Monday, January 31, 2011

Judge uses Obama's words to strike down ObamaCare

From the Washington Times:
In ruling against President Obama‘s health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s own position from the 2008 campaign against him, arguing that there are other ways to tackle health care short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of the 78-page ruling Monday.

Judge Vinson, a federal judge in the northern district of Florida, struck down the entire health care law as unconstitutional on Monday, though he is allowing the Obama administration to continue to implement and enforce it while the government appeals his ruling.
"Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable," Judge Vinson ruled that "the entire act [health care bill] must be declared void.”

Egypt's Million Man March: Obama should attend the march

The Big Government blog on Saturday noted the following:
It is telling that the protests Friday in Egypt were dubbed by the Muslim Brotherhood, a “day of rage.”
The Brotherhood said its members will demonstrate “ that... Friday will be the general day of rage for the Egyptian nation.”
“Days of Rage” is what the Weathermen [i.e. Bill Ayer's Weather Underground organization] called their violent, riotous protests in Chicago in 1969.
And, today, the AFP reported that demonstrators in Egypt - apparently, following in Louis Farrakhan's footsteps - are calling for a "Million-man march" [on Tuesday] to mark one week since the protests began.
In 1995, Louis Farrakhan organized, what was dubbed, "The Million Man March" in Washington D.C.
Along with other prominent black leaders such as Al Sharpton and Barack Obama, Farrakhan helped lead the Million Man March on Washington. A second march, called the Millions More Movement, took place in 2005.
If one were to ask President Obama why he chose to march with Mr. Farrakhan at the Million Man March, no doubt his response would be that he was merely endorsing the message [behind the march], not the messenger.

Likewise, it would behoove the President to attend the Million Man March in Egypt. While it is true that the demonstrations in Egypt are largely being fueled by the Muslim Brotherhood and by former IAEA chief, Mohamed ElBaradei - previously a facilitator of Iran's nuclear weapons program - nevertheless, President Obama, by attending the march, would be endorsing the message, not the messengers. And, while the messengers, who are organizing the march, are indeed a band of thugs, this, in no way, diminishes their message - the message of piece, brotherhood, extremism and Jihad....... Obama should attend the event.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Medvedev vs. Obama on the role of Private Sector, Big Government

"Only government can break the cycle that is crippling our economy. The federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life. It is only government that can break the vicious cycle."
President Barack Obama - 2009

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that the most effective way to resolve a severe economic crisis is through the Private Sector - not big government:

"Simple and often populist solutions, in ninety cases out of one hundred, are wrong, or prove to be wrong, or perhaps even prove to be worst out of all the possible options. A vivid case in point is a tendency of trying to resolve economic problems through nationalization, including the nationalization of financial institutions.

"In the [recent era and] period of financial crisis, many states paused to think about that, and many states took that option, including states with well developed Liberal economies. Our economy is not developed well enough - I'm referring to the Russian economy - but we have exercised restraint, and we did not resort to that option. And I believe that we were right in doing that.

"I believe that, in most cases, crisis can be resolved through the efforts of private sectors, and, in the long term perspective, this is the most effective way of dealing with things."
"Only government can break the cycle that is crippling our economy. The federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life. It is only government that can break the vicious cycle."
President Barack Obama - 2009

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Michele Bachmann, Barack Obama and the disingenuous mainstream media

Why did Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann offer a rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union address when Rep. Paul Ryan had been asked to deliver the official Republican response?

This disingenuous question is irking pundits all across the left-wing, mainstream media [and blogosphere].

They casually ignore the fact that Barack Obama, in 2008, had offered a response to President Bush's State of the Union address even though then-Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius had been asked to deliver the official Democratic response.

To be fair, however, the mainstream media - in raising the aforementioned question - is simply fulfilling its duty: to bash the Republicans and to try to create a rift within the party.

It's their job, it's what they get paid to do.

Incidentally, Barack Obama, during his rebuttal [i.e. Presidential campaign speech] in 2008, did not refrain from deriding Mr. Bush.

Civility, it seems, was not the order of the day back then.

Mitch McConnell: WH ignored us till now, administration had a different agenda

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday afternoon discussed President Obama's State of the Union address. McConnell said that Republican overtures to work with the White House on job creation were rebuffed.

"I'm not going to put [Obama] down for that," said McConnell, "he didn't think he needed us... They were busy trying to turn America into a Western European country as rapidly as possible. We had a referendum on that November 2. The American People don't want to be a Western European country..."

Obama State Of The Union Address - A Coercive Unity

Monday, January 24, 2011

Obama, Nasrallah Promoting Bipartisanship

In his weekly radio address, several weeks ago, President Obama said, "I'm willing to work with anyone, of either party, who's got a good idea and a commitment to see it through." The aforementioned statement stands in stark contrast to some of Obama's earlier partisan rhetoric.

Nevertheless, the President is in good company, for, as the video below illustrates, he is not the first leader, in recent weeks, who's expressed a willingness to work in bipartisan fashion. Hezbollah chief, Hassan Nasrallah, in a televised speech on Sunday, also indicated that he'd be willing to work with any political party:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Iran to supply gas to Europe via Syria

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Javad Oji announced on Thursday that Iran and Syria have signed an agreement to build an "Islamic gas pipeline" to transfer Iran's natural gas to Europe.

The gas pipeline to Europe will pass through Iran, Iraq, Syria, southern Lebanon, the Mediterranean basin, and will provide 110 million cubic meters of natural gas, per day, to Europe. The Pipeline will also provide Iraq and Syria with additional sources of energy.

Just one more indication that Obama's no-nonsense foreign policy - including the weak sanctions imposed on Iran - is having the desired effect.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Obama through the lens of a teleprompter - Speech - 50th anniversary of Kennedy's inauguration

Obama speaking on the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's inauguration - "Humble Roots"

Speaking at the 50th anniversary of JFK'S inauguration on Thursday, President Obama recounted how John F. Kennedy had once attended an event early in his career, "where, every speaker before him pompously claimed 'humble roots'. " The President immediately quipped, "Things haven't changed that much."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Russian opposition: Obama is ignoring Russia's human rights abuse; reset button is worsening the situation

President Obama, it seems, is turning a blind eye to Russia's human rights abuse, which should come as no surprise:
Russian opposition leaders and human rights activists pleaded with top US officials to support their plans for political and social change, but the request was apparently given short-shrift by Washington. [A Russian newspaper], which obtained fresh files from WikiLeaks, reports that the group was consistently critical of the Kremlin and wanted American help for reform.

The members of the opposition accused the US leadership of turning a blind eye to observance of human rights in Russia... Michael McFaul, Special Assistant to The President for National Security Affairs and senior director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the United States National Security Council, met with opposition leaders at the residence of the American envoy to Russia in Moscow. The opposition asked the US to be more critical of civil rights violations taking place in Russia...

Those who were present at such meetings at the US embassy in Moscow also showed some evolution of their opinions over the years. Previously, during George W. Bush’s presidency, they asked the US for softer criticism towards Russia, but these days it is a different story. They seem to believe that there is a lack of harsh critics of Russian policies on America’s part. They even proposed discussing Russia’s internal affairs in the format of representatives from the Russian and American governments and Russian NGOs, but Michael McFaul rejected the idea.

According to the reports, the opposition said: “Washington should pay more attention to significant incidents related to freedom of assembly in Russia. To solve problems in Russia's civic society, parties should sit down at the negotiation table – both Russian and US governments, and representatives from NGOs.” The US’ response was, “It is up to Russian activists to build up their relations with their administration, without relying on America.” Leaders of the Russian opposition also believe that the recent reset of Russia-US relations has had a negative influence on human rights in Russia...

[The Russian Opposition] said that, “To further improve relations between Russia and the US, the Obama administration has ostensibly refrained from vocal support for democratic reform.” In his report to Washington, ambassador John Beyrle proposed that the US should make its position on human rights issues and democracy in Russia more clear to the members of the Russian opposition and explain to what extent the US is willing to be involved in Russia’s domestic issues.

John Laughland, director of studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation, believes that the parliamentary opposition in Russia does not have enough support in the country and that is why they are seeking help elsewhere.

“[WikiLeaks] documents show frustration on the part of these groups with the new Obama foreign policy – the “reset,” he said. “These opposition leaders and NGO leaders are going to the Americans and saying that they don’t feel the denunciation is active enough. They are the ones asking for more, and the Americans, in these documents at least, are being slightly reserved....”
Obama's egregious record on human rights is well known: His deafening silence over Iran's rigged election in 2009 received heavy criticism even among the Liberal elite.

In 2009, according to the AP, Egypt’s ambassador to the US expressed satisfaction “that ties [between the US and Egypt] are on the mend and that Washington has dropped conditions for better relations, including demands for ‘human rights, democracy and religious and general freedoms'."

"Conditionality" with Egypt "is not our policy," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview with Egyptian TV. "We also want to take our relationship to the next level."

[The Bush administration, on the other hand, took human rights violations very seriously. Just one example: Egypt released Ayman Nour, the imprisoned opposition leader, after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice canceled a trip to protest his arrest.]

The Daily Mail reported in 2009 that, "the Obama administration has turned off an electronic sign at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana that displayed pro-democracy and human rights messages to Cuban passers-by.

"The news 'zipper' on the fifth floor of the American Interest Section in the Cuban capital had riled the government...

"But it is now shut down amid the administration's efforts to engage with Cuba's leadership..."

President Obama, on several occasions, has indicated that Democracy building was not among his major priorities.

In 2009, the New York Times wrote that, "neither President Obama nor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has even uttered the word democracy in a manner related to democracy promotion since taking office....

"The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor has put out 30 public releases, so far, and not one of them has discussed democracy promotion.

"Democracy, it seems, is banished from the Obama administration’s public vocabulary."

Appeasement, though, has not been banished from the Obama administration’s public vocabulary. Quite the contrary, it is the keyword and the very crux of Obama's lexicon. For ultimately the President believes his policy of appeasement will make the world all the more better. But in truth, it is this very policy that is emboldening the world's tyrants and, in turn, pulling the US, and the entire free world, into a dark, bottomless abyss.

Obama rewards Syria for supporting Al Qaeda

The new US ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, on Thursday handed his credentials to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem, the AFP reported:
The appointment comes almost six years after Washington withdrew its ambassador to Damascus, Margaret Scobey, in the wake of the February 2005 assassination of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri in a car bomb in Beirut...

The appointment of Ford "shows that President Obama wants to work with Syria even if we don't agree on every issue," a US embassy source said.

But it should not be viewed as a "reward" for the Syrian government, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said on January 7 as Ford was sworn in by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton...
It should be noted, however, that Syria is not only culpable for the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, it is also to blame for many of the bombing attacks currently plaguing Iraq, including today's attack:
Suicide bombers struck inside Iraq for the third day straight, killing 45 Shia pilgrims and wounding more than 150... Al Qaeda in Iraq continues its campaign to strike at Iraq's security forces and Iraqi Shia in an effort to weaken the government and divide Iraqis along sectarian lines...

Al Qaeda in Iraq is supported primarily through its networks in eastern Syria. The al Qaeda ratlines, which move foreign fighters, money, and weapons, pass from eastern Syria through the northwestern Iraqi cities of Sinjar and Rabiah into Mosul...

In 2009, al Qaeda's central leadership based in Pakistan reportedly sent a senior ideologue to Syria to partner with a dangerous operative who ran the network that funnels foreign fighters, cash, and weapons into western Iraq.

Sheikh Issa al Masri is thought to have left Pakistan's tribal agency of North Waziristan and entered Syria in June 2009, where he paired up with Abu Khalaf, a senior al Qaeda operative who had been instrumental in reviving al Qaeda in Iraq's network in eastern Syria and directing terror operations in Iraq, a US intelligence official told The Long War Journal.

Although the US killed Abu Khalaf during a Jan. 22, 2010 raid in the northern city of Mosul, Sheikh Issa is alive and is believed to be based in Damascus and is protected by the Mukhabarat, Syria's secret intelligence service...
Nevertheless, according to Philip Crowley, the appointment of Robert Ford should not be viewed as a "reward" to Syria for supporting Al Qaeda and eliminating Rafik Hariri. But rather, the appointment is just one more indication of Barack Obama's profound diplomatic prowess.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Syria, Lebanon discuss military cooperation - US, Syria, Saudi Arabia, France etc. to negotiate settlement to Lebanese crisis

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Jean Kahwaji (Qahwaji), the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Syrian news agency reported on Monday. The two discussed future cooperation between the Syrian and Lebanese armed forces. The talks also focused on the role that the Lebanese army would play in controlling the increasingly tense situation in Lebanon.

Mr. Kahwaji also met with the Syrian Defense Minister and his Chief of Staff to discuss the latest developments in the region. The meeting also focused on the Lebanese army's capability to effectively wage war with the Israeli army - which raises the question as to whether the Obama administration's $100 million military aid package to Lebanon and a series of shipments of weapons and ammunition delivered to the Lebanese army in April would ultimately be used against Israel, a former US ally.

The talks between Assad and Kahwaji came in the wake of a meeting on Monday between the Syrian President, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari Emir Ahmad ben Khalifi al-Thani, in which the three leaders voiced support for Syrian-Saudi mediation to settle the political crisis in Lebanon.

Mr. Erdogan reportedly has also agreed to participate in the international “contact group” proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to deal with the Lebanese crisis. The meeting, according to reports in the Arab media, is to be hosted by France, and will include the participation of the Lebanese Prime Minister, the Presidents of Syria and Turkey, Saudi King Abdullah, the Emir of Qatar and President Obama. The idea, according to the AFP, was discussed in a meeting last week between Mr. Sarkozy and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. No date, as of yet, has been set for the meeting.

According to Arab media reports, Mr. Sarkozy received American authorization to produce a solution to the Lebanese crisis.

Likewise, a European diplomat in Beirut told the AFP that France had proposed the creation of an international "contact group" to negotiate a settlement to the crisis:
"The contact group would include Syria, Saudi Arabia, France, the United States, Qatar, Turkey and possibly other countries," said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"The group would meet outside of Lebanon given the current tensions in the country."

The French foreign ministry refused to confirm or deny the proposal.
Syria's involvement in Lebanon's internal affairs, during the Bush administration, had been largely diminished and nullified as a result of international pressure spearheaded by former President Bush. Armed with the strong support of the former US President, the Lebanese people took to the streets and waged massive protests against the Syrian regime. Under intense international pressure, Syria reluctantly withdrew its troops from Lebanon.

President Obama, however, shortly after taking office, began to re-establish US-Syrian ties. The Syrian regime seized upon this new-found relationship to re-exert its influence in Lebanon

Nevertheless, President Obama, in December, offered some additional carrots to Syria, when he bypassed the senate during the holiday recess, and appointed the first US ambassador to Syria since 2005. The Bush administration withdrew its ambassador from Syria in February 2005 in response to the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri.

Meanwhile, Syria, with an apparent wink of the eye from the Oval Office, is increasingly re-exerting its influence [including military cooperation with the Lebanese army] and tightening its grip over Lebanon.

Wink, Wink...

Obama: Disrespect towards potential murderers is to blame for the murders in America

The recent shooting rampage in Tuscon Arizona raises some uncomfortable, but necessary questions about immorality in our society, specifically the blatant disrespect exhibited by Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's in 2007 - which ultimately provoked a despairing and hopeless young man to commit murder.

Some of you may be deeply offended by the aforementioned premise, but I base it, not upon my own musings, but upon the wisdom and philosophies of one our nation's greatest thinkers: Barack Obama.

Here's the deal:

At a 2007 event, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords took questions from members of the audience. Jared Loughner, one of the attendees at the event, asked her a seemingly incoherent question. Sadly, Rep. Giffords failed to give him a satisfactory response, which prompted Mr. Loughner to later complain, ‘Can you believe it, they wouldn’t answer my question.’

This lack of respect on the part of Ms. Giffords apparently irked Mr. Loughner - and the rest is history.

In his 2006 Call to Renewal speech and in his highly acclaimed memoir, The Audacity of hope, Barack Obama touched upon this subject. Obama stated that it is precisely this kind of immorality and disrespect toward the soon-to-be murderers, and the less fortunate among us, that is largely to blame for both the murders and the increase in violence in our society.

"The problems of poverty and racism... are not simply technical problems...," said Obama. "They are rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness... Solving these problems... will also require changes in hearts and minds."

"I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities," he went on to say. "But I also believe that when a gang-banger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels somebody disrespected him, we've got a moral problem. There's a hole in that young man's heart — a hole that the government alone cannot fix."

Indeed, it was this lack of respect and total disregard for a fellow Arizona citizen that elicited a sense of hopelessness in a young man's heart - ultimately inciting him, in the prime of his life, to commit murder. A hole had been drilled into his heart as a result of both "societal indifference" and Ms. Giffords' "individual callousness", hence, he had little choice but to bore a hole in the hearts of those who disrespected him and to those, who through their callousness and indifference, facilitated both his mental and emotional demise.

It goes without saying, that another contributing factor to the shootings was the coarse public discourse among Republicans, which ultimately squashed the bright and promising future of a young left-wing, George W. Bush-hating, flag-burning idealist, who will now sit in jail for the rest of his life.

Sad, but true.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Obama played politics with Virginia Tech tragedy, Arizona shooting

On April 16, 2007, the day of the Virginia Tech massacre, then-Presidential candidate, Barack Obama, spoke at a campaign rally in Milwaukee WI, where he cunningly associated the tragic act of violence to a host of unrelated political issues, thereby politicizing the tragedy, as he did last week, during memorial services for the victims of the Arizona shootings:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Russia inserts amendment into START treaty prohibiting unilateral deployment of Missile Defense system

The Russian Parliament on Friday added several amendments to the new START treaty and subsequently approved the document in the second of three votes. A final vote on the treaty is expected later this month.

The amendments stipulate grounds for Russia's withdrawal from the treaty, including one provision that would allow Russia to back out of the deal if the US were to unilaterally deploy a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted - contrary to White House claims - that the treaty's preamble specifically links offensive and defensive armaments.

"There would have been no treaty without this preamble, and our U.S. partners are perfectly aware of that," he told the Russian Parliament on Friday. “A break of this linkage will force the weakened side to use the right to secede from the treaty."

Senate Republicans, wary of trusting the White House on matters of national security, added a non-binding resolution to the new START treaty [last month] stating the Senate's 'understanding' that the new treaty 'does not impose any limitations on the deployment of missile defenses.'

The Russian Parliament, however, sought to counter the Senate resolution by inserting the aforementioned amendment.

President Obama, however, has said that he plans to develop a joint missile defense system with Russia - a precarious and complicated deal, if there ever was one.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Russians, unlike Obama, in no hurry to reduce their nuclear arsenal

From Reuters:
Russia said on Thursday the United States had to allay its concerns about conventional warheads and weapons in space if it wanted further cuts in the two countries' nuclear arsenals... Obama has set out a vision of a world without nuclear weapons...

When the U.S. Senate approved the New START treaty last month, it ordered Obama to seek talks with Moscow within a year on reductions of tactical nuclear stockpiles.

But Lavrov said discussions of future nuclear arms cuts "must take into account other factors that increasingly influence strategic stability".

"Let's imagine that everyone abandons nuclear weapons, but that in parallel non-nuclear strategic weapons are developed ... that may be even more effective in military terms -- what then?"...

In addition to long-range missiles with conventional warheads, Lavrov expressed particular concern about the possibility of "the militarization of space".

In 2006, U.S. President George W. Bush signed an order opposing Washington's participation in treaties that would restrict its right to develop space-based weapons. In July, a U.S. arms control official said the United States could consider proposals to limit or ban weapons in space.
Mr. Lavrov also said that a new round of talks aimed at slashing Russia's large arsenal of short-range tactical nuclear weapons must also involve other nuclear powers, the Wall Street Journal reported. Additionally, Mr. Lavrov said that, "Before talking about any further steps in the sphere of nuclear disarmament, it's necessary to fulfill the New Start agreement."
That process could take years, as the former Cold War enemies shrink their long-range nuclear warheads to a limit of 1,550 each, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.

"Then it will become clear what further steps must be taken to strengthen global security and strategic stability," Mr. Lavrov said.

When those steps are considered, he added, other nuclear-armed nations must take part and the agenda must include weapons in space, strategic missiles equipped with conventional explosives and other non-nuclear conventional weapons. Russia opposes U.S. plans for space-based weapons.
Truth be told, if we're already going down the path of appeasement, I see no reason why we shouldn't ban space weapons. It seems only logical, considering Obama's ultimate goal is to end America's military superiority, so that Russia, the US and the entire world can be on equal footing. It's all about Global equality, right?

What's more, US Military officials have expressed concern over China's advances in space weapons. "In 2007, China demonstrated that it could shoot a satellite out of low Earth orbit. And for years, corporate and government computer systems in the U.S. and elsewhere, including those of American defense contractors, have been hit by cyberattacks traced back to China." Hence, if the US were to ban space weapons, it would give the Chinese a decisive edge in that department, which, in turn, would foster good will between China and the US, and ultimately assist President Obama in his goal of creating a global alliance, one, in which the US is no longer the domineering, snobby Superpower it once was.

Appeasement, acquiescence and pacification are the cornerstones of Obama's foreign policy and his new world order. And, quite frankly, I'm satisfied with that approach; We don't need to ruffle anyone's feathers, not now, not in today's dangerous world.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obama desecrates Arizona memorial with duplicitous, political speech

Speaking at a memorial service Wednesday for the victims of Saturday's shooting attack in Tucson, Arizona, President Obama said that "lack of civility" did not "cause this tragedy", but he, nevertheless, called for more civility and less opposition.

Out of all the speakers, Obama was the only one who couldn't refrain from turning the memorial service into a political spectacle. He did it furtively and craftily, in a way that only he is capable of doing. But you don't have to be a rocket scientist to discern the political ploy, it was obvious for all to hear.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sheriff Dupnik - Dems, in '09, asked him to apologize for 'Inflammatory' Remarks on Immigration

"Whether you are talking about school performance, or dropouts, or gang affiliation, or one-parent homes or poverty, you name the social problem..., that has to do with illegal immigration."

Schools should help "identify the people that are here illegally by the thousands" and ICE will "send them back, kids and parents."
Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik

From CNS News:
Arizona’s Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who on Saturday suggested radio and television talk shows were somehow responsible for inciting a man... to kill six people and wound 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords..., once [in 2009] suggested that local schools should check the immigration status of students and that many of the social problems in his county were attributable to illegal immigration--remarks that some fellow Democrats cited as “inflammatory” while demanding an apology from the sheriff...

"It's wrong for the taxpayers in this country to spend the millions and millions and millions of dollars that we do catering to illegals," Dupnik said... "I don't think you'll find other countries doing that for other citizens."

Dupnik had argued that reducing the number of illegal immigrants would reduce crime and other problems in the area.

“Fewer illegal immigrants, he [Dupnik] said..., “would help reduce crime and other social problems because most of the social problems that plague Pima County originate on the South and Southwest sides, where many illegal immigrants reside.”...

"Whether you are talking about school performance, or dropouts, or gang affiliation, or one-parent homes or poverty, you name the social problem, that's where they are all concentrated," Dupnik told the Daily Star. "That has to do with illegal immigration."...

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told the paper that the type of remarks Dupnik had made created “racial tensions.”

"To make a categorical statement that all the crime and the dysfunction in Tucson and Pima County emanates from one part of the community is outrageous and it's stereotypical and based on who lives there, creates racial tensions where they shouldn't be," Grijalva said.

On Saturday, shortly after the shooting attack in Arizona, Mr. Dupnik said that "the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”
Mr. Dupnik also recommended that schools report their findings to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who would identify students "who are here illegally by the thousands and send them back, kids and parents."
Some border county sheriffs want Arizona schools to start asking students whether they're in this country legally.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik originated the idea and said millions of dollars in Arizona taxes go to teach English to children who have no legal right to be here. He also said there's a link involving illegal immigration, social problems and gangs.

Only thing is, a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision appears to make it illegal for school officials to ask. In a 5-4 decision, the justices overturned a Texas law that authorized school districts to refuse to enroll anyone who couldn't prove legal residence.

But Dupnik said it may be time for Arizona to have a test case to put the issue back before the high court — to see if the current justices agree...

Dupnik [said that schools should] report their findings to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"They would identify the people that are here illegally by the thousands and send them back, kids and parents," he said.

Jared Loughner; Sheriff Clarence Dupnik; Political ideology

Friday, January 7, 2011

Obama and the Hariri murder investigation

Saudi Arabia and Syria are currently working on a joint initiative to undermine the UN Special Tribunal's investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri. Details of the Saudi-Syria initiative remain under wraps. But one thing is certain: The Saudis and Syrians are taking whatever steps are necessary to either squash the investigation completely or to dilute the indictment, so that Syria and Hezbollah can continue to maintain their choke hold over Lebanon. The Saudis apparently believe that placating Syria and Hezbollah is their only option.

The question, however, arises: Where does President Obama stand on the issue?

Both the Obama administration and the mainstream media would have us believe that the President would like nothing more than for the perpetrators of Hariri's murder to receive their due justice and to be punished to the full extent of the law. But I suspect otherwise.

While the President perhaps is not seeking to totally squash the investigation, I suspect that, like the Saudis, he would prefer that Syria and Hezbollah come out of this mess in one piece. For indeed, the President is not only the ultimate appeaser, he, by his own admission, has little interest in bolstering Democracy. Hence, he couldn't care less whether Syria and Hezbollah tighten their noose around Lebanon's neck.

Incidentally, Barack Obama's chief adviser on counter-terrorism, John Brennan said about Hezbollah in 2009: "Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ’80s and has evolved significantly over time. And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization... And so, quite frankly, I’m pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process [in Lebanon] in a very legitimate fashion. "

Nevertheless, the following tidbits will perhaps shed some additional light on the matter and help us to better ascertain Obama's position on the STL [Special Tribunal for Lebanon] investigation:

In July of 2010, Syrian President Bashar Assad met with Saudi King Abdullah and, according to the Lebanese media, proclaimed: "The international tribunal’s work should come to an end. We in Syria feel the tribunal’s investigation has become a heavy diplomatic burden on Lebanon and its stability." This meeting, I suppose, was likely the prelude to the Syrian/Saudi initiative [mentioned at the onset of this post].

Arab news outlets reported that the Syrian President called King Abdullah on December 26, while the King was recuperating from back surgery in a New York hospital. The two leaders reportedly discussed the Saudi-Syrian initiative. The very same day, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri traveled to New York to visit the King. He met with him the following day, on December 27. It goes without saying that the Saudi-Syrian initiative was the primary focus of their discussion. According to the aforementioned sources, Hariri's visit to New York suggested that progress had been made with regard to the Saudi-Syrian initiative. President Obama, coincidentally, also placed a call to the King on December 26. He reportedly, "wished the King well and congratulated him on the progress that he had made toward a full recovery.”

Question: Did the President also make the call [on the same day Assad spoke to the King] in order to discuss the Saudi/Syrian initiative prior to Hariri's meeting with the King the following day,?

I don't know.

Mr. Hariri, in November, met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the situation in Lebanon. One month prior to that meeting, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri met with Sarkozy. A 1982 profile of Mr. Berri, from History Commons, pretty much sums up where his sympathies lie:

Nabih Berri takes over the Amal Militia, a Shi’a Lebanese paramilitary organization... Although not a fundamentalist Muslim, Berri allies himself with the new regime in Iran and Hezbollah, a fundamentalist Lebanese Shi’a party backed by Iran. Berri also manages to convince Syrian authorities that he will represent their interests in Lebanon...
Last week a Lebanese news outlet reported as follows:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to head to Beirut as soon as a compromise settlement over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon indictment is announced to end the country’s political impasse , French diplomatic sources revealed on Friday.

The sources told [a Kuwaiti newspaper] that the visit would be aimed at asserting France’s support to the compromise settlement.

Sarkozy recently stated that it is unacceptable for Lebanon to slip again into violence...

Saudi and Syrian officials have reportedly been working on a compromise [settlement]...
Sarkozy is traveling to the US next week to meet with President Obama. The two of them, will discuss, among other things, the situation in Lebanon, according to an Arab daily.

The President, last week, bypassed the senate, during the holiday recess, and appointed the first US ambassador to Syria since 2005. The Bush administration withdrew its ambassador from Syria in February 2005 in response to the assassination of Rafik Hariri.

So, to answer the question I posed earlier: Where does President Obama stand with regards to the STL investigation?

Well, whether the information I cited above provides a 100% concrete answer, I do not know. But it does raise my suspicion level significantly higher, and my suspicions were already quite high, due to the fact that Obama is the ultimate appeaser, who finds no greater pleasure in life than to coddle tyrants.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Robert Gibbs speaks about Obama's 2012 re-election campaign

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is reportedly stepping down from his post. Beginning next month Mr. Gibbs will assume a leading role in the President's 2012 re-election campaign.

Related Post from October 14, 2010: "Gibbs & Biden: 'Obama spends next to no time/some time thinking about 2012' "

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pelosi pays tribute to herself before swearing in Boehner as Speaker of the House

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi paid tribute to herself before handing over the Speaker's gavel to the new Speaker of the House John Boehner, during Mr. Boehner's swearing-in ceremony Wednesday:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Karzai & Obama: The "Meddling" Conundrum

Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Tuesday lambasted "foreign" leaders who accuse him of running a corrupt government.

Normally, a rebuke of this sort would appear to be meaningless, due to the fact that Mr. Karzai, for all intents and purposes, is indeed running a corrupt government.

The problem, however, lies in the fact that Mr. Karzai's argument, and his rationale, are completely in line with President Obama's previously-stated position and political ideology:

During the widespread protests which broke out in Iran following the country's 2009 presidential election, President Obama said it would be inappropriate of him to interfere with the outcome of the election:

"It's not productive..." for "the U.S. president" to be perceived "as meddling in Iranian elections," he said.

And here's what President Karzai said on Tuesday:

"I ask our foreign friends not to interfere in our internal affairs, not to interfere in our constitution. They must stop meddling in our implementation of the law in our country."

And therein lies the problem: Were President Obama to interfere in the Afghan government's corrupt internal affairs, he would be directly contradicting his previous position, and his previous statements, regarding Iran's farcical election in 2009. This would be seen by the world as hypocrisy of the first order.

On the other hand, Obama has never been one to shy away from hypocrisy. In fact, the words 'hypocrisy' and 'Obama', by their very nature, are synonymous - they seem to go hand in hand. What's more, the President appears to be extremely comfortable and highly content wearing the moniker 'hypocrite'.

And, I suppose, therein lies the solution to the conundrum.

Problem solved!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Shave Ice: Obama gets the last licks!

President Obama managed to get in his last licks Monday, on the final day of his Hawaiian vacation: He feasted once again on his favorite treat: Shave Ices!

Considering the President's obsessive craving for Shave Ices - as evidenced by the number of times he has treated himself to the cold and frosty treat during his trips to Hawaii - he would be well-advised to purchase a shave-ice machine for his residence in the White House. The political squabbling in D.C. is sure to heat up soon, and shave ices would be the perfect way to cool things down.

The decision is ultimately his, of course. I'm just trying to help.

Signing Statement to nullify Gitmo provisions

White House officials have indicated that the President will likely issue a signing statement nullifying at least some of the provisions added by senate Republicans to the defense spending bill which limit the president's options on Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Several administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the White House is still uncertain how many of the provisions will be targeted, and nullified, in the President's signing statement.

Among the issues at hand: Prosecuting detainees in US civilian courts and transferring detainees to foreign countries. The former, however, seems certain to be targeted by the President.

The President will likely face heavy criticism if he chooses to override the provision banning Gitmo detainees from being tried in US civilian courts: In November of last year, a federal court in New York City acquitted Ahmed Ghailani, an al Qaeda terrorist, of all but one of the 286 charges levied against him, including one count of murder for each of the 224 people killed and the thousands who were injured in the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Luckily, the President, last week, was able to use the holiday recess to appoint James Cole as Deputy U.S. Attorney General. Mr. Cole, who believes terrorists attacks are akin to domestic crimes of murder and rape, and who also served as a former defense attorney for a renowned Saudi terrorism financier, will likely be of immense assistance to the President as he formulates his new signing statement.

The Justice Department is also filled with a whole host of former defense attorneys who have previously represented Gitmo detainees. Working in unison with Mr. Cole, the aforementioned terrorist sympathizers will provide the President with much needed assistance as he drafts bold new legislation [aka executive powers] to defend the rights of deprived, despairing and hopeless murderers, who are merely seeking a second chance in life.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sanctions prove futile, Iranian exports surge

Iran's non-oil exports have surged in the second half of 2010, passing the $22 billion mark, according to Iranian news outlets, citing the latest figures issued by the Iranian customs office.

Non-oil exports grew by 21 percent between March and December 2010, compared to the same period in 2009, the office said on Saturday.

“The figures are sound and correct, this shows that sanctions have not effected Iran seriously and instead its non oil exports have surged, and given the rise in oil prices, the revenues from oil have increased,” said one Iranian lawmaker.

Vaqef Behrouzi, who runs foreign investment projects in Iran's Ministry of Economics and Finance, said that Iran is ranked sixth in the world in absorbing foreign investments. Mr. Behrouzi noted that Iran absorbed more than three billion in foreign investments until July 2010, despite the global financial crisis and sanctions imposed against Iran.

Mr. Behrouzi went on to say that according to statistics published by the UNCTAD, Iran experienced a growth rate of 86 percent in absorbing foreign investment, while the average growth of other countries has been negative 37 percent.

Last month, President Obama emphasized the need to quickly ratify the precariously flawed START treaty in order to sustain Russia's purported support of the UN backed sanctions.

However, shortly after meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in November, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev issued a statement saying that: "following the" adoption of the UN "sanctions resolution" certain countries "sought to intensify sanctions against Iran, to which Russia strongly opposed and took stances against."

Clearly, Russia's efforts to block robust sanctions against Iran are having the desired effect. For indeed, the sanctions, in their currently feeble form, are having little effect, if any at all.

Chavez, Clinton enjoy friendly chat at Brazil inauguration

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were seen having a brief, friendly chat at the inauguration of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on New Year's day:
A Brazilian official who witnessed the encounter told AFP, "It looked like a social conversation, both were smiling," and Chavez later confirmed the amiable tenor of their conversation in an interview with Venezuelan state television.

"Mrs Clinton, the secretary of state, appeared. She was smiling, very pleased, and so was I," said Chavez. "We greeted each other and spoke about a few things," he said.

"It was a pleasant moment, but we took advantage of it and spoke of two or three timely things," he said...