ERIC CHESLEY:New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg can keep his 25 cents because his opinion isn’t worth even that much. In an interview on Sunday night’s CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Bloomberg made a thinly veiled accusation that a homegrown, healthcare hating American was behind the attempted Times Square bombing. What does this description conjure up in many American’s minds? Tea Party members.
Bloomberg said that the attempt:
Looks like an amateurish job done by at least one person, and that if I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that, somebody home-grown, maybe a mentally-deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the healthcare bill or something.
Seriously? After two successful terrorist attacks by Islamo-fascist and who knows how many failed attempts, Mayor Bloomberg places his bet on a fellow citizen. Why is it that Bloomberg did not suggest that a May Day protestor, or a G8 protestor where behind the attempted bombing? Could it be because Mayor Bloomberg and his ilk are eager for the opportunity to use violence to their political advantage? Read more…
ERIC CHESLEY: The country is at a crossroads and it’s time to make a choice. Choice A is that we grant the federal government greater power to control financial institutions in the hope that the feds posses the clairvoyance to see a meltdown coming and take appropriate action to prevent a crisis. Choice B is that we demand that the federal government restrain itself and allow financial companies that are “too big to fail” to do just that, fail. In the short term the choice appears simple, if failure can be prevented, why not do something about it? That’s the position Sen. Chris Dodd has taken with his financial reform bill “Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.”
There seems to be bipartisan agreement that financial reform is needed, but Sen. Dodd’s attempt at reform misses the mark. Sen. Dodd’s bill includes a $50 billion bailout fund for big Wall Street firms, awarding some of those who created the problem in the first place. It creates yet another bureaucracy, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would duplicate existing regulatory agencies. And the bill puts a restriction on derivatives that are blamed for last year’s financial crisis, and, as a result of restricting derivatives, U.S. companies probably will seek foreign investment opportunities and moving capital outside of the U.S. But the most worrisome provision of the bill is found in Subtitle B Section 151-156 that creates the Office of Financial Research.
On its face, the new entity sounds rather benign. What is the threat of a federal agency doing a little financial research? The threat lies in the fact that this new office will have the authority to dig into any financial transaction that they like.
Karl Rove shed some light on this proposed agency while appearing on Fox news. He points out that the bill creates a super-regulatory agency with too much power:
It creates a new office and gives it a half a billion dollars a year and a huge start-up for computer systems in order to monitor every financial transaction in the United States and to use that data to arrive at policy recommendations about sensible regulation.
So they’re literally going to have the capacity to go through everybody’s brokerage account and everybody’s checking account and everybody’s credit card and everybody’s financial transactions and collect – sweep that information and then analyze it. Karl Rove, Fox News
Weasel Eric Massa vs. Warrior Jim Bunning
WASHINGTON: The balance of health care reform lies in the hands of weasels. Case in point, former Rep. Eric Massa is claiming that he alone wielded the decisive vote in the House on pending health care legislation, and now he has been forced out of Congress by the White House in order to shore up support for passage of the bill.
An initial gut reaction to Massa’s claim is that the White House will stop at nothing in order to ram rod legislation that will fundamentally change this country, even if it means destroying a congressman’s career. It is true that to date there have been promises made, bribes taken and bullying employed to secure votes for socialist style health care reform. But if we turn a light onto the players of this debate, regardless of which side they favor, we find a house full of cockroaches scurrying for a dark crevice to hide within. Few in Congress are untainted by the corruption that exists there.
This is not to say that courage and honor do not exist in Washington, but their manifestations are rare, and when they do present themselves, the person exhibiting these attributes is denigrated and vilified. Senator Jim Bunning’s recent actions in the Senate are a fantastic example of legislative courage. Senator Bunning stuck to his ground opposing unfunded mandates by blocking a $10 billion spending bill. The media was quick to react though. Instead of reporting on the “Pay-Go” law that Democrats passed and President Obama signed, news outlets screamed that the unemployed would suffer at the hands of a single senator. Read more…
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
DETROIT: President Obama addressed the nation on January 5th in response to criticism of his handling of the Christmas day terrorist attack. Early in his speech he tried to squelch criticism of his initial 4 day delay by asserting now it was a matter “of the utmost urgency.” He found fault with screeners and every agency he could think of. He announced tightened restrictions on all US citizen passengers as a fix for the problem, as well as his assurance that “We will close Guantanomo prison.”
For all his fault-finding he glaringly failed to address his own failure. Obama is trying Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as a mere criminal defendant in the courts of Detroit. If Abdulmutallab were charged as the unlawful combatant he is, the military would be able to gain intelligence that would be invaluable in fighting the war on terror.
Is the United States at war? President Obama claimed that we are. In his remarks Obama reaffirmed the fact that the country is at war with al-Qaeda. Yet, as we are now all aware, this is not a traditional war involving an enemy state and uniformed soldiers. Rather al-Qaeda members pose as airline passengers placing bombs in their underwear and shoes, hardly conventional tactics. So in kind, President Obama has adopted an unconventional policy in dealing with al-Qaeda that is mudding the waters in the fight against jihadism. Read more…
WASHINGTON: Diplomatic Immunity is that cloak and dagger privilege granted to a certain few foreign government officials, the gift to do as they please within a foreign country. The purpose of the immunity is to protect the channels of diplomatic communication between nations, allowing diplomats to perform their duties with freedom and security.
Some of the protections diplomats enjoy?
- Diplomats may not be arrested or detained by authorities.
- Their residences are not subject to search warrants.
- A diplomat may not be subpoenaed as a witness in a legal proceeding.
- And a diplomat may not be prosecuted, making them immune from both criminal and civil law suits.
A diplomat’s home country may waive immunity and allow its diplomat to be prosecuted, but this rarely happens.
Because diplomatic immunity offers such broad protection, it would only make sense to limit the privilege to those foreign officials who are the pipelines of communication between the United States and their home country. But common sense does not appear to be a factor within the Obama brain trust.
On Dec. 17th, President Obama issued an Executive Order amending another executive order issued by President Regan in 1983. Regan’s executive order 12425 recognized INTERPOL (the International Criminal Police Organization) as an international organization and granted it some immunities traditionally given to diplomats with some important exceptions. These exceptions made INTERPOL property and assets subject to search and seizures, taxes, and duties. And in addition, INTERPOL was required to register any foreign agents coming into the United States as resident aliens. Read more…
WASHINGTON: If you are not already overwhelmed and perhaps apathetic due to the onslaught of legislation working its way through the halls of Congress this year, then toss this latest straw upon the camel’s back.
Members of the House have unveiled a bill authored by Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez, which I affectionately call “Immigration Reform version 2.0.” Because this bill, as opposed to the defeated immigration bill of 2008, by Astroturf activists, would have to be new and improved. It must be fresh and innovative; otherwise what’s the point? The American people have already said no to previous attempts at reform.
Here is the meat of Rep. Gutierrez’s new bill. It would allow migrants to legalize their status without returning to their home countries. It would give nonimmigrant status to the 20 million illegal aliens living in the United States upon registering with the federal government, paying required application fees and a $500 fine, plus pass a criminal and security background check. And best of all, the bill eliminates the ability of local law enforcement from enforcing immigration laws. Thus only the federal government and its agents will have the ability to arrest and prosecute immigration violators.
If this all sounds vaguely familiar, then it should. Rep. Gutierrez’s bill, for the most part, includes the same ideas that the American people soundly rejected in 2008. The number one item that Americans take issue with is that the bill grants amnesty to lawbreakers, and strips states and cities of their ability to deal with illegal immigration. Read more…
The "Unsinkable" Titanic
Democrats and a few Republicans must harbor the same mistaken assumption concerning American fiscal policy as that of Philip A. S. Franklin, Vice President of White Star Line when he made a comment in response to the sinking of his company’s ship, the RMS Titanic. He said “I thought her unsinkable and I based [my] opinion on the best expert advice available.” America has hit a fiscal iceberg and the ship is rapidly flooding with debt that will soon drag it to the bottom of the sea floor, and instead of bailing water over the bow, Congress is widening the hole allowing more debt to flood in.
Over the weekend Congress gave final approval to a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending measure that increases budgets for federal government agencies an average of 12 percent and gives federal workers a 2 percent pay increase. The bill also includes 5,224 pet projects known as earmarks at a cost of $4 billion. But what’s a few billion when you’re spending over a trillion dollars; we can afford it, right? (To get an idea of what a trillion dollars looks like, check out this link.)
Here is a small sampling of the disclosed earmarks:
- $2.7 million to support surgical operations in space.
- $200,000 for the Washington National Opera.
- $30,000 for the Woodstock Film Festival Youth Initiative. Read more…