May 25, 2013

Britain Burns Both Ends

The London Terror Attack Was More Than 'Unforgivable'

Britain has been in denial about the Islamist threat.

How many ignored warnings does it take? That is one question that should hang over Britain after the horror of the daytime murder of a British soldier on the streets of south London. On Wednesday afternoon, Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwich by two men wielding large knives and shouting "Allahu akbar"—God is great.

Islamists have been saying for years they would do this. They have planned to do it. And now they have done it. 

The attack itself is not surprising. What is surprising is that British society remains so utterly unwilling not just to deal with this threat, but even to admit its existence. Politicians have called the Woolwich killing "unforgivable" and "barbarous." But expressions of anger should not really be enough. 

Read more ....

The key section is the following:

.... Most of the extremists who have repeatedly expressed their hatred of British soldiers are themselves supported by the British state. A prominent hate-preacher—Anjem Choudary, a leader of the disbanded al Muhajiroun—was even caught on video earlier this year extolling Britain's "jihad-seekers' allowance." As he explained to his followers, "The normal situation, really, is to take money from the kafir"—a slur for non-Muslims. "Allahu akbar. We take the money."

After the video showed up online, a BBC reporter asked Mr. Choudary to clarify how much he's taking—the press has long reported a sum of £25,000 ($37,770) per year. "It's irrelevant," Mr. Choudary replied.

This would not be the first time a country has paid both sides in a conflict. Buif the reported figure is anywhere near accurate, it would surely be the first time in human history that a society has paid its opponents better than it pays its own. A British soldier can expect to start in the army on a salary of around £16,000 ($24,172). 

So if this ends up being true, British society and it's government are actually insane.

May 20, 2013

Scandal Trifecta?

Worried? Ah, hell no. I'm from Chicago

With three scandals burning, questions are starting to be asked, past mistakes are looked at again, and the worst is far from over - no matter how hard the White House wants to sweep these things under the rug and move on. Two things that history teaches us here, the most corrosive political scandals are the ones that feed a pre­existing story line, and those that are attempted to be covered up.

The question no one is asking - did he know, and if not, why not? Is it outright corruption or crippling incompetence? I'll wait for my answer.

What's alarming to me right now, is that White House talking points were ditto copies of Nixon talking points on the Sunday talk shows. Any attempts to turn it around - smoke just seemed to blow back in their eyes.

The GOP is fixated on Benghazi since they think there's a way to get Hillary to be knocked out of the Presidential race. I'm guessing they think it's a bonus if they can get any of this to hit Obama. But since they didn't use it well in the election, it's more about Hillary.

The AP story is probably just the beginning of a larger story, and the fact it involves the press corps, I'm not saying they're breaking up over this... but they totally should, like, you know? Maybe, just maybe they'll look into what else Eric Holder's been up to over there. They could do a totally cool retro-journalist thing where they, I don't know, do their jobs and investigate? That'd be awesome.

And the IRS-Tea Party People scandal it's smelling like rotten fish left out in the alley. No one knows who ordered "special treatment", the critics were discredited before they stopped talking, and the spin control folks said it was "impossible to detect." Really. That last one sounds more designed than controlled.

It's going to be a long, hot, stinky summer in Washington. And it's not even the end of May yet.

May 14, 2013

AP Scandal: When did you stop beating your wife?

Not a day passes after the "Impeachment" word is thrown around like it's 1995... and now this.

What's "this" you ask?

First, there's the Benghazi fire re-kindle. Second is the IRS targeting the TEA Party People - and now, the and now the revelation that earlier this year the Justice Department secretly seized two months of phone records involving editors and reporters at the Associated Press.

The Associated Press? 

Let me tell you, dear reader - this is big. Big Brother big. Well, at least, that's the spectre that's going to be screamed about for the next two or three months while the press feels like it just got raped by the ghost of Richard Nixon. 

Date Raped. 

I mean, the press was going out with the Obama Administration. It gladly repeated everything that it agreed with, and politely ignored those things that the neighbors and the GOP brought to her attention. Like, that gun running scandal, and the fact that maybe she didn't "fall down the stairs" and she "should get some help" or a "restraining order." But love is a mysterious thing that makes you overlook obvious things, and shun the people who are really trying to help you.

And now, maybe, this will be the straw that - at the very least - makes the AP and the media think twice about blindly loving that abusive boyfriend from Chicago? Maybe. Probably unlikely. "He still loves me." 

Maybe. But just to be on the safe side - the White House already prepping Eric Holder to be placed under the ceremonial bus. It's already gassed up and ready to go. Jay Carney, the (current, as I write this) White House spokesman, who is already under fire for his statements about Benghazi, insisted that his boss had nothing to do with the decisions to seek a subpoena and not to inform the A.P. until now. “Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the A.P.,” Carney said, “We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations.”

"It wasn't us - it was..." that's right, Eric Holder, the Attorney General, who last June assigned Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the D.A. for the district of Columbia, to investigate the leaking of the fact that, a month earlier, the C.I.A. had foiled a Yemen-based plot to bomb an American airliner. The A.P. broke that story, and Machen’s tactics appear to have been aimed at discovering the identity of the wire agency’s sources. At one point, the F.B.I. appears to have suspected somebody in the White House, possibly C.I.A. director John Brennan, who was then President Obama’s senior adviser on counterterrorism. During Brennan’s confirmation hearings earlier this year, he said that F.B.I. agents had questioned him about whether he was the source, which he denied.

But why were 20 AP employee's phone's tapped? They're going after the leakers? Or the whistleblowers? Or both? And remember how pissed they were when Rupert Murdock tapped all those phones? This is way, way, way worse.

Either way, pissing off your battered girlfriend (the Press) and then denying it, is only going to make those folks who just watched House of Cards on Netflix froth at the mouth for a scandal.

And the GOP is playing Game of Thrones.

Read more

May 13, 2013

The Big "I" Word?

Jim Inhofe Mulls 'I-Word' After Benghazi -- Politico

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said the fatal attacks on American diplomats in Benghazi could lead to President Barack Obama’s impeachment during a radio interview.

“People may be starting to use the I-word before too long,” Inhofe said during a discussion of Benghazi on “The Rusty Humphries Show.” 

“I-word meaning ‘impeachment?’” Humphries asked.

“Yeah,” Inhofe said.

Humphries pointed out it was unlikely the Senate would vote to convict Obama even if the GOP-controlled House voted to impeach. 

Oh, good. This is the GOP's solution to Obama's policies?

They're already breaking the Impeachment glass? How much willful lawbreaking really went down - and, more importantly, evidence to back that up, do they think they have to even CONSIDER such a bad idea?

The GOP was handed this durning a Presidential campaign, bungled it then, and now want the ref to review the play? If they're going to do anything, they should at least find out what really happened, what went wrong, and who, (if anyone) is responsible.

If they want to look at the smoldering ashes and kick around the dust, fine, focus on the false narrative that was handed out and eaten by the press. Who lied, and what gain did they achieve? If they do that part well enough, they might be able to use it against the Democrats in the next Congressional election. Doubtful it'll carry enough weight to hurt Hillary's chances in the next Presidential, given that it bounced right off of Obama in the last general election.

But, to talk about Impeachment - now? Now? Well, to do that you look like a 55 year old bald man trying to pick up chicks in your Rolls-Royce Phantom... Small, ineffectual, and extremely sad - to the point of self satire.

Not to be outdone, George Will thinks Obama should be impeached since the IRS went after TEA party groups. Must be the overactive pollen in the air after all those droughts last year?

May 9, 2013

New Benghazi Brew-Ha-Ha

House Republicans called on the Obama administration to release a new batch of e-mails that they believe will shed more light on how the White House and the State Department responded in the days after the attacks on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

Speaker John A. Boehner, in a written statement, made the request, saying, “The truth shouldn’t be hidden from the American people behind a White House firewall.”

His move was the first of many expected by Republicans in the coming days and weeks to try to force the White House to divulge more documents and allow additional witnesses to testify. Republican-led investigations into the siege on Benghazi — which cost four Americans, including the former ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, their lives — have been growing in intensity and scope.

Read more

If the White House has nothing to hide it will not be an issue to release these emails, right?

But they have refused since day one to NOT release these emails.

That's disappointing because on an issue where transparency is important, a decision was made, from the White House, to NOT be forthcoming.

So now the question comes up, what are they hiding that makes them act like the Nixon Administration?

May 8, 2013

Gun Crime Way Down, But Americans Are Told Otherwise

Gun crime has plunged in the United States since its peak in the middle of the 1990s, including gun killings, assaults, robberies and other crimes, two new studies of government data show.

Yet few Americans are aware of the dramatic drop, and more than half believe gun crime has risen, according to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center.

In less than two decades, the gun murder rate has been nearly cut in half. Other gun crimes fell even more sharply, paralleling a broader drop in violent crimes committed with or without guns. Violent crime dropped steeply during the 1990s and has fallen less dramatically since the turn of the millennium.

The number of gun killings dropped 39% between 1993 and 2011, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in a separate report released Tuesday. Gun crimes that weren’t fatal fell by 69%. However, guns still remain the most common murder weapon in the United States, the report noted. Between 1993 and 2011, more than two out of three murders in the U.S. were carried out with guns, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found.

Read More

Maybe, just maybe this information would change the perception of the "Need" for gun control? Amazing that a story like this can be printed in the LA Times... 

May 2, 2013

Guess what Israel and Turkey have in common?

Wait, doesn't all the food in the Middle East have garlic in it?
They don't know where Syria's chemical weapons are.

No one knows where Syria's Chemical Weapons are.  Great, now I'm nervous. Deck officer! Deck officer!

U.S. officials told Eli Lake at the Daily Beast the scary, horrible truth: in many cases, we simply don’t know.

Bonus, irregular militias loyal to Assad have reportedly been training in how to use them.

As the White House tries to figure out whether Syria crossed Mr. Obama’s double dog dare and actually used chemical weapons, the U.S. military and intelligence community are quietly acknowledging that the United States does not know where many of those weapons are located.

The judgment comes from top U.S. military commanders and is supported by recent intelligence community assessments, according to three U.S. officials who work closely on Syrian intelligence matters.

At the heart of the concern is that the Syrian military has transferred more and more of its stock of sarin and mustard gas from storage sites to trucks where they are being moved around the country.  Hey, wasn't that what the bad guy in the last Batman movie was doing?

While U.S. intelligence agencies first saw reports that Syria was moving the weapons last year, the process has accelerated since December, according to these officials. Also worrisome, said two of the officials, is intelligence from late last year that says the Syrian Scientific Research Center—an entity responsible for Syria’s chemical-weapons stockpile—has begun to train irregular militias loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in how to use the chemical munitions.

And, call me nuts (most of you already do), remember when the DARPA report said that Saddam was moving all of his WMD's to Syria???  Wired Magazine says there's no correlation. I still kind of have to wonder, as I get my tin foil hat out from under my gas mask.