Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hagel on the Hot Seat

Didn't see the entire thing, only the snippets, but it certainly seemed like Chuck Hagel was either a deer in the headlights or playing the shrewd game to keep from making news.  He did anyway.  

And the Repubs certainly tried to goad him into popping off.  But this effort looks just a wee bit personal:

Rachel Maddow led off her show tonight highlighting this, pointing out how McCain had been best buds with Hagel back when we were going into Iraq only to split company after Hagel saw the bright light of the reality-based community and decided to follow the path taken by former GOPers like Colin Powell and Lawrence Wilkerson, jabbing the GOP at every available opportunity.   There's definitely bad blood. 

Speaking of the general, O'Reilly interviewed Powell this week and asked what no mainstreamer would--did old hard feelings arise after he was sent out to the UN to make the case for Iraq?  In other words, is this just score-settling now?  The general was officially shocked, shocked at such an insinuation and indicated he was fully onboard with the intel and he wasn't going to give traction to any such silliness, etc., which forced O'Reilly to back down.    Maybe a designed play to leave the impression there were no ulterior motives in his supporting one of the most liberal Democrats the country has ever seen rise to the presidency.

But the question OR should have asked was, "does it have anything to do with you knowing who the Plame leaker was--your deputy Richard Armitage--very early on and not going to the president to inform him, letting the entire special prosecutor Libby thing go down?"   He may have had a pat answer, but there is evidence Powell and his crew at State thought they'd been hosed by Cheney, Rove and the neocons and perhaps they've never gotten over it.  

And that's probably part of what changed Chuck Hagel--Iraq.  It split him from McCain and left the old loyal POW out there twisting in the wind with his decision.  Maybe today was payback.  

By the by, Maddow said repeatedly that "can we all finally agree the Iraq war was a mistake", the correct answer being the one Hagel used with McCain ("leaving the judgment to history").  It would be fun to ask people like her the question, "how would things have looked with Saddam still around this past decade?"  Would the Arab Spring have occurred?  Would Israel have given back Gaza?   Or would our no-fly zones still be in operation?  Maybe for 100 years? Few in the reality-based community care for such hypotheticals.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Aviation Update

Came across this short blurb about an Italian airline crash back in 1980, just now being 'resolved':
What caused the Itavia DC-9 to crash during a flight from Bologna to Palermo has been one of Italy's enduring mysteries. Some theorized a bomb exploded. Others contended the jet was caught in the crossfire of a military aerial dogfight, with a Libyan plane possibly the target. French, U.S. and NATO officials have denied military activity in the skies that night.
Basically the Italian court has overturned an appeal leaving the official verdict as a shoot down by a missile.  This leaves the theory that an air-to-air missile from a military aircraft caused the crash--more specifically either a French, US or Libyan missile, which their investigation board first determined in 1989.  According to some Italians there were NATO jets in the area engaging with two Libyan MiGs; according to NATO there were not. 
Whatever the case, radar tapes showed something intersecting with the jet while they found a downed Libyan MiG and dead pilot (dead for weeks) several weeks later on a nearby Italian island.  They recovered parts of the aircraft and reconstructed it in a hangar but there were no visible entry points for a missile, but there was some indication of an external force based on autopsies of some of the victims.

Weird, wild stuff, since many items are similar to what happened with this aircraft 16 years later. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Various and Monday

A few things....

Hillary, and Obama and Stevie, sitting in a tree.  Coronations aren't a news function.  CBS should be ashamed of itself.  When liberal pundits use analogies like this it's time to reshuffle the news department.   Well, if they care about real news reporting.  

As it is, Madam Hillary is now the best SoS since Jefferson or something.  Yep, she rescued the country's rep, evidently cleaning up after the two black people who preceded her.


The Boy Scouts to consider allowing gay scoutmasters and kids?   Well first, if a boy scout is engaging in sex he's already breaking the Scout Oath.  Second, gay men should not be in charge of Scout Troops.  Yes, that sounds intolerant; there are some decent people who happen to be gay and only a few are pedophiles (probably in line with the overall population).  And yes, God is in charge of judging, me as well.  But I'm just not going to be tolerant on every issue.  The Boy Scouts should simply disband if it comes to violating their own principles.    


Comprehensive immigration reform?   Still politics.  Still an attempt to isolate the bitter clingers, clinging to their guns, religion and xenophobia, etc.   My opinion hasn't changed one atom since the 2006 attempt at doing this.  A smart society does not reward illegal behavior.  If there are fines and green cards, it may be do-able, assuming the borders can be controlled.


From the NROOffice Established by Obama with the Intent to Close Gitmo, closes.   Hey, that could have been a question from Stevie Kroft as well. 


Sunday, January 27, 2013

So Long..

Stan...the man.

I'm not gonna say they broke the mold, etc, but I will say this man was a rare breed and will be sorely missed by all of Cardinal Nation.  

What He Really Said..

The AP has a strange summary story on the wires this morning about an interview the president gave to The New Republic. Here's the general premise:
President Barack Obama says gun-control advocates should be better listeners in the debate over firearms in America.
That's the overtone--Obama reaching out to his own zealots. And oh yeah, he's fired a gun before.  Most outlets are printing this summary, except Fox, who added more.

But what really happened?  Well, the entire interview is available on TNR website. It's title is "Barack Obama is not Pleased".  Sound strange?  Not when the article is read.  Here are a few excerpts...

On the GOP House victory:
That does not mean that you don't have some real big differences. The House Republican majority is made up mostly of members who are in sharply gerrymandered districts that are very safely Republican and may not feel compelled to pay attention to broad-based public opinion, because what they're really concerned about is the opinions of their specific Republican constituencies. There are going to be a whole bunch of initiatives where I can get more than fifty percent support of the country, but I can't get enough votes out of the House of Representatives to actually get something passed.
On Boehner and McConnell versus the Tea Party, versus Reid, Pelosi and the president:
I think John Boehner genuinely wanted to get a deal done, but it was hard to do in part because his caucus is more conservative probably than most Republican leaders are, and partly because he is vulnerable to attack for compromising Republican principles and working with Obama. The same dynamic happens on the Democratic side. I think the difference is just that the more left-leaning media outlets recognize that compromise is not a dirty word. And I think at least leaders like myself—and I include Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in this—are willing to buck the more absolutist-wing elements in our party to try to get stuff done.
Interestingly, Fox News was perhaps the only major news outlet to include the last quote (most outlets just printed the AP summary, which pretended the divisiveness wasn't in there), but Fox removed "leaders like myself" from their extended summary.

Here's a question about 'getting along with the other side' and apportioning blame:
And I want to be very clear here that Democrats, we've got a lot of warts, and some of the bad habits here in Washington when it comes to lobbyists and money and access really goes to the political system generally. It's not unique to one party. But when it comes to certain positions on issues, when it comes to trying to do what's best for the country, when it comes to really trying to make decisions based on fact as opposed to ideology, when it comes to being willing to compromise, the Democrats, not just here in this White House, but I would say in Congress also, have shown themselves consistently to be willing to do tough things even when it's not convenient, because it's the right thing to do. And we haven't seen that same kind of attitude on the other side.
Until Republicans feel that there's a real price to pay for them just saying no and being obstructionist, you'll probably see at least a number of them arguing that we should keep on doing it. It worked for them in the 2010 election cycle, and I think there are those who believe that it can work again. I disagree with them, and I think the cost to the country has been enormous.
Doesn't sound very bi-partisan. Finally, the bit about Obama and skeet-shooting, bringing to mind visions of Teddy Roosevelt. Here's how TNR actually reported it:
Have you ever fired a gun?
Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.
The whole family?
Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake.
Carefully notice he really didn't say "he" fires guns, he said "we". That's why TNR asked about the kids, to which he replied "guests". Vague enough to do the trick.  Perhaps that was the only headline in the interview, though.  Most of it was garden variety Obama. 

Investigation Update

Wow, an actual update:
Prosecutors are pursuing “everybody — at pretty high levels, too,” said one person familiar with the investigation. “There are many people who’ve been contacted from different agencies.”
For those not following along, there's supposed to be an investigation into who leaked national security information to the NY Times and AP last year about Iran and Yemen.  Few if any reporters have reported on it between June 2012 and now, including through the election season.  Suddenly we have a mention.

The WaPo goes on to make this chilling point, coming on the beginnings of a second term:
“People are feeling less open to talking to reporters given this uptick,” said a person with knowledge of Machen’s inquiry. “There is a definite chilling effect in government due to these investigations.”
Of course, the story itself was leaked by anonymous sources, so it's not chilling everyone.

Speculation time. It's somewhat strange the story is now reappearing at a time when the Obama cabinet is in the process of a reshuffle. The Pentagon also seems to be reshuffling. Just a few days ago it was announced that former spook John Kiriakou was sentenced to the same prison time for violating the IIPA that Scooter Libby got for lying--30 months (has it been mentioned that Kiriakou worked in Secretary of State nominee John Kerry's Senate office lately?).

Kiriakou outed a CIA officer connected with the GITMO detainees to a reporter working with attorneys/reporters to free them based on the use of "torture".  Showing that it's a small world after all, Attorney General Eric Holder's former law firm, Covington&Burling represents a bunch of those detainees. C&B seems to be a revolving door.

Ironically, KSM and friends are scheduled for another pre-trial hearing next week with a new wrinkle just announced that might act to drag out the trail even further. 2015, perhaps?  Anyway, it's always hard to tell exactly what's going on with his stuff but maybe somebody somewhere has decided it's time to make this investigation story reappear by leaking about it to the WaPo.  There's usually a reason.    

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Side Tracks

Love it.  


..for westerners in eastern Libya...
Britain, Germany and the Netherlands urged their citizens Thursday to immediately leave the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi in response to what was described as an imminent threat against Westerners.
What happened, did they let the movie maker out of jail? Oh hell, WHAT DIFFERENCE, AT THIS POINT, DOES IT MAKE?

MORE  1/26/13

President Obama on 3/28/11:
At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Gaddafi declared that he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we had seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now, we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world. It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen.
So what did we get for saving Benghazi? A dead ambassador and three other Americans, black AQ flags being raised in the streets, warnings for westerners to leave the area or perhaps be slaughtered in a terror attack. Surely there's a smart power explanation for this somewhere.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Aviation Update

It's not surprising the 787 saga has been a second page story with all the other huge stories going on (Manti and Beyonce), but some strange things have happened.  Here's the Trans Secretary on January 11:
Despite the incidents, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declared, “I believe this plane is safe, and I would have absolutely no reservations about boarding one of these planes and taking a flight.” Administrator Michael Huerta of the Federal Aviation Administration said his agency has seen no data suggesting the plane isn’t safe but wanted the review to find out why safety-related incidents were occurring.
Here he is on January 18 after an All Nippon 787 had to make an emergency landing:
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood vowed Friday that Boeing's 787 Dreamliner wouldn't take to the air again until regulators are absolutely certain it's safe. "Those planes aren't going to fly until we are 1,000% sure that they are safe to fly," LaHood said outside a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors here.
Such a flip-flop might become a big scandal during a GOP administration, especially with the added components of safety, Big Aviation, and unions.  But apparently we're in a new era of trust.

This new era included a rigorous certification process of the 787 culminating in certification in mid 2011, followed by thousands of daily scheduled flights from late 2011 through most of 2012 without any serious incidents.

During this same time period Boeing was embroiled in labor problems.  The 787 is a new kind of airplane for them and the production and supply chain represents a new way of making planes that apparently some in the old guard found upsetting.  But new airplanes always have bugs

But suddenly the bugs began piling up.   On January 11th the feds announced a comprehensive review of the "safe" aircraft, triggered mainly by the publicity of a battery fire on the ground in Boston.  A very short time later Boeing offered a pay increase to some of the very same engineers who were to be integrally involved in the upcoming review process.  Just months prior Boeing management had been threatening to move engineering work away from their Seattle HQ due to the high cost of doing business in Washington State. 

Of course everyone remembers the brouhaha after they announced moving part of the production to South Carolina and how that triggered a review by the NLRB (ie, Obama administration), which ended in a contract offer to Seattle personnel and a dropping of the complaint.  So there's more than enough fodder for speculation or conspiracy.

Not only that, but everyone knows batteries on airplanes are no laughing matter.  Commercial carriers are already restricted as to the transport of lithium-ion batteries as cargo; the 787 uses a massive version to power its electrical system.   According to some reports the UPS 747 that crashed in Dubai in 2010 was doomed by a fire emanating amongst a shipment of such batteries in the main cargo hold (nobody has explained what started the fire but this cause has apparently been ruled out).  Supposedly Boeing prepared for the contingency of a possible battery fire in the 787 by designing a fireproof compartment that wouldn't allow a fire to spread, which was part of the certification signoff.

Now they've got a mess.  Whether any of that mess was unavoidable, avoidable, or inflamed by shady operations is beyond the knowledge of the average person at this point.  Clearly there's a lot at stake. 

Ironically, another fire aboard an aircraft was blamed on a crash that killed 230 people in 1996. Unlike the 787 battery fires it did not trigger a world-wide grounding of the 747 despite what appeared to be a horrible flaw, possible wiring issues in the fuel tanks. There were circulars and such but the 'fix'--a nitrogen interting system in the fuel tank to neutralize vapors--didn't arrive for almost a decade.  This fix has been mandated on newer aircraft and calls for retrofitting certain older aircraft but for some reason excludes cargo aircraft, as if they are somehow immune from middair explosions.

By the way, other causes were studied, including whether EMI from electronic devices might have triggered the spark, but the main focus seemed to be operating the fuel system on warm days.  Why this was suddenly a problem despite no recorded in-flight crashes caused by overheated fuel tanks in commercial aviation history remains a mystery.  

Regular readers know this crash has long been a source of skepticism here, mainly due to how it was handled in the press and by the Clinton administration, including certain theories provided by various agencies that don't usually get involved in domestic aviation investigations.  Jack Cashill was an early skeptic and his book "First Strike" initiated the interest, but his conclusion of a small terror plane never made much sense. Over the years he has kept an open mind and indeed his latest column suggests that former Kennedy family friend Pierre Salinger may have been onto something.

Not sure, but perhaps the biggest clue something might be amiss comes from the memoirs of those who should know.  Cashill points out that people like Hillary, Bill, George Stephanopoulis and George Tenet hardly mention this event at all in their tomes, quite odd for something Richard Clarke claimed almost triggered a war with Iran. That's pretty sensational stuff to omit from a book especially since the official cause is now something more random and mechanical.

But it's not just the prime players who ignore it.  The more recent book "Threat Matrix" by Garrett Graff is an exhaustive overview of the FBI starting with J. Edgar and moving to the Robert Mueller era.  The book tapped many sources and discusses various high-profile crimes and terror attacks along the timeline, yet is largely silent on two huge FBI cases--the anthrax letters and TWA 800.  Graff devoted far more pages to another TWA flight--847.

It's hard to say whether such omissions are deliberate, out of ignorance, or  whether some people just don't want to talk about certain things anymore, which is quite understandable with so much at stake. But the silence remains the most compelling evidence to date.  Which isn't much.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How Dare They....

...attack an exhausted woman!  Misleading on Benghazi?  What difference does it make anyway!!!!  

That's a pretty short version of today's event.  The crying, combative Clinton produced the desired sound bites, portraying the heroic successful SoS (based on miles traveled at least) being browbeaten and harassed by a bunch of old white guys.  Throw in a few shots about Bush and the other 9/11 or Iraq, or basically claiming that the Tea Party was responsible by cutting the budget (despite one of the "sacked" State employees denying that) and, well, if you don't feel like reading any further who could blame you?

Those who thought Hillary was faking illness to get out of this hearing should have known better.  Why miss the opportunity to reshape her exit and set up her future ambitions?   She got the result she wanted.  There were no cats released from any bags. 

In other words, we don't know any more about what happened in Benghazi today than we did yesterday or 9/12/12.   This was basically a nothingburger.   

Regardless, here are some random thoughts, keeping in mind the questions posed last evening by CBS News' Sharyl Atkinson, which are now but memories despite her screaming in the wilderness this afternoon. 

Bottom line, Hillary is responsible but she's not; she didn't know anything about security issues before the event and didn't know about the talking points after the event, despite her great standing.  She was not interviewed by the Review Board for the report.  We don't know how she interacted with Obama, who is completely removed from this entire thing.  All of this should make her look terribly bad but it won't, because the people asking are hating, racist, haters. 

But facts are stubborn things.  The four employees whom the New York Times and other papers announced were 'out' have not really left, just as the NY Post reported on December 26.  They are on "administrative leave" or "disciplined" or something, but they are not gone.  Hillary explained that's because of the difficulty in firing government employees.  Ros-Leighton pointed out she should have corrected the record in public.  Of course though, she was sick.  As to any suspects in the attack, well the filmmaker is the only one in jail.  

One of the troubling questions that didn't seem to be answered involved the rapid-response team dispatched from Embassy Tripoli on the night of the event that was held up on the tarmac in Benghazi for hours after arrival, finally arriving at the CIA annex 15 minutes before the fightfight that killed Mr Doherty and Mr Woods.  Could they have been saved if the team arrived quicker?  What help them up?  Here's what was written here in December about the Accountability Review:
Was there a gap between the time the quick-reaction force from Tripoli landed at Benghazi airport and the time they got to the annex to join in the fight? The tic-toc handles this on page 27:  

The seven-person response team from Embassy Tripoli arrived in Benghazi to lend support. It arrived at the annex about 0500 local.
Notice the tic-toc did not provide a time of arrival of the Embassy Tripoli quick response team at Benghazi airport, just that 'they arrived'. It then lists their time of arrival at the annex. Fifteen minutes after the arrived at the annex it came under attack by rockets and mortars, which tragically resulted in the loss of Mr. Doherty and Woods.

Nobody asked or even hinted at what was really going on in Benghazi vis a vis reports about weapons being moved to Syria.   No surprise there.  That's probably why Clinton kept scolding the interlocutors to read both the unclassified and classified reports, ie, they know what's going on but can't divulge in an open hearing, hint hint.  Most of them quickly shut up as soon as she mentioned this.   

And nobody clarified the diary CNN found several days after Rice went on the Sunday shows.  Recall that at the time, Hillary was asked a question about whether Stevens was on any "AQ hit list(s)" to which she indicated that no, not that she knew of.  Anderson Cooper knew this was BS so he went on the next day and admitted that Stevens himself had written that in his own diary, that CNN had located.  That random act of honesty got him a healthy rebuke from Hillary's goon Phillipe Reines.  When that rebuke was rebuked by the Rolling Stone reporter who broke the McChrystal story Reines replied with an F bombs.  In other words, there was some serious intimidation going on around this event.

Here's John McCain ripping Hillary a new hole, vaguely mentioning the Stevens' diary in the process...

All of this mumbo-jumbo points to a likely fear within the administration that the recently minted narrative, just rolled out at the  DNC convention weeks earlier where speaker after speaker lauded Obama for killing UBL and chasing AQ to the horizon, was in jeopardy by a true narrative that said AQ just kicked our ass on 9/11.  And in a country Obama had just liberated.

But Romney couldn't effectively challenge it.  The press covered for Obama, and he won.   So all  in all today was a publicity victory of sorts for Hillary.  She's probably preparing for a celebratory dinner about now.   And hey, they released the 'women in combat' story this afternoon, just in time for the evening news cycle, so let's all move along to that next big story. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Just Another Day

The title is not to diminish the presidency or MLK day...'s to point out our peaceful political transitions in this country.  That's all it took to make it official, simply repeating an oath laid out in an old document.

Now, if you like irony that's the same document the oath-taker has criticized in the past for its lack of redistributive verbiage.  It's the same document he and other presidents (including the third president) have ignored when it comes to deploying military forces around the world without declarations of war.  It's the same document that explicitly states that the people have a right to bear arms, which isn't simply the right to go hunting or protect a domicile, as explained by many, including past presidents.  

As to his "I did it" comment to his girls, it was almost surely a reference to not screwing up the lines.  There are some who will probably read more into it but they are still free to express it without fear of retribution.  Such talk in other countries might get someone thrown in the gulag.  So we're still better than most.


This is long, but worth a look if you want to know what some people think it takes to fix the GOP...

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Keep in mind the general was the same guy who knew his own deputy Richard Armitage leaked Valerie Plame's name to Robert Novak but sat quietly during the entire imbroglio.  His boss, Dubya, was one of the moderate Republicans he wants to see return, although at the time he was seen as a neocon extremist by the same people who are now calling the GOP a bunch of extremists.

And that's the stunning hubris bubbling out of this interview.  Here we have people working for MSNBC, the most divisive news network in history, babbling about how the GOP has been taken over by the Tea Party, Limbaugh and Fox and needs to move left to survive because the current leaders are out of touch white guys.  Powell doesn't explain why he supported Obama, probably the most liberal president since FDR, and none of the panel asks him to drill down as to why a Republican would support such a man.

Powell even used a recent Democratic tactic--that Reagan raised taxes--but his overall legacy was smaller government and a lower federal tax rate than when he arrived, both of which he was hammered for at the time and in subsequent years.  Apparently nobody on the panel remembers the old 'trickle down economics' slam the Dems used for 20 years against "Reagonomics".  In today's reality Reagan is the moderate tax raiser.   Nobody thought to mention the GOP ran Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, all moderates, and all defeated handily.

What about warmongering?  Powell sat silently while Morning Joe railed against 'neocons' despite Obama's own surge in Afghanistan, extra-judicial drone killings and the unlawful foray into Libya to topple a regime.

But according to the general we'll soon have a 'majority minority' therefore the GOP must react, presumably becoming more like the Democrats by 'offering' things to people rather than trying to balance the budget or maintain a rule of law. All offered without reply. 

Here's Rand Paul explaining the problem and another way to solve it.   Of course, he hasn't been "shot at" so take it for what it's worth. 


The debate about the role of government is over, and I won. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Back to the Blind Sheikh

Reports coming out of Algeria regarding the "Battalion of Blood" hostage crisis are dropping a famous name again:
Ihab Mohamed writes: According to Mauritania's ANI news agency, which seems to be in contact with the Battalion of Blood, the terrorist group behind the hostage crisis, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the group's leader, is offering to release the American hostages in exchange for the release of Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and Pakistani Aafia Siddiqui, who are in jail in America on terrorism charges.
Belmokhtar has recorded a video message, which he is going to send to the mass media, in which he offers the same swap and calls on the French and Algerians to negotiate an end to the war in northern Mali.
Of course the last time Abdel-Rahman's name was used in relation to current radical activity was the Cairo protests, which started out as a free-the-Sheikh rally but turned into a riot on the embassy, which was blamed on a movie clip.  Has anyone seen Nic Robertson lately?

As to Siddiqui, she's long been a cause celebre in non-moderate Muslim circles.   

Government officials are saying this raid was planned well before the French began attacking AQ positions in Mali, as if to suggest Belmoktar is exploiting news events now that he's pinned down but the initial raid was just a hostage-ransom operation.  Wouldn't be the first time.

But does anyone really believe that?  This was a high-profile, large raid, conducted after the French began their operation and one they had to know would provide a lot of visibility.  What difference does it make when it was planned?  Besides, it's not as if the French--and the US--just woke up last week and noticed AQIM was actively trying to overthrow Mali and exert influence in other African territory.

So we'll see how the various officials describe the event going forward.  Recent history suggests they may try to claim it was just an over-zealous ransom operation gone awry, which would fit with the other African blowup explanations, ie, Cairo was just an out-of-control protest about a hateful movie and Benghazi was just, well, the FBI is still investigating so they can't say but anyone who questions why Hillary and Susan Rice ran a cover story on it are probably imbeciles.  

UPDATE  1/18/13

The level of silence from the US administration is in some ways understandable with hostages still in harm's way.  However, other leaders aren't playing it as safe, feeling the need to update their population on breaking events despite having nationals still involved..

Yesterday Jay Carney told the media it was 'premature' to ask whether Algeria consulted with US officials before their rescue attack, something British PM Cameron seemed to have no trouble clarifying above.  This silence torqued at least one reporter, the AP's Matt Lee, who normally covers State (and was quite animated in that briefing later).   Today the White House didn't see fit to have a press briefing about any of this. The State spokesperson wouldn't provide much if any details.  Later Hillary appeared with the Japanese foreign minister and gave a statement and took one question but refused to provide the level of detail covered by PM Cameron.   For whatever it's worth.  More are paying attention to the Manti scandal (which is admittedly weirder).  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Maybe the Worst Op-Ed Ever Written

..and the award goes to someone named Blain Roberts for her New York Times article
entitled, "The Ugly Side of the Southern Belle" (via Althouse).

The woman starts by calling Brooklyn "the epicenter of all things ironic and progressive", meaning she's never been there, then ends with "still, we would do well to remember the troubling historical links between Southern beauty queens and racial politics, even when the winner lives in Brooklyn".  All in an effort to somehow tie the current Miss America to slavery and racism because she's originally from the south.  Apparently.  

Really, does she think Mallory Hagen represents some kind of evil cheating shrew hiding behind the progressive New York image to cloak her sordid Alabama heritage and its conjured visions of Jim Crow and shouldn't be getting away with it?   As a history professor she should know that New York once allowed slaves.  Yet she lectures readers by saying "we would do well to remember", blah, blah, racism, ie, don't be fooled by her New York banner--this girl might be the same kind of southern scum as Lynda Mead, who once refused to apologize for Mississippi.  And ask her about the swimming pools!      

Such weird hatred.  One has to wonder if she herself didn't win some contest years ago, losing out to a fellow southern gal whom she still hates and therefore projects bitter feelings onto all southern beauty contest winners, especially those craven enough to move north and win as pretend-Yankees?   Maybe her doctor should ask about access to guns in the house.. hey, just following the president's orders.       

Whatever the case, if her analysis represents the typical content of modern university history professors then far too many American parents and students are getting ripped off on tuition.  We already know what it says about the NY Times.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Newtown Reality

This was clipped from the Ed Schultz comedy hour tonight, a dose of reality from one of the mothers of a Sandy Hook victim in advance of tomorrow"s big announcement.  It's plainly evident that all the political BS that spewed out after the event has clouded some of the pain:

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Notice Schultz tried and probably hoped she would lay into gun rights or GOP lawmakers or nut jobs like Alex Jones, but she didn't, she simply cut right to the chase--Adam Lanza.  What caused this young man to snap?  It wasn't guns.  We still don't know.  And nothing the president says or does tomorrow will solve that riddle or prevent another event, as sad as that sounds.  


So the Decider Guy, with audience (and basically an applause track) announced his decisions today.  You'll read it elsewhere but if you're here to this point you're interesting in my two cents, so here it is-- two things: 

One, doctors.  The idea that the government wants physicians to quiz their patients about access to guns might sound good but it sets them up with what seems to be an incredible level of liability.  Consider this--they have a patient and don't ask about gun access, and said patient goes on a rampage.  Who gets part of the blame?   If the doctors do ask and the patient confesses they have access, what condition determines the reporting?  Would depression?  

Two, Obama is right, no laws will prevent violence completely.  None of what was mentioned today would have prevented the Columbine massacre, for instance.  None of it would have prevented Major Hasan--a shrink--from engaging in 'workplace violence'.   Studying the genesis of such violence is fine but any pastor could explain it--evil.   None of these murder-suicide nuts are afraid of the after-life.  How could they be?  

So isn't the problem perhaps a lack of moral teachings or faith?

How about family life--Lanza's dad was a no-show.  Shouldn't Obama have signed an executive order banning divorce?  Studies have already shown that all things being equal, children are worse off with only one parent.  Surely children die as a result of these broken families, so banning divorce might save one child.

Bottom line, there's not much we can do about evil other than fight it.  The reason AQ suicide terror tactics are so effective is because the perps are willing to die for the cause, they aren't around to go through the legal system.   Hey, Obama should have banned suicide, too.     

Monday, January 14, 2013

Absolutist President calls House Absolutist

Is the POTUS actually a bot?  Most of his presser intro today was spent reciting the same things he said prior to the fiscal cliff, such as 'the rich aren't paying their fair share' and 'Warren Buffett's secretary pays more tax then he does', etc.  By the way, isn't the correct term "administrative assistant"?  Does O still call flight attendants 'stewardesses'?

Anyway, it's as if he doesn't realize the rich just saw their tax rates go back to the dreamy Clinton-era levels, which was supposed to be their fair share.  Or wait--he never precisely defined fair share, so apparently Clinton's fair share rates weren't fair enough.   Maybe it makes sense to him that since they already pay most of the tax burden anyway they should also pay for all the overspending Congress has racked up over the years by raising the debt ceiling.  After all, isn't that why he voted against raising it when Bushitler was in power?   Or something...

See, decider guy explains by saying the difference is the House is full of 'absolutists' who demand 100 percent of their demands (which amount to less spending) or they will send us over the fiscal downgrade.  This despite pounding a rhetorical fist throughout the interview vowing to never bargain over the debt limit, never, ever. 

Well, it's good thing we don't have an imperial president anymore.   


Everybody talks about the GOP standing firm and shutting down the government if Obama won't deal on the debt ceiling.  While that sounds good, it's a loser.  Evidence of that is already rolling in.

Back when Newt shut it down he wasn't leveraging the debt ceiling, just the budget.  The House passed the 'Contract with America' budget, the Senate passed it and Clinton vetoed it.  Spending authority ran out because they refused to pass a continuing resolution.  The short term result was Gingrich being compared to the Grinch; the long term result was balanced budgets, no hit on the economy and a liberal president declaring that 'the era of big government is over'.  Stunningly successful, in retrospect. 

Granted, Boehner has less cards to play with because they don't have the Senate, ie, when the House puts together a budget and sends it to Reid he simply shoves it in a dead letter box and continues whistling.  Why?  Because he can--the media has not pressure him or Obama to fulfill their constitutional duties.

But as Newt says, there's still leverage.  Pass the bills.  Send over a budget and force Reid to put it in his pocket, then when the debt ceiling debate arrives and the media is finally listening keep harping on the fact we have no budget.  Say it over and over. Have Newt say it.  Loudly charge the Democrats with dereliction of duty, stating that they are trying to wait until the 2014 mid-terms to do their duty so they won't have to worry about decreasing the budget. 

Then after that hay has been made quickly pass a debt ceiling increase through the end of the calendar year--not a day into 2014.  Obama wants a long term spike to remove the issue until after the mid-terms, don't dare give it to him.  Give him what he claims to demand--an increase, through the end of the year.  Let Reid spike it.  This isn't a bargaining situation like the fiscal cliff, dickering over a figure, it's an either/or.  Reid cannot possibly hold up the bill demanding it be longer term and win that fight.  

Obama is trying to push every button he can right now in an effort to elicit a panicky, emotional response from the Tea Party.  Don't give it to him.  Understand the enemy.  Keep cool and don't overreact, giving Boehner a reason to play towards McConnell and the House Dems in response to media perception.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Moving On...

Behold this headline, courtesy Michelle Malkin:
No joke: Obama and Karzai agree to allow the Taliban to open an office in Qatar
Could anyone other than the press have imagined on 9/12/01 that we'd be allowing the Taliban to open an office for the purposes of reconciliation 10+ years later?

Yes, there is no black and white in GWoT mess, only shades of gray (except when talking about Bush/Cheney).  People from both sides of the aisle want out of Afghanistan because it seems pointless.  And it IS pointless as long as Pakistan allows safe harbor for the Tollybon (yes, Obama uses this pronunciation in trying to be respectful--contrast that with how Bush 41 pronounced Saddam's name).  They know we can't invade, so that's that.  In that same vein Bashar Assad is still around killing civilians because he knows we can't invade Syria either. Responsibility to protect has its limitations.

Anyway, in the Friday presser with Karzai the president did what presidents do--tried to put a nice bow on a pile of poop. He talked about how great the surge was and how we're going to end the war responsibly in 2014, not explaining why if the surge was so great we're allowing the Taliban to open an office to deal with reconciliation.  This is the same Taliban only recognized by two international governments before 9/11. 

Obama laid out a framework for the future but didn't say--and wasn't asked--what happens if the Taliban either 1) splinters the Afghan security forces rendering them ineffective by 2014, 2) hangs around until 2014 then attacks and takes over after our guys have left, or 3) hangs around until 2014 then uses the election process to elect themselves back into a dictatorship. No hypothetical questions will be allowed.

Oddly, after Obama's usual flowery explanation of our great success Hamid Karzai spoke, immediately mentioning the reason they had met--the transfer of prisons. The detention centers will apparently be turned back over to Afghan forces along with the prisoners therein very soon. This was contingent on our troops remaining beyond 2014 with blanket immunity. Nobody bothered to ask whether the prisoners to be transferred might include some high-level Taliban members who will quickly be whisked back to Talibanland as part of this deal.  Reportage on the issue is sparse.
Karzai voiced satisfaction over Obama's agreement to turn over control of detention centers to Afghan authorities, a source of dispute between their countries, although the White House released no details of the accord on that subject.
Remember when a big deal was made of our capture of Taliban number two, Mullah Baradar?  Yeah, nobody else does either.  Reports are that Afghanistan has entered into talks with the top prisoner, once heralded as a great capture for Obama. We assume the detention center where he's engaging in discussions isn't one of the ones being transferred over to Karzai.  Whatever, UBL is dead and GM is alive.  Mullah Omar is still alive and kicking, but we mustn't sweat the small stuff.

So as Obama said at the presser it's important we leave the central front in the war on terror and retreat from the people who attacked us on 9/11 because we need to build roads and bridges in America. OK he didn't exactly put it that way, but again, nobody cares. We're moving on.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Gift that keeps on Giving

Obama's gun control czar..

Just don't mess with Joe while he gets this malarky together.   Meanwhile, we heard more about mental health in this debate than we have in the aftermath of Sandy Hook.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Why Obama Probably likes Hagel

Surely this will become a topic..

Obama, 2004:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Chuck Hagel, 2007:

Both echoed the idea that Islamic terrorists in Iraq, Palestine and elsewhere were only using terrorism as a 'tactic' due to their societal, political and economic situations--never mentioning Islam or jihad.  Both also seemed to leave the impression that those good people using terrorist tactics were in part responding to US acting dumb.  Not sure whether that would include "air raiding villages and killing civilians".  Probably not anymore.

The most stunning comment other than Hagel allowing himself to be used by the Dems in opposing the surge was his quip about the Palestinians being 'chained down' over the years.  We all know by whom.  Couple that with Brennan trying to score points with an Islamic audience by calling Jerusalem "al Quds' and there's some ripe material for confirmation questions.   And maybe that's what the great divider wants, but there are crafty ways to thwart that without causing a big ruckus or impugning anyone's service.  Certain Senators are more than capable of asking the questions. 

Monday, January 07, 2013

That was Then

From this Maguire post here's an interesting back and forth between the CIA director nominee John O. Brennan and the Washington Times editorial board several years ago regarding terrorism and jihad..  Mr. Brennan had taken umbrage at how a speech of his had been described

Such ideology should appeal to liberals but that wasn't the case four years ago, when Mr. Brennan's presumed involvement with Cheney's dark side black sites forced him to withdraw from the same nomination.  Now four years later he's an action figure likely to rattle a few GOP cages so all is good. Time and election victories heal all wounds, as they say. 

One has to also wonder if Mr. Brennan has been cleared by the two US Attorneys working diligently to discover who leaked classified intel about Yemen and Iran to the Times and AP.  We haven't heard much about this important investigation of late, probably because no independent prosecutor was named.  Or maybe because the outed spy was probably a brown Arab guy and not a Democrat-leaning platinum blond spy.  Scott Shane of the Times mentions this dead letter in his recent explanatory piece about convicted CIA leaker John Kiriakou:
An outcry over a series of revelations last year — about American cyberattacks on Iran, a double agent who infiltrated the Qaeda branch in Yemen and procedures for targeted killings — prompted Mr. Holder to begin new leak investigations that have not yet produced any charges.

No charges yet?  Shocking.  

Then there's this.

Anywho, as we sail into 2013 on a cozy wave of Bush era anti-terror policies--wrapped in a new era where all previous constitutional violations are now considered inconsequential due to a change of command (and don't worry about a unitary executive anymore)--the selections of Mr. Hagel and Mr. Brennan almost appear more designed to meet a political need than fill positions.  The president seems intent on poking a finger in the eye of his real enemy--the real terrorists--Republicans.

After all, what better way than to use a few against them on a national stage just as Zero Dark Thirty morphs into the KSM trial and people are reminded once again about Bush and the dark side.  The president doesn't 'torture' AQ suspects anymore, even when they run wildly across the desert before getting blown away in extra-judicial drone strikes.  AQ is on the ropes, except in Africa, where they must be swinging on vines or something. 

All of which could make a Benghazi hearing featuring Hillary seem rather mundane by comparison, especially as a bunch of old white Senators second guess a poor, sick woman who has given her all for America while agreeing to implement every one of the recommendations her internal accountability review board found, most of which resulted in the firings resignations transfers discipline extended vacation something of four mid-level staffers. Happy new year, all is well..

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Yes, but...

The NY Times is funny.  Almost a caricature of itself.  Today they featured a hagiography on Hillary that could have just as easily been written by her State Department Press office. Matter of fact, her own writers probably wouldn't have been as syrupy:
For now, aides say, Mrs. Clinton’s focus is on wrapping up her work at the State Department. She would like to take part in a town hall-style meeting, thank her staff and sit for some interviews. But first she has to get clearance from her doctors, who are watching her to make sure that the blood thinners they have prescribed for her clot are working.
Speaking to a meeting of a foreign policy advisory board from her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., on Thursday, Mrs. Clinton said she was crossing her fingers and encouraging her doctors to let her return next week. “I’m trying to be a compliant patient,” she said, according to a person who was in the room. “But that does require a certain level of patience, which I’ve had to cultivate over the last three and a half weeks.”
No man bites dog of course; the question is whether this kind of piece is just the Times being the Times or an attempt to set up Hillary as a martyr before her presumed Benghazi testimony. Put another way, this woman is so exhausted by her grueling work for America that anything further is asking too much.  If anyone doubts any of this they are, in the words of her spokesman, an "imbecile".

That's certainly one way to cloak her legacy should she find the stamina to run in 2016.  Perhaps the bigger question is not Benghazi--Clinton will almost surely testify at some point although the likelihood of her divulging any real answers to the real questions is slim to none. No, the real question the Times piece didn't answer or even broach is whether all that travel has produced anything positive.  What do we have to show for it? 

The left cozily thinks that Obama's mere presence in office secures our reputation in the world.  Pew Research deals in reality through polling.  Their latest world poll regarding US opinion completed in 2012 showed a positive US image of 80 percent.  The one from 2007 showed us at.... 80 percent.

But public opinion is fickle.  What about tangible results?  Is the world on the precipice of global peace and tranquility?   Well, there has been no movement on a Palestinian state. Syria's civil war has produced perhaps 60,000 dead civilians along with a threat of WMDs; Iraq is still not stable; Iran continues to push towards nuclear weapons capability while our own government released a report suggesting they are the hub of Islamic terrorism; nuclear Pakistan still holds the strings over our efforts in Afghanistan, which are going nowhere; the Muslim Brotherhood controls Egypt and Benghazi was an example of the chaos remaining in Libya.

Meanwhile, as the president trumps our coming exit from Afghanistan and the death of bin Laden the US military is sending troops to 35 African nations this year to battle emerging AQ cells (and presumably to help look for Joseph Kony).  Our embassy in the Central African Republic was recently evacuated and Obama sent US troops to Chad in response with hardly any peep from team Hillary or her staff writers at the Times.  Perhaps it was due to her Sunday doctor appointment on the 30th and the subsequent hospital visit.  And New Years, etc. 

Amidst this chaos North Korea recently launched a missile and China launched an aircraft carrier. Global warming is presumably still raging while Vladimir Putin has said "nyet" to more US adoptions.  Maybe there was a reason the Times piece didn't discuss achievements.

But to them she is the achievement.  It's not her fault the rest of the world didn't fall in line.  She once did an all-nighter on her 757.  Anyone who doesn't recognize that is an imbecile.   

Watching the Watchers

Not even back from vacation yet and the president is already mis-characterizing the debt ceiling/credit rating downgrade from 2011:
But he said he “will not compromise” over his insistence that Congress lift the federal debt ceiling. The nation’s credit rating was downgraded the last time lawmakers threatened inaction on the debt ceiling, in 2011. “Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again,” Obama said.
Our credit rating wasn't downgraded merely on a suggestion Congress wouldn't act to raise the limit, it was downgraded because not enough action was taken:
S&P lowered the U.S. one level to AA+ while keeping the outlook at “negative” as it becomes less confident Congress will end Bush-era tax cuts or tackle entitlements. The rating may be cut to AA within two years if spending reductions are lower than agreed to, interest rates rise or “new fiscal pressures” result in higher general government debt, the New York-based firm said yesterday. “The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics,” S&P said in a statement late yesterday after markets closed.
Will the media point out this disparity?

Wait, though.  Read the top link carefully, watching the quotes.  Did Obama actually make reference to the rating being lowered simply due to lawmakers threatening 'inaction' or did the AP story writer make that editorial suggestion?  It would appear the latter, based on quotes.  Which seems to answer the above question. 

Friday, January 04, 2013

Eyes Wide Shut

In the same week the American public has been told:

...that the CIA's waterboarding produced no useful intelligence--except when it did...

...that a man invited to the Pentagon in an Islamic outreach program after 9/11 was actually purchasing airline tickets for the hijackers before 9/11 according to the FBI, yet he wasn't, according to the FBI.  

Yes, the war on terror remains as muddled as ever

The Zero Dark 30 back and forth on waterboarding is interesting, though.  Boals and Bigelow were on "Today" today talking about their award-winning film and refused to take a side on controversy despite prodding by Matt Lauer.  Waterboarding was simply part of an overall mosaic, something they compressed into a 2 1/2 hour version of the last 10 years.  It's up to the viewer to decide the morals. 

Of course if the movie starts at 9/11 they've already taken a side.  Telling the UBL story from there is like telling the Saddam Hussein story beginning at the Gulf War.  Bin Laden got his start in the 80s and hit stride in the late 90s, besides, who can forget Bill Clinton saying he did more than anyone to catch Bin Laden?   Who?  Well, apparently the movie makers.  No need to drag Hillary into this.  

Anyway, KSM's trial will eventually cause some of these questions to pop up again.  Obama, a constitutional expert strongly opposed to signing statements, just issued another signing statement on his recent stealthy re-authorization of the NDAA bill, mainly because the bill prevents him from transferring people like KSM to penal facilities here in the states for Article III court trials.  That darned Bush, he's responsible for everything!  Perhaps the FOIA tiff about Awlaqi and Hillary's presumed testimony on Benghazi will open some eyes that have recently been shut. Or not.

By the way, for a good read on the GWoT from an FBI perspective check out "The Threat Matrix" by Garrett Graff.  

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Beyond the Precipice

Yeah, I know other pundits are smarter and more elegant and have this figured out but please bear with me--this is a form of therapy. 

The clown show that just unfolded over the last few days had me, a registered skeptic, fooled.  I actually thought the GOP had pulled off some kind of clever coup by flying off the fiscal cliff with a parachute.  But as the sky begins to clear the sun is becoming more visible, and it looks reddish.  
So, what just happened?  Well, it's important to start out with the most likely goals of the president, who was driving the clown car.  With reelection out of the way he appears to have two main goals in the short term--1) redistributing wealth and 2) killing the GOP for 2014 so he can redistribute more wealth, ban more guns, nationalize more health care, give amnesty to illegal aliens, bow down to the UN on climate change and further weaken the church and charitable giving.   All of this would be part of the change he was talking about in 2008.

In trying to neuter the GOP he's using a divide and conquer strategy, pitting the Tea Party against the moderates to splinter the body.  That's why he wanted only some of the Bush tax cuts to expire, knowing how it would affect the party psychologically.  So far the plan is proceeding wonderfully.  Speaker F Yourself is severely weakened with talks of a mutiny.  In all likelihood Boehner cajoled the TP members into voting for the 41 to 1 plan by scaring them about press fallout and promising they would go after Obama on the debt ceiling in a few months.  Now some of these TP members are on the record as voting for tax increases and pork, thank you very much.

When the debt ceiling fight arrives Obama will float back down off the mountain and lecture them about using the debt ceiling for politics, reminding them of their recently-passed spending increase votes by saying "Congress needs to pay for what they have spent".   He will then ignore his own advice and use the debt ceiling to demand even more tax hikes from the rich to pay for any reforms, which is in effect poking the wound. 

But the truth about our debt will come out, you say!  Some places.  But just because Faux News and Limbaugh reports something doesn't mean it really happened.   Hannity's ratings are already way down, Boortz is off the air, Limbaugh becomes less relevant with each passing year.  

If the GOP can't get Obama to cut anything without more tax increases they may be forced to do something drastic like shutting down the government, which is unlikely because the moderates remain deathly afraid of the punishment they'll receive from the press, the White House, Pelosi, Hollywood, Jon Stewart, Facebook, Twitter and Kim Kardashian.  As bizarre as it sounds the RINOs may actually join forces with the Dems to eradicate the Tea Party, who will become increasingly marginalized and ostracized.  How many Alinsky rules is that?  I've lost count.   

Even if the GOP were to coalesce around a set of balls and challenge the administration with something drastic it may result in another credit downgrade, which the Dem machine will beat in a drum circle until the mid-terms, trying to convince the rest of America just how "radical" these "terrorists" are, ie, they must be stopped.   If that sounds wild and unbelievable just look around.  If they are successful America as we know it could be gone by 2016.  And many progs will wave goodbye to it, saying good riddance to a racist invention from a bunch of old white guys and cheering for the new fair freedom-less Utopia of ultimate balance, never quoting Ben Franklin again.   Just remember, they won't be called radicals, it's those little old ladies at Tea Party rallies wearing funny hats and sitting in lawn chairs who were the radicals. 

So what's really going on?  From my view, one group is playing chess and the other is playing checkers, and the GOP is getting beat at checkers.  It's not over yet--halftime or early third quarter maybe, but the GOP is down big and needs a Tebow.   Are there any?  Even the real one is mired in controversy these days.  But at some point there is going to be a goal-line stand. 

In with a Bang

With all eyes on New Years and the fiscal cliff a few stories slipped past the national press dragnet.  One of course was the re-authorization of the warrantless wiretapping surveillance program, which is strange since we were told AQ is on the ropes and near defeat, UBL is dead and GM is alive.

Another is the ongoing mysterious "where is Hillary" story.   After weeks of radio silence one of her friends finally released a statement to "Foreign Policy" last Thursday confirming her as concussion-rocked but fit-as-a-fiddle and ready for duty this week.  The writer managed to lay a few blows on the right who had the temerity to not fully believe the official line.

The story got weirder Sunday when Mrs. Clinton was diagnosed with a blood clot for which she was prescribed thinners.  The spokesman was ambiguous as to location of said clot, which led to even more speculation.   

But this time it was the mainstream media who suddenly took great notice, reminding folks about all the right wing skeptics while trotting out a host of experts who displayed skepticism over the released details.  As if in unison these experts said blood thinners are not prescribed for cranial thrombosesis so the clot must be elsewhere, like in her legs.  But it was certainly not related to the concussion.

But oops, Mrs. Clinton's spokesman trickled out more info on New Years Eve to poop that party, specifying a "CVT" thrombosis, which apparently does respond to thinners.  The experts quickly were replaced by new and better experts.

BS story?  Conspiracy?  Well, ask yourself this--would the Clintons risk making up a phony-baloney concussion story to get out of embarrassing testimony?  Almost certainly.  But would they go as far as elevating it to a blood clot, bringing in various hospital technicians and other assorted people who could later blow it all up and explode Hillary's legacy forever while also having repercussions for Obama on Benghazi?  Maybe, but that seems far-fetched even for the Clintons.  Actually, this is the only conspiracy story that could make sense based on national security and it's pretty far out there as well.  

Meanwhile, police arrested a couple of hippies in Greenwich Village on New Years Eve who just happened to have some powdered explosives (and precursors), bomb-making manuals and other paraphernalia in their pad along with a couple of shotguns and gasp, some high capacity magazines.  Nobody commented on why there were magazines found without any guns to put them in.  Maybe they were supplying David Gregory.

And while the wild-eyed Murdock Post and Daily Caller saw a connection to OWS and even tangential links to a certain washed up terrorist, the NY Times, WaPo and others saw pretty much nothing at all.   Welcome to 2013.  


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Real Enemy

Happy New Year, all!  Let's begin 2013 with a Georgetown constitutional law professor opining in the NY Times that we should give up on the Constitution:
As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.
And here's the President of the United States in a radio interview from 2001 talking about the flawed founding documents:

Here he is specifying the lack of 'redistributive' powers therein, ie, criticizing the document because it only limited powers of the state, not granted them:

Oddly, both are/were law professors.

So it would appear that GD piece of paper Bush allegedly trampled was actually not worth the outrage because it tends to get in the way of progress--like spreading the wealth around, passing stimulus bills and nationalizing health care.  It allows gun rights. It protects religious nuts. Sounds as if more than a few people would like to "change" America into something else. They should advocate for a new constitutional convention and be as open as the Times op-ed writer, but most prefer the death from 1000 cuts approach.