Saturday, June 29, 2013
On Thursday, federal regulators sued Mr. Corzine in connection with the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and apparent misuse of customer money during its final days. Mr. Corzine, a former United States senator and New Jersey governor, ran the firm until its bankruptcy in October 2011. (NYT, 6/27/2013)
After extensive investigation RedStateVT can report that former MF Global CEO, US senator and New Jersey governor Jon Corzine is, in fact, a Democrat. Undoubtedly the New York Times had not been able to determine that fact when this story went to press. In fact, Corzine is a Democrat and a 1%er.
The number of homicides on record in New York City has dropped significantly during the first half of the year — to 154 from 202 in the same period last year — surprising even police officials who have long been accustomed to trumpeting declining crime rates in the city.
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly attributed much of the drop to a new antigang strategy meant to suppress retaliatory violence among neighborhood gangs. Police officials also credited their efforts at identifying and monitoring abusive husbands whose behavior seemed poised to turn lethal. (NYT, 6/28/2013)
So by "identifying and monitoring" individuals who are likely to commit crimes, criminal activity can be lessened.
Geez, if only there were a way to apply that same strategy to terrorists....... Oh wait, there is, it's called "profiling" and law enforcement is not allowed to do it. That is why Granny gets strip-searched at the airport and Mohammad gets waved through.
Though President Vladimir V. Putin said this week that “the sooner he chooses his final destination, the better for us and for him,” Mr. Snowden shows no sign of leaving.
The chance that Russia will turn him in has all but vanished, as evidenced by Thursday’s television programs, which were almost certainly produced under Kremlin orders and have a powerful effect on public opinion. Officials here have signaled an openness to granting him political asylum, and each passing day would seem to narrow Mr. Snowden’s options, giving the United States time to negotiate with Ecuador and Venezuela, other countries that may grant him asylum. (NYT, 6/28/2013)
Why is it that those who advocate for open government always end up in Russia, Cuba and Venezuela? All bastions of repression.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
President Obama goes to the G8 summit and three times calls British chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne, Jeffrey Osborne. Had George Bush done the same thing, here is what would have happened:
David Letterman would have told a joke implying that Bush was stupid.
Bill Maher would have devoted an entire show to the error.
Jon Stewart would have devoted two entire shows to the error.
MSNBC would have devoted an entire week to the error.
Instead, we get the Legitimate Media sounds of silence.
Putin Rules Out Extradition for Leak Suspect in Russia Airport (NYT, 6/25/2013)
Well of course he did. Putin is a cold war warrior. And he is ex-KGB to boot. Who did President Naive think he was negotiating with?
In return for betraying the Polish people by denying them a promised defensive missile shield system (on the September 1st anniversary of Hitler's 1939 invasion of Poland, no less) and for promising to reduce U.S. nuclear arms, Obama gets exactly NOTHING from Putin.
Putin will wait until Obama offers more concessions. Why wouldn't he?
The Supreme Court struck down a central portion of the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, effectively ending the practice in which some states with a history of racial discrimination must receive clearance from the federal government before changing voting laws.
The vote was 5 to 4, with the five conservative-leaning justices in the majority and the four liberal-leaning justices in the minority. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the decision. (NYT, 6/25/2013)
Apparently the four "liberal-leaning" justices (along with MSNBC) have not heard that a black president has been elected....twice.
First in Line
Vermont's first medical marijuana dispensaries are now open for business. (WCAX.com, 6/25/2013)
Legal dope, a $0.05 gasoline tax hike, drivers licenses for illegals, a property tax hike.
This is Vermont.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Laugh of the Day
Look, people who know me well will tell you I’m not really a partisan guy. (Matt Miller, Washington Post, 6/19/2013)
What has RedStateVT been saying for years? We can never have an honest debate in this country if Liberals refuse to admit that they are....Liberals. (You will NEVER hear a Conservative deny that they are a Conservative.)
Mr. Obama returned this week to Berlin to give his long-promised speech laying out his plans to rid the world of nuclear weapons. His idea is to remove those weapons initially and primarily from American hands.
Mr. Obama is literally pleading with Moscow to strike another arms deal, which underscores the surreal nature of his vision. He handed the Kremlin reams of classified data about American missile defense, supposedly to allay fears that U.S. defenses will weaken Russia's nuclear deterrent. Invoking executive powers, the Pentagon and State Department rebuffed requests by Congress to specify the information shared with Russia to see if it might have jeopardized U.S. security. (WSJ, 6/21/2013)
President Obama cements his reputation as "the worst negotiator of all time."
Thursday, June 20, 2013
While tangling with the leaders of two cold war antagonists of the United States is nothing new, the two bruising encounters in such a short span underscore a hard reality for Mr. Obama as he heads deeper into a second term that may come to be dominated by foreign policy: his main counterparts on the world stage are not his friends, and they make little attempt to cloak their disagreements in diplomatic niceties. Even his friends are not always so friendly. (NYT, 6/18/2013)
Well we are confused. President Obama's entire foreign policy approach has been predicated on getting the world to like us. But it seems that no one likes us. Time to try a different approach? Maybe - as RedStateVT has advocated - we should want other countries to respect us some and fear us more.
Within hours of opening an office for peace talks in the Gulf emirate of Qatar, Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan launched a deadly ambush on an American convoy, and the Afghan government separately broke off talks on military cooperation with the United States. (NYT, 6/19/2013)
The Taliban was apparently miffed that their opening gambit in the peace talks was not well received. Their opening position being as follows: "All Americans must convert to Islam."
The Boston School Committee is set to vote Wednesday night on a new health policy that would make condoms available in the district’s high schools, bringing this city in line with New York and Los Angeles. (NYT, 6/18/2013)
RedStateVT readers are asked to choose one of the following three responses to the above excerpt:
1) What Liberals mean when they say: "More money for education."
2) Why Johnny can't read.
3) Jesus wept.
Monday, June 17, 2013
The increase in Texas is taking place even as the Obama administration says it has achieved unprecedented control over the border with Mexico. The administration, President Obama said last week, has “put border security in place,” with illegal crossings “near their lowest level in decades.”
Apprehensions at the Mexican border — the single best indicator of illegal traffic — are still far below their peak: there were 356,873 last year, compared with 1.6 million in 2000.
But after nearly a decade of steady declines, the count has started to rise again over the past year, driven by the rise in the southern tip of Texas, where the numbers so far this fiscal year are up 55 percent. (NYT, 6/16/2013)
So the Times is saying that Obama is lying about securing the border?
More than 50,000 New Yorkers slept in city homeless shelters and on the streets last night. About 21,000 were children. These numbers are huge and appalling, higher than they were in 2002, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, higher than in the dismal days of the fiscal crisis, the Reagan ’80s and the surly administration of Rudolph Giuliani. (New York Times editorial, 6/16/2013)
During the Reagan and Bush presidencies Liberals made the issue of homelessness a national one. Namely, it was all about the mean-spirited policies of Republicans. With Obama in the White House, the Times is content to make it a local issue and pin it on Bloomberg. (And this on the day that Bloomberg announces he wants NYC residents to start composting their food scraps!) The mayor learns again that with Liberals you can support gay marriage, climate change and recycling, but you cannot cherry-pick: you have to embrace the whole agenda.
News organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view, according to a content study by the Pew Research Center to be released on Monday.
The study lends credence to conservative charges that the nation’s news media have championed the issue of same-sex marriage at the expense of objectivity. Others have argued that news organizations are right not to overly emphasize opposition to what many see as a core civil rights issue. (NYT, 6/17/2013)
So if conservative critics of the Legitimate Media are right about this, might they be right about how other issues are covered as well?
And catch that last line about "core civil rights." As we have noted in the past, Liberals never want to engage in a debate about issues. They simply want to declare everything they want - abortion, euthanasia, dope - to be civil rights issues.
Not just any civil rights, though. Core civil rights.
End of discussion.
It is an intellectual cop-out as well as moral evasion.
With characteristic hyperbole, Biden introduced the former Vice President (Al Gore) while praising his political career. “This man was elected president of the United States of America,” Biden said according to the pool report. “No, no, no. He was elected president of the United States of America. But for the good of the nation, when the bad decision in my view was made, he did the right thing for the nation.” (from MichelleMalkin.com, 6/17/2013)
OK, Biden wants to play this game, let's play:
Barack Obama was NOT born in the U.S.
Sins of the Son
The father of the former NSA contractor who leaked details of the government's massive Internet- and phone-tracking programs made an impassioned plea to his son to stop leaking, telling Fox News that "I hope, I pray" he does not do anything considered treasonous. (Foxnews.com, 6/17/2013)
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Few international problems have bedeviled Mr. Obama as much as Syria and few have so challenged his desire to reduce the American footprint in the world in order to focus energies instead on what he calls “nation building here at home.” As much as he wants to avoid getting entangled in what he regards as another quagmire, he finds himself confronted by a conflict that is spilling over into the region and testing American resolve. (NYT, 6/14/2013)
And so, once again, there is greater understanding and appreciation for....George Bush. Is it any wonder that new polling indicates that his approval numbers have risen and now match or exceed those of....Barack Obama?
A current and a former top tax official have been physically threatened in recent weeks as the scandal over Internal Revenue Service targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups has gathered steam, people familiar with their situation say. (NYT, 6/15/2013)
The New York Times breaks its self-imposed silence on the IRS targeting-of-conservative-groups scandal to report that IRS officials have been threatened. Probably it was those conservative groups who did it....
In six months’ time, the heartless practice of refusing to let sick people buy affordable health insurance — private-sector death panels, the most odious kind of American exceptionalism — will be illegal from shore to shore. (Timothy Egan, NYT, 6/14/2013)
So here's a question for Mr. Egan: If it is heartless to deny health insurance to sick people, is it equally heartless to deny life insurance to dying people?
Here's another question: Do you know what "insurance" is?
Thursday, June 13, 2013
U.S. crude-oil production grew by more than one million barrels a day last year, the largest increase in the world and the largest in U.S. history.
Most of this new production is coming from dense shale-rock formations, such as the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas. In recent years, the oil industry has developed techniques to hydraulically fracture, or frack, these shales, freeing up previously trapped oils. (WSJ, 6/12/2013)
This exciting new technology which has the potential to free America from its dependence on Middle East oil is banned in Vermont, thanks to the efforts of the state's governor, Bill McKibben....
Perhaps the most vivid example of this came Tuesday afternoon, when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg rolled out his $19.5 billion plan to “prepare for the impacts of a changing climate,” with proposals ranging from coastal levees to the protection of hospitals. Last year, Bloomberg cited climate change as his main reason for endorsing President Obama’s reelection, praising Obama’s “major steps to reduce our carbon consumption.” But speaking Tuesday from a Brooklyn greenhouse damaged last fall by Hurricane Sandy, Bloomberg addressed the inevitability that rising temperatures and sea levels would bring even worse.
“By mid-century, up to a quarter of all New York City’s land area, where 800,000 residents live today, will be in the flood plain,” he said, and “40 miles of our waterfront could see flooding on a regular basis just during normal high tides.” We no longer have the luxury of ideological debate, he said. “The bottom line is we can’t run the risk.” (Mayor Michael Bloomberg quoted in Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 6/11/2013)
Maybe Mayor Bloomberg, a native of Massachusetts, doesn't realize it, but NYC ain't high ground. Lower Manhattan was created by bringing in fill, lots and lots of fill. We think the idea of flood protection for the city makes sense, but don't build in the flood plains and then complain that global warming is the culprit....when it floods.
The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime has used chemical weapons against the opposition seeking to overthrow him, U.S. officials said Thursday, crossing what President Barack Obama has called a ‘red line’ that would trigger greater American involvement in the crisis.
The officials said earlier intelligence assessments that indicated Assad likely used such weapons had now been corroborated. However, the officials said the administration has not determined how it will respond. (Washington Post, 6/13/2013)
The "red line" now having been crossed, Assad can expect a strong response from the Obama administration. Likely to take the form of a sternly worded letter to be personally delivered by SOS Kerry. That'll show 'em.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Close-minded: What Liberals call you when you do not agree with them.
Representative Jim Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said on Monday that among those in Congress who are most informed, the consensus was strong and bipartisan. “Those who have been fully briefed are comfortable with the capabilities used, the way they have been used and the due diligence exercised in making sure the agency responsible for carrying out and using the tools has been doing so within confines of the law,” he said. “There is nothing nefarious going on here.” (NYT, 6/10/2013)
The Patriot Act provision that allowed the National Security Agency to collect phone records has helped thwart "dozens" of terror events, Gen. Keith Alexander said Wednesday at a congressional hearing on cybersecurity. (Washington Post, 6/12/2013)
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Obama administration on Tuesday over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic phone calls, contending that the once-secret program — whose existence was exposed last week by a former National Security Agency contractor — is illegal and asking a judge to stop it and order the records purged. (NYT, 6/11/2013)
The strongest proof that the NSA intelligence gathering is necessary and correct:
-- A Democrat President reviews a program put in place by a Republican President and continues it.
-- The program saves American lives.
-- The ACLU objects.
With the recreational use of marijuana now legal in Colorado, officers who patrol the state’s roads face a new set of challenges. Though smoking or possessing small amounts of cannabis is no longer breaking the law, anyone who drives while impaired is still subject to arrest.
Which raises a knotty question: How many tokes can a driver take before the ability to control a vehicle is compromised to the point of being a danger on the road? (NYT, 6/7/2013)
Ooops! A minor overlooked issue in the rush to legalize dope.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Call it the downside of prosperity: The Texas growth spurt has produced a near $20 billion gusher of new tax revenue, and the Republican-dominated legislature, with the support of seemingly every lobby in Austin, wants to spread the bounty. The biennial general-fund budget that awaits the Governor's signature is $102 billion compared with $84 billion two years ago. (WSJ, 6/7/2013)
RedStateVT wondered several days ago what California legislators would do with a projected budget surplus. (Yes, first it has to materialize.) Our fear is that they would squander it. And now we have Republicans - yes, Republicans - potentially doing the same thing. This is exactly why there is a Tea Party.
People are looking for the wrong “scandal” about Attorney General Eric Holder. The problem with Holder is the plain fact that, in the judgment of a wide range of legal colleagues, he has been a mediocre attorney general. (David Ignatius, Washington Post, 6/7/2013)
When you have lost the uber-Liberals, it is pretty much game over. We see a potential Holder resignation down the road. He will wait until the scandals have all but disappeared (should not be too long as only Fox News is covering them) and then announce that he is leaving as he had planned all along.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Gov. Peter Shumlin is willing to sell the East Montpelier land back to his next-door neighbor for the money he’s put into it, his lawyer said Wednesday.
Shumlin bought the property last year for $58,000 from Dodge, who faced losing the home he’d inherited from his parents because of overdue taxes. Friends and family of Dodge recently raised questions about the fairness of the deal for a 16-acre property now assessed at $140,000. They said Dodge, who didn’t finish high school and has been in and out of jail for various misdemeanors, lacked the ability to understand his options.
The unusual deal that Shumlin originally penned on the back of a manila folder, has generated a lot of interest among Vermonters and created an image problem for the governor. Some contend he was a savvy, millionaire real estate developer outfoxing a man who was down on his luck. Shumlin has argued he was responding to a neighbor’s request for help when no one else appeared willing. (Burlington Free Press, 6/7/2013)
OK RedStateVT readers here is a test. What does the sleazy real estate deal of Vermont's Governor remind you of? We'll give you a hint...think Chicago.
That's right, congratulations! The answer is Barack Obama's shady real estate deal with convicted felon Tony Rezko.
Here is an extra credit question. What ELSE does the sleazy real estate deal of Vermont's Governor remind you of? The hint this time is...think the backwoods of Arkansas.
Right again! Bill and Hill Clinton's infamous Whitewater scandal. (No, we haven't let the scandal in which the revered senior statesman of the Democrat party committed adulterous acts with a White House employee make us forget one of the earlier of Bill's many other scandals.)
What IS it with Dems and their shady real estate deals?
Mr. Obama acknowledged that he had hesitations when he inherited the program from George W. Bush, but told reporters that he soon became convinced of its necessity. “You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” he said. “We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.” (NYT, 6/7/2013)
Perhaps the best thing Obama has said as president. We also appreciated it when he added: "And it turns out George Bush and Dick Cheney were right all along."
OK, we made up that last part.
President Obama on Friday offered a robust defense of the government surveillance programs revealed this week, and sought to reassure the public that his administration has not become a Big Brother with eyes and ears throughout the world of online communications. (NYT, 6/7/2013)
This may be nitpicking, but did the New York Times ever refer to a Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld defense of the Patriot Act as a "robust defense?" We don't think so.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Lost and Found
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers. (NYT editorial, 6/6/2013)
RedStateVT disagrees with the New York Times and agrees with.....President Obama? What is the world coming to?
Years ago when RedStateVT toiled in the private sector an e-mail went out from an employee to others in the firm warning that cell phone companies were collecting data from subscribers for the purpose of developing more effective target marketing. Some expressed outrage, some yawned. Our favorite comment came from the friend who said: "If they want to spend money to track our phone calls to find out that my wife talks to her mother for two hours everyday, have at it!"
The larger issue - beyond that of faux privacy concerns - is that this country remains at war with Islamic fundamentalists. We love the Patriot Act and encourage the government to do everything possible to keep America safe. Note to Liberals: You cannot argue against government vigilance and then criticize that same government if the terrorists strike. See below:
Well, another day, another Washington furor. This one is over a National Security Agency phone data monitoring program, but unlike the other White House scandals there seems to be little here that is scandalous. The existence of the program was exposed years ago and such surveillance is a core part of the war on terror, if we can still use that term. (WSJ, 6/7/2013)
Assad, in contrast, has a real friend. Putin knows Obama. Having watched Obama’s retreat in Eastern Europe, his passivity at Russian obstructionism on Iran, his bended-knee “reset” policy, Putin knows he has nothing to fear from the U.S. president.
Result? The contemptuous Putin floods Syria with weapons. Iran, equally disdainful, sends Revolutionary Guards to advise and shore up Assad’s forces. Hezbollah invades Syria and seizes Qusair. (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, 6/6/2013)
Charles with yet another scathing indictment of Obama, a foreign policy rube if ever there was one. When Putin's henchman reported back last year that Obama had said that he would have "more flexibility after the election," Putin got the message loud and clear.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
In an institution where seniority has long been prized, Representative John D. Dingell Jr. of Michigan is about to set a new standard with 57 years, 5 months and 26 days of House service — a remarkable tenure that spans more than a quarter of the existence of Congress. (NYT, 6/5/2013)
Some think Dingell's tenure is a wonderful thing. (What a dedicated public servant!) We are suspicious of lifetime politicians. They need to - as the expression goes - get a real job at some point. Dingell gets partial redemption from RedStateVT for the following quote about Obama:
“He’s a good president, but he’s probably got the smallest Rolodex of anybody who’s ever hit this town,” Mr. Dingell concluded, somewhat wistfully.
As an old political hand once told me, "There's never just one cockroach." The IRS scandal wasn't the work of a few isolated employees. It was fostered by a culture that many powerful people in Washington helped create—and it will take time and hard-nosed action to eradicate it. (Steven Law, WSJ, 6/5/2013)
It’s beginning to feel like the late ’90s all over again. Then, congressional Republicans howled themselves hoarse about Clinton administration scandals. But the indicators kept pointing to a booming economy, and support for President Bill Clinton climbed steeply through 1998 as House Republicans marched toward impeaching him. (Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 6/4/2013)
So according to Milbank, Republicans should ignore the Obama Scandals(tm) because the economy is rebounding.
If you are a Liberal.
(And about that booming Obama economy....)
Your Coulter of the Day
It is obviously in the interest of the left to show us liberal groups also harassed by the IRS, so it's striking that they haven't been able to produce one yet. (Ann Coulter, 6/6/2013)
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The United States came “late” to efforts to find a political settlement to the war in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday, as the crisis there deepened with the political uncertainty in neighboring Turkey.....his remarks carried the implication that the Obama administration had moved too slowly in its first term to seek a negotiated political solution to a conflict that erupted more than two years ago and turned into a war. (NYT, 6/3/2013)
Usually it is politicians up for re-election who attempt to distance themselves from the policies of an unpopular president. In this case, it is a member - and a new one at that - of the president's cabinet.
The court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, whose secret release of a vast archive of military and diplomatic materials put WikiLeaks into an international spotlight, opened here Monday with dueling portrayals of a traitor who endangered the lives of his fellow soldiers and of a principled protester motivated by a desire to help society who carefully selected which documents to release.
Inside the courtroom on Monday, as Private Manning sat quietly, David Coombs, his defense lawyer, told the judge that his client had been “young, naïve, but good-intentioned” and that he had tried to ensure that the roughly 700,000 documents he released would not cause harm.
“He was selective,” Mr. Coombs said. “He had access to literally hundreds of millions of documents as an all-source analyst, and these were the documents that he released. And he released these documents because he was hoping to make the world a better place.” (NYT, 6/3/2013)
Well that changes everything for us. Had we suspected for just one moment that Manning - in releasing only 700,000 documents - was being so selective we would never have been so harsh on him. And besides, he just wanted to make the whole wide world a better place with more harmony and other good stuff.
For more Liberal wisdom on one of America's foremost traitors, see below.
Rather than agree to what strikes me as more than adequate punishment, prosecutors insist on trying to convict him under the 1917 Espionage Act as, essentially, an enemy of the state. Which I don’t believe he is.
I say this even though Manning is allegedly responsible for the biggest unauthorized release of classified documents in the nation’s history. (Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, 6/3/2013)
WaPo's Robinson is conflicted on the Bradley Manning case. How do we know? Well he tells us so himself. It's that old Liberal compassion for criminals. Ultimately Robinson comes down in favor of 20 years with credit for time served. That's certainly more compassionate than we would recommend. Namely, the firing squad.
Monday, June 3, 2013
The New York Times website today featured a fourteen minute video retrospective of the Tawana Brawley affair. All will remember the incident in which a black teenager claimed she was raped by several upstate New York cops. Of course it was later determined that it was a complete fabrication. The cops were wrongly accused and, no doubt, actual black women who were victims of rape were thenceforth viewed skeptically. Figuring prominently in the video was Obama adviser and MSNBC host Al Sharpton.
Who is a man of God.
Who did not apologize for his role in falsely inciting racial animosity.
Who does not apologize even today.
Who has the ear of the President of the United States, the most powerful man in the world.
Even Eliot Spitzer (a.k.a. Client #9) apologized for whoring around before getting his own television show.
An internal watchdog at the Treasury Department is set to report Tuesday that the IRS spent almost $50 million on more than 200 employee conferences from 2010 through 2012, spending the tax-collecting agency's new acting commissioner called "inappropriate." (WSJ, 6/2/2013)
So Liberals, please note. When we say that taxes should not be raised, spending should be cut, this is what we mean.
A second major piece of legislation that would have made Illinois the 13th state to allow same-sex couples to marry also stumbled in the closing days of the session. The Senate passed a bill to legalize the unions in February, but the House failed to take up the measure in the face of pressure from the Roman Catholic Church and a group of black ministers. (WSJ, 6/2/2013)
Whatever one's view of gay marriage - and reasonable people can have entirely different opinions - it is worth noting again the opposition of many black clergymen. So for gay marriage advocates, can we have a little more tolerance for those who oppose? Labeling opponents as homophobic is not a good strategy and you might be surprised at the constituency of those who hold divergent views.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
“There is a set of recurring patterns on the Republican side trying to grind him into the dust, so we’re a bit dubious of their complaints,” said Representative Peter Welch of Vermont. (NYT, 6/1/2013)
Vermont's Welch speaking about AG Eric Holder. Those "patterns" Welch references being explained in the previous paragraph as the following:
Under his leadership, the department scaled back a voter-intimidation lawsuit from the Bush era involving the New Black Panther Party, a decision that conservatives used to portray the black-nationalist fringe group as a political ally of the Obama administration. He reopened criminal investigations into the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogations of terrorism suspects and tried to prosecute five men accused of plotting the Sept. 11 attacks in civilian courts rather than military tribunals, which provoked accusations that he was soft on terrorism. And he abandoned the legal defense of a law barring federal recognition of same-sex marriage that social conservatives viewed as a bulwark against attacks on the traditional family. The party-line furor peaked with hearings into Operation Fast and Furious, a botched gun-trafficking investigation by federal agents based in Arizona. When Mr. Holder, after Mr. Obama invoked executive privilege, refused to provide department e-mails relating to the fallout after the operation ended, the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.
These are the dubious Republican patterns that give Welch pause.... Does he see nothing here worthy of further discussion?
Meanwhile this is what Holder still wants to accomplish:
“Too many people go to too many prisons for far too long for no good law enforcement reason,” he said in a speech in April.
Those dubious Republicans will say that the AG is wants to be kinder and gentler....to criminals.
Large and Small
And the other part of this is that liberals measure success in their sort of compassion ratings by the number of people on food stamps, welfare. The larger the number, the more compassionate you are, whereas a conservative says the smaller the number, the more successful the society. (Dailycaller.com, 5/30/2013)
This is Charles Krauthammer capturing - as only he can - the essence of Liberals and Conservatives. What's that word? Oh, right...irrefutable.
Okay. Let’s accept the dubious proposition that the Yemeni prisoners could be sent home without coming back to fight us. And that others could be convicted in court and put in U.S. prisons.
Now the rub. Obama openly admits that “even after we take these steps, one issue will remain — just how to deal with those Gitmo detainees who we know have participated in dangerous plots or attacks but who cannot be prosecuted.”
Well, yes. That’s always been the problem with Gitmo. It’s not a question of geography. The issue is indefinite detention — whether at Gitmo, a Colorado supermax or St. Helena.
Can’t try ’em, can’t release ’em. Having posed the central question, what is Obama’s answer? “I am confident that this legacy problem can be resolved.”
That’s it! I kid you not. He’s had four-plus years to think this one through — and he openly admits he’s got no answer. (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, 5/30/2013)
Lucky readers get a double dose of Krauthammer today. Much has been written about Obama's recent address on national security. A speech so bizarre that even POLITICO made a joke about it (Obama Debates Obama). Charles weighs in with his own funny line, but he was likely more incredulous than amused.