September 29, 2012

Phineas Fahrquar:

Chile is a good model for what we should do; the problem is to get the Left to listen to facts, rather than their ideological fantasies.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I wrote back in July about the remarkable transformation of Chile into a prosperous market economy.

In that post, I noted that Chile was a pioneer in the shift from unsustainable tax-and-transfer entitlement schemes to savings-based personal retirement accounts. And with good reason. That system, which has been in place for more than three decades, is hugely successful.

We should do the same thing in America, and we should do it yesterday, if not sooner.

But Chile’s success is driven by more than just pension reform. And I want to mention something remarkable about what’s happening with school choice in that country.

Jose Pinera – Freedom Fighter

First, some background. I’m currently at a Cato Institute donor retreat, where I had the chance to talk to Jose Pinera, who is now the Co-chairman of Cato’s Project on Social Security Choice, but who also was the person who implemented…

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Pat Caddell: the MSM has become an “enemy of democracy.”

September 28, 2012

Harsh words from the former Democratic pollster and analyst in the wake of the massacre in Benghazi:

…but I fear he’s much more right than wrong.

via Legal Insurrection

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Give Egypt’s foreign aid money to Libya?

September 28, 2012

Interesting idea from Michael Totten:

Almost everything that happened in Libya was the reverse of what happened almost everywhere else.

The Libyan exception began with the terrorist attack on Sept. 11 at the consulate in Benghazi. For a while it looked as if Libya’s reaction to the video might be the worst in the world, but that didn’t last. The assassination of Ambassador Stevens wasn’t part of a mob action or a hysterical demonstration. On the contrary: Spontaneous protests have erupted throughout the country, but not against the U.S. or a crackpot videographer out in Los Angeles. The Libyan protesters have stood squarely against the terrorists who killed Stevens and against the militias that have been running amok since Moammar Gadhafi was lynched last year in Sirte.

Libyan demonstrators have displayed moving, hand-written signs: “Sorry people of America.” “Benghazi is against terrorism.” “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans.” “Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi or Islam.” That’s what Libyans were saying while people elsewhere flew bin-Ladenist flags and set cars and buildings on fire. And it wasn’t just talk. The Libyan government swiftly arrested dozens of suspects following the Sept. 11 attacks. Ten days later, thousands of demonstrators in Benghazi seized the headquarters of an Islamist militia and forced its inhabitants to flee with their guns into the desert.

And let’s not forget Libya’s President, Mohammed el-Magarief, who’s been much more honest and forthright about what happened in his country than our own government.

I’ve often described the Obama administration’s foreign policy as “hug our enemies, slap our friends.” Perhaps it’s time to reverse that (1) and reward those who are the enemies of our enemies?

We need intelligence from North Africa, but Egypt is lost for the foreseeable future, so why keep giving them taxpayer money? Why give Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi, who demands the release of the Blind Sheikh and that we respect values antithetical to our own, another penny? Why not rebuild our position in another country, instead, which seems to share at least some of our interests?

Why not Libya?

Footnote:
(1) Sadly, that will have to wait for another administration. One that has actual adults in charge.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Benghazi consulate massacre: White House knew it was a terrorist attack, lied about it

September 27, 2012

Americans died, Obama lied.

Fox News is also reporting what Eli Lake reported yesterday: the administration knew within 24 hours of the jihadist attack in Benghazi that it was not demonstration that just got out of control:

U.S. intelligence officials knew within 24 hours of the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that it was a terrorist attack and suspected Al Qaeda-tied elements were involved, sources told Fox News — though it took the administration a week to acknowledge it.

The account conflicts with claims on the Sunday after the attack by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice that the administration believed the strike was a “spontaneous” event triggered by protests in Egypt over an anti-Islam film.

Two senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration internally labeled the attack terrorism from the first day in order to unlock and mobilize certain resources to respond, and that officials were looking for one specific suspect.

One should point out that these sources could be the same who talked to Lake, so it many not be a confirmation, just different outlets for the same whistle-blower.

All the same, members of Congress are not happy:

The account that officials initially classified the attack as terrorism is sure to raise serious questions among lawmakers who have challenged the narrative the administration put out in the week following the strike. A few Republican lawmakers have gone so far as to suggest the administration withheld key facts about the assault for political reasons. 

“I think we should have answers right away. … I think they’re reluctant to tell us what this event really was probably because it’s an election year. But the American people deserve to know answers about what happened at our embassy in Libya,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., told Fox News.

Obama? Democrats? Putting electoral politics ahead of the national interest? Now whatever would give anyone that idea?

(Hint: Their behavior over Iraq from 2004 to 2008.)

This is quickly becoming a national scandal. While elements of the administration were treating this as a terrorist attack by the next day, high government officials, including the president, were trying to convince us it was all about an obscure YouTube video. As Bryan Preston at PJM writes, the situation is so screwed up, only one person can answer the questions:

The president himself needs to conduct a press conference and explain his administration’s actions and multiple conflicting statements. Nothing less than an explanation from Obama himself will do at this point. His own credibility is on the line, and the campaign of misdirection has ruined Secretary of State Clinton’s and Ambassador Rice’s credibility.

Neither Rice nor Clinton can credibly claim that they were acting on bad information from subordinates. Their subordinates, according to both Eli Lake and Fox, were treating the attack as terrorism, and even hunting a specific suspect, while Rice, Clinton, and Jay Carney continued to blame the YouTube video. Obama blamed that video again in his UN address and even now refuses to call the attack an act of terrorism.

And it’s not just the questions about the blatant lies the administration told; we’re also owed explanations for the obviously poor security in Benghazi and the failure to act on warnings, including Ambassador Stevens’ own misgivings.

Maybe the MSM should spend its time questioning Obama about this, rather than NFL refs.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama: “I want to see us export more jobs!”

September 26, 2012

Ooops…

The 4th greatest president of all time said that today at Kent State University. Had it been Romney, we’d be hearing endless concern-trolling about his “gaffes.” But, since it’s their Precious only Obama, he only “misspoke.”

Sigh.

via Jammie through Instapundit


Benghazi consulate massacre: White House knew within 24 hours it was a terrorist attack

September 26, 2012

It was on September 11th, 2012, that our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and a supposedly secret safe house there were attacked by jihadists allied with al Qaeda. Our ambassador was raped and murdered. Three other Americans died in the slaughter. For over a week after the attack, spokespeople for the Obama Administration, including the president, himself, insisted the problem started with outrage over an obscure video posted to YouTube and that the attack was a spontaneous eruption, not preplanned:

So, you’ll be totally shocked –SHOCKED, I say!!– to learn that all these wonderful public servants were lying through their teeth.

They knew within a day:

Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.

Nonetheless, it took until late last week for the White House and the administration to formally acknowledge that the Benghazi assault was a terrorist attack. On Sunday, Obama adviser Robert Gibbs explained the evolving narrative as a function of new information coming in quickly on the attacks. “We learned more information every single day about what happened,” Gibbs said on Fox News. “Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this faster than we do.”

The intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast did so anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. They said U.S. intelligence agencies developed leads on four of the participants of the attacks within 24 hours of the fire fight that took place mainly at an annex near the Benghazi consulate. For one of those individuals, the U.S. agencies were able to find his location after his use of social media. “We had two kinds of intelligence on one guy,” this official said. “We believe we had enough to target him.”

So not only did they have warning of the attack, but they knew by September 12th that it was a jihadist strike and they had even located one of the ringleaders. Look at the dates on that list above, again. For two full weeks after the massacre and intelligence catastrophe, high officials from the president on down were insisting it was either a spontaneous outgrowth from a demonstration that got out of hand (And to which people just happened to bring heavy weapons.) or that we just didn’t know and were still investigating.

It’s not that they lied that’s so appalling; all administrations will lie when it comes to national security matters, if they feel it’s necessary. And often they’re right to do so, when telling the truth could lead to greater harm.

But it’s the motive for these lies that’s truly offensive. It wasn’t to fool the enemy — they knew what really happened. It wasn’t to deceive them about our response; if we knew where one of these clowns was hiding, we could have snatched or killed him by now, and the administration could spike the ball on this, too. No, the Obama administration’s reactions in the wake of the massacre were too clumsy and uncoordinated to be a cover for retaliatory operations. They simply didn’t know what to do, except play CYA. It’s politically insane, because, had they come out and said forcefully “It’s a war. Al Qaeda hit us, but we’ll get these monsters,” much of the nation would have instinctively “rallied to the flag” and backed Obama.

Instead they lied. To us. Why?

The only motive for this serial lying was to deceive us. They are desperate to get the press off their backs and mollify the American people, treating the MSM like tools (admittedly, that’s often justified) and us like idiots or gullible children in the hope they can avoid a well-earned heaping helping of blame for this deadly fiasco. Obama’s reelection is all that matters.

Americans died, Obama lied.

As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy writes on a closely related matter:

If they lie, you can’t trust them. That’s a fairly straightforward rule. It is certainly the one that trial lawyers bank on.

It is not a hard and fast rule. A person may shade the truth for various reasons: vanity, personal allegiances, financial incentives, etc. Usually, once you figure out the relevant motivation, you can sort out on what matters he is probably credible and what he is prone to lie about. Sometimes, though, the story is so unbelievable, so insulting to the intelligence, that a rational juror knows it is best to discount all of the testimony — or, worse, to conclude that the truth is likely the opposite of the witness’s desperate version.

The claim that the demonstrations and embassy invasion in Cairo and the massacre in Libya were spontaneous reactions to an obscure video is just that sort of insult to our intelligence. It is sad and pathetic.

Just like the Obama administration, itself.

via Hot Air

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Desperately seeking doctors: your future under Obamacare

September 25, 2012

However much apologists for Obamacare try to deny it, the rationing of care is inevitable as the government tries to control costs by controlling what care one can receive — deciding whether the patient truly needs it or if it’s worthwhile at all to administer it. As usual, Britain, which has had the single-payer National Health Service for roughly 60 years, shows us what lies in our future if Obamacare isn’t repealed: sick people begging for private care:

GPs believe the numbers of patients asking about paying for operations including cataract removal and joint replacements has increased markedly in the last year, according to a poll.

Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said it was “incontrovertible” that increased NHS rationing was behind the increase in going private, a trend she described as “very sad”.

The poll, carried out by ComRes for the firm BMI Healthcare, found that 70 per cent of GPs are now unable to refer a patient for further treatment on the NHS at least once a month because they do not qualify under local criteria.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) have increasingly been restricting access to treatments including cataract removals, hernia operations and hip and knee replacements, by raising the threshold of how ill or disabled a patient has to be.

(…)

The principal reason behind increased interest in “self-pay” healthcare is treatments no longer being available on the NHS, according to the poll, with 66 per cent of GPs citing this.

(Emphasis added)

It may be “sad,” per Dr. Gerada, but it’s also the inevitable result of trying to impose top-down “command economics” on what should be a free market for goods and services and to treat a commodity, medical care, as a natural right. Mandated cost-controls, whether done directly  through price schedules or indirectly through rationing, simply don’t work: costs still go up (they’re just hidden from sight) and require further controls, and the quality of service declines — or vanishes altogether, as this article shows.

And unless Obamacare is repealed in the next few years, we’re going to be joining our British cousins in the hunt for private doctors — if any can be found.

via Breitbart

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


September 25, 2012

Phineas Fahrquar:

This is how the Left finds new voters.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I’m part of a just-posted online Debate Club sponsored by U.S. News & World Report which asks “Is the United States a Nation of ‘Makers and Takers?’”

My contribution to the discussion is basically a reworked version of what I wrote last week about Romney and the infamous 47 percent remark, so there’s no need to regurgitate those remarks. Suffice to say that I gave an answer of “No” because Americans don’t (yet!) share the European belief that it is government’s responsibility to provide the basics of life.

What’s interesting is that the two other participants in the debate (Phil Kerpen and Scott Winship) who are closest to my views answered “Yes,” while the three leftists sided with me and voted “No.”

But not because the leftists agreed with me on policy, or because I disagreed with Phil or Scott. I think the strange divergence is a result of…

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To Obama, they’re just “bumps in the road.” Just “noise.”

September 24, 2012

That’s how President Obama, in a 60 Minutes interview yesterday, tried to brush off the assaults on our embassies in the Near East and North Africa that lead to the deaths of our Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. “Bumps in the road.” Here’s the video:

I’m sure the families of the victims, as well as Foreign Service Officers in the field, appreciate the President’s description of their safety as minor traffic hazards on the way to a greater tomorrow. Not to mention the intelligence disaster we suffered. Never mind all that. “FORWARD!”

Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post writes on a second howler from this interview:

But that may not have been Obama’s worst moment in the interview. There was this exchange:

STEVE KROFT: “You don’t feel any pressure from Prime Minister Netanyahu in the middle of a campaign to try and get you to change your policy and draw a line in the sand? You don’t feel any pressure?”

OBAMA: “When it comes to our national security decisions — any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out — any noise that’s out there.”Calling Netanyahu’s concern about an existential threat “noise” is another in a long string of insults, snubs and gaffes about Israel. This remark immediately raised red flags in the foreign press.The Iranians were happy, though. A reader sends me a report that at least one country is delighted. From the Iranian official TV outlet: “US President Barack Obama says Israel’s call for drawing red line over Iran’s nuclear energy program is just ‘noise’ he tries to ignore.” Well, the Iranians got that one right. And just to rub it in, Obama knocked Israel down a peg, saying it was only “one of our closest allies in the region.” Really? Is Egypt the other? The level of disdain he holds for Israel runneth over.

Get that? To Obama, the legitimate fears of a long-time ally that it may soon be exposed to nuclear genocide is just “noise” to be “blocked out.”

“Feckless” doesn’t begin to describe Obama’s grasp of foreign affairs. “Ignorant,” “naive,” and “dangerously incompetent” start to get us close.

I believe one of the debates scheduled between President Obama and Governor Romney is devoted to foreign affairs. That should be entertaining.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


As his Mideast policies crumble, Obama to go to the UN… to blame a movie

September 23, 2012

I was going to say “unbelievable,” but, really, it’s all too believable, the only way the schmuck knows how to act. His Middle East policies going up in flames, our embassies besieged, our diplomats murdered, and with credible evidence that we had prior warning, that security arrangements were incompetent, and that this was a pre-planned terrorist attack, President Obama reaches out for a scapegoat.

Only, this time, he’s going to do it in front of the entire world:

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor previews the president’s speech to the UN General Assembly next week:

“UNGA always provides an opportunity for the President to put the international situation in context, and to put forward a vision of US leadership. I would certainly expect the President to address the recent unrest in the Muslim world, and the broader context of the democratic transitions in the Arab World.”

(…)

“As he has in recent days, the President will make it clear that we reject the views in this video, while also underscoring that violence is never acceptable…

Pathetic. He’s still equating a badly made video with murderous violence, in effect saying “We understand why this happened” and placing the blame on free speech, rather than on the perpetrators of the violence.  While almost everyone outside his administration acknowledges that the video was merely a pretext for something that had been in the works for at least weeks, possibly a revenge hit, the President of the United States is going to stand before the world and say “You’re right to be angry, but it wasn’t us! It was that guy over there! Didn’t you see us roust him for you in the middle of the night? Please don’t us!”

Utterly contemptible and craven. Washington, Adams, and Jefferson are spinning in their graves.

November can’t come fast enough.

Via Power Line, which has a great quote from Churchill.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


September 22, 2012

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Mitt Romney is catching a lot of flak for his surreptitiously recorded remarks about 47 percent of voters automatically being in the Obama column because they don’t pay federal income tax and thus see themselves as beneficiaries of big government.

Since I’ve warned about dependency and raised the alarm that we risk becoming another Greece unless entitlements are reformed, one might think I agree with the former Massachusetts governor.

Not quite. I think Romney raised an important issue, but he cited the wrong statistic and drew an unwarranted conclusion.

Here’s what I said to Neil Cavuto about the controversy.

To augment on those remarks, here’s where Romney was wrong.

Yes, we have almost half of households not paying federal income tax, and I recognize that there’s a risk on an unhealthy political dynamic if people begin to think they get government for free, but those people are not…

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(Video) Pat Condell with a word to rioting Muslims

September 21, 2012

I really have nothing to add. Take it away, Pat! (Slight language warning.)

President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Senator Kerry — this is how it’s done.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Tweet of the Day: “You wrote that with a straight with a straight face?” edition

September 21, 2012

From left-wing “pundit” Oliver Willis, a “senior fellow” at that notably unbiased paragon of journalistic integrity, Media Matters for America:

Tell me another funny one, Ollie.

Look, I don’t mind journalists advocating a point or expressing an opinion, but don’t insult my intelligence by pretending a) that you aren’t when you are and b) that the MSM isn’t heavily biased toward the progressive-statist (PDF) end of the spectrum, the political and cultural Left.

via RBPundit on Twitter

PS: Hi, Oliver. I guess blocking me wasn’t all that effective. Darn.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


US Embassy in Pakistan besieged: Obama and Clinton beg demonstrators to stop

September 20, 2012

Sovereign American soil is invaded, American diplomats are threatened and even killed, and all the President of the United States and his Secretary of State can do is go on Pakistani television and beg them to stop:

Marked by the U.S. Embassy seal, advertisements condemning an anti-Islam video appeared on Pakistani television on Thursday in an apparent attempt to undercut anger against the United States, where the film was produced. Hundreds of youths, however, clashed with security officials as they tried in vain to reach the embassy in Islamabad amid anger in many countries over the film’s vulgar depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.

The advertisements appear to be an effort by the U.S. government to dampen chaos surrounding the film and undo some of the damage to America’s image in the Muslim world. Violence linked to the movie has left at least 30 people in seven countries dead, including the American ambassador to Libya. Two people have died in protests in Pakistan.

(…)

The television ads in Pakistan feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during press appearances in Washington in which they condemned the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu.

“We absolutely reject its content and message,” said Clinton in the advertisement.

A caption on the ad reads: “Paid Content.”

The advertisements end with the seal of the American Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. It was not known how many channels were airing the ads or whether they were being run in other Muslim countries or just Pakistan.

An embassy spokeswoman declined comment.

She’s probably too embarrassed to speak.

Between this and the possible negotiations to release the Blind Sheikh, the craven, intellectually and morally bankrupt nature of this administration’s foreign policy stands naked for the world to see. Our enemies see the truth — challenge Obama and he’ll give you want you want. Deny the right of free speech? Sure, no problem! Release a mass-murdering terrorist who plotted even more horrific crimes? Let’s talk. As Bryan Preston asks, how soon should we expect the demand for Khalid Shiekh Muhammad’s “humanitarian release?”

Obama and Clinton expect appeasing a bunch of medieval savages to buy us peace and safety.

This is what it will really buy:

US Consulate, Benghazi

American blood, spilled by jihadis who’ll know that, under Obama, they can get away with it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#FastAndFurious : Inspector General releases report, not enough heads roll

September 20, 2012

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General released his report (500 pages, PDF) on Operation Fast and Furious, the mindbogglingly stupid “sting” operation that fed thousands of high-powered guns to Mexican gun cartels with fatal results. The report savages the DoJ, the Arizona US Attorney’s Office, and the ATF. The traditional falling on swords has begun:

The report says Attorney General Eric Holder was not made aware of potential flaws in the program until February of last year. But the report cites 14 other department employees — including Criminal Division head Lanny Breuer — for potential wrongdoing, recommending the department consider disciplinary action against them.

One congressional source told Fox News the report was “more brutal than was expected.”

The report marked Jason Weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division, as the highest-ranking DOJ employee in a position to stop the program. Weinstein, who disputes the findings, is resigning in the wake of the report.

Another official criticized for not asking enough questions about the Furious operation, former ATF acting director Kenneth Melson, retired after the report came down.

Also:

The report slams both the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for not taking action. The program caught the attention of Congress and the rest of the country after weapons from Fast and Furious were found at the crime scene of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. 

“Indeed, no one responsible for the case at either ATF Phoenix Field Division or the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona raised a serious question or concern about the government not taking earlier measures to disrupt a trafficking operation that continued to purchase firearms with impunity for many months,” the report said. “Similarly, we did not find persuasive evidence that any supervisor in Phoenix, at either the U.S. Attorney’s Office or ATF, raised serious questions or concerns about the risk to public safety posed by the continuing firearms purchases or by the delay in arresting individuals who were engaging in the trafficking. 

“This failure reflected a significant lack of oversight and urgency by both ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, and a disregard by both for the safety of individuals in the United States and Mexico,” the report said. 

The office said it “identified serious failures” by ATF leaders in supervising the operation.

Gee, ya think?

Naturally, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darell Issa (R-CA) has said questions remain, but that the report confirms the committee’s findings of a “felony stupid” operation allowed to run wild. And, also naturally, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the committee, asserts that, while the report shows problems, it exonerates Attorney General Holder.

Eh… Not so fast, congressman.  While skimming the report, I kept seeing statements to the effect that warnings and hints of problems about Fast and Furious would reach to Holder’s inner circle, they somehow never reached Eric “Spinning In My Chair” Holder, himself.

Say what? A major firearms trafficking investigation that allows untrackable weapons to cross international borders, said weapons only being recoverable after the deadly fact at crime scenes, and no one told the Attorney General? Really?

Cue Sergeant Schultz.

Like me, Jim Geraghty asks of Eric Holder, which is it, incompetence or lying?

The initial headlines shouted that the IG report had exonerated Holder. That’s one interpretation. But the portrait the report paints of Holder’s management is deeply disturbing. Time and again, information and warnings about the operation’s enormous risks flow from Arizona to Washington … and suddenly, mysteriously, stop just short of Holder.

The inspector general’s report concludes that they can find no evidence Holder knew about Fast and Furious until well after Terry’s death, but … well, the circumstances of Holder being so out of the loop, so in the dark about a major operation certainly appear unusual, perhaps to the point of straining credulity.

(…)

A suspicious mind could look at this strange pattern of underling, after deputy, after staffer not mentioning critical information, and information getting all the way to Holder’s office but not being seen by the AG himself, and conclude Holder’s staffers were keeping him in the dark. Would that be to preserve his “plausible deniability”? Another conclusion might be that someone just wasn’t honest with the inspector general.

We now know that the best that can be said about Holder is that he was oblivious to a major, exceptionally dangerous operation going on within his organization. And the most generous interpretation of that is that he had staffed his office with professionals who had epically flawed judgment in deciding what the nation’s top law-enforcement officer needed to know.

He’s just much more genteel about it than I.

This should be nowhere near the end of the investigation; just the end of the beginning. We now have proof from the DoJ’s own Inspector General that Eric Holder and his top deputies are at the minimum intellectually incurious incompetents. They are dunderheads whose at best negligent “oversight” allowed this investigation to continue with no due regard for public safety. Holder, Breuer, and all the rest who had any duty to oversee this operation should resign. The Arizona US Attorney’s Office and the ATF there should be cleaned out and staffed with people who actually have oxygen going to their brains.

But, let’s not forget something that overrides all else in importance: people died because of Operation Fast and Furious. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. ICE Agent Jaime Zapata. Over 300 Mexican civilians, police, and military. All dead, murdered by guns the US government knowingly allowed to slip into cartel hands. Aren’t they and their loved ones owed more than a report from a Washington bureaucrat?

No, this investigation should not end. If Romney becomes president, then his AG should pursue this wherever it leads, including filing criminal charges against “former high officials.” Now that the IG’s report is out, the families of agents Terry and Zapata have every reason to file suit, not only seeking damages but forcing the revelation of more information via discovery.  And, while I don’t know Mexican law, their government should file charges for the equivalent of  “accessory” or “criminal negligence” against everyone from Holder down to the field operatives and then seek extradition. They owe their people no less.

I’ve seen government scandals before, both petty and large. But never, ever, have I witnessed a scandal that cost lives. This report cannot be the end.

Justice demands it.

RELATED: Other posts on Operation Fast and Furious.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of Obama … huh?? Again???

September 19, 2012

I thought it was pretty creepy the first time, but now you can buy your very own Barack Obama flag from Barack Obama himself!

The Great Banner of Dear Leader?

And this can be yours for only $35!

L’Etat c’est Obama?

Jim Geraghty has sometimes called Obama “Our Munificent Sun-King.” Whoever knew Obama would agree?

Most of us. 

via several folks on Twitter

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


House GOP protests any plan to release Blind Sheikh

September 19, 2012

Looks like I’m not the only one who finds this rumor credible. Several House Republican committee chairmen have written the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to say “Don’t you dare:”

The lawmakers called recent reports that the inspiration behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing could be released in a goodwill gesture to Cairo. He is currently serving a life sentence behind bars.

“Succumbing to the demands of a country whose citizens threaten our embassy and the Americans serving in it would send a clear message that acts of violence will be responded to with appeasement rather than strength,” the chairmen wrote. “…The release of Abdel-Rahman or any terrorist who plots to kill innocent Americans would be seen for what it is – a sign of weakness and a lack of resolve by the United States and its President.”

Signing the letter were Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Homeland Security Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.), Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), and Appropriations subcommittee chairmen Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Kay Granger (R-Texas).

Read the rest: State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland vehemently denied there were any plans or even  preliminary negotiations to release Abdel-Rahman, but note again that she said nothing about not transferring him to Egyptian custody…

This just stinks of appeasement.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dear President Obama: no, no, no, NO!!!

September 18, 2012

This had better just be a rumor:

The U.S. State Department is actively considering negotiations with the Egyptian government for the transfer of custody of Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as “the Blind Sheikh,” for humanitarian and health reasons, a source close to the the Obama administration told TheBlaze.

“Humanitarian reasons” my rear end! If they’re considering this, it’s  because their whole foreign policy in the Middle East has blown up in their faces, and Abdel-Rahman’s release has been one of the Islamists’ demands for decades. Just weeks before the current crisis, Egypt’s President Morsi, himself a Brotherhood member, had been pressing for Abdel-Rahman’s release. They’re in a panic.

And who is “the Blind Sheikh?” He was the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the jihad’s first attempt to bring those buildings down. Six people died in that attack, including a pregnant woman, and more were seriously injured. We were lucky only that the bomb makers underestimated how much explosive they would need. If anything, Abdel-Rahman should have been taken out and hanged.

And we’re negotiating for this savage’s release? Seriously??

According to the DoJ… “Nah, not happening:”

The Department of Justice, however, told TheBlaze that Rahman is serving a life sentence and is not considered for possible “release.”  Previous calls to the State Department were referred to the Department of Justice and so far, the State Department has neither confirmed nor denied the report.

Well, that’s comforting. Not. Note that, while they said Abdel-Rahman was not eligible for release, they didn’t say a thing about not transferring him to Egyptian custody “for humanitarian reasons.” (Poor baby’s not been feeling well. I weep.) You can bet what’s left of your 401K that’s what they’re discussing.

But, it’s just a rumor, right? Hold on a minute:

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who was the lead prosecutor in the Blind Sheikh case, told TheBlaze that he does not doubt the accuracy of the report, saying “there are very good reasons as to why it could be true.”

McCarthy explained that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been calling for the release of the Blind Sheikh ever since he was elected earlier this year. He said it is a matter of “great importance” to the radical Islamists in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, adding that his transfer to Egypt would undoubtedly lead to the terrorist’s release.

“I think the plan has been to agree to the Blind Sheikh’s release but not to announce it or have it become public until after the election. That is consistent with Obama’s pattern of trying to mollify Islamists,” he added. “Obviously, they did not want this information to surface yet… but sometimes a situation can spin out of control.”

Given this administration is so quick to appease that it would make Neville Chamberlain blush, I find this rumor very credible, too. And that has my blood boiling.

No fan of Obama, but still skeptical, Allahpundit wonders what possible political advantage the White House could see in such a crap sandwich of a deal:

Just one question: What would Obama get out of it, assuming he followed through on this in a second term? His credibility on counterterrorism would be shattered instantly; all the GOP accusations of appeasement, which have failed to get traction against the guy who ordered Bin Laden taken out, would finally have a track to run on. After years of trying, the Dems have finally pulled even with the GOP on the question of which party is better on fighting terror; hard for me to believe O’s going to give that away in one fell swoop. Granted, a lame duck wouldn’t have to worry about his own reelection but he would have to worry about vulnerable Democrats in Congress, whom he’d need to achieve any of his second-term goals. And no, needless to say, “humanitarian and health reasons” won’t be enough to justify the release. That wouldn’t have flown even before Britain gave the Lockerbie bomber back to Libya, but after Megrahi lingered for years after doctors had given him six months to live, that all but ensured no western government will ever try that excuse again.

One problem: Obama doesn’t give a tinker’s cuss about the congressional Democrats. He never has. He’s already factored in a future Republican congress and plans to pursue his agenda through the regulatory powers of the presidency. What he wants is for this mess in the Islamic world to calm down, now, before the press can’t cover for him anymore. A deal with Morsi over Abdel-Rahman might just give him that, especially if he can hold off on the “transfer” until after the election.

You know, when he’ll have more flexibility.

Transferring Omar Abdel-Rahman to Egyptian (read: Muslim Brotherhood) custody would be the ultimate “briar patch” moment for Team Smart Power’s foreign policy, doing exactly what the jihadists want. Not only would it insult the Rule of Law, not only would it be a slap in the face to the victims and their survivors, it wouldn’t even do any good! It would be a craven, cowardly act of appeasement that would only lead to further demands and further American deaths, not peace, because they know they can get away with it.

Churchill once wrote of appeasement:

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last”

And the crocodile always comes back for more.

via Blue Crab Boulevard

SNEAKY AFTERTHOUGHT: What if the story is true, but someone in the government who still has a shred of decency left was rightfully appalled and leaked this to a friend, who leaked it to a friend, who told another friend who knew Glenn Beck, who was the first to break this? That would be a good way to put a lot of pressure on the administration to put down the stupid idea and back away. If so, well played. Well played.

RELATED: More at Roger’s Rules; Fausta calls it insane. Andy McCarthy has written the definitive book on the 1993 WTC bombing and the prosecution of the Blind Sheikh, called “Willful Blindness.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


At least the President knows what’s important to him

September 17, 2012

So, with our embassies burning and besieged, our diplomats murdered, and the scent of war wafting in from East Asia, what does President Obama do? Convene his Cabinet? Get briefings from his national security staff? Ask Valerie Jarrett what he should do?

Don’t worry, Citizen! The fourth-greatest president EVAR!!! knows what comes first:

Now, don’t you feel better?

Like I’ve said before, I don’t begrudge presidents their recreational time; they have a demanding, darned hard job.

I just wish he’d try to do it once in a while, instead of just pretending.

via Bryan Preston

RELATED: A very good post from Baseball Crank on Barack Obama’s passivity in a crisis.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Latest recommended reading

September 17, 2012

I’ve been remiss updating the “What I’m reading” column on the right.  Fixed! I’m now reading two excellent books, one a biography and the other a political horror story of sorts.

The first is David McCullough’s biography of John Adams, which came out a few years ago. I knew little more of our second president’s life and work beyond the standard stories  –he tends to get lost between presidents Washington and Jefferson– and this book more than fills the gap. While, like most presidential biographers, McCullough likes his subject and is probably a bit biased towards him, nonetheless Adams’ life is fascinating. Much more adventurous than a stuffy-looking centuries old portrait would lead us to imagine. I’ll do a full review when I’m done, but, for now, let me say you can’t go wrong with this if you’re at all interested in biography or the history of the Revolution and Early Republic.

The other is Stanley Kurtz’s “Spreading the Wealth: how Obama is robbing the suburbs to pay for the cities.” Sounds like a crazy right-wing fantasy, right? It did to me, too, but one reason lead me to buy it: the author. Kurtz, whose “Radical in Chief” was reviewed here a couple of years ago, is a meticulous researcher and a careful writer, fair with the evidence. The thesis of his argument is that, in his second term (if, God forbid, he wins one), Obama intends to do all he can to advance the “regionalist” agenda that’s near and dear to his heart and that of his old community-organizing buddies. As the blurb at Amazon (somewhat breathlessly) describes it:

Now Kurtz reveals new evidence that the administration’s talk about helping the middle class is essentially a smoke screen. Behind the scenes, plans are under way for a serious push toward wealth redistribution, with the suburban middle class—not the so-called one percent—bearing the brunt of it.
 
(…)
 
Drawing on previously overlooked sources, Kurtz cuts through that smoke screen to reveal what’s really going on. Radicals from outside the administration—including key Obama allies from his early community organizing days—have been quietly influ­encing policy, in areas ranging from edu­cation to stimulus spending. Their goal: to increase the influence of America’s cities over their suburban neighbors so that even­tually suburban independence will vanish.
 
In the eyes of Obama’s former mentors—followers of leftist radical Saul Alinsky—suburbs are breeding grounds for bigotry and greed. The classic American dream of a suburban house and high quality, locally controlled schools strikes them as selfishness, a waste of resources that should be redirected to the urban poor.
 
The regulatory groundwork laid so far is just a prelude to what’s to come: substantial redistribution of tax dollars. Over time, cities would effectively swallow up their surround­ing municipalities, with merged school dis­tricts and forced redistribution of public spending killing the appeal of the suburbs. The result would be a profound transforma­tion of American society.

Like I said, something of a political horror story, only all too plausible. Hey, he did promise to fundamentally transform the US, no? I’m about halfway through this one.

Links to these books are on the right. Fair disclosure: I’m an Amazon Associate, so clicking the links and, especially, buying a book nets me a few pennies.

Help a brother out?

RELATED: Prior book reviews.


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