Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Correct Outrage

Jack Cashill highlights the seminal question everyone should be asking about Ferguson--what should officer Wilson NOT have done?   His step by step analysis is laughably logical and should be obvious to anyone with a functioning brain (with the exception of the parents of a lost child, who deserve slack), ie, the Ferguson shooting was not controversial. An 18 year old man was shot after robbing a convenience store, then refusing a police officer's instruction, then assaulting him and grabbing for his gun.

On the other hand, this one was:
A rookie officer pulled the trigger, said Jeffrey Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association.
Police were sent to the Cudell Recreation Center at Detroit Avenue and West Boulevard about 3:30 p.m. when someone called 9-1-1 to report a "guy with a gun pointing it at people." The caller told dispatchers twice that the gun was "probably fake," but that detail was not relayed to the responding officers, Follmer said.
The protesters need to mobilize in Cleveland around this case, which is not only heartbreaking but also raises much more pertinent questions about policing in America especially in minority neighborhoods. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sharyl Attkisson Update

She's a busy woman at the moment.   A best-selling book while stories she writes about in said book are breaking all around her.

Benghazi..

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence declassified and released their report on Benghazi in what appeared to be a Friday doc dump.  Mainstreamers and blogs like TPM and Huffpo have spent the last several days making it sound like the report officially justifies the president's calling it a 'phony scandal'.

From reading the report's 37 pages a few things come to the front.  One, just as CNN reported in 2012 initially after the event (to almost zero fanfare) members of AQ in Iraq were involved in the attack.  That would be our modern-day ISIS (or Isil, if you prefer Obama-speak).  Those guys weren't there on vacation.  Clearly they and their AQ buddies were there because weapons were likely being funneled out to the 'freedom fighters' in Syria.  The HPSCI report confirms this while dismissing any conspiracy theories that the CIA annex was itself being used to actually funnel the weapons.  They determine that CIA was there to observe and spy on the weapons transfers.

Also, the idea that a bunch of guys walking around suddenly got mad and grabbed their RPGs and mortars and attacked America because of a hateful video was completely waxed in this report. 

Two, the report condemns the process that CIA Deputy Mike Morell used to override the CIA's initial September 12th conclusion that the attack was not spontaneous, not based on a protest, and contained AQ elements.  Morell claims to have later ignored people actually on the ground in Benghazi in the days following, eventually finding himself in the middle of an inter-agency process of developing talking points. He blames this failure on judgment gleaned over his 30 year career.  The White House has persistently said they didn't change the talking points, Morell did, which can also be called plausible deniability.  Morell is now retired from CIA and working with Phillipe Reines at Beacon Global.

But yeah, the overarching conclusion of Rogers' report is that nothing untoward occurred. 

So far Attkisson has not weighed in on the HPSCI report.  She was on Howie Kurtz' Media Buzz this morning but mainly stuck to Fast and Furious (F&F).  Her eventual take will be interesting, since it does appear that Mike Rogers and company, despite clearing up some items regarding the video and leaving open the question of why the talking points were changed, were trying to send a message that Benghazi was nothing more than a tragic attack spun up politically by the right, just as Obama said.  They had to know their conclusion would be spun that way.   

Which is odd, since John Boehner appointed Trey Gowdy to run a Select Committee on the matter just a few months ago.  When Gowdy was last asked about Benghazi by Megyn Kelly on Fox he said they were more or less operating on the down-low without public hearings.  Then this report comes out.  His Select Committee issued a curt statement the other day, saying they will take the report into consideration.  Yeah. John Boehner, like Rogers, is a member of the Gang of Eight and would certainly have known more about what happened than Gowdy, yet he formed the Select Committee anyway almost surely knowing Rogers' report would be fodder for the left wing press.  Something sounds fishy.


Fast and Furious..

As Attkisson alluded in her appearance on Media Buzz, Judicial Watch managed to get a pack of emails through a FOIA request (part of the information the president had hidden behind executive privilege) that outline how DOJ media spinners reacted to the F&F story.  They rake Attkisson pretty good therein, calling her "out of control" and claim they will contact Bob Schieffer at CBS to apparently rein her in.  There are other offhand references to her, with some references to Fox's Greta Van Sustern along with friendly mentions of various AP and WaPo reporters.  At one point Eric Holder says "wow" when notified of an AP story from Pete Yost that snarkily mentions Bush's "Wide Receiver" gun walking program.   Attkisson has been tweeting up a storm on this, referring to this post on her website.

But in sum, there's not much contained in these emails other than a lot of duplication (this is how the administration can later tell reporters they released "thousands of pages of documents" to make it sound more impressive, they repeat pages of the same emails over and over each time someone replies to the same thread).  The main takeaway is watching these taxpayer funded press flacks strategize about how they will go on defense, then "offense", at one point suggesting the Attorney General should blame the publicity of the case on the NRA for trying to destroy the ATF (they say such a thing would have to be managed carefully). But it's likely nothing different than the daily happenings in any press flack office in government or industry.  Of course the Obama administration was supposed to be different.  
 
The bottom line to F&F seems to be all about what Holder knew and when he knew it, and whether the president knew and used Nixon-esque executive privilege to keep anyone from finding out.  This perhaps goes toward a theory they were trying to use ATF to create a gun-control play, ie, hopes that stories about US-sold guns being used in violent crimes in Mexico might spur the grubers for more gun control. 

Keep in mind F&F ramped up in late 2009 after a blizzard of contacts between US and Mexico where guns were mentioned.  The president met with Mexican president Calderon in April and in another visit in August (North American summit meeting) where gun violence came up.  Hillary visited Mexico in March then met Calderon again in July, blaming America for the gun violence.  The president is still using this blame game meme.  President Calderon then visited America in 2010 and bashed the Arizona immigration law on the floor of the House (again before F&F was a story) and proceeded to say..
Calderon also told Congress Thursday that the fight against narcotics traffickers along the border can only succeed if the United States reduces its demand for illegal drugs. Calderon called on Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban. "The Second Amendment is not a subject open for diplomatic negotiation, with Mexico or any other nation," Cornyn said. He said the United States must stop the flow of assault weapons and other arms across the border.
To be clear, when they blame America they are blaming the lack of gun laws, not the ATF for failing to catch the straw purchasers or the Mexican government for allowing the gun runners unfettered re-access to Mexico. So it's natural to assume that after the president and secretary of state spent the spring and summer of 2009 blaming America for Mexico's gun problem and vowing to help stop it, there might be some questions about whether F&F was one of their answers.  If so, there's no way Holder couldn't know about it from the very start.

It seems unlikely a single field office would do that on their own, but maybe they were just trying to score brownie points.  And while the press flacks seemed ready and willing to have Holder use the scandal to attack the NRA (part of going on offense), which makes it sound like gun control might have been a goal, they just as easily could have been opportunistic.  In the end the presidential executive privilege is what makes this seems more nefarious, but as Attkisson points out the bulk of her mainstream cohorts never seemed to smell any rats as they would with a GOP version in the West Wing.  Many probably root for more gun control. 

At any rate, reading through about 3/4ths of Attkisson's book her take is certainly interesting and unsurprising, but have not seen any true smoking guns yet.  The evidence provided that her PCs were hacked or commandeered by shadowy US agencies is not overpowering, however it reads as entirely plausible based on how the AP and James Rosen were treated along with the Snowden leaks.

Even if it turns out she's a closet conservative and has overreacted to some of the treatment given her the story she tells of how newsrooms operate, especially her explanation of how stories would be covered if the situations were reversed (say Mitt Romney was in the White House), ring absolutely true.  Managed media bandwagon outage and saturation coverage only occurs when the big media gatekeepers want it to occur, usually when a conservative does something wrong (fulfills media-created public perception).  Stories like Gruber upset that continuum and the gatekeepers work to downplay them, often in concert with administration officials (many of whom are buddies or even husbands/wives), but this is becoming harder to do in an an age of open internet

Friday, November 21, 2014

Look over there!

All this fuss about fixing immigration.  Why the rush?  Was something about to expire?  Were masses of illegal immigrants about to be shipped back over the border in a week, in Nazi cattle cars?  No, other than politics there was no pressing need to do anything about a problem that the president himself hasn't put that much effort into for six years and one he only recently said wasn't even possible to fix from the White House.

But it's a big story, and other things aren't.  Other stuff they'd rather not talk about.

Like having their butts whipped, for one.  And others.  But give these guys credit, they know how to make things an issue and whip up the stuff they want to discuss, not the bad stuff. The best defense is a good offense, and it's a good political strategy as long as there's a willing press to help.

Oddly enough, the notion of going on offense in a defensive setting is written all over the recent email release regarding Fast and Furious the DOJ was just forced to FOIA out to Judicial Watch.  Their communications slap dashers made it clear they were bothered by former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson for being a crack reporter and were focused on getting their boss in front of more 'reasonable' reporters to help him explain to the American grubers what he didn't know and when he didn't know it.

But is anyone in the media reporting about this release or what it might mean to press freedoms or what it might say about their role with this administration?  Only the right leaning bloggers, pretty much.

How about Iran?   The president is on record numerous times saying that an Iranian nuclear weapon would be a "game-changer" and that he will not allow them to acquire a nukular weapon on his watch.   But we are only 2 days away from the extended deadline (the first one passed almost unnoticed) in the almost invisible "P5+1" talks designed to get the Ayatollahs to stop making said nuke.

Should this deadline pass (and there has been almost no reportage about it) our country will be right back to square one with Iran, except the sanctions will be lower because the president relaxed them to induce a deal.  So they would have to be revamped.  Or, we would have to start bombing because after all, the administration has never formally taken the military option off the table. Yes, that was a serious comment.

Surely John Kerry will finagle another extension by maybe lowering more sanctions, but won't that signal extreme weakness on our part?  Will anyone on the Sunday Shows mention the fallout from another feckless red line issued by America?

And if the Ferguson, MO Grand Jury decision is released on Sunday as some predict, that's it.  Hell, they could announce an agreement to fund Iran's nuke program and provide Hizballah with Fast and Furious guns and nobody would notice. 

Speaking of South Asia, there are reports the DoD paid a phony ransom to some Afghan terror con man thinking they were going to get Private-Sgt Bowe Bergdahl in return.  They deny it of course, because we don't pay ransoms otherwise we would have paid to not have our folks lose their heads, but they only deny it insofar as calling it a ransom.  Hey look over there, it's 10 feet of snow in Buffalo!  

How about Obamacare?  The HHS just came out yesterday and admitted their enrollment numbers were pretty much bullcrap. Overestimated by almost a half a million.   In other words, more empty words.  Almost no mainstream media outlets are covering it.

And now mysteriously, on a Friday evening before the coming riots, some of Lois Lerner's emails have been found.
 
Let's face it, this administration knows how to play the GOP.  The media helps. Obama's unambiguous but nakedly political declarations made before the mid-terms that he couldn't legally and constitutionally do what he just did would sink any other president, but not this one.  And that makes the GOP even madder and more frustrated. That gives skilled politicians like Obama a huge advantage.

The recent mass shooter at Florida State is yet another example of this bias--since he was black and was known to recite scripture while referencing Black Panther figures the story is pretty much over now, at least from a marketable aspect to bash the Tea Party or "gun nuts" or paranoid wingers thinking the government is out to get them, or something else for Obama to yell "pass a bill" about.  Nothing to see, move along, over here, to this nice immigration story about the nice president who cares about everything more than anyone and the courageous struggling workers changing "yes we can" against those evil xenophobes who don't know their butts from a broomstick when it comes to this kind of trench warfare.  

MORE  11/22/14

Add this one to the other things going on list..
President Barack Obama has quietly approved guidelines in recent weeks to allow the Pentagon to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, broadening previous plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida after this year, U.S. officials said late Friday.
Part of ending the war responsibly, no doubt. And of course, this was in the works for a year despite nobody being told about it.

Anyway, back to immigration. Where is the Executive Order? Obama was photographed signing something on AF1 yesterday, but what was it? According to the various sites showing presidential EOs there are no recent orders. The WH is calling these things 'actions', ie, Executive Actions, which NPR almost seems curious about while saying that actions hold far less legal weight than orders. And if he signed something on the plane that means there was no EO signing ceremony, odd for such an historic move (yes there are signing ceremonies for EO, which the NPR link shows).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Immigration Two-Step

As the nation holds its collective breath over what the Emperor-in-Chief plans to do with illegal immigration, some context should be noted.   

Obama's many admissions that he couldn't simply put on a king's hat and change laws by himself is being cited as a reason he can't actually change things now because after all, he was a constitutional scholar.  And he said so.  So he should know.  Even the NY Times has noticed the inconsistencies.  But he was almost surely lying again.

The Dream Act executive action was precedent--illegal aliens were granted a reprieve from prosecution and given perks.  Other previous quasi or direct amnesties via EOs by Republican presidents are also precedent, as pointed out by the Democrats.  It can be done.  It's been done.  Obama knew he could gift the Dreamers' parents with their own 'deferred action' whenever he wanted to, without causing a constitutional crisis.

So why didn't he?  Naked politics.  

He needed the Blue Dog Senators to win their mid-term 2014 elections and keep the Senate blue.  Many voters in those blue dog states oppose immigration reform so when talking to immigration/Hispanic groups, who always pleaded with him to just use his pen, he pretended his hands were tied by the Constitution and blamed the GOP for not signing a bill.  This was designed to hold them off until after the election. 

The politics worked both ways. In 2013 Boehner was stringing Obama along on whether the GOP House might take up the Senate bill or make some new attempts, leaving the door open.  Then he closed it.  But immigration groups were madder at Obama because after all, he's had the chance to do reform as early as 2009 (as he had promised) and did not, so once again he was putting off the Hispanic lobby.

The mid-term shellacking results make it appear his ploy didn't work--they lost the Senate anyway (with many candidates winning by opposing blanket reform).  But maybe it didn't need to. 

The president has certainly realized there is a very good chance that Boehner and McConnell can simply stall any immigration bills until 2016, leaving reform for the next president's legacy and leaving Obama and perhaps the Democratic Party shut out.  What to do!?

Well, he did what he always does--announce that a blue ribbon panel of experts has been tasked with studying the legal issue so when he takes executive action it will be legal and proper..  In other words, Obama 2013 was wrong--a blue ribbon commission says so.  But Obama 2014 doesn't have to win anymore elections.  The embarrassment of a constitutional scholar being wrong about such a plain vanilla issue will mostly be short-term, trading it for a long-term legacy gain and a divided and angry GOP.  What's to lose? 

Besides, the ruse is ensured because the same liberal media who haven't been interested in exposing any lies or scandals since 2009 (that of Candy Crowley fame) are not about to change horses now.  They will point out a few inconsistencies here and there but will be more than happy to divert their full attention to covering the GOP 'melt-down' or 'temper tantrum' or whatever else results from Obama's 'courageous' humane action right before Thanksgiving, etc. etc.   The GOP caucus is going to have to get real creative, real soon.

MORE  11/19/14

Here's what the White House is counting on after this is announced...


It will be demagogued to death, with the hopes of painting the GOP as a wild pack of racist xenophobes. They will push the impeachment button over and over--they being the Democrats. Anything to besmirch the recent shellacking. They are craven.

MORE 11/19/14

The AP telegraphs how they are going to cover this--from the human side, complete with fabrications about the GOP's intent. Danger, Will Robinson, it's a trap. The electorate that voted-in the GOP majority are those who pay attention--the ones who didn't bother to vote are a Gruber-like wave in the making for 2016. Those are the ones Obama2014 is trying to rile up with actions that Obama2013 said were unethical and unconstitutional.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Who's Leaking to CNN?

CNN today covered the rambling conspiracy letters recently sent by the so-called 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui to a federal judge offering to spill his guts about Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks.  Feel free to peruse more details from Peter Lance and  Pamela Geller.

The weird thing about the CNN interview is towards the end the anchor mentioned the 28 pages of a Senate report that some in Congress want to declassify and release, evidently because it backs up the idea of Saudi involvement in 9/11.  But the reporter also said this..
...also some people say the 28 pages in fact, really show a much tighter relationship between the Saudi Royal Family and George W. Bush..
Can anyone imagine a CNN report where the expert notes at the end that "some people say that Obama used a fake social security number", even in a half-serious manner?  Yeah.

Nevertheless, the fact she mentioned this stuff about Bush means somebody leaked it or it would have never reached the air.  Such stuff is not just invented out of whole cloth, even at CNN.  Since the Obama folks have treated leaking classified material as a crime worse than violating the Constitution maybe Holder will spring into action and take down the Congresscritter who did this heinous thing.  Whoops, digression.  Sorry.



CNN's report linked Moussaoui's claims with the 28 pages, so the timing is interesting.  It's also interesting Moussaoui would namedrop Ramzi Yousef and accuse him of sending a goon to rough him up persuade him not to tattle on the House of Saud, considering that Yousef was supposed to be a fellow traveler with Saudi exile Usama bin Laden just like his uncle KSM.   Exile, you know, pushed forth into the wilderness.  No longer wanted.  Persona non gratis.

Yet for some reason we're supposed to believe Yousef was working for the Sauds all along, or least loved them enough to protect them, all while bin Laden constantly demonized them.  Or was UBL working for them, too?

Well, ole Zacarias certainly has something to gain from fibbing AND telling the truth--he wants a warmer cell and pest control.  He's also been diagnosed with mental problems, but most suicide bombers might also qualify, besides, such people are still capable of occasional lucid thought even if their lucid thoughts do not include a realization that nothing will help their miserable prison existence because there will be no deals made with terrorists ever.  At least the ones already locked up.  Presumably (hey with the current CinC one never says never).   

Peter Lance points to a Reuters article that claims his letter writing didn't start until he saw a Fox News story about a verdict against several Arab banks by 9/11 families a few months ago, prompting him to contact their lawyers and volunteer info.  Whether he knew about the 28 page redaction story is unknown--maybe those lawyers told him when they interviewed him last month at the prison--but it's possible he did and felt like it was the right time to make a move while the story was still warm. 

Whatever, it might serve to remember that Moussaoui once said this before his prison days..
"The Prophet says, 'war is deceit,' " Moussaoui later told prosecutor Robert Spencer. "You're allowed to lie for jihad. You're allowed any technique to defeat your enemy."
And what a lie that would be--placing a big fat wedge in the West's relationship with the Gulf States just as the 28 pages wait impatiently in the wings with leaks dribbling out left and right.   A big lie about Prince Turki, et al would line up very well with Bin Laden's stated goal to remove the Arab monarchies, so nobody should discount the idea this entire thing, including the reported goon being sent by Yousef, is a lie for jihad.

If it's not--and the US should know because we nabbed a lot of UBL's thumb drive collection in Pakistan--then some big time dog poop is going to hit the international fan.  But will Obama let it?  Maybe he could tie this to the Ferguson Grand Jury release and his coming Royal Dictates legalizing illegal aliens and go for the sheer bedlam play.  But chances are there is something in those 28 pages that will hurt him as well or they would have been on the street long ago.   

Also wondering, is there any reason Moussaoui requested to go to Oklahoma City to tell his story?   He did go to flight school there.  Something else happened there as well.  What else?   How about they release the letters, verbatim, so we can see.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Side Tracks

Last week I stumbled across broadcaster/lawyer (and Messianic Jew) Jay Sekulow's band.  Nothing new to some people, but new to me as I don't listen to a lot of radio anymore.  Players include former Head East and Petra lead singer John Schlitt and former Kansas vocalist John Elfante, who took over after the initial departure of Steve Walsh in the early 80s.  Here's a recent song they cut about ISIS...

 

Not to get too political on the music post, but the kind of evil they sing of, currently displayed by ISIS, was actually the same kind of evil displayed by the Saddam regime.  This should not be surprising with former regime elements helping to organize it using an Islamist face.  Nothing new under the sun, but civilized mankind has always had to fight it in some form or another. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Media is getting tougher on Obama? Guffaw.

Sharyl Attkisson is right about her colleagues, even if she fantasized all that stuff about her computer break-ins.   Here's the New York Times editorial board reacting to a flim-flam climate agreement between Obama and the ChiComms, with the special code language in bold:
In the United States, the agreement cuts the ground from under people like Mitch McConnell, the next Senate majority leader, and others who have long argued that there is no point in taking aggressive steps against greenhouse gases as long as major developing countries refused to do likewise.
This argument effectively undermined Senate support for ratification of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The climate deniers in Congress will find other reasons to oppose a strong climate strategy, and are doing so even now. But the “China” argument has effectively disappeared.
They got it all in there, eh? And by the way, what exactly is a "climate denier"? Does anyone on either side deny there is climate?  And what does a "strong climate strategy" mean?  Does the NY Times think mankind can significantly alter the climate of the Earth to any significant degree (pun intended)?

No, this editorial makes it clear that climate is secondary to nailing cracker Republican men of greed in a world of need for liberals.  Like everything else they know best--if we stupid hicks would only listen to them their awesome climate strategies would make it cooler next summer.

Meanwhile this so-called agreement seems to call for China to basically do nothing until 2030, when their "cap" on peak emissions begins, while the United States agreed to CUT output by 26 percent over 2005 levels by 2025.  So our goals happen before theirs.  What a deal.   Especially considering Chiner has already exceeded our CO2 output on a yearly basis.

And of course India is not included, but it doesn't matter because the Peking Commies have zero intention of following through on this, mainly because they are liars engaged in a virtual war with the United States as it is.   Obama most assuredly knows this, he just wanted a climate cream pie to smear in McConnell's face (God knows what else he gave them to get this announcement) after the ass-kicking last Tuesday and the butt-hurt Times editorial writers wanted the same thing and are pleased.

Is it even worth mentioning that the administration seems to be bargaining--poorly--with a bunch of countries who are concurrently telling us to go to hell?   Evidently there's a smart power reason hidden in this somewhere, but us stupid voters can't see it.

AND..  11/13/14

Here's the Times helping their hero again, this time by calling illegal aliens "immigrants" that the president is planning to "shield"...


Nowhere in that image is the actual truth conveyed.  But it will get worse.  With the GOP in power Obama can now be shown by the media as the underdog, fighting for underdogs.  They will always find a way to tilt the slant heading towards the historic first female president and first "first man".

AND THERE IT IS...  11/14/14

Up on top the following was scribbled...yesterday:
With the GOP in power Obama can now be shown by the media as the underdog, fighting for underdogs.
And presto, here is today's Times:
Obama, Down but Not Out, Presses Ahead
Actually the article itself wasn't too terribly bad, it's the headline that carries the message.