Archive for Hypocrisy

One Nation, Under Obama, Racist, With Justice4Trayvon

Boy, Obama must really worried about the collapse of ObamaCare, the backlash against amnesty, the creeping IRS scandal, and all the other chickens coming home to roost.

He’s talking about racism again (still):

“There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” said the president, adding that, yes, it had happened to him.

Mrs. Obama recalled another incident: “He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.”

Was it Bill Clinton?

But it gets worse. Michelle:

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”

Neither is her story:

Letterman held up a photo of Mrs. Obama shopping at Target in low-key garb.

“That’s my Target run. I went to Target,” she said. “I thought I was undercover. I have to tell you something about this trip though. No one knew that was me because a woman actually walked up to me, right? I was in the detergent aisle, and she said — I kid you not — she said, ‘Excuse me, I just have to ask you something,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, cover’s blown.’ She said, ‘Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?’ I kid you not.”

As the audience laughed, she went on, “And the only thing she said — I reached up, ’cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down — she said, ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good. … She had no idea who I was. I thought, as soon as she walked up — I was with my assistant, and I said, ‘This is it, it’s over. We’re going to have to leave.’ She just needed the detergent.”

A short woman asking a statuesque black woman (FLOTUS in disguise) for help reaching the detergent on the top shelf is racist? Even when the interaction made her feel “so good”? “She didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life.”

If this racism follies was a Broadway tryout it would close in New Haven.

And just as for honesty’s sake, can we acknowledge that Mrs. Obama didn’t go to Target accompanied by only an assistant (and a photographer). The stock clerk in the next aisle wore sunglasses and had a bulge under his smock (Hi, My Name is Smith & Wesson!). The puny lady with the dirty laundry couldn’t have gotten with twenty feet Michelle without four sniper scopes being trained on her left temple.

Seriously, if there is anyone trading on the deaths of those lamentably late lawbreakers, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, more than Al Sharpton, it is the First Family. With Eric Holder close at hand.

Sorry about getting your a** kicked in the midterms. But it’s not personal; it’s strictly business.

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Democrats Behaving Badly

Talk about a standing headline, you can think the Democrats were motivated to release their so-called terror report out of moral indignation.

Or you can face the truth:

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, FORMER CIA OFFICIAL: Yes. I mean, I think it’s a very dark day for the CIA. I think the CIA’s been thrown under the bus.

SEAN HANNITY: Let’s go to Dianne Feinstein back in 2002 when she said the following, this was quoted in New York Times, where she said, you know, it took that real attack, I think, to kind of shiver our timbers enough to let is know that the threat is profound and that we have to do some things that historically we have not wanted to do to protect ourselves.

You were there. You knew these senators, these lawmakers. Do you remember any specific meetings? Was Dianne Feinstein told specifically what the CIA was doing in terms of enhanced interrogation?

JOSE RODRIGUEZ: There are about 40 instances where we briefed the Senate and the House intelligence committees over the life of the program from 2002 to 2009. And we briefed Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi and Rockefeller and many others all the time. And we at the outset, at the beginning, back in 2001, I remember very clearly them telling me, you know, the problem that you guys have is that you are risk adverse. You need to use the authorities that we have given you to go out there and destroy this organization and to kill bin Laden. So we feel that we briefed them and briefed them thoroughly, and they are, you know, hypocritical.

We waterboarded three people during the life of the program. That’s it. Three persons. I don’t know where they get the other numbers.

SEAN HANNITY: Would we have gotten bin Laden without the intelligence that KSM during the waterboarding released to you guys? Didn’t he open the door to the courier which led us to bin Laden, is that true, sir?

JOSE RODRIGUEZ: Actually, the initial information came from a facilitator called Hassan Ghoul going back to 2002 and 2003, he actually told us about the courier. That’s when we first heard about the courier.

Abu Faraj Al-Libi told us that he knew about the appointment to become the chief of operations through the courier, and then KSM, of course, we intercepted a message that he sent to his fellow prisoners in which he says do not say a word about the courier. So we gained a lot of insight from our prisoners at the black sides about the importance of the courier, which eventually led to the takedown of bin Laden.

SEAN HANNITY: So in other words, you’re saying that the accusation that these enhanced interrogation techniques were used beyond what we had already been disclosed you’re saying is false, number one, and that, in spite of their suggestion that they were not successful, you’re saying that, in fact, that’s not true. You were there, it was successful?

JOSE RODRIGUEZ: It was a very successful, and for those of us who were there, it’s just amazing that they could have come to this conclusion. Those of us who read the intelligence coming out to the black sites every morning and acted on that intelligence know the value and basically it led to the destruction of the organization. In terms of whether we exceeded the authorities that we had, this program actually has been subjected to very intense investigations by Justice Department and, in fact, from 2009 to 2012, John Durham, the special investigator, conducted a thorough investigation and he basically found no prosecutable charges to be made for anyone.

Obama says “when we make mistakes, we admit them”. Like this:

SEAN HANNITY: You know, I talk a lot on this program about selective moral outrage, Jose. Let me give you an example. We have, under President Obama and his drone program, we have the estimated death toll at 2400. In Pakistan alone, the death toll is estimated between 450 — I’m sorry 400 and 950 civilians including 168 to 200 children. Can you explain to me how the drone program under Obama is not far more morally problematic that enhanced interrogation. What do you make of Dianne Feinstein’s silence on that issue in comparison?

JOSE RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, it’s very interesting because, you know, this administration actually does not take any prisoners. They prefer to kill them from afar using drones. And somehow they feel that because they kill from a distance somehow it’s more ethical. More ethical than the difficult and messy and unpleasant task and mission of actually interrogating a prisoners. I think it’s a distortion of what our values are. You know what our values are —

SEAN HANNITY: I’ll give you a choice, get waterboarded or get drilled with a drone strike. I think I’ll take the waterboarding.

JOSE RODRIGUEZ: I think I’ll take the waterboarding, too.

Make sure you read this report too:

The report, issued by the committee’s outgoing senior Republican, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, stands in stark contrast to Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) highly critical findings asserting that the CIA misled the public, Congress and the White House about its enhanced interrogation program.

“We have no doubt that the CIA’s detention program saved lives and played a vital role in weakening Al Qaeda while the program was in operation,” the Republican senators concluded.

The GOP report decried the Feinstein study, arguing that it contained “faulty analysis, serious inaccuracies, and misrepresentations of fact” to create a series of false conclusions about the counterterrorism program’s effectiveness and the CIA’s interactions with Congress and the White House.

The authors accused Democrats of failing to be objective when compiling their findings and for harboring “political motivations” in their review, criticisms they said some intelligence officials have also leveled. The Republicans also lamented that the report’s commission cost U.S. taxpayers $40 million.

The minority report largely serves as a point-by-point rebuttal to Feinstein’s, particularly the conclusion that enhanced interrogation techniques were not effective in collecting useful intelligence for threats against the U.S.

Most political of all, the Dems timed their report to swamp any mention of Gruber’s appearance before the House Oversight Committee yesterday. Mission Accomplished.

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Out of the Mouths of Defense Secretaries

I know President Obama doesn’t listen to his Defense Secretaries, but if you do, you can learn a thing or two:

Leon Panetta, who as CIA director oversaw the U.S. operation that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, said the job could have been done without resorting to controversial interrogation methods that some have said constitute torture.

The outgoing defense secretary, in remarks aired Sunday on the NBC program “Meet the Press,” said there had been many pieces to the “puzzle” solved to find bin Laden, who was held responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

“Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time – interrogation tactics that were used,” said Panetta, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2009 until he became U.S. defense secretary on July 1, 2011.

“I think we could have gotten Bin Laden without that,” Panetta added in response to a question about what the interviewer called enhanced interrogation or torture.

Panetta did not elaborate on how this might have been done, but said most of the intelligence used to find bin Laden had been stitched together without resort to enhanced interrogation.

I do not share the Secretary’s confidence in “stitching”, but I respect his opinion. Again, I need no convincing: waterboarding is not torture; neither are the other methods we used to interrogate Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his merry men.

So, I leave it to those who disagree. Obama’s end-zone dance after the greasing of Osama bin Laden (now, that shameless display was a betrayal of our values!) might well not have been possible but for the waterboarding of Al Qaeda terrorists. Just so you’re okay with that. Me, I would hate to deny the president his petty enjoyments.

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Random Thoughts While Waiting for Obama to Bring Down the Hebrew Hammer on Israel

So, The US is considering sanctions against Israel.

I think. Sort of.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: There were reports that the administration is considering sanctioning Israel over the settlements issue. I wonder if you could say true or false.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: Well, uh, I’ve been informed of some of these reports. What I can tell you is that I’m not going to talk about any sort of internal deliberations inside the administration and certainly not inside the White House. But I will say something that I have said many times before, which is that Israel is a close and strategic partner of the United States. And I don’t need to remind you…zzzzzzz

What? Huh? Sorry, where was he?

That being said, we have also been crystal clear about our view of settlement activity. That view has not changed. We believe that settlements are illegitimate, and we have deep concerns about highly contentious planning and construction activities that the Israeli government is…

And if you order now, you’ll get a second Swiffer at no extra cost!

Again, sorry. Just wanted to see what else was on.

HENRY: So very clearly you are not denying that sanctions are on the table against even an ally?

EARNEST: I am very clearly not denying we have strong concerns about that settlement activity that’s underway in Israel. But it has not and will not affect the…

Rondo to Olynik for three…got it!

Just checking the Celtics. Where were we?

HENRY: But how can you be telling Congress don’t issue more sanctions against Iran at the same time you’re considering sanctions against an ally in Israel?

EARNEST: Again, I’m not going to comment on those reports about our discussions as it relates to Israel.

HENRY: But you are talking about sanctions. You’re leaving that door wide open here.

EARNEST: I’m not saying I’m not willing to talk about those conversations.

HENRY: So you’re not considering sanctions?

EARNEST: I’m not saying I’m not willing to talk about those kinds of conversations. But what I am saying is that we have been clear about what our strategy is against Iran….

Oy. Can we just bail now?

Anyway, while we’re talking about illegitimate activities in Middle Eastern countries, perhaps we can start here:

Two Saudi women activists have been detained for nearly a week for defying the kingdom’s ban on women driving, family members and an activist said Sunday.

The kingdom’s hard-line interpretation of Islam, known as Wahabbism, holds that allowing women to drive encourages licentiousness. No such ban exists in the rest of the Muslim world, including Saudi Arabia’s conservative Gulf neighbors.

That sure sounds like a War on Women to me. What are we, Switzerland?

How about another country that has Obama’s ear (for which they need both hands!):

In March, King Abdullah II reappointed Abdullah Ensour as prime minister. Authorities stepped up attacks on independent media, censoring over 260 websites that refused to comply with new government registration requirements.

Freedom of Expression and Belief

Jordanian law criminalizes speech deemed critical of the king, government officials, and institutions, as well as Islam and speech considered defamatory of others. In 2013, the authorities failed to amend the penal code to bring it into compliance with constitutional free speech guarantees strengthened in 2011, and continued to prosecute individuals on charges such as “insulting an official body,” using vaguely worded penal code articles that place impermissible restrictions on free expression.

On September 17, police arrested Nidhal al-Fara`nah and Amjad Mu`ala, respectively publisher and editor of the Jafra News website, after it posted a third-party YouTube video that authorities deemed insulting to the brother of Qatar’s ruler. Prosecutors charged both men with “disturbing relations with a foreign state” before the State Security Court, whose judges include serving military officers.

Jordan, a Palestinian state in all but name, is significantly more repressive than Israel. But do we hear about sanctions?

Oh yeah, what about Qatar?

Migrants continue to experience serious rights violations, including forced labor and arbitrary restrictions on the right to leave Qatar, which expose them to exploitation and abuse by employers.

Forced labor: does that mean slavery?

Workers typically pay exorbitant recruitment fees and employers regularly take control of their passports when they arrive in Qatar. The kafala (sponsorship) system ties a migrant worker’s legal residence to his or her employer, or sponsor. Migrant workers commonly complain that employers fail to pay their wages on time if at all, but are barred from changing jobs without their sponsoring employer’s consent other than in exceptional cases and with express permission of the Interior Ministry. Adding to their vulnerability, they must obtain an exit visa from their sponsor in order to leave Qatar. Migrant workers are prohibited from unionizing or engaging in strikes, although they make up 99 percent of the private sector workforce.

Sounds like it.

In February, an appeal court reduced to 15 years the life imprisonment sentence imposed on poet Mohammed Ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami, a Qatari national, in November 2012, by a court in Doha. The court convicted him of incitement to overthrow the regime after he recited poems critical of Qatar’s then-emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. In June 2013, the emir abdicated, handing power to his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Who’s a hell of a guy, I hear. Speaking of guys:

Provisions of Law No. 22 of 2006, Qatar’s first codified law to address issues of family and personal status law, discriminate against women. Article 36 states that two men must witness marital contracts, which are concluded by male matrimonial guardians. Article 57 prevents husbands from hurting their wives physically or morally, but article 58 states that it is a wife’s responsibility to look after the household and to obey her husband. Marital rape is not a crime.

So far, we’re not sanctioning Iran for trying to build an A-bomb; we’re not sanctioning Jordan for rampant censorship and repression; and we’re not sanctioning Qatar for slavery and the decriminalization of marital rape.

But we are sanctioning Israel.

This is fun!

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to crack down on freedom of expression and association. The authorities are arbitrarily detaining scores of individuals they suspect of links to domestic and international Islamist groups. A court convicted 69 dissidents in July after a manifestly unfair trial, in which evidence emerged of systematic torture at state security facilities. The UAE made no reforms to a system that facilitates the forced labor of migrant workers.

More slavery!

Saud Kulaib, an Emirati national, spent five months in incommunicado detention between December 29 and May 27. In addition to enduring solitary confinement, extremes of temperature, and sleep deprivation, he told family members and other inmates that officers beat him, sliced his hand open with a razor blade, threatened to pull out his fingernails, and told him that his wife was in detention and on hunger strike.

Who else has been a bad boy?

Borders controlled by Iraq’s central government remained closed to Syrians fleeing civil war, while as of November, nearly 206,600 Syrians fled to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)-controlled area.

In December 2012, thousands of Iraqis took part in demonstrations in mostly Sunni areas, demanding reform of the Anti-Terrorism Law and the release of illegally held detainees. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced in January 2013 that he had created special committees to oversee reforms, including freeing prisoners and limiting courts’ use of secret informant testimony. At time of writing, there was little indication that the government had implemented reforms. Security forces instead used violence against protesters, culminating in an attack on a demonstration in Hawija in April, which killed 51 protesters. Authorities failed to hold anyone accountable.

I’d like to see Israel get away with that! Not really, just a figure of speech.

Are we done? Not hardly:

Kuwait continues to exclude thousands of stateless people, known as Bidun, from full citizenship, despite their longstanding roots in Kuwaiti territory.

The government has aggressively cracked down on free speech, often resorting to a law forbidding any offense to the ruler (emir).

Kuwait has no laws prohibiting domestic violence, sexual harassment, or marital rape. In addition, Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaiti men cannot give their spouses or children Kuwaiti citizenship. Kuwaiti law does not let women marry a partner of their choice if their father will not grant permission.

In May, the Kuwaiti authorities announced that Saudi Arabian women would not be provided with drivers’ licenses while in Kuwait without the permission of their male guardians.

The United States, in its 2013 US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report, classified Kuwait as Tier 3—among the most problematic countries—for the seventh year in a row. The report cited Kuwait’s failure to report any arrests, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of traffickers for either forced labor or sex trafficking, and weak victim protection measures.

Even more slavery—and sex trafficking! Do Kuwaitis know how to party, or what? No wonder Saddam wanted a piece of the…action. (What did you think I was going to write?)

We haven’t exhausted the region, but it’s doubtful we’ll be able to top that. And I’m sure we’ll get around to tsk-tsking them as soon as we ding Israel for putting a spare bedroom over the garage.

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The End is Nigher

I don’t know about the temperature, but the hypocrisy is sure rising!

Hundreds of United Nations-backed projects to help the world’s poorest countries cope with the most urgent impacts of climate change have not been acted upon, the BBC has learnt.

Many of these were proposed years ago and may have to be abandoned.

Experts and officials from the world’s 48 least developed countries say lack of funding is the main reason.

They warn that a new long-term global climate defence plan may kick these projects further into the long grass.

“Long grass”. That would be from all the rainfall. And we can’t have that.

But help is on the way, paupers, and has been for more than 18 years!

Since October 1996 there has been no global warming at all (Fig. 1). This month’s RSS temperature plot pushes up the period without any global warming from 18 years 1 month to 18 years 2 months (indeed, very nearly 18 years 3 months).

The hiatus period of 18 years 2 months, or 218 months, is the farthest back one can go in the RSS satellite temperature record and still show a sub-zero trend.

No heat? Where’d it go?

New research shows that ocean heat uptake across three oceans is the likely cause of the ‘warming hiatus’ – the current decade-long slowdown in global surface warming.

Using data from a range of state-of-the-art ocean and atmosphere models, the research shows that the increased oceanic heat drawdown in the equatorial Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Ocean basins has played a significant role in the hiatus.

This is important as current climate models have been unable to simulate the hiatus.

And some of you folks ask us to accept this so-called “settled science”.

There have been droughts and floods (and many other natural disasters) as long as there has been an earth. If you want to pay for flood prevention or water reservoirs, you have my blessing; you don’t need an unproved theory to do so. But if you stopped holding conferences and commissioning reports, you might have enough money to actually accomplish something.

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From the Folks That Brought You the Weekend

As they never get tired of reminding us.

But what have they done to us lately?

Two Pennsylvania teachers are fighting the state’s largest teachers union for interfering with their charitable giving.

The teachers allege in a suit filed in district court that the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) is blocking them from exercising their right to donate union dues money to charity. Pennsylvania allows religious objectors to cut ties with unions as long as they donate an equivalent agency fee payment to charity. That money is given to the union, which is then supposed to send it to the charity of the teacher’s choosing.

Jane Ladley, an elementary school teacher for 25 years before retiring in June, said that the union prevented her from directing her $435 donation to a scholarship fund to teach high school seniors about the Constitution because it was “too political.”

Ladley, 61, began teaching in the 1970s and was a member of the teachers union for seven years. She put her career on hold to raise her children before returning to the workforce in 1996. This time, she refused to join after discovering that the union “funneled money to Planned Parenthood.”

Which is not political in the least. Perish the thought.

Well, not much:

Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF), the “political arm” of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, combined with other Planned Parenthood affiliates to spend several million dollars during the last five weeks of the 2000 general election campaign to broadcast two ads criticizing George W. Bush’s record on abortion rights.

Because Planned Parenthood’s overall structure includes a 501(c)(4) entity, a 501(c)(3) entity, a federally regulated PAC and a 527 organization, it is difficult to determine which pots of money paid for which ads.

Planned Parenthood also has announced plans to file with the Federal Election Commission as a Qualified Non-profit Corporation (also known as a “Massachusetts Citizens for Life,” or MCFL, group), a status set aside for ideological 501(c)(4) corporations that do not accept funds from labor unions or corporations.8 Such groups are permitted to use unlimited donations from individuals to pay for “express advocacy” communications, which urge the election or defeat of candidates. They also may make “electioneering communications,” which are defined as broadcast ads that mention candidates during the 60 days preceding general elections or the 30 days preceding primaries or conventions. Other independent groups are prohibited by the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act (BCRA) from making electioneering communications unless they set up separate, segregated funds that do not receive corporate or union money.

Except when they do receive union money, that is. And engage in politics.

The Mafia was never so brazen with its fronts and shell corporations. Planned Parenthood doesn’t even try to hide it. Neither do the unions. Who, yes, brought us the 40-hour work week. (If we work at all.)

Meanwhile, any group with “dog whistle” words like “liberty”, “rights”, and “patriot” in their name had to undergo months (years!) of delays and a body cavity search to earn 501 (c)(4) status. Compare and contrast.

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GOP: Grumpy Old Peni

Those angry Republicans!

Two international crises are giving Republicans new reasons to break out a familiar rallying cry — secure the border — just weeks before the midterm elections.

Secure the border? Who are these people?

Why would anyone want to secure the border?

A Liberian man’s death in Texas from Ebola is triggering worries that the disease could spread beyond West Africa, while efforts by ISIS to recruit Westerners is stoking fears that its influence could reach into the United States. The seemingly disparate issues are gelling into a single talking point for Republicans arguing that weak border security is leaving the United States vulnerable.

Those wacky Republicans! Ebola spread beyond Africa? ISIS try to kill Americans? What are they smoking? Next they’ll tell us that there’s been no global warming since Bill Clinton was monogamous (well, close).

Oh, btw, guess what ad tops this story on CNN?

Providing all your hemorrhagic fever needs since 1977.

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[Bleep] You Can’t Make Up

Next, Obama will pitch to Latino voters from the casa of someone named Rico Bastardo:

President Obama blasted Republicans as the party of “billionaires” on Tuesday while mingling with high-rollers at the $26 million estate of Rich Richman — yes, that’s his real name — in Greenwich, Conn.

Richman, who built his $10 billion company developing rental housing, lives in the Conyers Farm area, where the minimum lot size is 10 acres. Twenty-five donors paid $32,400 each to get their photo taken with the president. Others paid $10,000 for dinner.

While Obama was schmoozing — and the press pool was playing billiards in the basement — he was also soliciting donations for House Democrats in an e-mail.

“If Republicans win, we know who they’ll be fighting for,” Obama said. “Once again, the interests of billionaires will come before the needs of the middle class.”

Obama arrived from New York City — where he had attended a fundraiser with hedge-fund billionaires George Soros and Paul Tudor Jones — in a convoy of four helicopters that landed at the Greenwich Polo Club.

The story mistakenly says Richman “built” his company. I hope Obama disabused the aptly named Richman of that notion:

I suppose I should add the last paragraph of the piece:

Conspicuously absent was Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy. The Stamford Advocate reported Malloy, “not wanting to alienate the state’s large bloc of independent voters, might be keeping a safe distance from Obama.”

We noted yesterday that the Democrat Party had a race problem: no one wants to be seen next to the guy.

So what’s TNFBP™ to do but raise money instead? Like he’s got anything better to do?

Obama Schedule || Thursday, October 9, 2014
by KEITH KOFFLER on OCTOBER 8, 2014, 9:52 PM
11:40 am ET || Departs White House
2:00 pm PT || Arrives Los Angeles
2:45 pm PT || Tours the startups area at Cross Campus; Santa Monica, California
3:05 pm PT || Participates in a town hall with members of the Cross Campus community
5:55 pm PT || Delivers remarks at a DNC fundraiser; Private Residence, Los Angeles

His skin may be black but the money he raises is green.

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All About the Benjamins

So now that ISIS and we are at w—…what is it again? A “very significant counter-terrorism operation [that’s] going to go on for some period of time.” Yeah. Now that we’re doing that, how is the anti-w—…counter-terr—oh, eff it! How’s the antiwar crowd taking it?

Medea?

Medea, welcome to Democracy Now! Can you respond to President Obama’s speech and the fact that the vast majority of Americans polled support taking military action in Iraq and Syria?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: I think President Obama has been hounded by the media, by the war hawks in Congress, mostly from the Republican side but also from the Democrats, and is going into this insane not only bombing in Iraq, but also talking about going into Syria, at a time when just a couple of months ago the American people had made it very clear that we were very tired of war.

So, the most powerful man in the world, a man gifted with such intelligence, such articulateness, such cleanliness—and “no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one”—has been “hounded” by the press and the Republicans into “insanity”.

That’s your story?

Oh, Medea, and we remember you when you had guts:

Literally.

Now, this is the best you can do:

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, the peace movement was really decimated when Obama came in, and has been trying to rebuild ever since. But I think now we have to think of all of us as the peace movement. Now is the time to say, if you’re an environmentalist, you better understand that war is the greatest environmental disaster and the U.S. military is the greatest polluter on the planet. If you care about having money for youth groups or for infrastructure or for green energy, you better understand that sucking money into the military—we’re now paying $7.5 million for just the bombing in Iraq.

Seven-and-a-half million to bomb Iraq? What a bargain! Screw the youth groups and “green” energy (algae?), hit the bid! At that price, it would be a waste of money not to bomb Iraq.

Cindy Sheehan, are you going sit idly by and take that?

Cindy Sheehan, peace activist
I believe the reason that the presidents of the US can continue to make such belligerent and jingoistic speeches and follow through with the continuation of endless wars is because the American people keep falling for the propaganda and the lie that either one of the two major political parties is better than the other when it comes to war for profit. I think last night’s speech by Obama was just a regurgitation of any speech by GWB and shame on anybody who is falling for this same tired, yet hostile, rhetoric. It would be funny if so many lives weren’t unnecessarily compromised because of US aggression.

Regular readers know that we check in on Cindy’s rantings from time to time. She may be mad as a hatter, but we share this: we’re consistent. She’s always against “time-limited, scope-limited military actions”; we’re usually for them. The only difference being we trusted George Bush and his people to get it right (eventually). We have no such faith in Obama.

But if bombing ISIS is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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I Cannot Tell a Lie—Martha Chopped Down the Cherry Tree

Obama finally comes clean (and articulate!) and admits what everyone else in America has long known: if we wanted our first African American president to be a great golfer, we would have elected Calvin Peete.

Vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard in August, Obama chose to go directly from making a statement about the beheading of American journalist James Foley to the golf course, and drew criticism from across the political spectrum for appearing insensitive.

Asked if he wished now he could go back and reverse his decision to hit the links then, Obama said that, in retrospect, appearances might have mattered that day.

“It is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation. Because you’re followed everywhere. And part of what I’d love is a vacation from … the press,” he said.

But against stiff competition, our first African American president is also our most shameless (step aside Presidents Kennedy, Clinton, and Nixon):

[A]fter finishing, the president quickly headed to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for an afternoon of golf in 90-degree-plus heat.

May we recommend a nap instead, sir?

“There are days where I’m not getting enough sleep, because we’ve got a lot on our plate,” he said. “You know, when you’re, when you’re president of the United States, you’re not just dealing with the United States” but also leading the international response to crises around the world, as his administration is in responding to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as the outbreak of Ebola in Africa. “You know, our inbox gets pretty high.”

I’ve noted before that Barack Obama behaves like a kid who never had a dad—or at least a father figure. Someone who tells him to cut the crap, don’t bull[bleep] a bull[bleeper]. Obama can tell us he understands how bad it looked to go golfing while James Foley’s blood was still pooling on the desert hardpan—and then go golfing. He can tell us how much sleep he’s lost, how incredibly busy he is—and then go golfing.

And he’s worried about the press? If we thought America’s Fourth Estate would hold Barack Jr. to account the way Barack Sr. never did, we were fooling ourselves more than he thinks he’s fooling us.

This was the New York Times lead reporter after the first hundred days, need I remind you:

At least Monica Lewinsky dry cleaned her dress. Zeleny has never cleaned or worn that suit again.

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El Presidente

As usual, it’s not Obama’s hypocrisy and dishonesty that galls so much, but the media’s justification of same:

President Obama will delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections, bowing to pressure from fellow Democrats who feared that acting now could doom his party’s chances this fall, White House officials said on Saturday.

The decision is a reversal of Mr. Obama’s vow to issue broad directives to overhaul the immigration system soon after summer’s end, and sparked swift anger from immigration advocates. The president made the promise on June 30, in the Rose Garden, where he angrily denounced Republican obstruction and said he would use the power of his office to protect immigrant families from the threat of deportation.

“Because of the Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue, the president believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects for comprehensive immigration reform to announce administrative action before the elections,” a White House official said. “Because he wants to do this in a way that’s sustainable, the president will take action on immigration before the end of the year.”

The “Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue”??? How did they even bring themselves to print those words? Obama has been the biggest demagogue on amnesty north of the Rio Grande. For him now to lose what cojones he has for the basest of political stunts would be comic if… well, it’s just comic.

Tragicomic, maybe:

A lawless amnesty decree is bad enough, but openly saying you’re going to issue such a decree only after the people have had a chance to vote is much worse. Every Republican candidate in the House and Senate needs to make clear that, whatever your views on the substance of immigration policy, a vote for any Democrat is a vote for caesarism, for presidential rule by decree. There’s actually a good deal of support for that on the hard left, but most people, of all descriptions, recoil from Obama’s promised power grab.

Note that it’s a “promised” power grab; the AP report notes “the officials said Obama had no specific timeline to act, but that he still would take his executive steps before the end of the year.” So this isn’t some teabagger conspiracy fantasy, but a promise to decree sweeping extra-constitutional changes to the law, but just to do it around Thanksgiving or Christmas to avoid electoral fallout.

I thought the Democrats would lose big in November, but because of ObamaCare. They still might, but this cynical power-grab is such a lavish gift, it makes ObamaCare look like a necktie or a pair of socks under the tree. Scott Brown, et al: you know what to do, or ought to.

PS: With the possible added benefit of so angering pro-amnesty voters that they will stay home. Nice work, O.

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Foley Murdered By Brit With London Accent

Because British culture produces the best butchers.

British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond says that the government is “urgently investigating” the identity of the apparently British executioner of US reporter James Foley, whose death was shown in a video released by members of the self-declared Islamic State in Syria. The IS member’s apparent ties to Britain highlight increasing concern in the West about the radicalization of European and American nationals by jihadi groups and the threat they pose if they return home.

The video published overnight on YouTube shows the hooded, black-clad IS member speaking extensively in both English and Arabic before killing an orange-jumpsuited man described as “James Wright Foley, an American citizen.” In what the Daily Telegraph describes as a London accent, the executioner says that the US has “been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State,” before killing Foley.

But at least David Cameron takes this seriously:

Over there: “U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer vacation to return to London and chair urgent meetings on the threat posed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, calling the video ‘shocking and depraved.’”

Over here:

President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard Tuesday evening following less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place.

Obama’s two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning, and joining Vice President Biden to huddle with members of his economic team in the afternoon.

Administration officials have insisted for weeks that the president just wanted to return to the White House for a series of meetings, but the explanation was met with a healthy dose of skepticism, since Obama rarely interrupts his vacations.

Oh, Obama did make a statement about the beheading, before heading off to play a round of golf:

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the entire world is “appalled” by the brutal death of American journalist James Foley, who was shown in a video released by the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq being beheaded.
“No faith teaches people to massacre innocents,” Obama said in his statement. “No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day.”

“People like this ultimately fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy,” Obama said.
Obama also called Foley’s parents to offer his condolences and told them that a nation was heartbroken for their loss.
According to a pool report obtained by Politico, Obama went to the Vineyard Golf Club following his statement.

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