Sunday, November 30, 2014

Days of Thumpings Past

Actually "thumping" was a Bush term to describe his mid-term loss in 2006; Obama prefers "shellacked", but thumping just worked better in the title.

So what am I rambling about?

Every so often it's interesting to check the stat counter to see why people have actually stumbled onto this blog.  Doing the analysis doesn't take very long, there's not much data to peruse, but sometimes it can bring enlightenment.  Not the George Harrison type, the political type.

For instance, someone recently hit a 2010 post entitled "A Birther Thread".  The post wasn't an endorsement of birtherism, just observations of why the left was suddenly churning up birther stories at a particular time in 2010.   I offer this:
Perhaps they want to move the dialog back towards crazy as the new GOP House enters on duty next week. We know there are some congressmen who are birthers. Time will tell how far this goes or whether they attempt to smear the entire caucus by association, which could tell us something about Obama's feelings on working with Boehner and company in general. Marginalizing them on the front end doesn't really signal bi-partisanship.
Indeed, here's Abercrombie--someone present when Obama, Sr. was bamboozling Stanley Ann into producing Obama, Jr.--talking about the strategy he wants Obama to pursue in 2011:
Seeking consensus doesn't mean rolling over, Abercrombie said. The governor is among those calling for a more combative style from Obama, saying the president needs to resurrect Harry Truman's "give them hell" approach.
So you have that.
In other words, no more than a month after Obama got his first mid-term shellacking of 2010 his minions were doing the same thing they did after 2014's shellacking-- starting a fight. They threw a bunch of feces on the wall trying to marginalize the victory and tear apart the new GOP caucus with a wedge issue. Sound familiar?  Hopefully somebody was taking notes.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Side Tracks

Here's more Sekulow rock..

For purists here's the actual Styx version.  ACLJay is not the best rock drummer in the world but he manages to keep time pretty well-- not bad for a lawyer. 

Will the President weigh in on Austin?

At the moment this is being typed it appears a right-leaning extremist might be responsible for shooting up several government buildings, including the Mexican consulate, and possibly a bank, in downtown Austin, TX overnight.   Why a right wing extremist?  Speculation based on 1) the race and age of the shooter, already released (comically, almost immediately, unlike other recent shooting events), and 2) the targeting choices.

But as the leader of the free world once warned, it is not wise to 'jump to conclusions' in the early stages of such events. Somebody forgot to tell the Austin Police Chief..
Authorities have not offered a motive, but the police chief said that the shooter's "violent anti-government behavior" -- as evidenced by attacking buildings that belong to Mexico's government, the U.S. government and, in the police headquarters, the city government -- may have come from ongoing and often vitriolic debates in society.
"Our political discourse has become very heated and sometimes very angry, and sometimes the rhetoric is not healthy," Acevedo said, adding that the divisive immigration debate "comes to mind," given that the federal courthouse and Mexican Consulate were targeted. "... I would venture, based on my training and experience, that the political rhetoric might have fed into some of this."
All based on speculation, as he admitted.   But he went there.  Gee, is it relevant that the chief's last name sounds Hispanic?  No, we obviously can't go there.  
At any rate, if this does turn out to be a crazed right winger and if the president decides to weigh in, how will he handle it?  Will he rightfully condemn the violence and end by saying the police were brave and that we are fortunate to have folks on the front line to stop such violence?  Or will he condemn the action then backtrack and try to project empathy and understanding for those in society who think the government is too big or acting lawlessly by allowing illegals privileges, etc?  Will there need to be a 'national conversation' going forward, as Holder said about Ferguson?

It will be interesting to watch considering the shooter committed a crime while firing about 50 rounds less than what was fired in Ferguson while only being responsible for property damage and no deaths.   It's entirely possible he was making a violent statement, some might even call it a protest instead of violence. 

Oh, and not to ignore some hypocrisy on the right.  It was noticeable all morning that Drudge was completely ignoring the story.  It's obvious why CNN was all over it, top page lead story--they think they've finally found their Tea Party Terrorist--but the other MSM outlets were not as excited.  Fox covered it, but not top story.   But not mentioning it at all, and rather prominently, looks like an attempt by Drudge to suppress an embarrassing story.  The fact the suspect allegedly shot up and tried to light fire to the Mexican consulate only a short time after the president took controversial executive actions giving privileges to illegal aliens made it a legitimate big story.

EPILOGUE  11/29/14

It was interesting to watch how the media used that speculative comment from the Austin Police Chief  about the shooter being anti-government.  Many liberal blogs and some MSM outfits referred to the comment to frame their story similar to TPM, ie,

 "Before identifying McQuilliams, police had previously told the press that the shooting suspect had a criminal record and possibly held anti-immigration and anti-government views."

The link of course goes to one of their previous stories quoting the police chief, who was throwing up a wild guess based on targeting and race.  So the speculative comment gets lumped with a known fact to form a sort of pseudo narrative before all the facts come in. 

In truth, Mr. McQuilliams seemed a bit flighty based on the few internet clips available off Facebook.  We presume he wasn't part of a greater plot or the story wouldn't be dead as a doornail today.   And no reason for the big shots in DC to comment either--not that they wouldn't waste a crisis to make a political point--but it's clear America wasn't paying much attention so any comments would come off as an obvious attempt to spin.

Speaking of the media, the Washington Post put up a great investigative story yesterday about the killing of an unarmed black woman (with an infant in her car) shot by white cops a few years ago in DC.  For some reason there was no national outrage.  But everyone knows why.   And that's why the WaPo could almost be called courageous for printing the story at this particular time and date.        

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.


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.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Risen's Strangely Timed Story on Jund'allah

What an odd story to lead the Sunday NY Times...
Some federal officials blame Mr. McHale for what they describe as an operation that veered out of control. They said that if the United States and Jundallah had too close a relationship, Mr. McHale’s go-it-alone attitude was to blame. But friends and former colleagues say this characterization of Mr. McHale as a rogue operator is unfair.
They point out that the relationship persisted for more than a decade, and Mr. McHale’s actions were approved and applauded by several United States agencies over those years. “I’m not sure what to say about this case,” said Mr. Holt, who is retiring from Congress this year. “Everything is plausible in the freewheeling intelligence world.”
Risen and Apuzzo characterize this Port Authority officer as a sort of real-life Dirty Harry, a brusque street-wise operator who can't follow rules or norms but gets intelligence for the frustrated pencil necks at HQ and the Major's office.  He sounds like a hero. So why are they offhandedly trashing him? And why now?  And why top left page one of their internet version?

One thing we know is that it's another in a series of stories from mainly left-leaning reporters about the Bush administration's relationship with Jund'allah.  The first ones came out around 2007 and were used to suggest the US was working with AQ terrorists against Iran.  Seymour Hersh, who wrote about it during the Bush years, has largely been the only one amongst his peers willing to suggest similar cozy arrangements with Sunni terrorists in Libya and Syria.
Anyway, just a coincidence on a slow news day?  Commenters at the Times story point to a convenient timing issue--we are coming up on a November 24th deadline to agree to a nuclear deal with Iran through the P5+1 group.  If no deal materializes then Obama will be staring down yet another self-imposed red line, which stated that Iran will not obtain nuclear weapons--that it would be a game-changer.  He has never formally taken military operations off the table, remember.

But really, Obama bomb-bomb-bombing Iran?  How likely is that? 

Then again, he can't afford to cross another one of his own imposed red lines and retain any semblance of a positive foreign policy legacy.  So it would seem that something needs to happen, soon.   Hopefully that something didn't involve screwing a patriotic Port Authority officer who cultivated intelligence about Iran's nuke program in an effort to sweeten a deal with the Ayatollahs.  Because if he'd do that, he might do other worse stuff. 

At the same time it's interesting to see the Times reporting on Balochistan, the veritable Twilight Zone of the GWoT. They point out that KSM is a native Baloch without pointing out that his nephew Ramzi, who tried to take out the WTC in 1993, is also a native.  It's never been explained as to why people in this remote region hated America so much.

Laurie Mylroie claimed the Sunnis of that region collaborated with Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, hinting at a long-running tie with Iraqi intelligence, hinting that there might be a tie between AQ and Iraq.  Jund'allah seems more interested in knocking out the Ayatollahs than enemies abroad, but taking out Tehran was on Saddam's bucket list, too. So there's that.  Taliban leaders also sheltered in Quetta after our invasion in 2001, the same place Jund'allah operators have used.  Maybe McHale knew how to connect a few of those dots.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Investigations Update

What happened to Obama's favorite general?
A senior Obama administration official told the Washington Post that the former deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is being investigated by the Justice Department for allegedly leaking information about the computer virus Stuxnet, which was part of the Olympic Games campaign.
He lost his clearance later in 2013.  But the last anyone has heard about this case was this past summer when one Jofi Joseph, fired from the White House in 2013 for running a Twitter account critical of his bosses, which included naming advisor Ben Rhodes as a possible leaker candidate, refused to comment about it.
The former White House national security official who was fired last year after being unveiled as the snarky anonymous tweeter behind the NatSecWonk account declined to comment on Thursday about his exploits and previous accusations that another senior official leaked classified U.S. intelligence information.
It might be nice to know why he thought Rhodes was the snitch. The media certainly has no curiosity.

Meanwhile, the media has had some curiosity about the FBI investigation involving former diplomat Robin Raphel, best known as the ex-wife of the late Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel, best known for being killed in a mysterious plane crash with Pakistani president Zia ul-Haq in the late 80s. Ms. Raphel is described as a friend of Pakistan, even "Lady Taliban" (wow read this story), and an enemy of India, at least by the Indians. Curious, since the relationship between India and Obama hasn't exactly been buttery smooth. Could this be a fig leaf or is it something else ?

Finally, in the process of reading Sharyl Attkisson's book "Stonewalled" something strikes me about her, both in her TV appearances and by reading the first 30 pages of the book--she seems like a person who might be a bit Aspergery, at least in some areas.  For instance, she seems oblivious to the real world of quid pro quo and looking out for number one as she plows forward running down what she calls 'puzzles'.  That kind of singular focus got her called a pit bull, but Asperger's people tend to be narrowly focused on certain subjects while taking things literally.  She also recently said she isn't part of any social circles (ie, most high profile national journalists are often heavily involved with the people they report via social circles, marriage, etc). 

If so it's actually an awesome quality for a journalist to have.  They should all be that way.  Of course, it also tends to piss off almost everyone, ie, her anecdote about the White House calling her unreasonable.  It would also tend to make her fight the harassment instead of looking out for number one and backing down, which itself could be dangerous.   We'll see.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Thursday, November 06, 2014

So Much for That

Back in 2013 a shutdown occurred.  The media helped the Democrats spin it as a horrible event for the GOP.  It was supposed to have fallout..
All of this news, has been music to many Democrats ears, many of whom believe the last three weeks -- and the Republicans fledgling poll numbers around the shutdown -- have made it less likely the those vulnerable Democrats will lose in 2014.
Before the shutdown, Jim Manley, a longtime Senate Democratic aide, said the vulnerability of Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagan of North Carolina made Democrats losing control of the Senate a possibility. Now, he is far more bullish on his party's chances in both the Senate and House.
"I think that for the first time, in light of what has happened, I think for the first time we can honestly take a look at it and question whether it is possible" to keep control of the Senate and win the House, Manley said. "The Republican Party brand is broken and I am not sure if it can be fixed."
What was that Yogi Berra said about making predictions? They are tough because they involve the future? Or maybe it can be chalked up to the mainstream media doing what they do.  

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Politics of Fear Again

On cue, right before an election. 

The mainstreamers are all highlighting an IPCC assessment heralding more gloom and doom if we don't dump western civilization now.   They link to a report stating things might already be irreversible (most of them using the same smokestack images of the coal-fired Plant Scherer in Georgia except CNN, who used Polar Bears).  John Kerry says climate change is like a WMD.  Evidently set off by us.     

OK, no change here, the same drill applies--these reports are issued, the politicians react, the mainstreamers cover it, then the politics of fear is distributed down through the web by like-minded sites.  Here's global warming site "Tck, Tck, Tck" (the global call for climate action) highlighting the scary assessment with a screen shot which they helpfully provide at the end ("infographic to share")...

So this site distributes a graphic of the "People's Climate March", a rally organized in part by.... communists.  Who are telling us to kill western civilization by ending fossil fuels now.  The same fossil fuels used by a majority of the participants to get to the rally.  

The real scare remains the same: leftist organizations and politicians trying to use AGW to achieve an end that has nothing to do with science.  If the movement cannot dump the political opportunists they'll never convince a majority of anyone about anything other than their quest is a carefully concealed socialist plot that will conveniently line the pockets of the organizers. 

At the same time those pushing back--and there needs to be pushback--should be careful to do so with science and logic, not just rhetoric.   There is some evidence humans have impacted the global temperature, insofar as it's possible to measure the global temperature accurately, so blanket statements refuting the issue because it snowed somewhere or because the global temperatures haven't warmed in 15 years are not helpful either and make the right look like a bunch of bumpkins

This should be a non-partisan issue relevant to all human beings.  After all, if we are impacting global temperatures in any serious way there will be impacts.  But it appears we may not be capable of any rational discussion on it, largely due to how the left has co-opted the issue and lied about it using their ends justify means tactics, which has triggered an often wild-eyed reply by the right.  We all deserve better.   

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Side Tracks

And there's always this, one of the best lip-sync videos ever made, imho.