Monthly Archives: December 2009

Schooling the president on what is a ‘terrorist act’

Dec. 31, 2009

American Thinker

Cliff Thier
“A full investigation has been launched into this attempted act of terrorism.”
–Barak Obama


No, Mr. President, it was not an “attempted act.” It was in fact a real, bone fide, actual, real-life, genuine, authentic, honest-to-goodness, factual, concrete, you-betcha act.

Man with bomb gets on a plane. That’s it. That’s the act. Right there. See it? It’s jumping up and down and waving a flag. It’s yelling “Yoohoo!” Hey, over here. I’m the act. Look at me!”

That, Mr. President, is what you failed to prevent. You do not get a B+ grade. This is pass-fail. Prevent man with bomb getting on plane = pass. Permit man with bomb to get on plane = fail.

Furthermore, it was quite successful terrorism in that people are more afraid to fly today than they were a few days ago. So, by the only criteria that matters for the terrorism-making people afraid-what happened over Detroit on Christmas Day was in fact quite successful. I for one wouldn’t be more frightened of flying had the plane been blown out of the sky and hundreds of lives lost than I am today. I’d be considerably sadder, but no more frightened.

Hell. I’m more afraid today when a plane flies overhead.

Because a man with bomb got on a plane.

I’m certainly more frightened of flying, Mr. President, than I was during those dark years when the apparatus of intelligence and defense was in the hands of your constitution-shredding not-as-articulate-as-you predecessor.

It was a long time ago, back in November in fact, when another terrorist was successful attacking innocent Americans at Fort Hood, Texas. That was an act, too. A successful terrorist act.

The penetration of our defenses by a terrorist a few days ago, was the second successful attack on the United States in the last few weeks.

And, Mr. President, those weeks belong to you.

Bankers Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank:

Bloomberg

Commentary by David Reilly

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) — To close out 2009, I decided to do something I bet no member of Congress has done — actually read from cover to cover one of the pieces of sweeping legislation bouncing around Capitol Hill.

Hunkering down by the fire, I snuggled up with H.R. 4173, the financial-reform legislation passed earlier this month by the House of Representatives. The Senate has yet to pass its own reform plan. The baby of Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, the House bill is meant to address everything from too-big-to-fail banks to asleep-at-the-switch credit-ratings companies to the protection of consumers from greedy lenders.

I quickly discovered why members of Congress rarely read legislation like this. At 1,279 pages, the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” is a real slog. And yes, I plowed through all those pages. (Memo to Chairman Frank: “ystem” at line 14, page 258 is missing the first “s”.)

The reading was especially painful since this reform sausage is stuffed with more gristle than meat. At least, that is, if you are a taxpayer hoping the bailout train is coming to a halt.

If you’re a banker, the bill is tastier. While banks opposed the legislation, they should cheer for its passage by the full Congress in the New Year: There are huge giveaways insuring the government will again rescue banks and Wall Street if the need arises.

Nuggets Gleaned

Here are some of the nuggets I gleaned from days spent reading Frank’s handiwork:

– For all its heft, the bill doesn’t once mention the words “too-big-to-fail,” the main issue confronting the financial system. Admitting you have a problem, as any 12- stepper knows, is the crucial first step toward recovery.

– Instead, it supports the biggest banks. It authorizes Federal Reserve banks to provide as much as $4 trillion in emergency funding the next time Wall Street crashes. So much for “no-more-bailouts” talk. That is more than twice what the Fed pumped into markets this time around. The size of the fund makes the bribes in the Senate’s health-care bill look minuscule.

– Oh, hold on, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Secretary can’t authorize these funds unless “there is at least a 99 percent likelihood that all funds and interest will be paid back.” Too bad the same models used to foresee the housing meltdown probably will be used to predict this likelihood as well.

More Bailouts

– The bill also allows the government, in a crisis, to back financial firms’ debts. Bondholders can sleep easy — there are more bailouts to come.

– The legislation does create a council of regulators to spot risks to the financial system and big financial firms. Unfortunately this group is made up of folks who missed the problems that led to the current crisis.

– Don’t worry, this time regulators will have better tools. Six months after being created, the council will report to Congress on “whether setting up an electronic database” would be a help. Maybe they’ll even get to use that Internet thingy.

– This group, among its many powers, can restrict the ability of a financial firm to trade for its own account. Perhaps this section should be entitled, “Yes, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., we’re looking at you.”

Managing Bonuses

– The bill also allows regulators to “prohibit any incentive-based payment arrangement.” In other words, banker bonuses are still in play. Maybe Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. shouldn’t have rushed to pay back Troubled Asset Relief Program funds.

– The bill kills the Office of Thrift Supervision, a toothless watchdog. Well, kill may be too strong a word. That agency and its employees will be folded into the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Further proof that government never really disappears.

– Since Congress isn’t cutting jobs, why not add a few more. The bill calls for more than a dozen agencies to create a position called “Director of Minority and Women Inclusion.” People in these new posts will be presidential appointees. I thought too-big-to-fail banks were the pressing issue. Turns out it’s diversity, and patronage.

– Not that the House is entirely sure of what the issues are, at least judging by the two dozen or so studies the bill authorizes. About a quarter of them relate to credit-rating companies, an area in which the legislation falls short of meaningful change. Sadly, these studies don’t tackle tough questions like whether we should just do away with ratings altogether. Here’s a tip: Do the studies, then write the legislation.

Consumer Protection

– The bill isn’t all bad, though. It creates a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren, currently head of a panel overseeing TARP. And the first director gets the cool job of designing a seal for the new agency. My suggestion: Warren riding a fiery chariot while hurling lightning bolts at Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

– Best of all, the bill contains a provision that, in the event of another government request for emergency aid to prop up the financial system, debate in Congress be limited to just 10 hours. Anything that can get Congress to shut up can’t be all bad.

Even better would be if legislators actually tackle the real issues stemming from the financial crisis, end bailouts and, for the sake of my eyes, write far, far shorter bills.

Troubling INTERPOL questions remain; White House stonewalls

Examiner.com

Troubling questions remain concerning the secretive Executive Order Obama signed in the dead of night on December 17, which grants INTERPOL, the International Police Organization, full immunity from U.S. law.

In the face of these questions, the White House is engaging in stonewalling.

(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan).

Of the major network news organizations, only ABC News reporter Jake Tapper has expressed an interest in the issue, as Michelle Malkin reports late this afternoon.

Malkin says that Tapper has asked the White House on two separate occasions within the last week about the executive order, but Obama officials have so far refused comment.

Despite the asinine contention of some that the executive order is innocuous and poses no threat at all, the order actually gives INTERPOL broad latitude in conducting its operations on U.S. soil–even exceeding some of the most troubling aspects of the Patriot Act.

Yet the Left continues to attempt to make the issue about the Patriot Act and George W. Bush, although this particular order has absolutely nothing to do with the former President, the Patriot Act, or, as one numbskull stated, ‘This does nothing more than grant INTERPOL agents immunity from parking tickets.’

As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air states,

I seem to recall the Left getting hysterical over the Patriot Act extensions that Obama finally backed. This gives Interpol a much wider operational latitude than anything contemplated in the Patriot Act, and with no accountability at all.

In addition, confusion seems to reign supreme among some on the Internet with regard to INTERPOL’s supposed heavy restrictions and limitations on U.S. soil.  Some suggest that merely reading the organization’s history and official mode of operation will be enough to clear up any lingering doubt over the agency’s role in law enforcement in the United States.

This is all well and good…on paper.

But we all know that there is the official, public statement of purpose and then there is the actual, behind-the-scenes reality of how such organizations work apart from public view.

And with INTERPOL such a reality is even more pronounced given that it is not a U.S. agency and thus is not ultimately accountable to anyone in the U.S. government.

Obama, therefore, has removed what little safeguards were put into place by President Ronald Reagan that insured INTERPOL’s adherence to U.S. law and the Constitution.

Some have suggested that the reason for this highly disturbing move is to make it easier for international charges to be brought against George W. Bush, members of the U.S. military, and other politicians who are deemed by the puppet emperors of the International Criminal Court in the EU to be guilty of ‘war crimes’ for merely protecting U.S. interests.

But is this really where we wish to go as a nation?  Do we actually want the U.S. President to be accountable to a foreign criminal court for any military action he/she orders?  Do we want our military personnel subjected to the political whims of a court in Europe that views practically any U.S. military action to be ‘a crime against humanity?’  Do we want the ICC (via INTERPOL) going after U.S. Senators for voting in favor of certain military operations that are designed to thwart Islamic Jihadists?

And much more importantly, do we want INTERPOL probing into the private lives of U.S. citizens on our own soil?  And remember, if they can do it to our elected officials, they can do it to ANY citizen

Report: Rush Limbaugh taken to Hawaii hospital

AP

HONOLULU (AP) – A Honolulu television station is reporting that conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been taken to a hospital with chest pains.

KITV reported Wednesday that paramedics responded to a call at 2:41 p.m. from the Kahala Hotel and Resort where Limbaugh is vacationing.

The station, citing unnamed sources, said paramedics treated Limbaugh and took him to The Queen’s Medical Center in serious condition.

Queen’s spokeswoman N. Makana Shook says the hospital is unable to comment on the report.

Television station KHON quoted unidentified sources saying Limbaugh was taken from the hotel in an ambulance.

Limbaugh was seen golfing at Waialae Country Club earlier this week. The country club is next to the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

___

Information from: KITV-TV, http://thehawaiichannel.com

White House Visitors Log: ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis In Obama Residence Week Before Sting Videos Launched

Big  Government

by Publius

This afternoon, on arguably one of the slower news day of the year, the Obama White House released another document dump of “visitor records.” According to the White House, today’s batch total more than 25,000 records, covering meetings between September 16-September 30th.

ACORN.Bertha.Lewis

You can scroll through the list of records on the White House site OR you can download the raw data. Interestingly, the full download uncovers almost 30,000 records, including many from outside the mid-September time-frame detailed on the White House site. In other words, only the records from the specific two week time period are viewable on the White House site. Many other visitor records were released today…they are just much harder to find.

Like, for example, the visitor records for Bertha Lewis.

According to the visitor logs, on September 2nd Bertha E. Lewis made an appointment on to visit the White House on September 5th at 12:30. (We usually need to plan further ahead to get our hair cut.) On the evening of the 4th, that appointment was cancelled so Bertha could move her appointment earlier, to 10am.

And it doesn’t seem to have actually been a work visit, as her appointment indicates she was visiting the Residence within the White House. Also, September 5th was a Saturday. Nice.

In addition, the record notes that she was to receive a STAFF TOUR, which are different-and more special-than the regular Group Tours available to others.

Ms. Lewis doesn’t seem to have returned to the White House after this visit. Of course, just 5 days after this visit, James O’Keefe would release the first video of his undercover journalism on the systemic corruption within ACORN.

After the firestorm that erupted from O’Keefe’s reporting, President Obama was asked by Fox News for his opinion on the scandal. Despite long-standing ties to ACORN, Obama acted almost as if he’d never heard of the group.

Of course, at that point, it had been…several…days…since ACORN’s CEO was in the Residence at the White House. Who can keep up?

Of course, it is possible that this isn’t ACORN’s Bertha Lewis. After a previous dump of visitor records listed the name, Jeremiah Wright, the White House said, ‘oh, that was a different Jeremiah Wright.’ The media, of course, said, ‘okay,’ and never followed up. So, maybe the Bertha Lewis listed here isn’t the CEO of ACORN. Just another Bertha Lewis who gets special weekend access to the White House Residence, complete with an extra-special staff tour. Sure, possible, but we’d love to see a bookie’s odds on that.

TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY SEEKS OUT FELLOW ALABAMA GOVERNOR BOB RILEY TO JOIN IN CAUSE TO SECURE INTEGRITY TO STATES 10TH AMENDMENT SOVEREIGNTY

The Post & E-Mail

News & Analysis by Doug Cook

State Seal of Texas

(Dec. 27, 2009) — Transgressions of Constitutional law by both Democratic controlled Houses of the U.S. Congress, under orders from the White House, specifically health care reform and the relation to the 1oth Amendment.

LONE-STAR-STATE GRIT

In an impassioned letter discussing financial ramifications and legality of the Health Care Reform Bill and its encroachment upon 10th Amendment sovereignty (as defined by the highest law of the United States), Texas Governor Perry sent a letter to Alabama Governor Bob Riley. Writing of the financial and social burden Obamacare would place illegally and unduly on states, Governor Perry in essence stated:

As the chief executive officers of our individual sovereign states, we must stand up to this unprecedented intrusion into our lives and the rights of our citizens. We must demonstrate resolve in the face of this infringement.

POLITICIAN TO POLITICIAN

The letter is brief with its points made in clear terms. In concerns expressed by Gov. Perry, he starts out his missive to Gov. Riley stating that the financial burdens their states and citizens face by passage of the Democratic health care bill, (para phrasing Gov. Perry again):

it appears the federal health care bill will be pushed through the US Senate and passed into law. This legislation will likely result in higher health care costs and a reduced quality of care for all American families, as well as major budgetary hardships for all states except a few.

Perry goes on to point out the politics involved in passage of the bill that have raised the outrage of people across the country:

in the effort to pull together enough votes in support of this bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid made a deal to secure the vote of Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson.

As a result, Nebraskans will be exempt from increased Medicaid costs from this bill’s passage.

taxpayers in Texas and in your state will be paying even more to subsidize expanded Medicaid for Nebraska and a few other states…

In light of the current state of affairs of DC politicians in the Democratic Party and its agenda of socializing every aspect of free enterprise and disinvestment of constitutional rights of the people and states, Perry ends his letter with these thoughts:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot is joining with several other states Attorneys General to place this deal under proper scrutiny and determine if such an exclusion-(Sen. Nelson’s deal with Sen. Reid)- is unconstitutional.

This health care bill and its unfunded mandates are unhealthy to taxpayers, our economy and our democracy. I urge you to support,(and join), the efforts of these Attorneys General and ask your own to join it, and work with me in ongoing efforts to assert the constitutional rights of states, as guaranteed under the 10th Amendment, to turn back the “one-size-fits-all” health care bill being forced through by congress.

For a full read: Gov. Perry’s letter

A growing number of states are considering actions. If effective, it could be the demise of Obamacare; for in the offing is the prospect of litigation that holds up ratification by the advent of the 2010 elections. Elections that portend a paradigm in how the electorate votes; Democrats are very conscience of the payback coming down the pike. This has the ideal benefit of avoiding legislation locked in stone; Sen. Reid’s unscrupulous attachments that secure this legislation from Amendment or removal for eternity.

ANALYSIS OF EFFECTIVE STATES’ LEADERSHIP, OR “WILL CONDUCTING BUSINESS AS USUAL CARRY THE DAY?”

While these efforts and discussion of people’s and states’ rights are encouraging, they still fall far short of addressing the root cause of the assault on the US constitution and Bill of Rights. Likely these efforts will be self serving to the financial needs of these states, if the litigation even takes place, or if so tied up for years in courts. Not to mention the further delay in justice gained and the further monetary burden of years of court actions.

There is hope that the issue of unconstitutionality of a federal health care bill, heard by a “polarized-progressive-left-orientated” federal court system, won’t go the way of Obama’s constitutional eligibility as POTUS, Acorn, the Black Panthers and voting fraud.

These States Governors may have good intentions, one wonders if in light of the lack of any effective conservative leadership they have the intestinal fortitude and vision to do what it takes.

Or, is it a case of leaden footed leadership. The importance of taking direct, effective and timely action by our states’ officials to protect and preserve sovereignty and republican government cannot be stressed enough. Pussy-footing around with niceties of fair-play legalities is to be far behind the curve of effective means to disrupting the destruction by a Marxist agenda of  Democratic lapdogs, and Obama’s vision of a fundamentally transformed “Amerika.”

Make no mistake, Obamacare is the bell weather of what is viewed as a corrupt and morally bankrupt elective government. Most likely history will show, as it did 234 years ago, that it will come down to the people to provide the effective actions and leadership to protect and assure our sovereign home.

“Isolated Extremist”

The Obama File

Dec. 30, 2009

Obama’s knee-jerk reaction to al Qaeda’s attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was to minimize the threat — again.  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared that the attempted bombing was not connected to a larger terrorist plot.  Business as usual, nothing to see here, move along, happy holidays.

Not quite.

Obama’s reference to the “alleged” Crotch-Bomber as an “isolated extremist,” and Napolitano saying there was “no indication” that the attack was “part of anything larger,” seems to be Obama’s default setting when faced with terrorism.  He said as much about the Nov. 5 Fort Hood massacre, even though the FBI had previously monitored communications between shooter Nidal Hasan and Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical imam and al Qaeda commander born in New Mexico and believed to be in Yemen.

The Crotch-Bomber also reportedly is one of al-Awlaki’s followers and said he was one of many bombers trained by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who will seek to attack the United States.  Other evidence pointing to a larger plot includes a report that the Crotch-Bomber had an accomplice in Amsterdam, the sophistication of the bomb design, and al Qaeda’s admission that it was behind the attempt.  Note also that the Crotch-Bomber was placed on a terrorist watch list after his father reported to U.S. authorities in Nigeria that his son had fallen in with a group of dangerous radicals.

Somebody should tell Obama that the Crotch-Bomber has bragged to FBI agents that there are more young men plotting to launch attacks on the West.  The 23-year-old Nigerian has told security chiefs of a sinister network of isolated extremists in Yemen who are ready and waiting to strike.

The impulse to deny that attacks such as the Crotch-Bomber’s jihad and Fort Hood massacre are part of larger plots displays a shocking ignorance of the nature of 21st-century globally networked terrorism.  Terrorists work through highly dispersed, decentralized cell structures that are designed to be difficult to track.  Investigators probably won’t find an operations order signed by Osama bin Laden directing an attack on Flight 253, but it is easy to connect the dots.  Minimizing the threat won’t make it go away.  As recent history has shown, it may embolden the terrorists to keep trying.

So Obama pleaded, “let’s not jump to any conclusions” — lied, “the system worked” — and deflected, “lax airport procedures are based on those approved by the previous administration” — it’s Bush’s fault — what a weasel.

And yes, Janet, there is terror, there are terrorists, they are waging war on all things not Islam, and they mean to murder as many Americans as they can