Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Do we need more proof that he's terminally ill?

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez promised on Tuesday to accelerate his drive for socialism in Venezuela as he recovers from surgery that removed a cancerous tumor.

He's acting like a man without long to live.

I thought they were all dead

Al Qaeda's powerful branch in Yemen has provided weapons, fighters and training with explosives over the last year to a militant Islamic group battling for power in Somalia, according to newly developed American intelligence, raising concerns of a widening alliance of terrorist groups.

Leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen also have urged members of the hard-line Shabab militia to attack targets outside Africa for the first time, said U.S. officials who were briefed on the intelligence.

Weren't we told last week that Al Qaeda was defeated?

Monday, July 18, 2011

More broken promises from Obama

Two years ago, President Barack Obama launched what he called a “historic” campaign to bolster the nation’s community colleges. These days, however, the sour economy seems to have left a far deeper imprint on community colleges than the president’s American Graduation Initiative.

The economic funk sparked a surge in students enrolling at community colleges, but downsized state budgets made it hard for schools to add enough classes to serve everyone. And the $12 billion in federal funding that Obama promised community colleges never arrived.

That will be history's verdict on the Obama administration - - Obama's promise never arrived.

What they aren't saying about the debt ceiling debate

Every Democratic senator (including Obama) voted against raising the debt limit in 2006.


It passed on a straight party line vote, with no Democratic support in the senate, and no one ever mentioned cutting off social security checks or military pay, or otherwise destroying the "full faith and credit" of the American economy.  It was considered no big deal.

Political prisoners in Venezuela

At a time when President Hugo Chávez is receiving the optimal care available to treat his cancer, more than a half-dozen Venezuelan seriously ill political prisoners are in jail without any medical assistance, some suffering the same disease as the president.

It is an incongruity beginning to be noticed around the world.

"It is an incongruity beginning to be noticed around the world"?

Unfortunately, Chavez' "progressive" friends, allies and supporters (including those in the Obama administration) will take no notice.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is back in Cuba to undergo further treatment for cancer.

Doctors had found no more malignant cells after he had surgery to remove a tumour, he said.

Mr Chavez said his chemotherapy would start on Sunday and he would be away for a "few days".

It couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow.

But, it's kind of funny that he doesn't trust his own health to the "Bolivarian socialist" medical establishment which he created in Venezuela.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Taking away fat kids from their parents

If a parent beats their child, the state can step in and remove the child from the harmful situation.

But if a parent allows their child to become overweight to the point that their health is affected, should the state have the same right to intervene?

In a commentary posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association, professor Lindsey Murtagh and Dr. David S. Ludwig, of Harvard University, argue that severely obese children should be removed from their homes. They also say that government involvement may be justifiable because of the imminent health risks, and the parents' chronic failure to address medical problems.

Some people have no understanding of the concepts of limited government and personal freedom.

If the government can take away your kids for being fat, they can take them away for any reason, social, religious or political.

They got who they wanted . . .

but they don't want what he's giving them.
New York’s prestigious teaching hospitals could lose more than $1 billion a year as part of President Obama’s plan to reduce the deficit, which the hospitals say will lead to drastic reductions in services.

The proposed cuts would reduce the Medicare subsidy for training doctors and for providing intensive medical services like trauma centers and burn units and sophisticated equipment that the teaching hospitals offer. The plan would apply to teaching hospitals nationwide but would have its most profound impact in cities like New York and Boston, where medical schools and their affiliated hospitals have a significant presence.

It's kind of funny to watch New York and Boston college-affiliated professors and intellectuals complain about the negative impacts of the policies of the candidate they backed almost unanimously.

Chavez to get chemotherapy?

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he may need to receive chemotherapy or radiation treatment after undergoing surgery in Cuba last month to remove a cancerous tumor he described as “almost like a baseball.”

“A third stage may be needed, probably radiation or chemotherapy that could be difficult, but it’s precisely to try to armor my body from the malignant cells,” Chavez, 56, said today in a phone call to state television. “My colon and stomach aren’t destroyed like the opposition is saying. Today cancer isn’t death.”

Supporters of democracy in Venezuela are not unhappy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Everyone loves Obama!

Not really.

The hope that the Arab world had not long ago put in the United States and President Obama has all but evaporated.

Two and a half years after Obama came to office, raising expectations for change among many in the Arab world, favorable ratings of the United States have plummeted in the Middle East, according to a new poll conducted by IBOPE Zogby International for the Arab American Institute Foundation.

In most countries surveyed, favorable attitudes toward the United States dropped to levels lower than they were during the last year of the Bush administration. The killing of Osama bin Laden also worsened attitudes toward the United States.

In Saudi Arabia, for instance, 30 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of the United States (compared with 41 percent in 2009), while roughly 5 percent said the same in Egypt (compared with 30 percent in 2009).

“The very high expectations that were created in 2009 – there’s been a letdown since then,” said James Zogby, the president and founder of the Arab American Institute, of which the foundation is an affiliate.

Got that? Favorable attitudes toward the United States in Arab countries under Obama are lower than they were during the last year of the Bush administration.

Pakistan is not our friend

Pakistani authorities have jailed a doctor who helped the CIA by creating an elaborate plot to get DNA samples of Osama bin Laden's family before the al-Qaida leader was killed in a special forces raid.

The doctor, who holds a senior government health post in Pakistan, used nurses, who were able to gain entry to the residence on the pretext of giving vaccinations to children living there, according to Pakistani and U.S. officials and local residents.

The U.S. special forces operation that found and killed bin Laden on May 2 severely damaged relations between the United States and Pakistan, which was kept in the dark about the CIA's discovery that the al-Qaida leader was living in a town filled with active-duty and retired Pakistani military.

The doctor's detention has added to the tension, and American authorities are thought to have intervened on his behalf.

Apparently, it's a crime in Pakistan to help capture bin Laden.

Let the character assassination begin

With a penchant for tough talk and polarizing positions, Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann is a magnet for controversy — and there's a trail of police reports to prove it.

She and her staff over the years have requested police protection or investigations when her house was egged; when protesters threw glitter on her or held up critical signs; when her campaign yard signs were stolen; when a man wrote an email perceived as a threat; and when she screamed that two women were holding her hostage "against my will" in a city hall restroom.

There's plenty to dislike in Bachmann's politics.

But, that doesn't mean she should be criticised for calling the cops when an emailer threatens her husband or two "activists" follow her into the restroom and block her exit.

Can we all agree that you don't follow people into the john and harangue them while they're doing their business?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Victory in Afghanistan?

At least four of the 28 mine sweepers who were abducted by unknown gunmen in western Afghanistan have been found dead, local officials said Sunday.

Elsewhere, three NATO soldiers were killed in a wave of attacks.

Of course, the administration is busy declaring victory.

Pakistan is not our ally

Pakistan’s Army said Monday that a US military aid cut worth some $800 million won’t affect its ability to conduct combat operations. Analysts call the cuts the strongest indicator yet of the deteriorating nature of the relationship between the two countries and say it could cause the Pakistani military to retreat to a more hostile anti-US position.

Unless we give them billions in military aid, the Pakistani military will "retreat to a more hostile anti-U.S. position"?

Then they're not our ally in the first place.

Another ally gone

During a face-to-face meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, a top Obama administration official told Yemen's president to step aside and allow the political transition he had once approved but never ratified to move forward, according to a statement by the White House.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, met President Ali Abdullah Saleh at a hospital in Riyadh, where he is recovering from wounds suffered in an attack in Sanaa, Yemen's capital, early last month.

Saleh has clung to power in the face of large-scale demonstrations in Yemen calling for his ouster and despite agreeing to sign a plan brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional grouping of countries, that would grant him immunity from prosecution in exchange for his resignation.

. . . Saleh was flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment of burns and shrapnel wounds after the attack on his palace, which came during fierce street fighting in Sanaa.

We're great at deposing our allies.

We're not so good at deposing our enemies.

If you were a foreign authoritarian leader, what would that tell you to become?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pakistan is not our ally

With ties between the two nations strained after American commandos killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison city, the Obama administration said it will suspend more than one-third of the $2 billion in annual U.S. aid to Pakistan's military.

President Obama's chief of staff, William Daley, confirmed Sunday that the United States will hold back $800 million of the money the administration had committed to assist the Pakistani military.

Pakistani authorities have pulled back on the country's level of cooperation with the U.S. in recent months.

It is obvious that the weapons we give Pakistan today will be used against us in the future.

Premature declaration of victory

New US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said the US is "within reach of strategically defeating al-Qaeda".

Mr Panetta said that following the killing of Osama Bin Laden, key leaders in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere had been identified and would be targeted.

He offered the upbeat assessment during his first visit to Afghanistan since taking over at the Pentagon last week.

That was not a military assessment.

That was a political statement designed to give cover to various troop movement decisions.

Notice the caveat - - al-Qaida is not "defeated", they are "within reach" of being "strategically" defeated. The caveat destroys the apparent meaning of the word "defeated".

Monday, July 11, 2011

More immigration disputes

Civil rights groups sued Friday in federal court to block Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration, which supporters and opponents have called the strictest measure of its kind in the nation.

The lawsuit, filed in Huntsville, claims the new law will make criminals out of church workers who provide shelter to immigrants and even citizens who give their neighbors a ride to the store or to the doctor's office.


I'll never understand why it is considered controversial to enforce the law.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Black economic gains reversed

Growing up black in the segregated 1960s, Deborah Goldring slept two to a bed, got evicted from apartment after apartment, and watched her stepfather climb utility poles to turn their disconnected lights back on. Yet Goldring pulled herself out of poverty and earned a middle-class life — until the Great Recession.

. . . But for Goldring and many others in the black community, where unemployment has risen since the end of the recession, job loss has knocked them out of the middle class and back into poverty. Some even see a historic reversal of hard-won economic gains that took black people decades to achieve.

. . . Since the end of the recession, the overall unemployment rate has fallen from 9.4 to 9.1 percent, while the black unemployment rate has risen from 14.7 to 16.2 percent, according to the Department of Labor.

If Hillary Clinton or John McCain were president, wouldn't Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson be leading protests and attributing this to racism at the top?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The U.S.A. is better than other country

India's health minister has derided homosexuality as an unnatural "disease" from the West, drawing outrage Tuesday from activists who said the comments set back the country's campaign for gay rights and its fight against HIV.

The comments Monday by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at a conference on HIV/AIDS in the Indian capital echoed a common refrain in the conservative South Asian nation that homosexuality is a Western import.

"Unfortunately this disease has come to our country too ... where a man has sex with another man, which is completely unnatural and should not happen, but does," Azad said.

It can't be said often enough - - anyone who has a problem with how the U.S.A. treats racial, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities needs to look at the rest of the world.

The U.S.A. is not perfect, but we're better than any other country.

Defeat in Afghanistan by another name

British Prime Minister David Cameron urged the Taliban Tuesday to follow the lead of former militants in Northern Ireland and join the political process to end the Afghan war.

. . . At a news conference with Karzai, Cameron said Britain's experience of drawing Irish Republican Army terrorists into Northern Ireland's political process could guide Afghanistan's own efforts to reconcile Taliban insurgents.

Cameron's message to the Taliban: "Stop killing. Stop bombing. Stop fighting. Put down your weapons. Join the political process and you can be part of the future of this country."

We invaded Afghanistan in order to dislodge the Taliban-led government.

Now, we're begging the Taliban to rejoin the government so that we can leave.

What did we accomplish?

Dissident arrests rising in Cuba

Dissident groups in Cuba say harassment and detentions by police have recently increased as part of a new tactic by the authorities.

Rights activist Elizardo Sanchez said he believed the aim was to deter dissidents from marking International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The Cuban government says dissidents are mercenaries funded by the US.

Church leaders meanwhile say officials have apologised for arresting several people at a church on Tuesday.

Wherever Obama has "reached out in friendship" in an attempt to "reset the relationship", things have gotten worse for freedom seeking people.

Why are we loosening restrictions on a regime that arrests people in church during services?

Friday, July 8, 2011

When is withdrawal from Iraq not withdrawal from Iraq?

When you offer to keep thousands of troops stationed in Iraq after you "withdraw".

The White House is offering to keep up to 10,000 troops in Iraq next year, U.S. officials say, despite opposition from many Iraqis and key Democratic Party allies who demand that President Barack Obama bring home the American military as promised.

Any extension of the military's presence, however, depends on a formal request from Baghdad, which must weigh questions about the readiness of Iraqi security forces against fears of renewed militant attacks and unrest if U.S. soldiers stay beyond December's pullout deadline.

Iraq is not expected to decide until September at the earliest, when the 46,000 U.S. forces left in the country had hoped to start heading home.

Already, though, the White House has worked out options to keep between 8,500 and 10,000 active-duty troops to continue training Iraqi security forces during 2012, according to senior Obama administration and U.S. military officials. The figures also were noted by foreign diplomats in Baghdad briefed on the issue.

Face it - - Obama failed

Hiring slowed to a near-standstill last month, raising doubts that the economy will rebound in the second half of the year after a spring slump.

The economy generated only 18,000 net jobs in June, the fewest in nine months. The unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, the highest rate of the year.

He was elected to address unemployment and the housing crisis.

He's done neither successfully.

Time to reevaluate Israel?

Amnesty International today accused the Syrian regime of crimes against humanity over its crackdown on civilians and called on the UN Security Council to refer the government to the International Criminal Court.

Amnesty gathered evidence by phone from Syrian residents and from Syrians who fled their country.

While the government denies the charges, it would not allow the human rights group inside Syria to investigate for itself and Amnesty's report coincides with more claims of a security crackdown on protests in the town of Hama.

In light of the recent brutal and dictatorial actions by most Arab regimes, isn't it time for "progressives" to reevaluate their constant criticism of Israel?

Africa's triangle of hunger

Thousands of families are walking for days in search of food in a triangle of hunger where the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia meet. Hundreds already have died, and images of children with skinny, malnourished bodies are becoming commonplace in this corner of Africa.

Even Somalia's top militant group is asking the aid agencies it once banned from its territories to return. Thirsty livestock are dying by the thousands, and food prices have risen beyond what many families can afford.

Hawo Ibrahim said she and her seven children trekked 15 days from a town in southern Somalia before reaching a refugee camp in northeast Kenya.

"We have seen misery and hunger on our way," said Ibrahim, 32, who said her husband went mad after the family lost its livestock to drought. "The most painful thing was when you don't get anything for your thirsty and hungry children."

Aid agencies are appealing for tens of millions of dollars in emergency funding. Oxfam — which hopes to raise $80 million, its largest ever appeal for Africa — says 12 million people are affected by hunger. At least 500 Somalis are known to have died from drought-related diseases, though Oxfam says the actual number is likely higher.

Some nations are hopeless basket cases, which no amount of foreign aid can cure.

A different solution - - emigration?  resettlement? - - is required.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Do you still think airport security is too strict?

A new worry for air travellers in the heart of the summer vacation season: The government is warning airlines that terrorists are considering surgically hiding bombs inside humans to evade airport security. And as a result, travellers may find themselves subjected to more scrutiny when flying, especially to the United States from abroad.

Bombs-in-the-body is not a brand new idea, but recent intelligence indicates a fresh interest in using this method because people-scanning machines in airports are not able to detect explosives hidden inside humans. Still, there is no current information that points to a specific plot involving surgically implanted explosives, a U.S. security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

As airport security has increased since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, so has the terrorists’ creativity in developing methods to get around it. Aviation continues to be a special target and evidence from Osama bin Laden’s compound showed that the al-Qaida leader retained his fascination with attacking airplanes until his death in May.

They put bombs in wheelchairs.

They strap bombs to 8 year olds.

Now, they want to surgically implant bombs in their bodies.

Everyone needs to stop complaining about "over zealous" airport security.

If anything, airport security is too lax.

You can't fool all of the people all of the time

Despite lingering anxiety over the Great Recession, Americans by a large margin want their federal government to focus more on cutting debt than on increasing spending even temporarily to boost the economy, according to a new McClatchy Newspapers-Marist poll.

Given a choice, 59 percent of Americans prefer reducing debt even if that slows the economic recovery, while 33 percent prefer new government efforts to stimulate the economy even if it means more federal spending.

If only our leaders were as wise as our citizens.

Still not pursuing regime change in Libya?

Rebels fighting to end the 42-year rule of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have received a diplomatic boost by winning recognition from regional power Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday Ankara recognizes the rebel Transitional National Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. He was speaking on a visit to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, the stronghold of the rebels who launched an uprising against Mr. Gadhafi in February.

Davutoglu also said the Turkish government will provide another $200 million in aid to the TNC, in addition to a $100 million fund for the rebels, announced in June.

And Obama still insists we are not in Libya to pursue regime change.

Racist Americans

The Sudanese army appeared poised Thursday to launch a ground offensive in central Sudan, spiking fears of another violent crackdown on a non-Arab ethnic group.

Aid workers fleeing South Kordofan state told harrowing tales of Nuba tribesmen being gunned down in the streets of the region's capital, Kadugli, and of women and children seeking refuge in the Nuba Mountains.

"Those coming in are saying, 'Whenever they see you are a black person, they kill you,'" according to one aid worker who recently left the area, but asked not to be named because she hopes to return.

It's kind of funny - - when they're not killing each other because of their ethnic backgrounds, Arabs and Africans verbally attack Americans for being racist.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Protesting immigration laws

Thousands of marchers stormed the Georgia Capitol on Saturday to protest the state's new immigration law, which they say creates an unwelcome environment for people of color and those in search of a better life.

We cannot let in everyone on earth who is "in search of a better life".

Otherwise, everyone would move here.  And, our lives would get worse.

There have to be restrictions, limits and qualifications for permanent residency.

Our friend Saudi Arabia

The religious police in Saudi Arabia arrested five women on Tuesday for driving in defiance of a ban on women getting behind the wheel in the conservative kingdom, according to activists and local media reports.

. . . The coalition said that the religious police arrested four of the women when they were driving in the Dorat al Arous neighborhood in Jidda, a port city along the Red Sea. The four, ages 21 and 22 and riding in one car, were taken to a police station, where they signed a pledge not to drive again, the group’s report said. A fifth woman was arrested later Tuesday night while driving in the neighborhood of Suleimaniyah.


Why are we allied with a country that promotes crazy medieval fundamentalist religious extremism . . . and exports Islamic terrorism?

No regime change in Libya?

Our C.I.A. is training Libyan rebels.

England is arming Libyan rebels.

A military spokesman says France has sent weapons to Libyan civilians besieged by Muammar Qaddafi's forces — the first NATO country to publicly announce it has armed rebel fighters.
Col. Thierry Burkhard says the deliveries took place in early June in the western Nafusa mountains when civilians were encircled by Qaddafi's forces and his government refused to allow a humanitarian aid corridor there.
Burkhard told The Associated Press Wednesday that the weapons were parachuted in by air and included "self-defense assets" like assault weapons, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and munitions.

Why do we still insist that regime change is not our goal in Libya?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shifting goals in Libya

As NATO struggles to break a deepening stalemate in Libya, the British announced on Tuesday that they were sending military advisers to help build up a rebel army that has stumbled against the superior forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Remember when we were told "regime change" was not the goal?

The fact that half his countrymen wish him dead . . .

tells you something.
Doctors detected and removed a cancerous tumor from Hugo Chavez's body, the Venezuelan president announced in a speech broadcast on state-run VTV Thursday night.

The “abscessed tumor with cancerous cells” was discovered after doctors had already operated and treated a pelvic abscess, he said.

Chavez said he was continuing treatment, but did not specify what that treatment entailed, where the tumor was located or when he would return to Venezuela.

He said there were no complications to his second surgery, and added that his condition continued “evolving satisfactorily.”

Friday, July 1, 2011

Prosecuting ex-dictators is dumb, dumb, dumb

A French judicial official says the Paris prosecutor's office has opened two judicial inquiries into money laundering allegations against the ousted presidents of Egypt and Tunisia.

The official says the inquiries are not exclusively focused on Egypt's Honsi Mubarak or Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, thus allowing the investigating judges to examine the deposed leaders' entourage for evidence of "money laundering in an organized group."

The official says judicial inquiries were opened Tuesday. She was speaking Friday on condition of anonymity, in accordance with French judicial regulations.

Citizens' groups filed the complaints with the French court earlier this year, after Ben Ali and Mubarak were toppled in popular uprisings.

If you want these guys to peacefully resign, you need to leave them alone after they resign.

Otherwise, the next one will go down fighting.


A typical Whac-A-Mole machine consists of a large, waist-level cabinet with five holes in its top and a large, soft, black mallet. Each hole contains a single plastic mole and the machinery necessary to move it up and down. Once the game starts, the moles will begin to pop up from their holes at random. The object of the game is to force the individual moles back into their holes by hitting them directly on the head with the mallet, thereby adding to the player's score. The more quickly this is done the higher the final score will be.
Islamic militants have consolidated their hold over a southern city in Yemen, forcing merchants to lower food prices and helping residents who want to flee shelling by government forces outside the city, residents said Monday.
In contrast, militants in control of another nearby city are enforcing a stringent version of Islamic rule, forcing women to stay home and trying to recruit young men to their ranks, according to residents there.

Government forces do not appear to have the will to fight the Islamists, raising fears that al-Qaida's most dangerous wing is making significant gains as the weakened regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh unravels in the face of an array of opponents.

As soon as we knock them out in one country, they will appear in another.

We will never eradicate them.

Instead, we must focus on homeland security.

Dying 95-year old granny forced to remove her diaper?

U.S. transportation officials now deny a Florida woman's claims that security forced her 95-year-old leukemia-stricken mother to remove her adult diaper during an airport screening.

Jean Weber, the senior's daughter, alleges on June 18 her wheelchair-bound mother, Lena Reppert, was patted down and then Weber was forced to take her to the bathroom to remove her soiled adult diaper because officers said they found "something suspicious."

The Boston Globe reports the Transportation Security Administration now says it didn't require the removal of the diaper and several options were given during the screening.

It's easy to be a critic when the TSA forces granny to remove her diaper . . . until you remember that, within the past 10 days, terrorists strapped bombs onto a wheelchair and an 8 year old girl.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The trouble with giving most everyone government assistance . . . .

is that most everyone will therefore never support any necessary economies.

Youths hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police in central Athens on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 as a general strike against new austerity measures brought the country to a standstill.

Lawmakers were embarking on their second day of debate on austerity measures that must be passed in votes on Wednesday and Thursday if Greece’s international creditors are to release another batch of bailout funds to see it beyond the middle of next month.

When the majority of citizens are "clients" of government programs, the majority has no incentive to support economic responsibly until after economic disaster strikes.

Is this Afghan security?

Two helicopters from the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan fired on and killed three insurgents on the rooftop of a hotel in Kabul after Taliban fighters, including suicide bombers, launched an attack, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

"Two International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) helicopters have just engaged three individuals on the roof," coalition spokesman Major Tim James told Reuters. "The indications are that the three individuals on the roof have been killed."

Afghan officials said at least five suicide bombers attacked Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, one of two major hotels frequented by Westerners in Kabul, late on Tuesday night.


A gun battle, suicide bombers and a helicopter attack on the roof of "Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, one of two major hotels frequented by Westerners".

Is this the promised "security returning to Afghanistan"?

The DREAM Act, again

Top White House officials made their case for the long-simmering immigration law, the DREAM Act, on Tuesday at a a Senate hearing packed with attendees, including Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist who took the Internet by storm last week with a first-person account of working for major news outlets while an illegal immigrant.


Obama broke his promise of comprehensive immigration reform.

Instead, for the umpteenth time since 2000, he is attempting a doomed late inning reintroduction of the DREAM Act as a reelection campaign stunt.

Unfortunately, it is a stunt that will work.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wasting our time, efforts and money

Nearly 60 suspected al-Qaeda militants tunneled their way out of a Yemeni prison in the lawless south on Wednesday, deepening the chaos of a nation where protesters are trying to topple the autocratic regime.

The escape from the Mukalla prison in Hadramout province is the latest sign that Islamic militants are seizing on the mayhem to operate more freely, something the U.S. fears will become an increasing international threat if the impoverished nation grows even more unstable. Hundreds of Islamic militants have also taken control of two southern towns in recent weeks.


We catch them.

We turn them over to our allies.

Then, our "allies" let them escape.

We're wasting our time, efforts and money.

Now it's Gore's turn to be disappointed

Former Vice President Al Gore sharply criticized President Obama as lacking leadership on climate change in a magazine essay published online Wednesday, saying his policies had been little more effective than those of President George W. Bush.

In the 7,000-word article in Rolling Stone, Mr. Gore said that Mr. Obama clearly understood the threat to the planet posed by global warming and that he had appointed a number of committed environmental advocates to key positions.

But Mr. Gore said that in the face of well-financed attacks from fossil fuel industries and denial and delay from Republicans in Congress, Mr. Obama had failed to act decisively to alter the nation’s policies on climate change and energy.

Gore, along with many others, backed the candidate with no experience, no record and no real world achievements.

Now, they are disappointed that he's not getting things done.

What did they expect?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We're not seeking regime change in Libya?

International officials and Libya's opposition have drawn up detailed plans to rebuild the North African nation's economy and society following the removal of Moammar Gadhafi, British diplomats said Friday.

Preparations for maintaining law and order, resuming oil production and the potential deployment of U.N. peacekeepers as cease-fire monitors have all been drafted during talks over the last month, which have also discussed how officials currently tied to Gadhafi's regime could be integrated into an interim administration.

A senior British diplomat, who demanded anonymity to discuss the work, said Friday that a team of officials from the U.K., United States, Italy, Turkey, Denmark and other nations has spent several weeks in eastern Libya discussing scenarios with opposition leaders.

U.S. officials are working with an international team of diplomats and Libyan opposition leaders to draft plans for a post Gadhafi regime in Libya.

I remember being told we weren't seeking regime change in Libya.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Suicide bombs hidden in wheelchairs and on 8 year olds

Iraqi officials say a suicide bomber in a wheelchair has attacked a police station near the capital, Baghdad, killing at least two people and wounding 18 others.

Authorities say the bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the police compound in the central town of Tarmiyah on Sunday. At least nine of those wounded were policemen.

Taliban insurgents used an eight-year-old girl carrying a bag of explosives to attack a police checkpost in central Afghanistan, the Afghan government said on Sunday, making her one of the youngest child bombers of the decade-old conflict.
The incident took place in Char Chino district of central Uruzgan province, the interior ministry said. "The insurgents handed over a bag with a homemade bomb to an eight-year-old girl and asked her to take it to police forces," it added.

"As the girl was getting close to the police, it exploded and killed the girl."

I don't understand how can anyone can honestly believe that "they're just like us and only want to be free".

The phony withdrawal from Afghanistan

In promising a U.S. military pullout from Afghanistan will begin in July, President Barack Obama is permitting his commanders to decide critical details, including the number of troops to depart first and whether any of those will be combat forces, administration and military officials said Sunday.

. . . Other administration and military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said Obama has left it to Petraeus to determine exactly how big a reduction to make in July and whether they include combat forces, so long as the drawdown reaches 10,000 by year's end. Those officials said it was agreed that no reductions in July was not an option.

In other words, Obama will withdraw 10,000 soldiers in staff support positions, replace them with contractors and mercenaries, still have the same number of troops engaged in combat, and call it a 10% force reduction.

Of course, the "anti war" "progressives" will wait for a Republican president to be elected before protesting this cynical chicanery.

A "stealth survey" . . . or spying?

Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of "mystery shoppers" to pose as patients, call doctors' offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.

The administration says the survey will address a "critical public policy problem": the increasing shortage of primary care doctors, including specialists in internal medicine and family practice. It will also try to discover whether doctors are accepting patients with private insurance while turning away those in government health programs that pay lower reimbursement rates.

This can be called a "stealth survey", or anything else the government wants to call it, but it's the federal government spying without a warrant on people engaged in 100% legitimate activity without any reasonable suspicion of individual wrongdoing.

If the Clinton or Bush administrations did it, there would be calls for impeachment - - by Barack Obama.

Are you listening, Mr. President?

One of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's brothers said Sunday that backers of the hospitalized leftist leader should not rule out armed struggle in the future, though they prefer to maintain power at the ballot box.

Adan Chavez's statement came as speculation mounted about the health of the president, who has been convalescing at an undisclosed location in Cuba after reportedly undergoing emergency surgery 16 days ago.

Chavez's older brother said Venezuela's ruling party wants to retain power by defeating foes in elections. But he told government supporters that they should be ready to take up arms if necessary.

Hopefully, this will finally convince the administration that the Venezuelan regime is not simply reformist, but revolutionary and dictatorial.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Obama's debacle

The Palestinians are ready to drop their demand for a freeze on Israeli settlement construction to get peace talks back on track, a top official told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The softened position reflects the Palestinians' growing realization that their alternative strategies to talks — reconciling with the Hamas militant group and seeking unilateral recognition at the United Nations — are both in trouble.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a sensitive diplomatic proposal, said the Palestinians will drop the demand for a full construction freeze and resume peace talks if Israel accepts President Barack Obama's proposal to base negotiations on a broad Israeli withdrawal from lands captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The issue is at the heart of the current impasse. The latest round of talks was launched last September at the White House after a two-year breakdown, only to collapse three weeks later with the expiration of an Israeli slowdown on settlement construction.

Obama gave the Palestinians the idea to demand a freeze on Israeli settlement construction as a precondition to talks. More than 3 years later, they're still undoing the mess Obama caused.

And Israel's "intransigence"?  It froze out unreformed terrorist Hamas and the anti semitic U.N. general assembly.  It turns out Israel was correct.

Obama's Iranian friends

Prison guards in Iran are giving condoms to criminals and encouraging them to systematically rape young opposition activists locked up with them, according to accounts from inside the country's jail system.

A series of dramatic letters written by prisoners and families of imprisoned activists allege that authorities are intentionally facilitating mass rape and using it as a form of punishment.

. . . "In various cells inside the prison, rape has become a common act and acceptable," he wrote in a letter published on Kaleme.com, the official website of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

According to Mahmoudian and letters published on various opposition websites, political prisoners are locked up with some of the most dangerous criminals – murderers and ex-members of armed gangs.

Meanwhile, 26 prominent political activists who have been in jail since the 2009 election have written to an official prison monitoring body accusing the government's intelligence ministry and the revolutionary guards of harassing inmates with unlawful tactics that included sexual assaults.

. . ."During exercise periods, the strong ask for sex without any consideration. Criminals are repeatedly seen with condoms in hand, hunting for their victims," an unnamed family member told Jaras.

"If the inmate is not powerful enough or guards would not take care of him, he will be certainly raped. Prison guards ignore those who are seen with condoms simply because they were given out to them by the guards at first place," the family member said.

The family members say prison guards are turning a blind eye to the systematic rape and have ignored complaints made by rape victims.

This is the regime to which Obama wanted to extend the hand of friendship.

This is the regime Obama doesn't want Israel to be mean to.

These are Obama's friends.

John Kerry, hypocrite

Key senators on Tuesday urged giving the White House authority for a one-year, limited Libya mission, but sentiment was growing in the House of Representatives to cut off the effort's funding.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., who proposed the one-year measure, argued that not supporting efforts such as those of the Libyan rebels would "be ignorant, irresponsible and shortsighted and dangerous for our country."

He and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., President Barack Obama's 2008 Republican opponent, are pushing a measure that would authorize the use of U.S. armed forces "to advance national security interests in Libya as part of the international coalition" that's involved in that country.


In other words, Kerry opposes wars started by Republicans, and supports wars started by Democrats.

There's a good reason why Kerry is the only Democrat sine 1988 to come in second in the popular vote.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More "savings" from Obamacare

President Obama's health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.

The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.

If a married couple retires at 62 receiving the maximum Social Security benefit of $23,500 apiece, and receive $17,000 from other sources, they would qualify for Medicaid with a total income of $64,000 (until age 65, when they qualify for Medicare).

This unintended new give away (hidden in the fine print of the legislation no one read) will cost billions in federal and state tax dollars.

The Afghan pull out

President Barack Obama announced plans Wednesday to pull 33,000 U.S. troops out of Afghanistan well before next year's election, signaling a rapid drawdown sure to please Americans weary of the nearly decade-long war and its costs.


He's pulling out the additional "surge" troops he put in, which will leave 70,000 troops in Afghanistan - - twice as many as were there when he was elected.

And, he's leaving us with a war with no end in sight.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pakistan is not our friend

U.S. and Pakistani officials acknowledged Wednesday that Pakistan has arrested several of its own citizens who helped the CIA spy on the house where Osama bin Laden lived.

Among those arrested may be the occupant of a large house about 100 yards behind the bin Laden compound, in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The home's watchtowers would have provided a clear view of the walled compound where bin Laden is suspected of having lived for perhaps as long as five years.

The nameplate outside the home identified the resident as Maj. Amir Aziz, but the plate gave no indication of whether he was serving or retired. The Pakistan military, in a statement Wednesday, said no serving officer had been arrested.

The arrests highlight the deep distrust that continues to plague relations between Washington and Islamabad, two anti-terror allies. Pakistan fears that the CIA has set up its own independent spy network in the country, a tactic apparently confirmed by the operation to eliminate bin Laden.

Pakistan is arresting people for the "crime" of helping us catch Osama bin Laden.

Why do we pretend that Pakistan is our friend?

Israel's negotiating partner

In a blow to Palestinian unity efforts, a meeting in Cairo planned for this week so that the leaders of the two main factions could announce a new government has been called off for lack of agreement on a prime minister, Palestinian officials said Sunday.

The meeting had been set for Tuesday with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Khaled Meshal of Hamas. Abbas' Fatah faction announced the cancellation in the West Bank, and Hamas officials here confirmed it. Abbas had been hoping to forge an image of a united Palestinian front as he laid the groundwork to seek international recognition of statehood at the U.N. in September.

Abbas has been pushing hard to keep in place Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who is widely admired in the U.S. and Europe, the sources of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual aid to the Palestinian Authority, and in Israel, whose security officials cooperate with those under him in the West Bank.

But Hamas leaders despise Fayyad, considering him a stooge of Israel and the West and blaming his security authorities in the West Bank for arresting and mistreating their followers.

Obama wants Israel to make concessions to "the Palestinians" as a precondition to negotiations. Which Palestinians?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shredding the Constitution?

The disclosure over the weekend that President Barack Obama rejected the advice of senior Justice Department legal advisers — including Attorney General Eric Holder — has drawn sharp congressional criticism in recent days, ranging from House Speaker John Boehner to liberal Democrats such as Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York.

It is also provoking debate among legal scholars, some of whom told NBC News that they were unaware of any recent precedent for the way the White House reached its legal conclusions about Libya. One top former legal adviser to Obama, Dawn Johnsen, called the accounts of the White House's handling of the matter "disturbing."

"There may be a precedent for this, but I can't think of one," said Robert Chesney, a University of Texas law professor who specializes in national security law. "This is not the way the process is supposed to work."

For decades, Chesney and other legal scholars said, legal and constitutional questions within the government have been resolved by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Just last year, a six-page Justice Department memo described OLC's mission as providing "controlling advice" to executive branch officials on questions of law.

The memo spelled out how the office's decisions were supposed to be reached: After receiving input from agencies throughout the government, OLC lawyers would provide "principled" legal analysis to executive branch officials, not opinions "designed merely to advance the policy preferences of the president or other officials."

Obama, the self styled Constitutional law expert, is violating the Constitution, federal law and his own administration's guidelines to justify an illegal war without Congressional authorization in Libya.

Who's shredding the Constitution now?

A look into the future

Sick children covered by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) must wait twice as long as youngsters with private insurance to get an appointment with a specialist -- if they can get one at all, according to a new study.

People on government health plans wait much longer for care.

In 2014, we're all on Obamacare.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stay the course?

Even with a bad economy and high unemployment, President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign staff must sell American voters on staying the course in 2012.


It is absolutely amazing how Obama is morphing into Bush.

Stay the course?

The parties switch sides on issues of war

Republicans are facing a widening fissure over the U.S. role on the world stage as party leaders decide whether to confront President Barack Obama this week over U.S. policy toward Libya.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other congressional Republican leaders have said that U.S. involvement in NATO’s bombing campaign, which hit the 90-day mark Sunday, violates the War Powers Act. The House could seek to cut off money for the war as it takes up the annual Pentagon spending bill late this week.

Meantime, several of the party’s potential presidential candidates have called for the U.S. to quit the fight in Libya and questioned the depth of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

Other Republican figures have begun pushing back, criticizing what they see as a growing “isolationist” agenda within the party. The result is that Republicans, once relatively unified on foreign policy issues, now have a division that parallels the long-standing split in Democratic ranks.

Ironically, the Democratic party of President Barack Obama has adopted the foreign policy of candidate John McCain, and the Republican party of today is open to the foreign policy of candidate Barack Obama.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Is this what victory looks like?

Gunmen stormed the local council offices in Diyala province Tuesday, killing at least eight people in the latest assault on government buildings in Sunni Muslim parts of Iraq.

The morning attack in the eastern city of Baqubah lasted nearly two hours before army and police personnel took back control of the council building, according to local politicians and security officials. The gun battle, coupled with a U.S. military announcement that two American soldiers were killed Monday in the south, stoked a perception that the country was slipping back into violence.

Our leaders should stop declaring victory in Iraq.

Yemen faces economic ruin

Even before demonstrators began demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh five months ago, Yemen's future looked bleak.

A third of its people couldn't be certain when they'd next eat. The oilfields that provide 70 percent of government revenues and more than 30 percent of the country's economic activity were expected to go dry in 10 years. Experts even were betting that Sanaa would be the first world capital to run out of water.

But now, with Saleh lying wounded in a hospital in Saudi Arabia after an assassination attempt, the political system paralyzed by armed conflict and disagreements about what should happen to his government, and economic activity grinding to a halt, the future may be now.

America should not spend one penny bailing out a Gulf Arab oil producing country that wasted all its resources and income.

Let Saudi Arabia take care of a neighbor and Arab brother . . . for once.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

News from the swing state of Florida

South Florida’s hiring rebound sputtered in May, a jarring sign amid national worries of an economic reversal.

Broward and Miami-Dade continued adding jobs, but at a far slower pace than in April. The new payroll slots weren’t enough to accommodate new people looking for work, and unemployment crept up in both counties.

Broward’s jobless rate went from 8.9 percent to 9.0 percent, according to state figures. Miami-Dade’s unemployment rate returned to a record 13.4 percent, up from 13.1 percent in April.

The unemployment rate is a record 13.4 percent in Miami-Dade county.

If this continues, Obama's only hope in Florida in 2012 is ethnic solidarity.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another result of the Obama economy

As the recession gripped America, thousands more people in rural and suburban areas turned to homeless shelters for help.

The number of people using shelters or transitional housing in suburban and rural areas increased 57 percent from 2007 to 2010, with more than 500,000 people from smaller communities seeking help in 2010, according to a report by the Housing and Urban Development Department. During the same time there was a decrease in the use of shelters in urban areas.

What's worse is that "about 40 percent of those who served in the armed forces come from rural areas and homelessness among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans could be a contributing factor".

There's no acceptable excuse for this from an administration elected in large part to address the foreclosure and housing market crises.

Social Security’s $6.5 billion in unjustified disbursements

The Social Security Administration made $6.5 billion in overpayments to people not entitled to receive them in 2009, including $4 billion under a supplemental income program for the very poor, a government investigator said Tuesday. In all, about 10 percent of the payments made by the agency’s Supplemental Security Income program were improper, said Patrick P. O’Carroll Jr., the inspector general for Social Security. He told a Congressional panel that most of the overpayments went to people who did not report all their assets. Error rates were much smaller for retirement, survivor and disability benefits, which make up the overwhelming majority of Social Security payments, he said.

If 10 percent of the payments made by the Supplemental Security Income program were improper because people did not report all their assets, it's time to fire the SSI employees responsible for verying applicants' income, jail the SSI applicants who lied about their income, and cut the SSI program's budget by 10%.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not that anyone cares anymore . . .

certainly not the "anti war progressives", who dropped their opposition to foreign military involvement as soon as one of their own became commander in chief, but . . .

The U.S. military says two American soldiers have been killed while conducting operations in southern Iraq.

Tuesday's statement didn't give details on the operations, saying only the two were killed Monday. They were not identified pending notification of next of kin.

The new deaths bring to 4,462 the number of American service members who have died in Iraq since the war began in 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

And it brings to eight the number of U.S. troops killed in June so far.

Wasn't the congress elected in 2006 supposed to cut off war funding?

And, wasn't the president elected in 2008 supposed to withdraw our troops?

Gay juror bias?

A federal judge weighing whether another jurist should have recused himself from the Proposition 8 case because he was in a long-term same-sex relationship took the question under review Monday after three hours of arguments by lawyers.

U.S. District Chief Judge James Ware, who is deciding a request by backers of Proposition 8 to throw out last August's ruling against the California ballot measure, said he would try to issue a ruling in the next 24 hours.

"This is the first case where a same-sex relationship is the subject for disqualifying a judge, so it is important that we treat it seriously and get it right," Ware said.

This is dangerous, because we don't want to start disqualifying jurors from similar backgrounds as the parties - - no blacks on juries for black defendants?   no Jews on juries with Jewish plaintiffs?

And, it's stupid.  The whole idea of a "jury of your peers" implies that people will be judged by those of similar backgrounds.

Will technology stand up in a hurricane?

Next time a hurricane hits, families will turn to their smartphones to stay in touch, track the storm and find the shortest gasoline lines.

To handle the load, wireless carriers are turning to time-tested disaster plans -- but on an exponential scale. The gates will be released on a barnyard-dubbed herd of backup support: cells on wheels (COWS), cells on light trucks (COLTS) and generators on trailers (GOaTS).

But will it be enough to handle some 600,000 South Florida households without land phones lines, plus the seemingly endless hunger to Tweet, Facebook and upload videos of broken trees, gasoline lines and blocked roadways? No one will know for sure until a storm hits. But the violent storms that tore through the country earlier this year provided a look at the demands of a data-dependent age, and the challenges required to meet them.

Of course, cell phones won't work after a storm - - and, for some reason, everyone will act all surprised.

Monday, June 13, 2011

They still don't get it

Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast, associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, had this to say about the Weiner's weiner scandal:

Excuse me for asking, but why exactly should Anthony Weiner resign? He flirted with women in a crude, dorky and easily traceable way. And he lied about it, which is what married men usually do in such circumstances. Who cares? As far as we know, he violated no law or congressional ethics rule. There's been no allegation of sexual harassment. It's entirely possible that his constituents would reelect him if given the chance. So why is he being hounded from office? . . . The realization that everyone’s private life is messy and flawed should produce humility and compassion.

"He flirted with women in a crude, dorky and easily traceable way."

That's all he did?

Flirt with women?


First, that 17 year old was not a woman, she was a girl. When you have to check the local age of consent, you've gone too far.

And, "flirting" is an overly sanitized description of emailing pictures of Little Anthony, or taking shots of yourself posed 1950's Playboy cheesecake style in the House gym locker room, with a strategically placed washcloth over your privates.

If all Weiner did was "flirt" - - compliment the looks, hair, dress or personality of dozens of women - - Weiner wouldn't be in trouble.

Weiner's problem is that he sent women unsolicited pictures of his package on government time, evidently using government equipment, and demonstrably on government property.

The issue is not that his "private life is messy and flawed" like "everyone's".  Rather, it's that he's getting special treatment. If the congressional janitor was caught taking nude pictures of himself in the House locker room mirror, he would be fired.

Why is that so hard for some smart people to grasp?

Weiner forever

The second-ranking House Democrat on Sunday joined the party leadership in urging Rep. Anthony Weiner to quit because of his sexting scandal, a request the New York lawmaker has sidestepped in favor of a temporary leave of absence.

The Republican Party chairman criticized Democratic leaders for not taking a more forceful stand earlier on the affair, which has overshadowed much of the legislative business on Capitol Hill over the past week.

Weiner has acknowledged exchanging messages and photos, ranging from sexually suggestive to explicit, with several women online. The latest to surface appeared on the gossip website TMZ.

The photos posted Sunday were purportedly taken in the House members' gym and show a shirtless Weiner with a towel around his waist and his hand on his crotch. In one photo he is naked and holding the towel over his crotch. TMZ said the photos were sent online to at least one woman.

What does it say about N.Y.C. politics that this guy could probably get reelected after hitting on a 17 year old he met on a high school field trip?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Why do we continue to pretend Pakistan is our ally?

The United States' intelligence sharing with Pakistan as part of a trust-building effort by the Obama administration post-May 2 raid has only led to tip-offs to militants, indicating that some Pakistani security personnel are colluding with insurgents.

The US provided Pakistan with the specific locations of insurgent bomb-making factories twice in recent weeks, only to see the militants learn their cover had been blown and vacate the sites before military action could be taken, The Washington Post reported, citing US and Pakistani officials.

We need to seize and secure their nuclear weapons, shut down their nuclear program, and then sit back and wait for their internal conflicts to destroy them.

Weiner's online contact with a teenage girl

A teenage girl from Delaware has been interviewed by police about online contact she had with U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, communications he has said were "neither explicit nor indecent." Authorities said the teen didn't say anything about illegal conduct. . . .

The 46-year-old congressman acknowledged Friday that he had online contact with the 17-year-old girl but said there was nothing inappropriate. The New York Democrat issued his statement after FoxNews.com reported Friday that officers had interviewed the high school junior at her family's home north of Wilmington.

Any politician who has to say "My contact with the teen was not indecent" is finished in politics.

The Palin non scandal

News organizations that pored over nearly 25,000 pages of e-mail correspondence relating to Sarah Palin on Friday focused on her selection as Senator John McCain’s running mate in 2008, her relationship with the media and her style of governing.

Most news outlets — what Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, calls the “lamestream media” — sent reporters to Juneau for the release of the e-mails by the state government in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

The result? After a day of frantically poring over the correspondence, with the help of millions of online readers, there were no major revelations but plenty of attempts to dissect the background of a woman who might yet run for president.

Media review of the "secret" "damaging" "private" Palin emails reveal . . . nothing. It's the scandal that wasn't.  She comes across as a savvy, hands-on governor.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Another reason to be glad Kerry lost . . .

An Obama administration effort to spend another $20 million on Cuba democracy programs has been blocked for two months amid bitter clashes over policy and personalities.

Words like “backstabber” and “communist dupe” have been thrown about and the issue is littered with leaks and counter-leaks about alleged wrongdoings.

Sen. John Kerry, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is offering to lift the “hold” he put on the money April 1 if the amount is cut to $15 million, according to a note sent by his committee staff to the State Department Friday.

At the root of the fight are sharply different visions of the Cuba programs, which have cost $150 million since they were created in the 1990s to assist nongovernment groups on the island. . . .

Kerry, in a note to the State Department shortly after he blocked the money, asked 13 pointed questions, essentially alleging the programs only provoke Havana, which has made it illegal to receive the U.S. funds.

The note alleges that U.S. money was used to “mobilize protests” in Cuba . . .

Kerry single handedly froze U.S. efforts to promote democracy in communist Cuba.

Worse, the next time a Cuban dissident is falsely arrested as a U.S. agent, the Cuban government will use Kerry's words to justify its wrongful incarceration and torture.

There's a good reason why Kerry is the only Democratic president candidate since Dukakis in 1988 to not come in first in the popular vote.  Hopefully, this controversy will insure that Kerry never becomes secretary of state.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why it's hard to fight a populist

A new poll has found that Venezuelans are almost evenly split on President Hugo Chavez's performance.
The survey by the Venezuelan polling firm Datanalisis shows 49 percent of respondents approve of Chavez's administration, while 46 percent do not.

The poll was released Monday and questioned 1,300 people from April 25 to May 5. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

Datanalisis director Luis Vicente Leon says the percentage of those who approve of Chavez is slightly higher than in December 2010, when it stood at 47 percent. Leon says the results show the country is divided "in two practically equal parts."

If you take freedom and property from half the people, and give it to the other half of the people, you remain popular with the half receiving all the benefits . . . until the contributors run out of property to steal.

White House "brushes off" Libya resolution

Are the "progressives" still thanking God we got rid of that unilateralist interventionist cowboy George W. Bush?
The White House brushed off congressional demands for a detailed report outlining U.S. objectives in Libya, a move likely to stoke further anger on Capitol Hill over President Barack Obama's decision not to seek lawmakers' consent for the military operation.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that administration officials were already answering questions about Libya in briefings on Capitol Hill. A House resolution calling on Obama to provide more detailed answers was "unhelpful," Carney added, suggesting that the administration has no plans to formally respond within the 14-day window outlined in the measure.

If Bush had so willfully violated the War Powers Act (which is the law, not "unhelpful"), there would be calls for his impeachment.

Afghanistan misinformation

President Barack Obama will order a "real drawdown" of U.S. forces from Afghanistan starting in July, the White House insisted Monday, a milestone in a long war that is testing the patience of the American people and Congress particularly after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Roughly 100,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, three times as many as when Obama took office, and U.S. forces are expected to remain there through 2014.

A "real drawdown".

But, didn't "outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates [say] over the weekend that only a "modest" drawdown would be appropriate"?

I guess the drawdown will be "modest" but described as "real" (whatever that means) by the "anti war" candidate who tripled the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 100,000, and expects to keep most of them there until 2014.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

One week ago in Weinerworld

May 30, 2011:
A lewd photograph sent from the Twitter account of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner is just “a distraction” perpetrated by a hacker, his spokesman said Sunday.

Dave Arnold told Fox News in an email that the tweet, directed at a woman, was “a distraction” from the married New York Democrat’s “important work representing his constituents.”

“Anthony’s accounts were obviously hacked,” Arnold said. “He doesn’t know the person named by the hacker, and we will be consulting on what steps to take next.”

The photo showed a man’s bulging underpants.

Bulging? His pants were on fire.

Pakistan and Osama

A month after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistan's investigation into how the al-Qaida leader hid out in the country undetected for at least five years has hit major stumbling blocks even before it has begun, leaving politicians and analysts to wonder whether Pakistan will ever get to the bottom of the affair.

A five-member commission was named Tuesday to oversee the probe of the May 2 killing of bin Laden in the northern Pakistani town of Abbottabad. But one of the members declined to serve and the others have said they were never asked if they were willing to undertake what's likely to be a controversial assignment.

On Thursday, the leader of Pakistan's biggest opposition party rejected the inquiry team, while a lawsuit was filed to block its work. Pakistani public opinion, meanwhile, is sharply divided, with many Pakistanis skeptical that bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad on May 2, believing instead that the U.S. staged the incident to allow it to pressure Pakistan over other matters.

Do we really need Pakistan to "explain how bin Laden remained hidden until he was tracked down by the U.S."?

Obviously, Osama was hidden by powerful elements in the government of our "ally" Pakistan.

And, they probably did it with money supplied by U.S. foreign aid to Pakistan.

Obama shreds the Constitution

On its face, the War Powers Resolution purports to limit the president’s authority to commit American forces to hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is likely. Among other things, the resolution requires consultations with Congress and that reports be made to Congress within 48 hours of any actual deployment. In most instances, the resolution also requires that U.S. forces be withdrawn within 60 days of such a report, unless Congress has affirmatively acted to approve the deployment, either by a declaration of war or other form of specific statutory authorization.


Obama's Libyan adventure - - without consultation, reports or authorization - -  intentionally violates the War Powers Act.

Meanwhile, all the "progressive" "anti war" members of Congress put party over principle, and let him get away with it.

Remember when they used to say, "Bush shreds the Constitution"?  Look who's shredding it now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Obama in Puerto Rico

President Barack Obama has accepted an invitation to visit Puerto Rico next month, a trip that would make him the first sitting president to come to the U.S. territory in decades, the island's governor said Tuesday.

The president, who campaigned in Puerto Rico for the Democratic primary, will visit the island June 14, Gov. Luis Fortuno said, without disclosing details of his itinerary. . . .

The governor's office described the Obama trip as the "the first official presidential visit" since December 1961, when President John F. Kennedy stopped on the island to a formal welcome on his way to Venezuela. But that was not the last time a U.S. president set foot in the territory: President Gerald Ford hosted an economic summit in Puerto Rico in June 1976. . . .

Andres W. Lopez, a member of the Democratic National Committee from the island, said the president's visit may also help him with Puerto Ricans on the mainland, particularly in South Florida, which is home to some 725,000 people of Puerto Rican descent and an important battleground state in the 2012 election.

"I am certain that the 4 million Puerto Ricans who live on the mainland will be bursting with a real sense of 'orgullo Boricua' (Puerto Rican pride) when they see the respect that President Obama has shown to Puerto Rico," Lopez said.

Critics say the trip is a campaign stop to curry favor with Puerto Rican voters living on the United States mainland.

Of course it is. And, the critics are just jealous that they didn't think of it first.

Racism in Cuba

The Cuban government will soon cast a media spotlight on the issue of racism on the island, although some programs to improve the lives of black Cubans had to be cut because of economic restraints, a Havana official said Thursday.

Heriberto Feraudy, who heads the quasi-official Cuban Commission against Racism, also said the popularity of Afro-Cuban religions is soaring and indicated that Raúl Castro’s economic reforms may not help blacks as much as whites.

Feraudy, who served 15 years as ambassador to five African nations, and Esteban Morales, a well-known Havana economist who writes often on race, addressed a conference on the issue sponsored by the Center for International Policy, a think tank.

Their unusually frank comments — for decades Cuba officially denied the existence of discrimination on the island — seemed to reflect the growing concern over race issues as the country drops some of its socialist policies and embraces more private enterprise.

Notwithstanding the empty rhetoric, since 1960, capitalist imperialist segregationist America has done more to overcome racism than socialist internationalist egalitarian Cuba.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Libya: Both sides are bad

A United Nations panel said Wednesday that Libyan government forces have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in a conflict it estimates has killed between 10,000-15,000 people.

The U.N. investigators found evidence that opposition forces also committed "some acts which would constitute war crimes," the global body said.

"The commission is not of the view that the violations committed by the opposition armed forces were part of any 'widespread or systematic attack' against a civilian population such as to amount to crimes against humanity," it added.

The side we're fighting committed war crimes.

The side we're fighting for committed war crimes.

There's no reason why we're wasting lives, effort and money fighting for either side.

Stimulus rip offs

At least 3,700 recipients of federal stimulus funds owe more than $750 million in federal taxes, according to a new study from the Government Accountability Office.

GAO released the report (pdf) today, in response to a request from several Senate committees. Of the $757 million owed, $417 million is in corporate income taxes and $207 million is in payroll taxes. The remaining $133 million included unpaid excise and unemployment taxes.

But those numbers are not all-inclusive, wrote Gregory Kutz, director of GAO's Forensic Audits and Investigative Service . The IRS database does not include recipients who have not filed tax returns, and GAO included only stimulus recipients who have complied with the reporting requirements in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

While Obama was using the "stimulus package" to reward his supporters under the guise of helping the economy, billions and billions of stimulus dollars were stolen or wasted. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Citizens for Hypocrisy in Washington

The daring indictment of two-time presidential candidate John Edwards has pitfalls at every turn for federal prosecutors . . . Government attorneys are relying on an untested legal theory to argue that money used to tangentially help a candidate — in this case, by keeping Edwards’ pregnant mistress private during his 2008 presidential run — should have been considered a campaign contribution. . . .

At the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which typically criticizes the Justice Department for not pursuing enough cases against public officials, executive director Melanie Sloan questioned why federal officials were spending resources on this one. She said it is unlikely prosecutors can prove that participants of the scheme intended for the money to aid Edwards’ candidacy, and Sloan said it was a stretch to argue that private plane flights provided to mistress Rielle Hunter should somehow be considered campaign contributions.

"Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington" is opposed to the prosecution of John Edwards?

I guess this self styled "ethics watchdog" is the same as every other lobbying group in Washington - - they defend their buddies when the chips are down.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hypocrite indicted

A federal grand jury indicted two-time presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday over $925,000 spent to keep his mistress and their baby in hiding during the peak of his 2008 campaign for the White House.

The case of USA v. Johnny Reid Edwards contains six counts, including conspiracy, four counts of illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements.

The indictment said the payments were a scheme to protect Edwards' White House ambitions. "A centerpiece of Edwards' candidacy was his public image as a devoted family man," the indictment said.

"Edwards knew that public revelation of the affair and the pregnancy would destroy his candidacy by, among other things, undermining Edwards' presentation of himself as a family man and by forcing his campaign to divert personnel and resources away from other campaign activities to respond to criticism and media scrutiny regarding the affair and pregnancy," the indictment added.

The indictment and an arrest warrant were filed in Greensboro, N.C., which is in the district where his campaign was headquartered.

The irony is that Edward's entire internet campaign involved rehashing all the old Clinton "scandals", in an effort to prove that he was more electable because he didn't have Hillary's "baggage".

Of course, Edwards didn't have baggage, only a baby momma.

ACLU sues over drug testing order

ACLU Florida has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott over his executive order to force drug testing on state employees. The lead plaintiff Richard Flamm of St. Petersburg, a 55-year-old registered Democrat who works for has worked 17 years for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The suit argues that Scott's order is an unreasonable search of the government that violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The ACLU maintains that the mandatory random drug testing Scott has ordered on about 100,000 workers is only allowed under special circumstances, such as workers who carry firearms or railroad workers involved in accidents. The plaintiffs also cite a similar case in the same court 11 years ago when a Hollywood employee successfully blocked the city's suspisionless testing program.

Private sector employees are drug tested all the time. Why shouldn't the same rules apply to public employees?

The Taliban is winning

A suicide bomber claimed the life of one of Afghanistan's most renowned anti-Taliban commanders Saturday in a brazen strike that also killed a provincial police chief and two NATO soldiers and narrowly missed killing the German general who commands NATO troops in northern Afghanistan.

The explosion, which also wounded the governor of Takhar province, took place at about 4 p.m. as the men were leaving what the governor's spokesman described as a high-level security meeting in the governor's compound.

Afghan Gen. Daud Daud, who commanded the U.S.-allied Northern Alliance forces in the last major battle against the Taliban regime after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York and Washington, died instantly in the explosion, the most prominent Afghan official killed so far since the Taliban launched its spring offensive.

After ten years of war in Afghanistan, the Taliban is still undefeated. In fact, the Taliban is winning.

Pakistan falling apart

A suicide bomber targeted pro-government tribal elders in Pakistan's north-western frontier Saturday, killing eight men, officials said, a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a visit here implored Pakistanis to take decisive steps to fight terrorism.

Ten people were also wounded when a bomb ripped through a restaurant at a market in the troubled Bajur tribal region, near the Afghan border, officials said.

Our goal in Pakistan should be to secure their nuclear weapons before the Islamists take over the government.