The Houston Chronicle has falsely reported that the Tea Party election integrity group True the Vote is the target of a Department of Justice investigation. The Chronicle reporter, Joe Holley, was made aware of the error both directly and indirectly, and yet the paper has not corrected the error.
If you needed another reason why newspapers like the Houston Chronicle have declining or dead circulation growth, add fabricating stories about Justice Department investigations of Tea Party groups to the list.
The Houston Chronicle couldn’t match Preston’s standards for honesty. It reported:
The King Street effort resulted in numerous complaints about voter intimidation. . . and an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
It is false and libelous to report that the Justice Department was investigating True the Vote or Kings Street Patriots. No source is offered by Holley for this assertion. In fact, I have seen a Department of Justice response to a Congressional inquiry by a Texas Congressman that plainly states that no records exist of any investigation of True the Vote. It may be true that activists and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee sought to intimidate elderly female poll watchers for True the Vote in locations throughout Houston during the 2010 election, and then complained to DOJ about True the Vote.
But that does not an investigation make.
While DOJ is pondering what is worth investigating in Texas, perhaps DOJ might inquire as to why so many people were registered to vote in Texas even though they marked their registration forms that they were not citizens of the United States. Better still, perhaps Mr. Holley and his boss Jeff Cohen could do the job the free press was meant to do.
They could start with retracting the false statements about True the Vote, and then ask why self-confessed non-citizens were registered to vote. Unless of course the Houston Chronicle has other priorities.
If this straw breaks your camel’s back, and you want to speed the demise of dead-trees media outlets that make up facts about Tea Party groups, you can cancel your Chronicle subscription by calling 713-362-7171.
The congressman who apologized to BP in 2010 for the Obama administration’s vociferous criticism of the oil giant responded to the resignation of an EPA official by noting no one should advocate crucifixion “of any kind.”
Al Armendariz, who was warned just days ago that he’d be hauled in front of the Energy and Commerce Committee to testify about his controversial remarks, resigned today.
In a 2010 video posted by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Armendariz said his approach to dealing with noncompliant oil and gas companies, shared with his staff, is “like when the Romans conquered the villages in the Mediterranean, they’d go into little villages in Turkish towns and they’d find the first five guys they saw and crucify them.”
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), former chairman of the energy committee, had sharp words for the EPA official who oversaw his home state region.
“Now that Dr. Armendariz has resigned, I hope that the leadership of the EPA will revert to enforcing the environmental laws and stop pushing a left of center environmental political agenda,” Barton said.
“Dr. Armendariz’s comments were inappropriate,” he added. “No one in federal public service should be advocating ‘crucifixion’ of any kind.”
Barton drew fire from both sides of the aisle two years ago for accusing the White House of a “$20 billion shakedown” of BP after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. At a House hearing, Barton told BP’s CEO, “I apologize. I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, is subject to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words — amounts to a shakedown, so I apologize.”
Barton added today that Texas air quality is improving thanks to public- and private-sector cooperation.
“I believe that to have a strong economy, we have to have a strong environment and vice versa,” he said. “I hope the new Region 6 Administrator shares this belief so that we can work together to continue Texas’ progress in both areas.”
This is why we can’t have nice politics. Well, this and the fact that Democrats tend to be socialists in poor disguise.
Chris Christie has said he’s “not looking to become vice president,” but the New Jersey governor said today the presumptive GOP nominee might be able to convince him otherwise.
“He might be able to convince me. He’s a convincing guy,” Christie said during a visit to a high school AP history class, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Christie is a much talked about veepstakes contender and has said that he would “listen” to Romney if he came calling. But in Plainsboro, N.J., today he seemed to open the door a bit more than it has been when a student asked him if he would consider being Romney’s running mate.
Over the weekend, Christie was ABC News’ guest at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner and found himself the butt of several of comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes.
“Gov. Christie, I think you might be misunderstanding New Jersey’s slogan. It’s not the Olive Garden state,” Kimmel said.
Kimmel’s throwaway line is relevant, why? Because ABC felt like working in a mention of its late-night talk show host.
What do you think of Christie as veep? The debate with Biden would be must-see — doddering dolt versus guy who whips union thugs for fun. How weird would it be for the Republican ticket to be composed of two blue-staters?
President Obama took an indirect shot at Mitt Romney during his press conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda today.
After the two leaders opened it up for questions from reporters, Obama was asked what he thought about his “likely opponent” countering the president’s campaign claim that he wouldn’t have gone after Osama bin Laden by saying, “Anybody would have made that call, even Jimmy Carter.”
Noda was also asked about the same subject and whether he thought the U.S. was playing the anniversary right or whether he “might advise against excessive celebration.”
“I hardly think that you’ve seen any excessive celebration taking place here,” Obama said.
“As far as my personal role and what other folks would do, I’d just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out bin Laden. I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. That’s been at least my practice. I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,” he continued. “If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.”
Noda said he holds Obama in “high regard” for “standing at the very forefront in the fight against terrorism.”
“Now, although bin Laden has been killed, terrorism has not been rooted out, and I think continued efforts will be needed in cooperation with the United States,” the prime minister added.
—apologies to Percy Bysshe Shelley, and “Ozymandias”
I met a traveler from southwestern lands
Who said, “There is a video upon
YouTube. An administrator, offhand,
Informs his underlings that every one
Of them in South Central, ‘neath his command
Must bend their ev’ry energy to try
To restrict the actions of companies
Which regulations let them crucify;
He gives those under him this knowing leer;
‘My name is Al Armendariz, Ph.D!
Look on our acts, businessmen, and despair!’
But he did not remain. He’s gone away
And from his career’s wreck, we are aware
Natural gas and tar sands wait to pay.”
Yes she did, according to a new book by the CIA’s former counterterrorism chief, Jose Rodriguez.
In his new book, “Hard Measures,” Rodriguez reveals that he led a CIA briefing of Pelosi, where the techniques being used in the interrogation of senior al-Qaeda facilitator Abu Zubaida were described in detail. Her claim that she was not told about waterboarding at that briefing, he writes, “is untrue.”
“We explained that as a result of the techniques, Abu Zubaydah was compliant and providing good intelligence. We made crystal clear that authorized techniques, including waterboarding, had by then been used on Zubaydah.” Rodriguez writes that he told Pelosi everything, adding, “We held back nothing.”
How did she respond when presented with this information? Rodriguez writes that neither Pelosi nor anyone else in the briefing objected to the techniques being used.
During George W. Bush’s presidency, Pelosi used her position as Speaker of the House to undermine Bush and the war effort at every turn. She used waterboarding to accuse the Bush administration of torturing captured al Qaeda terrorists, only to have that blow up in her face when news broke that the CIA had briefed her and other congressional leaders on waterboarding, in detail, and she did not object at the time. She claimed that the CIA had misled her in the 2002 briefing, but Rodriguez led that briefing. The House later took up the allegation that she was lying. Scratch that — the House Republicans tried to launch a probe into whether or not she had lied, in 2009, and the Democrats used their control of the House at the time to block that probe.
With the publication of Rodriguez’s book, the GOP-controlled House should revisit the issue.
More: This point needs to be driven home. When Pelosi accused the CIA of misleading her, she was accusing people who at the time could not defend themselves. They performed dangerous, vital work in the nation’s clandestine services during war time — because of this, they were forbidden to say or do anything about Pelosi’s allegations. Pelosi knew that they could not fight back.
It was their intel that eventually led to rolling up and destroying al Qaeda, and to killing Osama bin Laden. Obama rode to power on the anti-war movement that Pelosi powered from her position as speaker. If she lied, pile it up among the lies Democrats told to undermine the war. And her lies should factor into our understanding of what happened a year ago, when SEAL Team Six got Osama. Pelosi smeared the people who made that mission possible.
Another phrase for this: Crying uncle.
Rep. Elijah Cummings warned Rep. Darrell Issa against turning a potential contempt resolution against Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious scandal into “an election-year witch hunt,” he wrote in a letter late last week.
“Holding someone in contempt of Congress is one of the most serious and formal actions our Committee can take, and it should not be used as a political tool to generate press as part of an election-year witch hunt against the Obama Administration,” the Maryland Democrat wrote Friday to Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Cummings is especially incensed that Issa’s letter got leaked to the press. Sympathy for that position is in short supply. Congressmembers on both sides use press leaks to amp up pressure and move issues along. Holder could have avoided the possibility of being held in contempt by being cooperative and telling the truth at the start. That might have come with its own set of consequences, of course, since Fast and Furious is Obama’s bloodiest scandal and Holder’s office knew about it long before he has acknowledged any personal knowledge of it.
—with apologies to the Drifters, and “Under the Boardwalk” , this last-campaign oldie is dedicated to Al Armendariz, lately of the EPA
Oh when the campaign heats up and reveals unpleasant truths
And even the papers can’t avoid reporting inconvenient proofs.
Under the bus wheels, away from me
Giving me deniability is where you’ll be.
(Under the bus wheels)
Safely hidden from view.
(Under the bus wheels)
I will sacrifice you.
(Under the bus wheels)
I will take the high road.
(Under the bus wheels)
You’ll be bearing the load under the bus wheels,
From the crowds you hear the happy sounds of the hopes I sell,
If you try to interfere with my pitch you won’t get a chance to tell.
Under the bus wheels, away from me
Giving me deniability is where you’ll be.
(Under the bus wheels)
Safely hidden from view.
(Under the bus wheels)
I will sacrifice you.
(Under the bus wheels)
I will take the high road.
(Under the bus wheels)
You’ll be bearing the load under the bus wheels,
Under the bus wheels, away from me
Giving me deniability is where you’ll be.
Under the bus wheels, away from me
Giving me deniability is where you’ll be.
The EPA will have to find a new crucifixion chief.
The Obama administration’s top environmental official in the oil-rich South and Southwest region has resigned after Republicans targeted him over remarks made two years ago when he used the word “crucify” to describe his approach to enforcement.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson sent Sunday, Al Armendariz says he regrets his words and stresses that they do not reflect his work as administrator of the five-state region including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
He can’t even tell the truth on the way out. Armendariz’s words do reflect his work and his attitude. Since Obama appointed him to head EPA’s Region VI, the agency has set about punishing the energy industry every chance it could. What Armendariz committed in that 2010 tape was a Kinsleyan gaffe: He accidentally said what he really thinks.
Armendariz joins Van Jones and Anita Dunn among the radicals hired by Obama and more or less fired by the people, once their radical ideas and associations became widely known.
Update: Armandariz resigned just ahead of being hauled to Congress to testify.
Update: Half an hour after a major EPA official resigns, and MSNBC has yet to report it. Instead, Andrea Mitchell is chatting with Democrat activists about Obama’s Osama-killin’ ads.
Update: CNN is reporting on the “dangers of sitting.” Nothing yet about Armendariz’s departure.
Update: Flashback — one of Armendariz’s big Texas cases led to an embarrassing reversal for the EPA.
Update: When monitoring a story like this, DirecTV’s News Mix comes in handy. I’m watching 7 news channels plus the Weather Channel at the same time. So far, only Fox has reported on Armendariz’s resignation. CNN and MSNBC are both doing the “if we don’t report it, it didn’t happen” routine.
In case you missed it. Jeb Bush’s route onto the GOP ticket involves a name change.
Being a Bush probably does hurt Jeb Bush every bit as much as it helps him, nationally, so soon after his brother’s presidency. But “Ochocinco,” the name taken by NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson, isn’t even proper Spanish. As a pander, it needs work. The Spanish word for bush, depending on what you mean, is arbusto, for what that’s worth.
Jeb Ochocinco. Not much of a ring to it. Maybe he could do a John Cougar Mellencamp thing and add and subtract names just to keep everyone guessing.
The Obama administration’s response to high gas prices: Forward — Buy a Leaf!
I watched CNN this morning as they ran the story about “anti-bullying” speaker Dan Savage verbally cursing Christian teens:
The conservative website CitizenLink was the first to report about the controversy. They interviewed a 17-year-old girl who was one of students who walked out of the auditorium.
“The first thing he told the audience was, ‘I hope you’re all using birth control,’” she told CitizenLink. “he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the (expletive deleted) in the Bible.”
As the teenagers were walking out, Tuttle said that Savage heckled them and called them pansy-assed.
This story has been in the news for days but what struck me as I watched the video of the teens filing out of Savage’s talk was how different their protest and behavior was from that of leftist students who do not like what a speaker is saying. Leftist students will often disrupt right-leaning speakers, such as Ann Coulter at the University of Connecticut or David Horowitz with boos at Emory and keep them from speaking. Leftist students will even storm the stage and attack speakers if they don’t like what is being said such as the time they attacked Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen, a group that patrols the border between America and Mexico.
Notice the Christian students allowed Savage to keep speaking and left themselves. It is ironic that the group Savage is condemning is more tolerant of free speech that any group he seems to support.
Twenty-one members of the House have asked President Obama to probe reported national security leaks that could compromise American and Israeli defense planning.
On March 19, The New York Times reported the name, scenarios, and conclusions of a classified war simulation recently conducted by United States Central Command (CENTCOM) to analyze an Israeli military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. The article included detailed information provided by U.S. officials who took part in the simulation or were later briefed on the results.
On March 28, Foreign Policy magazine reported that Israel had been granted secret access to airbases in Azerbaijan near Iran’s northern border which would be used to launch air or drone-based strikes, and search and rescue aircraft in the event of an Israeli military operation against Iran. The Foreign Policy article quoted “high-level sources… inside the U.S. government,” and specifically quoted “a senior administration official” and “a military intelligence officer engaged in assessing the ramifications of a prospective Israeli attack.”
The letter, helmed by Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), is cc’d to Attorney General Eric Holder, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and CIA Director David Petraeus.
“Whether the leaks are intentional or not, they weaken U.S. and Israeli national security, strengthen Iran’s defensive posture, and put American and Israeli lives at risk,” the congressmen wrote. “These leaks not only violate U.S. law, but they send a chilling message to our allies around the world.”
“As you have said on multiple occasions, Israel has the right to defend itself,” they added. “Therefore, we believe you must make prosecution a top priority and hold accountable those who are in violation of U.S. law, thus putting at risk U.S. and Israeli national security.”
That an industry exists in this country wherein holding a majority political persuasion is something to be hidden from scrutiny is not new; indeed, part of PJ Media’s mission is to destroy the liberal stranglehold on Hollywood and news media. Of course the following should not be “something” in any industry, but it still is:
BLIND GOSSIP 04/23 **#2** In Hollywood, it’s popular to be socially liberal and a Democrat. This handsome American actor is an industry leader in supporting Democratic Party candidates. He has donated his time and money and creative fundraising ability to many Democratic causes. However, he has a secret about the way that he votes that only his close friends know. He publicly talks like a Democratic Party loyal. But he actually votes Republican. A lot.
The same nugget appeared elsewhere. With the way rumors spread in Hollywood, this post likely refers to the same guy:
POPBITCH 04/26 Which Hollywood megastar is very keen to keep one story out of the media — that they’ve become a strident, libertarian Neo-Con?
I know, there isn’t actually such thing as a “libertarian Neo-Con”, but at least the author is trying to convey that “the Right” is not a monolithic block of homophobic zombies. Baby steps. Or maybe not. “Libertarian Neo-Con” may just be too stupid to read anything into.
I don’t care what an individual chooses to expose about private belief (recall “the personal is the political”, the liberal fascist chant), and “outing” is pretty repugnant. Nothing wrong with guessing and then going about your day, though. So Robert Downey Jr. is already too well-known as a conservative, and “megastar” generally refers to the Brad Pitt crowd. So … hey, maybe Brad Pitt?
A warlord with a 300-strong army in central Africa is enough of a threat that the United States sends in the Special Forces? Apparently.
Sent by President Barack Obama at the end of 2011, the 100 U.S. soldiers are split up about 15 to 30 per base, bringing in American technology and experience to assist local forces.
Exact details on specific improvements that the American forces have brought to the table, however, are classified, to avoid giving Kony the ability to take countermeasures.
Probably to keep Congress out of the loop, too.
The mission to get Kony hasn’t been cheap.
Since 2008, the U.S. State Department has sent some $50 million in funds to support the Ugandan military’s logistics and non-lethal operations against the LRA, including contracting two transport helicopters to ferry troops and supplies. Another $500 million has been given over that time for the broader northern Uganda recovery effort in the aftermath of Kony’s presence there.
I observed a few years back that liberals tend to favor military action in inverse proportion to the US interests involved. For instance, while Saddam Hussein posed an obvious, longstanding regional threat to his neighbors and a global threat to the oil supply and price, liberals wanted out of Iraq and into Darfur, where the Sudan’s butchery seared the conscience but did not threaten the United States. That observation seems to apply to the Kony venture too. Kony is a bad man who deserves a very bad end, no doubt about that, but no worse on scale now than the average Mexican drug lord, and Mexico happens to be right next door to several US states. Its chaos as the drug gangs vie for control of parts or all of Mexico is far more of a direct threat to us than Kony. But the Obama administration sues Arizona for trying to secure its Mexican border, and sends the Special Forces off to Africa to hunt Kony. We didn’t even send in the military when Mexican drug thugs murdered American David Hartley on Falcon Lake, which straddles the Texas-Mexico border.
After supporting military intervention in inverse logic, liberals are also the first to abandon overseas military ventures at the first sign of trouble, whether they backed those ventures at the outset or not. Something to keep in mind, if Kony turns into something similar to Somalia’s Aidid.
The Department of Defense is opening 14,325 new jobs up to women on May 14 when two changes to the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, announced by Congress on Feb. 9, go into effect.
Those two changes are lifting the policy prohibiting women from jobs that take place near ground combat units and an “exception to policy” that will allow the Army, Navy and Marines to open select positions at the battalion level in jobs women already occupy.
“When implemented, occupations will no longer be closed to women solely because the positions are required to be co-located with ground combat units,” the Pentagon said in announcing the implementation. “Additionally, a sizable number of positions will be opened to women at the battalion level in select direct ground combat units in specific occupations.”
Jobs to open will include positions such as tank mechanic and field artillery radar operator.
For example, the Navy will open 60 medical officer, chaplain, chief hospital corpsman and hospital corpsman first class positions to women in Marine Corps ground combat element battalions.
“The secretary of defense has said this is the beginning, not the end, of a process,” said Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jo Ann Rooney. “The department intends to continue to remove barriers that prevent service members from serving in any capacity in which they qualify.”
We reported back in February that the Obama campaign was looking for a new slogan. Early reject: “The gas is too damn high.” Apparently they looked across the Atlantic, to one of the Premiere League’s heavyweights, to nick their new motto. “Winning the Future,” the motto stolen from the cover of an old Newt Gingrich book ($6.75 on Amazon), never quite caught on. Today, Obama Inc is out with a new video that tries out its new one-word slogan: “Forward.”
The Obama campaign is very good at making videos. Governing is another story. The video re-casts Obama as the intrepid president who inherited a mess and did his best, glossing right over the fact that in doing his best, Obama has made everything worse. The video blames Republicans for all partisanship, takes credit for the abortifacient mandate, and generally loses the plot of Obama’s years in office. The Obama stimulus didn’t stimulate, the promises of transparency and healing have morphed into opaque stubbornness and sharpened division, unemployment is high, gas prices are higher, and home values are down while tax bills keep going up. So he campaigns, all the time, giving us the razzle dazzle to distract us from all his failures. He scolded America not to “spike the football” when SEAL Team 6 killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, only to snatch the football and spike it himself now that the campaign is on. The only surprise of the video is that Team Obama didn’t insert the Osama death photo into the mix somewhere. Maybe in October.
Like “Winning the Future,” “Forward” as a motto is already in prominent use. Premiere League soccer giants Arsenal unveiled “Forward” as their slogan in 2011, to commemorate the club’s 125th anniversary. “Forward” hit the streets to collective yawns and the Telegraph even described it as “another blow to Western civilization“:
As an Arsenal fan, it pains me to say it, but they too have joined the anti-history club. This season, to celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary, they have commissioned a new crest; as I noticed playing football with my 10-year-old nephew, Tommy, yesterday. Looking at his replica shirt, I saw that, horror of horrors, rather than using Arsenal’s wonderful old motto (“Victoria Concordia Crescit”) they have gone for the dull, Blairite platitude, “Forward”.
As the picture above shows, they try to justify the new motto by saying “Forward” is “one of the first recorded mottos related to armament and battle”. It’s also one of the dreariest and emptiest.
Compare it to the wonderfully rich chunk of Latin that preceded it. Because of the marvellous flexibility of Latin, it can mean, “Victory grows through Togetherness”, and it can also mean “Togetherness grows through Victory”; although it can’t quite mean, “Posh Spice goes by Concorde”.
Like most chunks of Latin, it also shows how deeply indebted the English language is to the Romans. All three words have their direct descendants in today’s English: victory, concord, crescendo.
It also throws light on the days when people consciously looked back to history for inspiration. The Latin motto was born in the last programme of the 1947/48 Championship-winning season, when the editor, Harry Homer (alias ‘Marksman’), wrote: “My mind seeks an apt quotation with which to close this season which has been such a glorious one for Tom Whittaker, Joe Mercer and all connected with The Gunners. Shall we turn for once to Latin? ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’.
Them were the days – the motto was adopted in 1949.
Only to be scrapped in 2011. As a die hard, Gooner-for-life Arsenal fan myself, “Victoria Concordia Crescit” was something to hang onto. It conjured up images of the Invincibles and Thierry Henry sending rockets into the net off his boot, and connected those days to footballer of the year 2012, Arsenal hit-man Robin van Persie. The vague, meaningless “Forward” has been something to forget. For a president who rode in on “Hope and Change” but who presides over Fast and Furious, looking forward may be all that he can have us do anymore. Looking backward is just too painful.
Armed Services Members to Obama: Beware ‘Premature and Militarily Unjustified Reductions’ in Afghan Forces
Four senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have written to President Obama, urging him to reject “premature and militarily unjustified reductions” proposed to the end-strength of the Afghan National Security Forces.
Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the committee’s chairman, John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking Republican, Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) responded to reports that the United States and its NATO allies are considering reductions of roughly one-third in troop levels for Afghanistan’s army and police after the planned handover of security responsibility to the Afghans in 2014.
“The United States needs to ensure that decisions on the future size of and funding for the ANSF will be based on security conditions in Afghanistan at that time, and not set spending levels that could not only jeopardize the progress of the past decade or weaken the security of Afghanistan when they take effect down the road but could also send the wrong message in the interim,” the senators wrote.
They noted that the U.S. withdrawal strategy depends on increasing numbers of Afghan security capable of taking on the monumental task.
The senators were “surprised and troubled,” they wrote, by a NATO proposal to decrease Afghan National Security Forces strength from 352,000 this year to 230,000 after 2014, a consideration driven by budgetary concerns rather than military commanders.
“For the foreseeable future, the ANSF will need to be able to contend with a resilient insurgency that enjoys sanctuary in Pakistan,” they wrote. “We believe the end-strength of our Afghan partners needed to maintain security should be based on a realistic assessment of the conditions they will be facing and it is too early to decide that conditions two to three years from now will allow a one-third reduction.”
Toby Harnden reports on the campaigner in chief:
The figures, contained a in a new book called The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign by Brendan J. Doherty, due to be published by University Press of Kansas in July, give statistical backing to the notion that Obama is more preoccupied with being re-elected than any other commander-in-chief of modern times.
Doherty, who has compiled statistics about presidential travel and fundraising going back to President Jimmy Carter in 1977, found that Obama had held 104 fundraisers by March 6th this year, compared to 94 held by Presidents Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush combined.
Since then, Obama has held another 20 fundraisers, bringing his total to 124. Carter held four re-election fundraisers in the 1980 campaign, Reagan zero in 1984, Bush Snr 19 in 1992, Clinton 14 in 1996 and Bush Jnr 57 in 2004.
“We can’t wait” to send terrorists $192 million in American taxpayer money. Obama spikes the Osama football with one hand, mails a check to terrorists with the other.
Did we find out about this in congressional hearings, or a White House announcement? No, we found out about this in a Friday docu-dump:
President Barack Obama has signed a waiver to remove curbs on funding to the Palestinian Authority, declaring the aid to be “important to the security interests of the United States.”
A $192 million aid package was frozen by the US Congress after the Palestinians moved to gain statehood at the United Nations last September.
But in a memo sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, published by the White House, the president said it was appropriate to release funds to the authority, which administers the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In signing the waiver, Obama instructed Clinton to inform Congress of the move, on the grounds that “waiving such prohibition is important to the national security interests of the United States.”
The Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2012 contained a provision that said none of the funds “may be obligated or expended with respect to providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.”
Obama’s unilateral triple play flies in the face of the will of Congress and established law. It’s also based on a lie.
“The PA has recognized Israel’s right to exist, renounced violence, and accepted previous agreements, including the Roadmap,” he said, referring to the peace plan proposed by the so-called Middle East Quartet — United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
In reality, the PA has formed a government with Hamas, which in on the State Department’s list of terrorist groups and has not recognized Israel’s right to exist. The PA itself reneges on its agreements with Israel when it suits them, endorses terrorism as legitimate “resistance,” and its own charter still describes Palestine as an “indivisible” territorial unit that is home only to the Palestinian people.
Was this part of the Pickens Plan?
Wind farms can affect weather in their immediate locality, raising night-time temperatures on the ground, researchers working in Texas have shown.
They used satellite data to show that land around newly constructed wind farms warmed more than next-door areas.
The change was not identical across all of the wind farms. Having averaged the data, the researchers say the scale of the effect they saw is equivalent to a warming of about 0.72C per decade.
That’s far more warming than global warming, which was supposed to notch us up a degree across centuries, and averaged out to such little warming that they had to re-badge it “climate change” and “climate disruption.”
- The New Reactionaries, by Victor Davis Hanson. The cloistered worldview of our self-styled “progressive” elites leaves them permanently trapped in the past.
- DOJ Employee Contempt for Mississippi Citizens on Facebook, by J. Christian Adams. “Hey, that should replace the state motto: ‘Mississippi: Disgusting and Shameful’. . . forget the Magnolia State motto.”
- And Now for News of Fresh Economic Disaster, by Ed Driscoll. Around the world of socialist economics and demographic decline in 80 basis points.
- Thoughts on Smoking: A Politically Incorrect Analysis, by David Solway. There are many addictions far worse than smoking. Political correctness is one.
- Do Nicotine Patches Actually Work? By Theodore Dalrymple. When in doubt, prescribe.
- ‘Occupy the Farm’ and Its Compost Socialism, by Zombie. Meet the new farm, same as the old farm?
- Doing the Airport Shuffle, by Claudia Rosett. Those grimy gray plastic tubs at the TSA line are the perfect metaphor for the whole grimy, gray experience of 21st century flying.
Lawmakers warned the head of the EPA’s Dallas office that he will soon be invited before a congressional committee — and warned they’ll implement all means available to ensure his appearance — to answer for a 2010 video in which he talks about “crucifying” oil and gas companies.
In the video, Al Armendariz said his approach to dealing with noncompliant oil and gas companies, shared with his staff, is “like when the Romans conquered the villages in the Mediterranean, they’d go into little villages in Turkish towns and they’d find the first five guys they saw and crucify them.”
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) led a letter of GOP committee members Friday asking for numerous documents relating to EPA’s enforcement priorities, strategies and procedures for Region 6.
“While you have apologized for these comments, there is genuine concern that your comments reflect the agency’s overall enforcement philosophy,” the letter states.
“Further, the Committee anticipates that it will request your presence at a hearing in the near future to examine enforcement priorities and practices of the agency,” it adds. “We note that you declined to attend the field hearing our Committee conducted in March 2011 in Texas. However, you stated at that time that you would be willing to make yourself available in the future to discuss your office’s work. Committee staff will be in contact with you with regard to the scheduling of the hearing.
“As this will be our second request to have you appear before our Committee, and in light of the seriousness of the concerns that need to be addressed, the Committee is prepared to use all authorities at its disposal to ensure your attendance.”
Armendariz called his remarks “an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation’s environmental laws.”
Ranking Member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who posted the video online Wednesday, said on the Senate floor that he is launching an investigation into the EPA’s actions toward domestic energy production.
The White House has tried to brushed off Armendariz’s remark as a one-off.
“Currently, oil production is at an eight-year high. And natural gas production is at an all-time high,” Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Friday. “And I think that those specific statistics speak much more about this administration’s policies related to oil and gas production than anything that was said a couple of years ago by an EPA administrator.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said today that an earmark-free chamber has made his job more difficult, but claimed both sides of the aisle are “very happy” about the progress made.
“No earmarks, who can imagine?”Boehner said on CNN’s “State of the Union” this morning. “You know, we’ve been through 16 months now, not one earmark.”
“It’s made my job a lot more difficult, in terms of how to pass important legislation, because there’s no grease, I’ve got no grease,” he added. “So, no earmarks. A more open process, allowing Democrats and Republicans to represent their constituency, to bring their ideas onto the floor. We’re making real progress.”
Boehner said it’s been his goal to “rebuild” the House.
“Having watched what’s happened here in this institution over the 21 years that I’ve been here, we’ve made positive steps in the right direction,” he said. “Both Democrats and Republicans are very happy about the progress we’ve made. They want more and so do I.”
The speaker again accused President Obama of “diminishing the presidency by picking fake fights, going after straw men every day.”
“The point I’ve been trying to make here in the last couple of weeks is that the president’s bigger than this,” Boehner said. “The presidency is important. America has big challenges. Big fiscal challenges, and we’ve got big challenges with our economy and the president ought to be working with Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill to address the big issues that affect the American people.”
Here’s the story, titled “Apple’s Tax Strategy Aims at Low Tax States and Nations.” At least, that’s the title in the story’s URL. On the page, it’s a bit more direct: “How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes.”
There is a hint or two that Apple is pretty smart.
Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.
California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada’s? Zero.
The company would be fools to keep its office in high-tax, business-hating California if a small office 200 miles away saves money.
There is no allegation in the story that Apple does anything illegal.But you will find a government hack behaving like a typical government hack.
In one of his last public appearances before his death, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, addressed Cupertino’s City Council last June, seeking approval to build a new headquarters.
Most of the Council was effusive in its praise of the proposal. But one councilwoman, Kris Wang, had questions.
How will residents benefit? she asked. Perhaps Apple could provide free wireless Internet to Cupertino, she suggested, something Google had done in neighboring Mountain View.
“See, I’m a simpleton; I’ve always had this view that we pay taxes, and the city should do those things,” Mr. Jobs replied, according to a video of the meeting. “That’s why we pay taxes. Now, if we can get out of paying taxes, I’ll be glad to put up Wi-Fi.”
He suggested that, if the City Council were unhappy, perhaps Apple could move. The company is Cupertino’s largest taxpayer, with more than $8 million in property taxes assessed by local officials last year.
Ms. Wang dropped her suggestion.
Cupertino, Ms. Wang said in an interview, has real financial problems. “We’re proud to have Apple here,” said Ms. Wang, who has since left the Council. “But how do you get them to feel more connected?”
They’re Apple. They’re far more “connected” that some local government bureaucrat. I don’t even live in Cupertino and I’m writing this post on one Apple product while there’s another Apple product in my pocket. Apple’s connectivity is not the problem. Government busybodies very much are.
The Times’ article end up showing how non-leftist the left’s favorite company really is. Apple is non-union, ruthlessly anti-tax, relentlessly innovative, and has more cash on hand than the US government.
There’s a relationship between all those things.
“Democrats would like you to stick to your guns. And if you don’t have any guns, you can ask Eric Holder to get some for you”
Not funny? Too soon? Did the LA Times file Jimmy’s joke wherever they keep the Khalidi tape?
Building more hitter-friendly parks? Hitters lifting more weights to get stronger? Steroids… Not factors. Sean Hackbarth was watching when Tim McCarver leaped from sports commentator to science reporter:
On Fox Sports’ coverage of Saturday’s Milwaukee Brewers-St. Louis Cardinals baseball game analyst Tim McCarver theorized about why home runs seems to be flying out of ball parks. He thinks it’s global warming/climate change:
Tim McCarver: “[T]he air is thinning…. There have been climatic changes over the last 50 years…. I think that’s one of the reasons balls are carrying much better now.”
Joe Buck [Fox Sports play-by-play announcer]: “So that’s your ‘inconvenient truth’ about it?”
McCarver: “You’re going to find it out one of these days, yes.”
For what it’s worth, the air isn’t “thinning.” The greenhouse effect is supposedly the result of having too much stuff up in the atmosphere, not too little. McCarver is confusing the so-called ozone hole, which is probably periodic and related to the solar cycle, with the entire atmosphere. But if the air was “thinning,” the effects would be greater than a few home runs in baseball parks. Earth would probably get cooler, as there would be less atmosphere to trap and hold heat from the sun.
According to Al Ahram, Egypt’s leading newspaper, a shadowy organization calling itself the “Jihad Group to Cleanse the Country” is threatening On TV, one of the nation’s leading liberal media stations, which regularly exposes the Islamist agenda. It sent a letter to the president of the station threatening to target its studios and facilities, as well as kidnap some of its top reporters and journalists, holding them for a $20 million ransom or otherwise “liquidating” them. The message further threatened other media and organizations dealing with On TV with “painful and severe punishments.”
The reason for all this? Read on to find out.
Three years without a federal budget, but the Senate is preparing to act on a paycheck trick.
Senate Democrats are planning a new ploy to put Mitt Romney and Republicans on the defensive with female voters.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will bring to the floor in coming weeks legislation to protect women from retaliation by employers if they inquire about salaries paid to male colleagues.
Republicans voted in unison to block the bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, when it came to the floor in November of 2010.
Democrats say it will be difficult for GOP senators to back out of their opposition, especially because the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has staunchly opposed the legislation.
Mitt Romney will either have to split with Republicans and an important business group or take a position that could further erode his support among women.
“Romney’s going to be on defense on the Paycheck Fairness Act,” said a senior Democratic aide.
“Women are making 70 cents on a dollar of what a man is making. This will resonate with females across the spectrum. If Republicans to a person are coming down against it, it will be at their political peril,” the aide said.
A spokeswoman for Romney’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
The bill would prohibit employer discrimination for inquiring about, discussing or disclosing the wages of another employee.
How often do employers actually “discriminate” against an employee for asking about the salary of another employee? And what constitutes “discriminating” versus just telling the nosey employee to mind their own business and get back to work?
Three years without a federal budget. Obama’s own White House has been called a “hostile workplace” by women who worked there. But the Democrats are happy to proffer more invasive laws on businesses that already find it hard enough to stay afloat in Obama’s economy:
The Chamber [of Commerce] outlined its concerns in a letter to senators during the last lame duck session.
“This bill would, among other things, expand remedies under [the Equal Pay Act] to include unlimited punitive and compensatory damages, significantly erode employer defense for legitimate pay disparities, and impose invalid tools for enforcement by the Labor Department,” the group wrote.
The Chamber argues the legislation would increase the opportunity for frivolous litigation and could result in increased costs for companies as they hire attorneys and conduct investigations to examine claims.
Perhaps some female White House will sue her boys’ club employer for salary discrimination.
Update: Glenn Reynolds proposes a counter attack:
I think Romney should promise that, if elected, he will seek to extend sexual-harassment law to cover members of Congress. Then ask Senators where they stand on that issue . . .
When Harvard Law school was under the gun for not hiring enough women of diverse ethnicity, it hired Elizabeth Warren and widely publicized her American Indian heritage. Now that she’s running for Senate against Scott Brown and no one can establish that she has American Indian ancestors, Harvard claims not to reveal the ethnic background of its professors. Daily Mail has the story:
Elizabeth Warren’s purported Native American heritage had once been touted by her employer, Harvard Law School, as a proof of diversity at the Ivy League institution, but now the law professor’s roots are being called into question. According to the Boston Herald, Warren’s campaign staff failed to produce any documents supporting the claim that the Democratic candidate for the US Senate from Massachusetts indeed had ancestors on her mother’s side from the Cherokee and Delaware tribes. ‘Like most Americans, Elizabeth learned of her heritage through conversations with her grandparents, her parents, and her aunts and uncles,’ Warren’s strategist Kyle Sullivan told the paper.
Back in the 1990s, when Harvard Law came under fire for having weak diversity-hiring record and a faculty dominated by white male professors, the school widely publicized Warren’s alleged Native American roots.
What I wouldn’t give to see the papers she submitted in support of her hire and the notes of her discussions with the hiring committee. I don’t think Harvard just made up that story about her ancestry out of thin air at a time when they were under the gun to expand “diverse” hiring .And there is good evidence that she herself is the source of the false Indian heritage claim.
The whole concept of diversity is nonsensical, but if you claim to believe in it why lie to take advantage of it?
A year ago, as I drove to Houston for the first national True the Vote summit, I had a lot on my mind. Andrew Breitbart was coming in to give the closing speech, and I was introducing him. How do you introduce someone who is equal parts tornado and Tasmanian devil? He really doesn’t need much of an intro, just set him up and watch him go.
This year’s summit is different. No intro to worry about. No Breitbart speech to bring down the house, unfortunately. No new shenanigans and game-changing exposes to hear about. But he’s here all the same.
Volunteers from 32 states have gathered to bring integrity back to what has become a corrupted election process. We have heard story after story today and last night — ACORN’s $30 million Project Vote effort in 2008; several jurisdictions across several states have more names on their voter rolls than there are eligible voting adults in their area. Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch directly warned that the Obama administration’s Department of Justice is working hand in hand with former ACORN lawyers who have pled guilty in voter fraud cases, on this year’s election strategy. He connected the Obama stealth amnesty for illegal aliens with this voter drive and the administration’s overt opposition to commonsense voter ID laws that have already proven to be no obstacle whatsoever to legitimate voters into a terrifying probability: that the Obama administration is preparing to steal this fall’s election.
John Fund is on the stage now. Fund has done more than any other reporter to discover, document, and expose voter fraud. But he isn’t here to crow, but to thank the activists in the room. They work for free, because they care about election integrity, at their own personal expense and often in the face of a hostile media. But they protect our votes. Fund rightly said that he could not exist without the activists’ efforts. Election is a core civil rights isue, Fund said, and he’s right: In a country built on the premise that we choose our own leaders, clean elections are fundamental to securing our freedoms. Fund noted that support for voter ID and election security is so strong among minority groups because they’re the most frequent victims of stolen votes. Research done when I was at the Republican Party of Texas backs him up on that: Fraud is worst in Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, where the local Democrats rig primaries and elections year after year after year, often stealing elections for white candidates at the expense of Hispanic candidates.
The people in this room get that. That’s why they’ve come here at their own expense. This is room full of good people putting themselves on the line to fight voter fraud and keep our country free.
Breitbart is here.
- Sharpton Sows Seeds of Next L.A. Riot, by Jack Dunphy. At the intersection of Rodney King and Trayvon Martin.
- Audio Interview: Whit Stillman discusses Damsels in Distress, by Ed Driscoll. The Last Days of Disco, the first days of the Sambola: laughing and dancing with the Urban Haute Bourgeoisie.
- Europe as King Lear, by Roger Kimball. Atlas Shrugged: The Continental road show edition.
- Libya: Assessing Berber Prospects, by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi. Did the overthrow of Gaddafi benefit the ethnic minority or not?
- #TrueTheVote Day One: Facts, Anger and Divergent Images of Two Crusaders, by Bryan Preston. Honor.
- Extra Pay for Hard Work? Novel Concept Gets Help from Congress, by Bridget Johnson. The National Labor Relations Board has repeatedly ruled that individual bonuses constitute illegal “direct dealing”; the RAISE Act aims to change that.
The Hollywood and media left love a crusader. Not in the Knights Templar sense, but in the striving to change the world sense. But they don’t love all crusaders equally. Case in point: Earlier today in a post about the EPA’s radical region chief I mentioned a crusader. Hollywood loves her and the media eats up her every word. She’s southern, she’s funny, she’s spirited, she’s beautiful. She has turned her stance on a set of issues into such a phenomenon that Hollywood even made an eponymous movie about her: Erin Brockovich.
But there’s another crusader out there who shares all of Brockovich’s external qualities. She saw a huge problem in America just a few years ago and, in a short span, has devoted her life to stopping it. Her local ad hoc group has become a national watchdog; representatives from 32 states are here at the summit in Houston this weekend. So she clearly knows how to lead and motivate. And the problem she is tackling is real. But Hollywood isn’t making a movie about her. If it did, Julia Roberts wouldn’t star in it. They would do to Catherine Engelbrecht of TrueTheVote what they recently did to Sarah Palin: The starring role goes to someone who publicly hates her, and the film is not the paean that Brockovich got, but would be a nasty hatchet job. For Catherine Engelbrecht, the Hollywood version of her work against voter fraud will have to wait. There’s an election on, and she is determined that it will be clean.
Catherine Engelbrecht at the True The Vote summit.
Keeping the 2012 and future elections clean is at the heart of True The Vote’s mission. That’s not a mission that Hollywood lovingly immortalizes, and it’s not a mission that the media mentions approvingly, but if Engelbrecht succeeds, it will immortalize the country one clean election at a time. So Engelbrecht has gathered together a few hundred in Houston this weekend to hear from experts and to study ways to identify and prevent voter fraud.
The first speaker was Anita MonCrief, the courageous young woman who blew the whistle on ACORN’s voter fraud and on the 2008 Obama campaign’s illicit donation practices. The media wasn’t interested in MonCrief’s story at the time, and still isn’t, despite the fact that ACORN sued her to try to silence her. Former Justice Department lawyer Hans von Spakovsky followed MonCrief, going point by point to prove that voter fraud exists, that it is a real threat to our democracy, and that we must stop it. Following von Spakovsky, former Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama delivered a passionate, brilliant and funny broadside against the notion that requiring a photo ID to cast a vote constitutes a “return to Jim Crow.” But the most vivid speech of the night came from Democratic pollster Pat Caddell.
I’ve waltzed across Texas today to attend the True the Vote National Summit in Houston. The sold-out summit’s purpose is to promote, discuss and work on securing our elections. Voter ID is one element of election security, but it’s not the only one.
Despite the fact that fully 70% of Americans across all backgrounds support voter ID, the summit has attracted an anti-voter ID protest outside. Not much of a protest, but a protest, as several dozen people stand around holding signs in front of the summit’s hotel, next to the interstate.
The protest has shown enough of a threat that Houston police are here in force, and they’ve brought the horses.
Getting a little closer up, let’s see what’s on those protest signs.
I’m not sure how securing the vote so that all legitimate votes count the same could possibly constitute “taking America back,” or silencing anyone who ought to be casting a vote, but there it is.
This year’s summit promises to be a bit more interesting than the outdoor action. On the way in, I ran into James O’Keefe, Quin Hillyer, Hans von Spakovsky and Christian Adams. We’ll hear more from three of that quartet as featured speakers tonight and tomorrow.
Read Bryan’s second report here.
Sort of mixing my football metaphors here, but Obama made the haughty comment after the Bin Laden operation that he didn’t need to “spike the football.”
Well, a change of heart came over the president and he made a web video bragging about offing the al-Qaeda chief:
Fourteen million unemployed or underemployed Americans in an election year will have that effect on a president.
The narrator in the ad is former President Bill Clinton.
This latest ad contradicts President Obama’s own pledge after he took out bin Laden. “You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies,” Obama told CBS soon after the terrorist mastermind had been taken out. He added: “Americans and people around the world are glad that he’s gone. But we don’t need to spike the football.”
With the Obama campaign’s latest ad, it’s pretty safe to say that the president is now OK with “trot[ting] out this stuff” and “spik[ing] the football,” as long as it helps him get reelected.
UPDATE: Mitt Romney’s campaign responds with this statement from press secretary Andrea Saul: “The killing of Osama bin Laden was a momentous day for all Americans and the world, and Governor Romney congratulated the military, our intelligence agencies, and the President. It’s now sad to see the Obama campaign seek to use an event that unified our country to once again divide us, in order to try to distract voters’ attention from the failures of his administration. With 23 million Americans struggling for work, our national debt soaring, and household budgets being squeezed like never before, Mitt Romney is focused on strengthening America at home and abroad.”