouble privacy advocates.

Police were searching for three men believed to be armed.

As the unmanned aircraft circled 2 miles overhead the next morning, sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare.

But that was just the start. Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said.

The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country’s northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers. The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate.

Proponents say the high-resolution cameras, heat sensors and sophisticated radar on the border protection drones can help track criminal activity in the United States, just as the CIA uses Predators and other drones to spy on militants in Pakistan , nuclear sites in Iran and other targets around the globe.

For decades, U.S. courts have allowed law enforcement to conduct aerial surveillance without a warrant. They have ruled that what a person does in the open, even behind a backyard fence, can be seen from a passing airplane and is not protected by privacy laws.

So That buzzing notice may not be a mosquito. But don’t worry, The Border is more secure than ever before! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

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

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

Government Help

Looking to carry out an assassination or set off a bomb on US soil? Look no farther than Mexico, where murderous drug traffickers abound, ready and willing to take money for brazen acts of violence.

The United States has accused Iran of plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States and bomb the Saudi embassy in Washington, according to the embattled U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder and the Justice Department claim the plot was hatched in Mexico last May. Two Iranians, Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, were accused of the attack in court documents, according to the New York Times.

The Justice Department claims Iran and Mexican drug cartels worked together on the plot.

President Barack Obama was briefed in June about the alleged plot and through a spokesman expressed gratitude for it being disrupted. (Reuters and others)

Several Questions arise: Does this jive with “the border is more secure that it has ever been” as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napalitano?

Attorney General Eric Holder:  Who’s ATF gave the Cartels 2000 guns. Is now outraged by a plot coming from Mexican Cartels. Gee, maybe instead of a bomb they should have used some of the guns instead. 🙂

But we don’t need to secure the border. Nope, that would be racist. 🙂

Sheriff Babeu on KFYI: http://www.kfyi.com/pages/jimsharpe.html?article=9241621

**********

IT’S YOUR FAULT!

The Senate DEMOCRATS killed Obama’s Jobs Bill. But of course it’s not the Democrats fault. It’s the Republicans. The Tea Party…The fact that the Democrats are a Majority in the Senate doesn’t matter.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer suggested Tuesday that voters are to blame for the partisan bickering and standoffs that have defined Congress this year.

The Maryland Democrat said voters are “absolutely right” to think that “Congress isn’t working very well.” But that dysfunction, he said, is largely of their own making.

“The American people have every right to be angry [and] disappointed by the performance of the Congress,” Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol. “Of course, the American people have also elected people with hard stances, so that to some degree the American people are realizing the results of their votes.  (Read: Republicans and Tea Party, not the hardline Socialist Democrats)

“If elections have consequences — which I think they do — some of those consequences are getting what you vote for,” Hoyer added. “In this case, many people voted for people who thought compromise was not something that they ought to participate in.” (Read: Republicans and Tea Party NOT the Socialist Democrats who have been obstructing anything THEY didn’t like! or for that matter, the Nearly 900 Days since the Senate Democrats passed a Federal Budget) 🙂

It’s not Me!!  Vote for Me the other guys an obstructionist! 🙂

And on that note:

Obama Tells Advisers To Find How To Approve Stimulus Projects “Without Additional Congressional Authorization”

“Scour this report, identify all those areas in which we can act administratively without additional congressional authorization and just get it done,” President Obama said today to a “Jobs Council” meeting.

So if you won’t “pass my bill” or else I will just do it myself by executive, procedural, and administrative fiat!

But I’m not a dictator-wanna be. 🙂

“Now, I want to be very clear here. Nobody wants to punish success in America. The Republicans talk about class warfare. That’s — our goal is to make success available for everybody. What’s great about this country is you’ve got a good idea, you’ve got a service that nobody else has thought of, you know what, go out there, start a business. Make money. I want everybody out there to be rich. That’s great. Anybody in America should be able to make it if they try.”

“But none of us make it on our own. Somebody — an outstanding entrepreneur like a Steve Jobs — somewhere along the line he had a teacher who helped inspire him (read: Government union employee not “educator”). All those great Internet businesses wouldn’t have succeeded unless somebody had invested in the government research that helped to create the Internet. We don’t succeed on our own. We succeed because this country has, in previous generations, made investments that allow all of us to succeed.”  (yeah, most of them were evil capitalists!) 🙂

And that is only attainable because of Government. You can’t possibly do it on your own!!

Sums up Obama and Liberals very well doesn’t it.

Too bad 3 guys from a garage in Seattle proved him wrong: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak. (Apple Computers and Microsoft).

Or even a filmmaker from Modesto, CA: George Lucas.

But Liberals will never believe you can do it on your own and will drum it into you that it’s not possible. Just look at the mindless zombies of Occupy Wall Street for a clue…

You are completely lost without their sage guidance, control and their “help”.

You aren’t capable of doing it yourself. You can’t possible pick yourself up by your own boot straps and just do it yourself!

Mama Government has to “help” you.

Feeling condescended to or insulted yet?

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

OCCUPY WALL STREET

“The guys in Washington are supposed to be helping me, but they don’t get it with their mansions and their millions,” says an unemployed nurse at the protest on Wednesday, who declined to give her name. “They don’t understand my situation and they don’t want to hear me. Well, now they’ll have to hear all of us.”

Yeah, helping yourself is definitely out. The Government must do it for me. Kiss me narcissistic ass.

Now they want to accost the “evil” millionaires at their homes. So when does it occur to the zer-sum gain liberal hippies that they should just take what they “deserve” from the rich?

A heartwarming muffins-to-riches story.

The 53% who actually PAY taxes. Damn those evil “rich” people.

Damn you Government for not kissing my but more! And she was supposed to beg the government for assistance because she couldn’t possibly have done it on her own!

John Stossel: “We’re the country that built the intercontinental railroad,” Obama says. “So how can we now sit back and let China build the best railroads?” (Let’s leave the silly “57 States” style faux pas of intercontinental alone)

Ironic that he mentions the Chinese. Progressives used to complain that to build the railroad, bosses abused Chinese workers — called them “coolies” and treated them badly. Now this is big success?

Coolie: is a historical term for manual laborers or slaves from Asia, particularly China and India, during the 19th century and early 20th century.

I guess Obama doesn’t know that the transcontinental railroad was a Solyndra-like Big Government scandal. The railroad didn’t make economic sense at the time, so the government subsidized construction and gave the companies huge quantities of the best land on the continent. As we should expect, without market discipline — profit and loss — contractors ripped off the taxpayers. After all, if you get paid by the amount of track you lay, you’ll lay more track than necessary.

Credit Mobilier, the first rail construction company, made enormous profits by overcharging for its work. To keep the subsidies flowing, it made big contributions to congressmen.

Where have we heard that recently?

The transcontinental railroad lost tons of money. The government never covered its costs, and most rail lines that used the tracks went bankrupt or continued to be subsidized by taxpayers. The Union Pacific and Northern Pacific — all those rail lines we learned about in history class — milked the taxpayer and then went broke.

One line worked. The Great Northern never went bankrupt. It was the railroad that got no subsidies.

We need infrastructure, but the beauty of leaving most of these things to the private sector — without subsidies, bailouts and other privileges — is that they would have to be justified by the profit-and-loss test. In a truly free market, when private companies make bad choices, investors lose their own money. This tends to make them careful.

By contrast, when government loses money, it just spends more and raises your taxes, or borrows more, or inflates. Building giant government projects is no way to create jobs. When government spends on infrastructure, it takes money away from projects that consumers might think are more important.

When government isn’t killing jobs by sucking money out of the private sector, it kills jobs by smothering the private sector with regulation. I talked to Peter Schiff about all this. Schiff is a good authority because he was one of the few people to warn of the housing bust. Now he’s had a run-in with the federal government over job creation.

Schiff, who operates a brokerage firm with 150 employees, recently complained to Congress that “regulations are running up the cost of doing business, and a lot of companies never even get started because they can’t overcome that regulatory hurdle.”

Schiff claims he would have hired a thousand more people but for regulations.

“I had a huge plan to expand. I wanted to open up a lot of offices. I had some capital to do it. I had investors lined up. My business was doing really well. But unfortunately, because of the regulations in the security industry, I was not able to hire.”

So if he wants to hire an analyst, he can’t just hire him?

“I had to get permission to publish their research, which I didn’t get for years. And so I can’t pay analysts if I can’t sell their research.

People don’t appreciate the number of regulations entrepreneurs face. Schiff pays 10 people just to try to figure out if his company is obeying the rules.

“You can’t just act very quickly, because everything has to be done through this maze of compliance. Even my brokers … find out that maybe 20 percent, 30 percent of their day is involved in compliance-related activity, activity that is inhibiting their productivity. … All around the country, people are complying with regulations instead of producing, instead of investing and growing the economy. They’re trying to survive the regulations.”

This is no way to create jobs or wealth. Keynesian pundits and politicians can’t understand why businesses sit on cash rather than invest and hire unemployed workers. It’s really no mystery. Government is in the way.

But to Liberals the Government and their control of it and you is the ultimate answer to everything.

Rejoice.

“Green” Sidenote: More Cronyism From the Obama Administration

You know that Administration that is demonizing Capitalism and how evil Corporate America is and how the the rich, greedy corporations are steeling wealth from you and lobbyists are evil…Well…

Look whose relative just got $135.8 million energy loan

The sister-in-law of John Podesta, President Obama’s influential White House transition director, served as the lobbyist for a wind power <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=354433> firm that was just awarded a $135.8 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

The company is Brookfield Asset Management. It boasts a board of nine directors, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s long-term girlfriend <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=354433>.

The Energy Department’s promise to Brookfield marks the latest in controversial massive alternative energy loans to companies with strong ties to the Obama White House and to top Democrat <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=354433> lawmakers.

Last month, the grant was finalized to build the 99 megawatt Granite Reliable wind project in New Hampshire’s <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=354433> Coos County, making it the state’s largest wind plant. (In the middle of nowhere!!)

Since 2009, the company has been represented by the lobby firm Heather Podesta and Partners, LLC.

Podesta, a top financial <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=354433> bundler for Democrat politicians, is wife of lobbyist and art collector, Tony Podesta, who is the brother of John Podesta.

But remember, “Don’t do as I do, Do as I say”. 🙂

So it makes you wonder about Aunt Zeituni or DUI Uncle Onyango Obama. Why weren’t they on the gravytrain!

After all, you can’t make it without the Government’s “help”!!

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Michael RamirezPolitical Cartoons by Gary McCoy
Political Cartoons by Larry Wright
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell