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, 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 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.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pakistan: Osama's support network

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that Pakistani officials had conceded that al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden must have had a support network in Pakistan to have remained undetected for at least five years in the city of Abbottabad, home to the country's premier military academy.

The next question should be, "How will we punish Pakistan?"

For what it's worth . . .

Thousands of protesters poured into the streets in towns and cities across Syria after Friday prayers to demand the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, in the latest sign that the government’s strategy of relying on overwhelming force to crush dissent is failing.

Activists dedicated this 10th consecutive Friday of protests to the army, dubbing the day “Guardians of the Homeland Friday” in an effort to woo the military to the demonstrators’ side. Protesters were told to take flowers and offer them to soldiers who sought to suppress the demonstrations. In many towns, protesters chanted, “The people and the army are one,” echoing the calls heard at protests in Egypt, where the army’s refusal to fire on demonstrators proved crucial to the outcome of the revolution.

Five demonstrators were reported killed in suburbs of the capital, Damascus, when troops opened fire, according to Wissam Tarif of the human rights monitoring group Insan. It was not clear, however, whether army troops, police or the shadowy “shabiha” — armed irregulars loyal to Assad’s government — were responsible.

Libya plans to shoot demonstrators, so we bomb Libya in support of Libyan revolutionaries.

Syria actually shoots, kills and tortures demonstrators, and we do nothing.

Could it be that Libya has lots of oil and Syria doesn't?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thank you Oprah and Jenny McCarthy!

These two medical geniuses cast doubt on the safety of childhood vaccinations. So . . .
Watch out for measles! That's what doctors are cautioning in the midst of one of the worst years for measles since 1996, adding that the recent rise in outbreaks is a reminder of the importance of getting immunized against the potentially lethal disease.

From January 1 through May 21, there have been 118 cases of measles across 23 states. That's much higher than usual.

How much higher? From 2001 to 2008, the median number of annual cases of measles has been 56, the CDC says. That's 56 cases in an entire year.

The CDC declared measles "eliminated" by the CDC in 2000 . . .

Measles is extremely contagious, spreading easily through the air - infected droplets can linger for up to two hours in closed spaces. The CDC now says infants six to eleven months of age should receive a dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine - and unvaccinated persons one year or older should receive two doses of the vaccine at least 28 days apart - before traveling abroad.

Measles typically causes rashes, fever, muscle pain, pink eye, and sore throat . There is no treatment but rest and pain meds can help. The disease can lead to potentially fatal complications like pneumonia or encephalitis. None of the patients died in the recent outbreaks, but about 40 percent had to be hospitalized.

Why would anyone take medical advice from a talk show host?

For what it's worth . . .

public support for Obamacare continues to fall.

Another "victory" for socialism

Soaring food prices are forcing many Venezuelans to change their eating habits, trim their shopping lists and set aside more of their earnings to feed their families.

The oil-exporting country is coping with one of the highest inflation rates in the world: 22.9 percent as of last month, and food prices are rising even faster.

"It’s gotten 100 percent worse,” said Evelyn Villamizar, a 29-year-old student who is raising a 5-year-old son in a poor barrio of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. She said she feels “strangled by the prices.”

“If you have enough for one thing, you don’t have enough for another,” said Villamizar, who was picking up her son at a public school that provides a free daily snack.

She shops at subsidized state-run markets when she can but dreads the long lines, which can sometimes take hours of waiting.

She said the situation has forced her to rethink which foods she buys. For example, she said, “instead of meat, eggs.”

Isn't socialism supposed to make things better for the poor? It always seems to make things worse.