New York Times -- Afghan Suicide Bomber Killed C.I.A. Operatives
The deadliest day ever for the CIA comes as a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest inside a forward base where drone attacks and covert operations in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan are staged.
The rapidly deteriorating security situation in Pakistan (another suicide bombing has sent the U.N. packing) and the renewed fervor of jihadis around the globe seem to suggest that the second Obama surge in Central Asia will be met with not just the quasi-military maneuvers of the Taliban, but the rank terrorism used by Islamists around the world.
Writers Alissa Rubin and Mark Mazzetti explain:
“A NATO official said the bomber managed to elude security and reach an area near the base’s gym. It was not clear whether the bomber, who apparently died in the blast, entered the gym. Among other questions raised was whether the bomber worked at the base and had clearance, or if a security slip allowed him to gain entry, and whether other operatives had access to the base.”
New York Times -- Spy Agencies Failed to Collate Clues on Terror
The emphasis in the story from Mark Mazzetti and Eric Lipton – as with many other stories today fueled by leaks from the Obama administration – was how the security apparatus failed to pull together strands of intelligence to stop Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and his explosive underwear from getting aboard a Detroit-bound flight.
Times writer Scott Shane even lays the failure at the feet of the National Counterterrorism Center for failing to put together the clues to stop Abdulmutallab.
But this wasn’t about a lack of intelligence sharing, this was about a lack of intellect.
The bomber’s father pleaded with the State Department and CIA to stop his son, showing them damning text messages Abdulmutallab had written. Then, the lad showed up with cash and no luggage to buy a ticket on a U.S.-bound flight having already been placed on double-secret airline probation and still got a seat.
The idea that this was a systemic failure that has to be addressed with another overhaul of the bureaucracy dilutes the culpability of those individuals who failed to act correctly and prudently when presented with clear evidence. Sacking those responsible (and prosecuting them if the dereliction is severe enough) would do more to snap the bureaucracy to attention than calling for a big, hazy, Obamian overhaul.
But with the administration in another political firefight with Dick Cheney after the former vice president blasted the administration for treating Abdulmutallab like other criminal defendants, expect the problems President Obama finds when he receives his security evaluation today to point to major problems with the system he inherited, not boneheaded moves by individuals.
“The father, a wealthy Nigerian businessman named Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, had urgently sought help from American and Nigerian security officials when cellphone text messages from his son revealed that he was in Yemen and had become a fervent radical.
A family cousin quoted the father as warning officials from the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency in Nigeria: ‘Look at the texts he’s sending. He’s a security threat.’
The cousin said: ‘They promised to look into it. They didn’t take him seriously.’”
Wall Street Journal -- U.S. Probes Cleric's Tie to Jetliner Bomb Plot
The American-born Yemeni cleric who provided online tech support for Maj. Nidal Hasan’s radicalization may have also been coaching up Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab while the Nigerian banker’s son was taking foreign-language training in Sana’a.
Writers Evan Perez, Margaret Coker and Siobhan Gorman look at the ties between the most recent terrorist attacks and Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
They paint the picture of a propagandist for jihad whose American ties make him well-suited to preach a murderous doctrine to western Muslims like Hasan or those who have lived lives of privilege because of access to the western system, like Abdulmutallab.
“Mr. Awlaki, 38 years old, followed a familiar path of privileged young man to radical. Born in New Mexico to an affluent father -- a former Yemeni minister of agriculture who is currently an adviser to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh -- Mr. Awlaki was educated in the U.S.
After coming under the scrutiny of U.S. and U.K. authorities following 9/11, Mr. Awlaki returned to Yemen, where he continued his religious teaching and lectured at Imam University, the head of which has been designated by the U.S. and the United Nations as a terrorist financier.”
The Hill -- State AGs request Reid, Pelosi drop Nebraska Medicaid funds from health bill
What a crafty bunch these attorneys general are. Rather than threatening a suit over the whole health bill or even the part that, for the first time in American history, requires every American to purchase a private product as a condition of citizenship, a group of 13 AGs says that Ben Nelson’s $100 million “Cornhusker Kickback” is illegal because it treats the states differently.
Nelson, who has lost 30 points in the polls at home, felt the need to pay for a pricey ad during the Cornhusker’s 33-0 beatdown of the Arizona Wildcats in the Holiday Bowl last night to explain to his constituents why paying to play is the Senate way.
By singling out Nelson, the AGs apply pressure on him at home, but also make the focus on the corrupt bargain angle in the Senate. That leaves other, bigger, legal gambits for later, when the legislation is passed.
“The fundamental unfairness of H.R. 3590 may also give rise to claims under the due process, equal protection, privileges and immunities clauses and other provisions of the Constitution. As a practical matter, the deal struck by the United States Senate on the “Nebraska Compromise” is a disadvantage to the citizens of 49 states. Every state’s tax dollars, except Nebraska’s, will be devoted to cost-sharing required by the bill, and will be therefore unavailable for other essential state programs.”
Washington Post -- Support grows for tackling nation's debt
Writers Elaine S. Povich and Eric Pianin look at what is expected to be the central piece of the Obama administration towards fiscal restraint – a commission to take the responsibility for spending away from Congress and put it in more responsible hands.
The idea, like the one Obama had about health care in Illinois and suggests for Medicare now, is that a group of experts makes budget (i.e. tax) proposals to Congress which then votes the packages up or down as a whole.
It would be a rather stunning admission of failure by Congress -- sort of like a brethalyzer lock on the car of a multi-DUI offender – to abrogate their central constitutional authority of budgetary control.
“The most vocal advocates of the idea are Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who this month jointly unveiled legislation to create an 18-member task force consisting of 16 members of Congress and two administration officials. Under the proposal, if at least 14 of the panel members reached agreement on how to rein in skyrocketing spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and reform the tax code, Congress would have to consider it immediately and give it an up or down vote, without amendment.”
31 December 2009
New York Times -- Afghan Suicide Bomber Killed C.I.A. Operatives
30 December 2009
Michael Barone - It's a wonderful life working for the government
It looks like a happy new year for you -- if you're a public employee.
The unemployment data shows that this recession has had a much greater effect on private-sector workers than on public employees, on men than on women, on blue-collar workers than on white-collar employees.
It sounds like public- and private-sector employees are looking at different Americas. And they are.
Timothy P. Carney - GM rehires lobbyists -- and taxpayers foot the bill
GM, the failed carmaker whose $400 million in monthly losses is borne mostly by U.S. taxpayers, has in recent months hired high-priced K Street lobbyists to petition Washington for subsidies, special tax breaks and other government favors on top of the $52 billion in aid the Treasury has already provided.
In June, GM began firing its outside lobbyists as part of downsizing its entire $10 million-a-year lobbying operation. As company spokesman Greg Martin told Roll Call, "We have begun notifying our outside consultants that we will be terminating their contracts." But GM has since rehired two of its old K Street firms, the Duberstein Group and Greenberg Traurig, and picked up new representation in the firm GrayLoeffler.
Mark Hemingway - Democrats need to stop blaming GOP for TSA failure
A bizarre new line of attack is emanating from congressional Democrats reeling from concerns the Obama administration may not be doing enough to keep American air-travelers safe.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary's Janet Napolitano's bizarre "the system worked" statement regarding an Islamic radical who smuggled powerful explosives on board a U.S.-bound flight was swiftly condemned. Following that public debacle, Democrats are trying to blame the Transportation Safety Administration's total failure on Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
Fireplace fascism in California
Burn wood in the Bay Area, and your neighbors will rat you out and send inspectors to your door who will slap you with a fine. Even on Christmas Day.
Denmark's second largest newspaper: "Obama greater than Jesus"
The TSA and the full-body-scanner lobby
Poll: Nelson reelection looking doomed over health care
28 December 2009
TODAY'S WASHINGTON EXAMINER EDITORIAL SECTION HIGHLIGHTS
Mr Tapscott sent out a correction for a bad link.
Correct link for Mr Hewitt's column:
Obama's year of failure
Hugh Hewitt, Examiner Columnist
"2009 is the worst year for a president since 1978, which began with Jimmy Carter standing by paralyzed as the Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran and ended as Jimmy Carter stood by paralyzed as the Soviets invaded Afghanistan."
2009 has been Obama's year of falling swiftly
"It is clear from her comment that 'the system worked' that Napolitano lacks the first clue about what is required to ensure safe commercial airline travel in an era defined by the war on terrorism."
It's always the Jihad
Jed Babbin, Examiner OpEd Series
"The events this year -- the Fort Hood massacre and the events aboard Northwest flight 253 -- show that the danger is growing, not shrinking."
President Obama's year of failure.
Hugh Hewitt, Examiner Columnist
"2009 is the worst year for a president since 1978, which began with Jimmy Carter standing by paralyzed as the Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran and ended as Jimmy Carter stood by paralyzed as the Soviets invaded Afghanistan."
23 December 2009
Obamacare’s Constitutional Problems Proliferating
After the Democrats cleared the second of three 60 vote hurdles last night, Republicans ceded enough debate time back to the majority so that passage of Obamacare through the Senate will take place n Christmas Eve at 8 AM. Conservatives have every right to be disappointed that Senate Republicans did not force the maximum amount of debate possible. But they can take heart in a key point of order that will be voted on later today. Sponsored by Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and John Ensign (R-NV), that vote will lay the groundwork for the possible legal dismantling of Obama’s health program.
As we’ve detailed before, the very core of the Senate health plan includes an unprecedented expansion of the power of the federal government over the lives of every American. For the first time in history, every American would be forced to buy federally regulated and approved health insurance or face a $750 fine.
As the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) wrote in 1994: “A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.” The individual mandate and other questionable measures in the bill raise serious questions as to whether Obamacare could survive a Constitutional test:
Article I allocates to Congress “[a]ll legislative powers herein granted,” which means that some legislative powers were intended to remain beyond Congress’s reach. The Supreme Court recognized and affirmed this fundamental principle from the earliest days of the republic, as Chief Justice Marshall famously observed: “The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written.” Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given the power to mandate that an individual enter into a contract with a private party or purchase a good or service. Democrats have pointed to both the general welfare taxing power and the commerce clause as possible justifications for the mandate, but as a recent Heritage Legal Memorandum details, neither justification withstands scrutiny.
The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads in part: “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Sen. Ensign will argue today: “The Democrats’ health reform bill would require an American citizen to devote a portion of income – his or her private property – to health insurance coverage. … But, Mr. President, if a Nevadan does not want to spend his or her hard-earned income on health insurance coverage and would prefer to spend it on something else, such as rent or a car payment, this new requirement could be a “taking” of private property under the Fifth Amendment.”
On December 10th, the United States Commission on Civil Rights sent a letter to the Senate regarding racially discriminatory provisions in Obama’s health plan. The letter reads: “No matter how well-intentioned, utilizing racial preferences with hope of alleviating health care disparities is inadvisable both as a matter of policy and as a matter of law. … Ensuring that all Americans, regardless of race, have access to quality health care requires both creativity and hard-nosed attention to data. It also requires staying within the requirements of the Constitution. The current race-based provisions of the Senate Health Care bill display none of these qualities.”
Unequal State Treatment:
Speaking to Fox News, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) described Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) deal to support Obamacare in exchange for a bailout Nebraska’s Medicaid costs as “disappointing, sleazy, unconstitutional.” Graham is not the only one examining Cornhusker Kickback. The Attorneys General of Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas and Washington state are jointly investigating the deal to see if special treatment for only one state in the nation at the expense of the other 49 violates the Constitution.
The leftist majority in the Senate is likely to vote down the DeMint/Ensign constitutional point of order, but the very objection itself will help build a record that courts will look at when determining whether or not Obamacare is unconstitutional. The Senate is not the final arbiter of whether or not the laws it passes are consistent with the United States Constitution. That question was settled over 200 years ago in Marbury v. Madison.
Although it is always difficult for the Supreme Court to thwart what is perceived to be the popular will, polling consistently shows that this legislation faces strong popular opposition. If that remains true after enactment, the majority of the Justices who are inclined to preserve the enumerated powers scheme and adhere to the original meaning of the text will have little inclination or incentive to stretch the Constitution to reach so decidedly unpopular and far-reaching a law as this one.
President Obama on Monday credited the Senate for "standing up to the special interests -- who've prevented reform for decades, and who are furiously lobbying against it now." But the health care "reform" bill, passed late Sunday night, provides the drug companies with billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies, government-sanctioned monopolies, and mandates forcing people to buy drug insurance. At the same time, the bill doesn't touch the industry's existing special favors that Obama had pledged to eliminate in the name of consumers.
Carbon credits: 'SELL! SELL! SELL!'
By: David Freddoso
Online Opinion Editor
12/22/09 5:02 PM EST
The Financial Times reports that investors who hope to capitalize on your misery by getting into the carbon-trading market are losing money after the failure of the Copenhagen's climate summit to produce anything resembling a real or binding agreement on limiting carbon emissions.
Prices for carbon permits for December 2010 delivery, the benchmark contract for pricing European permits, dropped nearly 10 per cent in early trading, before recovering to end the day 8.3 per cent lower at €12.41...Carbon traders blamed the price fall on the Copenhagen conference, which produced an accord among the world's biggest developed and developing countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, but omitted details on what those limits would be.
If and when the government forces you to pay extra for your energy in the name of some presumed environmental benefit, these are the folks who will become rich at your expense.
21 December 2009
US Court Orders Records Unsealed In Cap-And-Trade Fraud Case
By Ian Talley, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. legislators have obtained a court order unsealing documents in a case involving a multi-million-dollar cap-and-trade fraud.
Republican legislators say the records--due to be opened to the public in early January--could shed light on the potential challenges of policing a new, trillion-dollar commodities market that would be created under climate legislation that Congress is considering.
In a rare filing by House lawyers, Reps. Joe Barton (R., Texas) and Greg Walden (R., Ore.), the ranking members respectively of the Energy Committee and the Oversight Subcommittee, asked a federal district court in California to unseal all the closed records regarding the successful prosecution for fraud of Anne Masters Sholtz, a former California Institute of Technology economist.
Lawmakers say Sholtz's case could expose the weaknesses of a federal cap-and- trade system because it involved the same market mechanism meant to cut emissions.
In particular, said one Republican aide, the case may shed light on the challenges of prosecuting fraud in such a system.
Sholtz, who helped design a small California cap-and-trade program, allegedly hustled New York Investment firm AG Clean Air out of more than $12 million between 1999 and 2001 by selling fake emission credits.
Despite an estimated $50 million to $80 million in claims against her in bankruptcy filings and nine complaints, she pleaded guilty to one of six counts of wire fraud in
2005. Sholtz received what the lawmakers say was a veritable slap on the wrist for the felony--a sentence of five years probation with one year of home detention.
"Did they not have enough proof? Did they have good leads, but faced practical difficulties? Were there witness, evidence, strategic problems? These are the questions that we hope to answer with the unsealed documents," the Republican aide said.
A Message From FACES of Coal
As 2009 draws to a close, we would like to thank you for your support of FACES of Coal and your efforts to ensure that lawmakers and the American people understand that coal energizes our nation and fuels our economy.
Since we launched our campaign in August,
- 40,000 individuals have registered as members of FACES of Coal;
- 104 organizations, including chambers of commerce, fiscal courts, manufacturers and retailers, support our coalition; and
- 1,349 lawmakers representing 44 states have received 30,000 e-mails and letters in support of coal.
Washington bureaucrats have still taken no action on dozens of mining permits that have been arbitrarily stalled. Our legislators have still not delivered the balanced energy and economic policy we need and deserve.
The future of coal mining in America remains uncertain, and we need you to continue writing and calling your elected representatives (you can do so now by clicking the link below). Remind them our holiday lights are shining bright because of the affordable electricity generated by coal.
And we can provide good food and gifts to our families and friends in our warm homes, because of the good jobs sustained by coal.
Thank you for your efforts to protect our jobs and secure our future.
We wish you and yours a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year.
Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security(FACES of Coal)
Click the link below to log in and send your message:
In effect, the onerous obligations under the Reid Bill would convert private health insurance companies into virtual public utilities. This action is not only a source of real anxiety but also a decision of constitutional proportions, for it systematically strips the regulated health-insurance issuers of their constitutional entitlement to earn a reasonable rate of return on the massive amounts of capital that they have already invested in building out their businesses.
Excerpt) Read more at pointoflaw.com ...
United States Army Major Nidal Hasan told a radical cleric considered by authorities to be an al-Qaeda recruiter, "I can't wait to join you" in the afterlife, according to an American official with top secret access to 18 e-mails exchanged between Hasan and the cleric, Anwar al Awlaki, over a six month period between Dec. 2008 and June 2009.
"It sounds like code words," said Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a military analyst at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies. "That he's actually either offering himself up or that he's already crossed that line in his own mind."
Other messages include questions, the official with access to the e-mails said, that include when is jihad appropriate, and whether it is permissible if there are innocents killed in a suicide attack.
"Hasan told Awlaki he couldn't wait to join him in the discussions they would having over non-alcoholic wine in the afterlife," the official said.
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
Lawyers: Can't Afford Them, Can't Kill Them
Trial lawyers buy Democrats in Congress
Examiner Editorial December 21, 2009
Neither of the Obamacare proposals now before Congress includes a medical malpractice reform provision despite the fact that the public wants one -- and that it would cut annual health care costs by $200 billion. A medical malpractice reform provision would protect doctors from expensive lawsuits filed by avaricious class-action plaintiffs' attorneys who have driven malpractice insurance rates into the stratosphere. Judging by Federal Election Commission data on the political contributions of people associated with the top 15 class-action plaintiffs' law firms, it's no accident that malpractice reform is not part of health care "reform": Trial lawyers are investing heavily in their Democratic friends who control the White House and both chambers of Congress.
The Question Is: Are We the Windshield or the Butterfly?
Michael Barone - When liberal dreams collide with public opinion
In the Bella Center on the south side of Copenhagen and in the Senate chamber on the north side of the Capitol, we're seeing what happens when liberal dreams collide with American public opinion. It's like what happens when a butterfly collides with the windshield of a speeding sport utility vehicle. Splat.
20 December 2009
Congressman: Why is Obama stifling Hasan investigation?
Member of House intelligence committeee wants reports to prevent another attack
"How can it be that the House Committee on Homeland Security has launched an investigation and called hearings within a week to look into the couple who crashed a recent White House state dinner, yet a month after Fort Hood there has yet to be a single congressional hearing into the Fort Hood attack?" Hoekstra said. "I fear that our nation is returning to the naive security outlook of Sept. 10, 2001, when radical Islamic terrorist attacks were considered law enforcement and criminal problems and not threats to our national security."
Hoekstra said that in just the past year, there have been arrests of suspects in alleged "homegrown terrorist attacks" in New York, Chicago, North Carolina and Atlanta.
"Russia recently has seen several alleged homegrown terrorism attacks, including a train bombing and an attack against a gas storage facility. There were horrific homegrown terrorist attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005. In 2006, 18 homegrown terrorists were arrested in Toronto. It has happened here and will happen again if we don't act. We cannot wish it away," he warned.
"We need to understand how homegrown terrorism works if we are to identify and stop homegrown terrorists before they carry out acts of violence. How are al-Qaida leaders and other radical jihadists recruiting and radicalizing homegrown terrorists? A principle route seems to be the Internet. We know that Maj. Hasan was in contact via the Internet with radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and that Mr. al-Awlaki's sermons have influenced would-be homegrown terrorists in the United States and the terrorists who launched the deadly 2005 London subway bombings," Hoekstra said.
"Hoekstra suspects Obama is purposefully dragging out the release of any information on Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan into next February, and he considers this stall an unconstitutional trampling of his committee's responsibility to the nation," he wrote. "Federal law requires the White House to brief House and Senate members on this investigation and 'ensure that the congressional intelligence committees are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States.'"
"What is being covered up?" Collins wondered. "Whatever's in the report must be even worse than the publicly available facts."
In Hoekstra's commentary, he said only a thorough review will uncover "the intelligence failures that prevented it from being detected."
"Americans underestimate the threat from homegrown terrorism," he said. "The president said it is inconceivable that this would happen in America. Wrong. It is not inconceivable and is a growing global problem that needs to be addressed."
19 December 2009
What to Do Now??
Contact Senator Webb and ask him to vote NO on cloture. This vote will take place 1 AM Monday morning. So call Saturday or Sunday.
Higher Taxes for Virginia: Nebraska's medicaid exemption means that other states, like Virginia, will have to pick up the tab for Nebraska. Our state budget cannot afford expanisions like this.
Read The Bill! This is a 2200+ page bill. In addition, there is a 400-page amendment. No one has seen either document yet.. Senator Webb promised that he wouldn't vote for a bill unless there would be a 72-hour public review period for legislation. The scheduled Monday 1 AM vote for cloture will not allow this! Hold him to his promise.
Plausible Deniability: Some Senators may play the "plausible deniability game" -- vote "yes" for cloture and then vote "no" for the bill so that when it's time to run for re-election they can claim that they voted "no" for the bill. Truth be known, if he help pushs the bill forward by voting "yes" for cloture, he's helping to get the bill passed. Don't let Senator Webb get away with this! Carrying the ball down the field helps the rest of the team get the ball over the goal line.
Foot-In-The-Door: Many Progressive Senators are disappointed in the bill --- they want federal funding for abortion, they want the public open and they want the medicaid buy-in. A Senator today said that these Progressives need to realize that while this bill doesn't build a "mansion" it is building a "starter house." READ: If they get this passed, it's a foot-in-the-door. They can address their wish list afterwards.
How to Contact Senator Webb
Calling the Senator: They are asking folks to visit Tell Webb No! (www.tellwebbno.com). You can find contact information for Senator Webb on the website or you can email him right from the website. You can also provide feedback about how your call goes.
Problems Getting Through? If you have any problems getting through to Senator Webb visit the Tell Webb No! (www.tellwebbno.com) website to report the issue. They will make sure that Senator Webb and the media know.
What If The Vote for Cloture Passes?
Should the Vote for Cloture (which requires 60 votes) they will move on to vote on the bill for passage. This will only require a simple majority (how many votes are required is determined by how many people actually vote; some may not show up to vote).
Should it pass, they will then need to go into conference with the House of Representatives. Many members of the House only voted for the bill after the abortion amendment was added. Several other changes in the Senate version of the bill may cause problems in the House.This may be another opportunity to stop this legislation.Remember -- please call Senator Webb prior to the Monday 1 AM Vote for Cloture.
Email Senator Webb at http://webb.senate.gov/contact.cfm
Call Senator Webb at any of the following numbers:
Washington, D.C.: 202-224-4024 or 1-866-507-1570
Hampton Roads: 757-518-1674
Northern Virginia: 703-807-0581
18 December 2009
17 December 2009
Below are excerpts from Mark Alexander's latest essay. You would do yourself a great dis-service if you do not go read the entire post.
Mark Alexander from the Patriot Post:
Ronald Reagan delivered an enduring challenge to conservatives entitled "A Time for Choosing": "You and I are told we must choose between a left or right," Reagan said, "but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism."
If Barack Obama has given us one thing of value, it is the opportunity to clearly discern between Left and Right, between rule of men and Rule of Law. He is the quintessential socialist, and his domestic and foreign policies present a contrast between tyranny and liberty that has rarely been so apparent. Many who have been hitherto reluctant to rise on behalf of liberty or have been too comfortable to be concerned by such conflict, are now making an ever-louder stand.
Obama is the personification of Leftist philosophy and dogma, and in a turn of irony, for the clarity he has provided to that end we owe him a debt of gratitude.
Despite the fact that the Leftists in media and academia have had a stranglehold on public opinion, seating one of their own as president, which they believe is a great prize, may well be their undoing.
The once noble Democrat Party is now led by those who have turned the wisdom of their iconic leaders upside down.
Today, Democrat Party Leftists deride the notion of individual rights. Instead, they advocate the supplanting of individual liberty with statism.
They promote the notion of a living constitution rather than the authentic Constitution our Founders established.
They despise free enterprise and advocate socialist redistribution of wealth, the ultimate goal of which is to render all people equally poor and dependent upon the state.
They loathe our military and our national sovereignty, and they propose to replace it with treaties that establish supranational governmental legal and policing authorities.
They detest traditional American values, and they support all manner of behavior resulting in social entropy.
Being debated right now is whether an additional 17 percent of the U.S. economy is going to be nationalized under ObamaCare, and whether the rest of the economy is going to be shackled by cap-and-trade taxes in addition to a plethora of other job-eliminating taxes on private sector employers.
Obama and his Democrat Congress have endowed future generations, unless soon reversed, not with liberty but with historically unprecedented levels of debt, which will enslave them to hyperinflation.
Conservatives and liberals can argue various policy points ad nauseam, but the question Americans are asking in greater numbers is this: Are we a nation governed by Rule of Law or the contemporaneous opinions of men?
History provides us with repeated evidence that the terminus of nations that are governed by men rather than laws is tyranny. In the last century alone, hundreds of millions have been enslaved under statist dictators such as Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, Mao, Kruschev, Pol Pot, Ho Chi, Idi Amin, Castro, Hussein, Mugabe, Kim Jong-Il, Chavez, Hu Jintao and others.
Who might be next?
16 December 2009
Friends of the SEAL Trio awaiting Court Martial!
You've stood in line long enough. We now have the info you need for sending checks or for wiring money directly into the account (which is in the First Western Trust Bank, whose president is SEAL Lindsay Thomas Kough, Class 158). Using the information below, either mail or wire-transfer your contributions to help "The Trio."
Make your checks payable to "Warrior Legacy Foundation," and write "Warrior Defense Fund" (that's us) on the memo line. We have a totally separate account within a much-larger account.
There is a Pay Pal account already set up, and links will be on the Warrior Legacy Foundation site; www.freetheseals.com; and a number of other www friendly sites.
In closing, you should be aware that this account is overseen by a 6-person Board of Advisors, at least two of whom are SEALs and another a lady who is VERY active in the military-support community. We have done all we know how to do to get this thing on the road and to incorporate strict oversight procedures over how the money is spent. I believe that we have done pretty well setting up this account.
04 December 2009
Fort Hood's New Islamist Instructor
Over at the Corner, Andy McCarthy points out that Louay Safi, a top official at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), has been brought into Fort Hood to teach our troops about Islam. There’s just one problem. As McCarthy and others have reminded us, ISNA has a variety of disturbing ties to Islamic extremists and terrorists--and ISNA itself has been identified by federal prosecutors as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Here is one more ISNA tie worth remembering, adapted from a post I wrote in June. (Keep in mind that this same organization has sent an official to teach American servicemen about Islam.)
In a must-read expose on the financial ties between Saudi Arabia, including members of the royal family, and al Qaeda, the New York Times linked to several supporting documents [in June]. One of these documents is a dossier prepared by German criminal investigators in 2003. The Germans investigated the financial dealings of an organization called the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), which moved hundreds of millions of dollars around in its sponsorship of terrorism.
TWRA was run by senior Bosnian government officials, and sponsored the relocation of hundreds, if not thousands, of jihadists to Bosnia to fight in the 1990s. While carrying out some legitimate humanitarian functions as a cover, TWRA was really a front for global terrorist operations.
And the ISNA was likely one of its donors.
The German criminal investigators' entry on ISNA reads (see this page on the Times’s web site):
Islamic Society of North America
Four credit entries by check were identified, whose sender where (sic) all indicated as “Dyewood Center I.S.N.A.” In total an amount of USD 102,197.85 was credited. This organization is likely to be the “Islamic Society of North America”, headquartered at Plainfield, Indiana, USA.
German criminal investigators concluded that ISNA’s six-figure donation to TWRA was split into four transfers between July and October of 1992.
What was TWRA doing at the time? It was funding the terror network that executed the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and orchestrated a follow-on attack against landmarks in the New York metro area.
As Evan Kohlmann explains in his book, Al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe:
During the 1995 trial of conspirators charged with involvement in a terrorist plot to attack landmarks in New York, Clement Rodney Hampton-el, an American Muslim who trained in the Afghan camps run by Al-Qaida, confirmed that he had been smuggling money into the United States obtained from the Third World Relief Agency for the purpose of financing the military training in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania of Arab-Afghan mujahideen destined for Bosnia.
Several graduates of these makeshift camps helped organize and carry out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
That is just the tip of the iceberg. TWRA had ties to al Qaeda members and supporters the world over. Kohlmann notes that Osama bin Laden was suspected of donating “large sums of money” to TWRA to fund the jihad in Bosnia. Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, whose jihadists executed the World Trade Center bombing and organized the follow-on landmarks plot, was caught on tape talking to TWRA officials. TWRA “volunteered to spread” Rahman’s message and sell the Blind Sheikh’s “militant videotapes and sermons in mosques throughout Europe,” Kohlmann reported.
There’s more, of course. But it would take pages to summarize TWRA’s international jihadist activities, from transiting terrorists around the globe to arranging for massive arms shipments. In addition to Kohlmann’s book, TWRA’s violent legacy, including ties to al Qaeda, are spelled out in elaborate detail by John Schindler in his book, Unholy Terror. Schindler was formerly one of the NSA’s top analysts on the Balkans. He includes pages of details on TWRA’s terrorist activities.
ISNA's $100,000 was just a drop in TWRA's vast bucket. But still: The simple fact of the matter is that ISNA was helping to fund an al Qaeda-affiliated account used to sponsor jihad.
And now ISNA has supplied an instructor to teach our troops about Islam right before they are deployed to Afghanistan - at a U.S. military base that was just the target of a jihadist attack.
As McCarthy asks, “What on earth is this government doing, and will Congress please do something about it?”
03 December 2009
Obama Ecstasy pills hit the streets
PALMVIEW, Texas - President Barack Obama's approval rating may be hovering in the 50 percent range, but that doesn't mean America's Commander-in-Chief isn't catching on with new constituents.
There is now a line of Ecstasy pills made in the image of the 44th president of the United States, according to Texas police who have snatched a batch off the streets.
Ecstasy is known for a sense of elation, diminished feelings of fear and anxiety, and ability to induce a sense of intimacy with others.
Perhaps a good Election Day strategy to get out the vote?
A stash of the brightly colored tablets was found Monday during a south Texas traffic stop.
Police in Palmview detained a driver after finding black tar heroin, cocaine, marijuana and several Ecstasy pills in the back of his car.
The drugs look like a "vitamin for kids," police spokesman Lenny Sanchez said.
Police say that other Ecstasy pills they found were made to look like the cartoon characters Homer Simpson and the Smurfs.
The 22-year-old driver is expected to face felony drug possession counts.
Palmview is near the border with Mexico.
No word on the driver's political affiliation.
George Will -- This will not end well
Will gives Obama’s “tentative surgelet” in Afghanistan and it’s supporters a good rap on the snout in his column today.
“Tuesday, the Taliban heard a distant U.S. trumpet sounding withdrawal beginning in 19 months. Also hearing it were Afghans who must decide whether to bet their lives on the Americans, who will begin striking their tents in July 2011, or on the Taliban, who are not going home, because they are at home.
Many Democrats, who think the $787 billion stimulus was too small and want another one (but by another name), are flinching from the $30 billion one-year cost of the Afghan surge.
Considering that the GM and GMAC bailouts ($63 billion) are five times bigger than Afghanistan's gross domestic product ($12 billion), Democrats seem to be selective worriers about deficits. Of course, their real worry is how to wriggle out of their endorsement of the ‘necessary’ war in Afghanistan, which was a merely tactical endorsement intended to disparage the ‘war of choice’ in Iraq.”
Manifestations of the Magic Lost
Der Spiegel jumps ship: "Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false...It was two speeches in one. That is why it felt so false. Both dreamers and realists were left feeling distraught. The American president doesn't need any opponents at the moment. He's already got himself."
How long before an Obama Warrior cover?
And, in perhaps the most important measure of Obama's waning persuasive powers, Tom Hayden has...removed his Obama bumper sticker from his car, with these potent words of warning for the president:
We'll see. To be clear: I'll support Obama down the road against Sarah Palin, Lou Dobbs or any of the pitchfork carriers for the pre-Obama era. But no bumper sticker until the withdrawal strategy is fully carried out.
02 December 2009
New York Times -- Between the Lines, an Expansion in Pakistan
The president went to great pains to explain to the cadets at West Point and a skeptical American public how Afghanistan is not like Vietnam. He might have also explained what Pakistan isn’t like.It may seem surprising since he threw in most everything else – his domestic agenda, his avoidance of past American failures, his wish for a world without war, etc. But Pakistan – the world’s largest Islamic republic – is hard for President Obama to discuss.He has been escalating the clandestine American war in Pakistan for months, even as the nation’s 181 million residents become more suspicious of American involvement and of the American-backed government in Islamabad. As writers David Sanger and Eric Schmitt point out that while Obama did not say much about Pakistan Tuesday night, the thrust of his efforts in the region are focused there.“In recent months, in addition to providing White House officials with classified assessments about Afghanistan, the C.I.A. delivered a plan for widening the campaign of strikes against militants by drone aircraft in Pakistan, sending additional spies there and securing a White House commitment to bulk up the C.I.A.’s budget for operations inside the country. The expanded operations could include drone strikes in the southern province of Baluchistan, where senior Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding, officials said. It is from there that they direct many of the attacks on American troops, attacks that are likely to increase as more Americans pour into Afghanistan.‘The president endorsed an intensification of the campaign against Al Qaeda and its violent allies, including even more operations targeting terrorism safe havens,’ said one American official. ‘More people, more places, more operations.’”
Washington Post -- The puzzle for Congress: How to pay for plan
President Obama was very frank in saying that one of the reasons he had to end his Afghan surge in 18 months is that otherwise the cost will interfere with his domestic agenda.“The nation I’m most interested in building is our own,” Obama said. But even a short surge in Afghanistan might cost as much as another $45 billion on top of the $55 billion a year we’re already spending there.On the subject of how to get that money and press forward with the most expensive domestic agenda in generations, Obama was less frank.Writer Paul Kane looks at how war opposition, crippling debt, and a massive entitlement expansion will complicate Obama’s request for more funds.Conservatives want to divert domestic spending to the war, liberals want new taxes, and the president won’t say where he thinks the money should come from.As Examiner colleague Susan Ferrechio points out, opposition to the plan is spreading on the Right, further complicating the politics of paying for the president’s second surge.“Obama's proposal would place more than 200,000 troops altogether in Afghanistan and Iraq. If the troop level across both nations averages 75,000 through the next decade, the operations will cost an additional $867 billion -- more than the $848 billion health-care legislation the Senate is considering.”
New York Times -- Senators Pitch to Women and Elderly on Health Bill
The first proposed Democratic amendment to the Senate health bill would add almost $1 billion in taxpayer costs and outlaw low cost, bare-bones health insurance for women. The addition is intended to allay fears among women that government health care means fewer mammograms, etc.The first Republican amendment would eliminate cuts to popular government insurance programs for senior citizens. It was pandering too, but actually designed to kill the whole bill by eliminating half the source of its funding.Writers Robert Pear and David Herszenhorn show us what a long, dreadful process finishing this Senate bill will be.“Another centrist Democrat, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, said he would propose three amendments. One would impose tougher restrictions on the use of federal money for insurance covering abortions. Another would give states more control over any new government-run health plan. A third would eliminate a proposed new federal program providing insurance for the costs of long-term care.”
Wall Street Journal -- Climate Scientist Steps Down
The scandal surrounding the suppression of scientific doubts about man-made global warming by top climate researchers continues to roll along, now with resignation of Phil Jones, head of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.With the president eight days away from his remarks at the international carbon summit in Denmark, it seems a bad time for a meltdown in the climate control sector.“On Wednesday, President Barack Obama's top science adviser -- John Holdren, a climate scientist who sent one email among those hacked and posted -- is due to testify on Capitol Hill. The House committee holding the hearing has billed it as a way to explore ‘the urgent, consensus view...that global warming is real, and the science indicates that it is getting worse.’ Dr. Holdren's office declined to comment. Dr. Holdren has long spoken of the ‘overwhelming’ evidence of man-made global warming.”
Wall Street Journal -- ObamaCare at Any Cost
The latest swoon on Capitol Hill is over a Congressional Budget Office report that shows only 20 percent of Americans would see big increases in their health insurance premiums while taxpayer-funded subsidies will hold down increases for most consumers.The Journal editorial page does a thorough job of debunking the notion that higher premiums for some and subsidized premiums for others is a good value. “We have now reached the stage of the health-care debate when all that matters is getting a bill passed, so all news is good news, more subsidies mean lower deficits, and more expensive insurance is really cheaper insurance. The nonpolitical mind reels.Consider how Washington received the Congressional Budget Office's study Monday of how Harry Reid's Senate bill will affect insurance costs, which by any rational measure ought to have been a disaster for the bill. CBO found that premiums in the individual market will rise by 10% to 13% more than if Congress did nothing. Family policies under the status quo are projected to cost $13,100 on average, but under ObamaCare will jump to $15,200.
I need to take a minute and tell everyone Thank You for all the support you gave my family and me over the past two weeks. It was overwhelming and humbling.
Susan Keating wrote a nice post after our conversation this past Sunday. Laughing Wolf has been grabbing my tweets and re-tweeting and updating over at Blackfive.
I appreciate all the good thoughts and prayers you have sent my way.
Posted by concretebob at 8:15 AM
There is mounting evidence that the global Jihadist insurgency is fully entrenched in the United States After the Fort Hood massacre news services seem divided between those hell-bent-for-leather on denying that the Fort Hood massacre was a case of anything other than a persecuted loner "snapping" and those who proclaimed it the first "terrorist" attack on U.S. soil since September 11th.
This focus is wrong. Fort Hood was an act of Jihad and that's really all that matters: It is essential that we find out how extensive Nidal Malik Hasan's ties to other Jihadists were. Of this there can be no doubt.
But we must refrain from entering into a debate on what amounts largely to semantics about whether or not the Fort Hood massacre was an act of "terrorism." We need to get away from focusing on the term "terrorism" anyway. Some observers still don't consider the 1983 Beirut Barracks bombing by Hezbollah, which killed 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers, an act of "terrorism" because, by some widely recognized definitions, attacks on combatants cannot be termed "terrorism."
Subject: New Updates:
Right now it looks like the event will take place off base (on public property), just outside one of the main entrances to Naval Station. Like I said, I am completely unfamiliar with the area, so any help as to where we need to setup would be greatly appreciated.
We are still trying to find out the exact time that the arraignment will take place so we can plan on centering the event around that time. Unconfirmed reports have said that it is expected to being sometime around 10:00am EST, but I will update everyone once I know for sure.
Also, it is expected that the arraignment will go fairly quick, so I'm guessing a 1-2hr rally would be perfect.Since the gathering will be taking place on public property, the City of Norfolk requires us to have a permit if there are more than 50 people.
Right now I am working on nailing down a special events insurance policy so we can get the application submitted for the permit. We're cutting it close, but the City of Norfolk is working with us to get it done.
Some of you may have noticed that I changed the name of the event from "Protest" to "Support Rally". I want us to take the focus off protesting and instead shift it to better represent what our purpose is; supporting these SEALs. The last thing we want is to bring negative attention to the coverage surrounding these guys.
With that said, I ask that we do our best to make this event as peaceful as possible, while expressing our support.I have contacted several local news stations in the area and so far, WAVY-TV 10 will have a news crew out to cover the rally. Please take the time to notify every media outlet you can; the more coverage, the better.
01 December 2009
From Mary Katharine via the Weekly Standard
The Daily Grind
Ain't no party like a holiday Tea Party, 'cause a holiday Tea Party don't stop.
Democracy Corps: "The survey found that voters now say, by a three-point margin (45% to 42%), that Republicans would do a better job on the economy than Democrats. That’s a change from the 16-point lead Democrats had in May on the question of managing the economy, and marks the first time since 2002 that Republicans have had a lead on the issue."
Obama rhetoric flashback from March 2009: "So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. That’s the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just. And to the terrorists who oppose us, my message is the same: We will defeat you."
California is making almost every other state government look good.
Family Guy spoofs Chris Matthews: "My forehead, my rules."
"I think 'Hide the decline' is a pretty hard phrase to 'interpret' in any benign way, and a pretty easy way for anyone to get up to speed with what what's going on. It's already a song, and a T-shirt."
ClimateGate: Following the money
Another one bites the dust: "I've always said, if there's a state that would never pass a smoking ban, it's Virginia."
Dana Milbank takes this important moment, a year into Barack "You guys make a great photo-op" Obama's presidency, to bash Bush and Sarah Palin for making the military into political props.
Clive Crook: "Intellectual corruption" and "statistical incompetence" is what trillions of dollars in potential public policy are relying on.
It's come to this: Obama ruins Christmas. "ABC announced today that it too will carry the speech. Originally scheduled programs, including "A Charlie Brown Christmas," will now air next Tuesday at 8pmET."
Good news: Paul Krugman will be at the jobs summit!
Center for American Progress wants a timeline from Obama.