"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


One of Salem Oregon's Unofficial Top 1000 Conservative Political Bloggers!!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Did the FEC and IRS Collude to Target Conservative Groups?


"I'm really tired of all these phony scandals. I mean sure I targeted conservatives but they're all crazy and a threat to all correct thinking people everywhere."

It certainly appears possible.

From the NRO article by Eliana Johnson:

Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner and an attorney in the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel’s office appear to have twice colluded to influence the record before the FEC’s vote in the case of a conservative non-profit organization, according to e-mails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee and obtained exclusively by National Review Online.

The correspondence suggests the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond the IRS and into the FEC, where an attorney from the agency’s enforcement division in at least one case sought and received tax information about the status of a conservative group, the American Future Fund, before recommending that the commission prosecute it for violations of campaign-finance law. Lerner, the former head of the IRS’s exempt-organizations division, worked at the FEC from 1986 to 1995, and was known for aggressive investigation of conservative groups during her tenure there, too.

“Several months ago . . . I spoke with you about the American Future Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization that had submitted an exemption application the IRS [sic],” the FEC attorney wrote Lerner in February 2009. The FEC, which polices violations of campaign-finance laws, is not exempted under Rule 6103, which prohibits the IRS from sharing confidential taxpayer information, but the e-mail indicates Lerner may have provided that information nonetheless: “When we spoke last July, you had told us that the American Future Fund had not received an exemption letter from the IRS,” the FEC attorney wrote.

The timing of the correspondence between Lerner and the FEC suggests the FEC attorney sought information from the IRS in order to influence an upcoming vote by the six FEC commissioners. The FEC received a complaint in March 2008 from the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party alleging that the American Future Fund had violated campaign-finance law by engaging in political advocacy without registering as a political-action committee. The American Future Fund responded to that complaint in June 2008, telling the commission that it had applied for tax exemption in March of that year and was a “501(c)(4) social-welfare organization that was organized to provide Americans with a conservative and free-market viewpoint and mechanism to communicate and advocate on the issues that most interest and concern them.” According to the e-mail correspondence, a month after receiving the American Future Fund’s response, the FEC general counsel’s office — which is prohibited under law from conducting an investigation into an organization before the FEC’s six commissioners have voted to do so — contacted Lerner to investigate the agency’s tax-exempt status.
Nothing to see here. Move on. Move on.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Obama's Major Speech is More Leftist Wish List and Divisiveness


"There are folks that say the economy is still flat. I say nonsense. Just look at how many part-time employees are being hired and the GDP looks pretty good compared to the 1930s."


Does anyone really expect anything different from Obama now? Really?

I think Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard got it mostly right:

“As a country, we’re older and we’re wiser,” President Obama declared in a speech today in Galesburg, Illinois. He’s certainly older. But on the basis of this speech bristling with tired ideas he’s trotted out time and time again, Obama himself is anything but wiser. 
A quick read turns up false and misleading claims, pious promises, and statements that mean nothing. “I will engage the American people in this debate” over America’s future, he said. Not with this boring, forgettable speech, he won’t. Somebody at the White House needs to tell truth to power: Mr. Obama, no one takes your speeches seriously any more. 
He says he’s “challenging CEOs…to hire more Americans.” By boosting their cost of doing business by imposing Obamacare? Thanks to the president, CEOs are hiring more…more part-time workers, that is. 
“I care about one thing and one thing only, and that’s how to use every minute of the 1,276 days remaining in my term to make this country work for working Americans again,” he said. This begs the question: What have you been doing for the past four-and-one-half years?
Heh. Playing more golf than any former president actually.

As usual for an Obama speech, there’s plenty of pie in the sky. He’ll “rebuild run-down neighborhoods.” He’s for making preschool available for 4-year-olds—no mention of the cost—and providing “a vital support system for working parents.” Translated, that means taxpayer paid babysitting.
One could go on. Obama took his normal tack with Republicans. He called on them to find “common ground” with him, then trashed them as folks who think inequality is “both inevitable and just” and favor an “unfettered free market…regardless of the pain and uncertainty imposed on ordinary families.”  
As expected, the president presented himself as the champion of the middle class. But he gets its role upside down. Since World War II, “a growing middle class was the engine of our prosperity,” he said. Wrong. Our prosperity created a growing middle class. 
In the unlikelihood you’ve been paying attention to Obama’s speeches, you’ve heard all this before, particularly about what government will do for you. For Obama, free markets are irrelevant. But here’s the worst part. This speech was first of a series on the economy.
Yup. There's plenty more of this forgettable bluster to follow. Fortunately Obama is hamstrung by a GOP House of Reps and his building unpopularity. Just wait until ObamaCare kicks in for real. Just sit back and watch his numbers tumble.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recently Re-elected Japanese PM's Cabinet's Approval Rating Drops 11+ Points


Shinzo Abe

And right after the election? Okay...

From The Japan Times:

The approval rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has fallen to 56.2 percent from 68.0 percent in June, according to a Kyodo News poll, suggesting low expectations for the administration’s economic policies. 
It is the first time since Abe took office in December that the support rate has fallen below 60 percent. The survey, conducted Monday and Tuesday after Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party won the Upper House election on Sunday, found that 31.7 percent of the respondents disapproved of the Cabinet, almost doubling the 16.3 percent in June. 
Among those expressing disapproval, 29.6 percent — up from 20.6 percent — said the prime minister’s economic policies dubbed “Abenomics” do not offer much hope. This apparently reflects concerns about the slow increase in wages despite rising prices due to the weakening yen, Kyodo said. 
[...]  
Given the poor showing by opposition parties, 68.8 percent of the survey respondents cited a need for realignment among opposition parties, against 22.7 percent who disagreed. 
Because the LDP and opposition parties that support revising the pacifist Constitution fell short of building a two-thirds majority in the chamber, one of the conditions for initiating the revision process, 30.6 percent said the outcome was good, 16.1 percent said it was not good and 51.7 percent had no opinion.

50% plus had no opinion on the revision of Japan's Constitution...

Japan's polls are so difficult to interpret. Many times, you have to look at the direct reaction of a passed law or some form of addressing certain issues to really get an honest view of people's opinions. On a lot of controversial issues people just vote present in polls.

Monday, July 22, 2013

IRS Chief Counsel Met with Obama Two Days Before IRS Began to Target Conservative Tax-Exempts


The Light-bringer Demands Your Allegiance! Do Not Incur His Wrath!


I'm sure it was just a coincidence...

From The Daily Caller article by Patrick Howley:

The Obama appointee implicated in congressional testimony in the IRS targeting scandal met with President Obama in the White House two days before offering his colleagues a new set of advice on how to scrutinize tea party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. 
IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, who was named in House Oversight testimony by retiring IRS agent Carter Hull as one of his supervisors in the improper targeting of conservative groups, met with Obama in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 23, 2012. Wilkins’ boss, then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, visited the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 24, 2012, according to White House visitor logs. 
On April 25, 2012, Wilkins’ office sent the exempt organizations determinations unit “additional comments on the draft guidance” for approving or denying tea party tax-exempt applications, according to the IRS inspector general’s report.   
Between 2010 and 2012, the IRS sent letters demanding groups’ training materials, personal information on groups’ donors and college interns, and even the content of a religious group’s prayers. 
Wilkins’ meeting with Obama on April 23 was attended by 13 people.

Obama continues to use the executive branch powers, including the IRS and the Department of Justice, to target political enemies.

I guess nobody cares.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Out for a Few Days, Will be Back Soon


Sorry, but I hurt my hand and have to type with only my off-hand right now. It's no big deal, likely just a bad bruise or a sprain, so I should be back posting later this week.

Be back with you soon,

Yukio Ngaby

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Egypt's Spiral Toward Mass Hunger Under Morsi




Most people have really no idea how close the Egyptian state is to completely failing and collapsing into chaos. Egypt is not itself a rich country and survives by outside money, primarily in the forms of tourism and foreign aid.

Tourism has probably declined by around 2.5 billion dollars [citation below] following the instability that eventually brought about Mubarak's fall. Morsi's preoccupation with enshrining himself and the Muslim Brotherhood as the new ultimate powers in Egypt resulted in the coming crisis. The protests that recently flooded the streets of Cairo were not not just about political opposition to Morsi's attempts at dictatorship, but also because of the steep downward spiral of Egypt's economy.

In various ways, the Egyptian government essentially feeds the poor of Egypt-- of which there are millions. In 2011 it was reported "Nearly half of all Egyptians live under or just above the poverty line, which the World Bank sets at $2 a day." An oft sited statistic is that more than 15 million Egyptians live on less than $1 a day.

Morsi chose to attempt to consolidate power rather and enshrine the Muslim Brotherhood as a permanent, and likely ultimate, power in Egypt, rather than to maintain or to even seriously address the Egyptian's teetering economy.

From an article in Ablawaba's Business section:

Egypt's economy was a key casualty for the one-year rule of former Islamist president Mohammad Mursi, according to economic experts. 
As the military toppled Mursi on July 3 following three days of mass street protests against him, economic figures available show that Mursi has deepened the populous country's economic woes. 
When Mursi took office on June 30, 2012, Egypt had foreign currency holdings of $16 billion compared to $36 billion when his predecessor Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down in February 2011. The reserves, necessary to cover Egypt's food and fuel imports, dropped to $14.9 billion at the end of May, according to the Central Bank of Egypt. The figure includes $11.5 billion in grants and loans from Qatar, Libya, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. 
"Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood, in economic terms, were worse than Mubarak," said Rashad Abdu, the head of Cairo-based Egyptian Economic Forum. "The Brotherhood members are mainly merchants with no clear economic vision or managerial skills. So, Egypt's economic problems have gone from bad to worse at their hands," Abdu told Gulf News. 
"Nor did Mursi and his group show any interest in depending on competent specialists in all fields. Their sole obsession was to tighten their hold on all state institutions by employing people, whom they trust, not efficient experts." 
Abdu gave the example of Mursi's prime minister, Hesham Qandil, who is an expert on irrigation and water resources. "He had no idea about how to fix the economy," said Abdou, adding that Mursi's insistence on keeping Qandil in the post was a potent message that his administration was not serious about revitalizing the economy.  
[...]  
According to official figures, unemployment rates in the final year of Mubarak stood at 3.9 per cent of Egypt's workforce. They rose under the generals who took over after him and ruled for 16 months to reach 10.5 per cent. At the end of Mursi's first year in office, unemployment hit 13.3 per cent, reported the state-run Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics. 
"When Mursi became president, the budgetary deficit was estimated at 170 billion Egyptian pounds (around Dh100bn). On leaving, the figure soared to 220 billion pounds," said Abdou. 
"While around 300 million-dollar-worth new investments entered Egypt under Mursi, 14 billion left during his first year in power because of his failure to end political and street turbulence in the country." 
The tourism, a key earner for Egypt, failed to achieve a complete recovery due to security breakdown and frequent clashes between Mursi's backers and supporters.
Around 11.5 million tourists visited Egypt in 2012, generating revenue of around 10 billion dollars, compared to 14.7 million tourists in the pre-revolution peak 2010 when the industry earned 12.5 billion dollars. 
Mursi's rule was marred by daily problems in petrol, electricity and water supplies, fuelling public discontent.
I would take the official figures of unemployment with a grain of salt. However what they do reflect, no matter the likely low-balling of at least the 3.9% unemployment number under Mubarak, is the steady increase in unemployment and the declining businesses that this reflects.

And now this is being reported by Reuters:

Egypt has less than two months' supply of imported wheat left in its stocks, ousted President Mohamed Mursi's minister of supplies said, revealing a shortage more acute than previously disclosed.  
Speaking to Reuters near midnight in a tent at a vigil where thousands of Mursi supporters are protesting against the Islamist president's removal, former Minister of Supplies Bassem Ouda said the state had just 500,000 metric tons of imported wheat left. Egypt usually imports about 10 million metric tons a year. 
Two and a half years of political turmoil have caused a deep economic crisis in Egypt, scaring away investors and tourists, draining foreign currency reserves and making it difficult to maintain imports of food and fuel. 
Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat, half of which it distributes to its 84 million people in the form of heavily subsidized saucer-sized flat loaves of bread, which sell for less than 1 U.S. cent.
While not completely begun under Morsi, his rule has presided over a dangerous dropping of Egypt's basic economic needs, among them food supplies. Whether by Morsi's incompetence or by design, this failing economy is what mainly what drove the millions of Egyptians into the streets. Should a prolonged civil war in Egypt follow its current violence, a terrible humanitarian crisis will result.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Obama's DOJ Organized and Managed Anti-Zimmerman Rallies in Florida

 
"I don't think racial tension is high enough in Florida. Perhaps the DOJ can do something about that..."

I wish I could say I was surprised, but it seems very little is beneath Obama-the-activist-president.

From the PJ Tatler (h/t Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit):

 Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents proving that the Department of Justice played a major behind-the-scenes role in organizing protests against George Zimmerman. Zimmerman is on trial for second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in February 2012. 
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the DOJ on April 24, 2012. According to the documents JW received, a little-known DOJ unit called the Community Relations Service deployed to Sanford, FL, to organize and manage rallies against Zimmerman.  
Among JW's findings: 
  • March 25 – 27, 2012, CRS spent $674.14 upon being “deployed to Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.” 
  • March 25 – 28, 2012, CRS spent $1,142.84 “in Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.” 
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent $892.55 in Sanford, FL “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida.” 
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent an additional $751.60 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.” 
  • April 3 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $1,307.40 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.” 
  • April 11-12, 2012, CRS spent $552.35 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.” – expenses for employees to travel, eat, sleep? 
  • JW says the documents it obtained reveal that CRS is not engaging in its stated mission of conducting “impartial mediation practices and conflict resolution,” but instead engaged on the side of the anti-Zimmerman protesters.
    On April 15, 2012, during the height of the protests, the Orlando Sentinel reported, “They [the CRS] helped set up a meeting between the local NAACP and elected officials that led to the temporary resignation of police Chief Bill Lee according to Turner Clayton, Seminole County chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.” The paper quoted the Rev. Valarie Houston, pastor of Allen Chapel AME Church, a focal point for protestors, as saying “They were there for us,” after a March 20 meeting with CRS agents. 
    Separately, in response to a Florida Sunshine Law request to the City of Sanford, Judicial Watch also obtained an audio recording of a “community meeting” held at Second Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford on April 19, 2012. The meeting, which led to the ouster of Sanford’s Police Chief Bill Lee, was scheduled after a group of college students calling themselves the “Dream Defenders” barricaded the entrance to the police department demanding Lee be fired. According to the Orlando Sentinel, DOJ employees with the CRS had arranged a 40-mile police escort for the students from Daytona Beach to Sanford. 
    “These documents detail the extraordinary intervention by the Justice Department in the pressure campaign leading to the prosecution of George Zimmerman,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “My guess is that most Americans would rightly object to taxpayers paying government employees to help organize racially-charged demonstrations.”
    Obama's infamous comment about if he had a son it would like Trayvon Martin was well beyond inappropriate. Of course that's peanuts compared to actively supporting protesters demanding a show trial of George Zimmerman.

    I think Obama and his people saw a double opportunity in the Zimmerman case. First, they could reinforce the idea that they're firmly on the sides of Blacks-- even though Blacks have been hit with extreme economic hardship by this administration's policies. Secondly, I think they wanted to start picking away at the concealed carry laws, using this case as a media flagship for change, much as they tried to use Sandy Hook to push for tighter gun control.

    It's too bad that they backed a real loser in this case. The more information that filters out about the Zimmerman/Martin case through the trial, the more plain it is that Zimmerman is innocent of murder charges and very likely innocent of manslaughter as well. Plus, it becomes increasingly clear that political pressure was brought to bear to execute a show trial. It looks terrible for the State.

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    PETA Sheleter Kills "an average of about 2,000 dogs and cats each year at its animal shelter"


    It's a good thing PETA's not against plastic surgeries and bad dye jobs... if they were, they wouldn't have any demonstrations at all.

    This is not a surprise. They've been doing this for years. PETA's always been about shaming people, attempting to restrict people's liberty, and publicity stunts rather than helping animals.

    From Tony Lee at Breitbart:

    Animal rights groups are attacking PETA for continuing to kill "an average of about 2,000 dogs and cats each year at its animal shelter" according to a report.

    As the New York Times notes, the shelter "does few adoptions — 19 cats and dogs in 2012 and 24 in 2011, according to state records" in Virginia.  
    [...]  
    Now, the "no-kill" movement, which tries to get animal shelters to get 90% of their cats and dogs up for adoption, is targeting PETA.  
    Joan E. Shaffner, an animal rights lawyer and an associate professor at the George Washington University Law School, said she could "never support" PETA on this policy and did not understand it.  
    Even though PETA officials "say the animals it rescues are in such bad shape from mistreatment and neglect that they are often better off dead than living in misery on the streets or with abusive owners," no-kill activists have blasted PETA for “its long and sordid tradition of undermining the movement to end shelter killing."
    These must be some pretty bad animals PETA's dealing with-- so bad that only 19 - 24 are adoptable while the thousands of others are killed each year.

    PETA has little interest in cats and dogs... What they really want is legal control over people's actions-- outlawing fur, closing down areas of lands to "protect" their chosen animal in "distress," and pushing their vegan lifestyle on people.

    My favorite stunt was the time they put out comic book leaflets depicting a psychotic looking 1950s  housewife butchering an anthropomorphic rabbit on the cover. The pictures are at the link-- I'm not going to post it here. It said in huge letters "Your Mommy KILLS Animals!" Cute, huh? A quote from it:

    Ask your mommy how many dead animals she killed to make her fur clothes. Then tell her that you know she paid men to hurt and kill the animals. Everyone knows. And the sooner she stops wearing fur, the sooner the animals will be safe. Until then, keep your doggie and kitty friends away from mommy-she's an animal killer!


    They also put out a comic handout about Daddy being a psychotic killer if he fishes. It warned them to keep their puppy or kitty away from Daddy because he's "hooked on killing."

    The best case scenario from these handouts (from PETA's point of view) is for kids to become terrified of their parents. Hey, let's screw up some kids to promote our agendas. What a great idea!

    Short of torturing or killing people, I don't think there's much more PETA could do to make themselves more unappealing to me. They are publicity-hungry scum. It does not surprise me in the least that they focus their efforts on killing animals rather than trying to find good homes for them. It is perfectly in line with their values.

    Monday, July 8, 2013

    At Least 42 Islamists Killed in Egypt




    Violence in Egypt continues to escalate. According to Resuters, at least 42 people were killed during a pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstration.

    From Reuters:

    At least 42 people were killed on Monday when Islamist demonstrators enraged by the military overthrow of Egypt's elected President Mohamed Mursi said the army opened fire during morning prayers at the Cairo barracks where he is being held.

    But the military said "a terrorist group" tried to storm the Republican Guard compound and one army officer had been killed and 40 wounded. Soldiers returned fire when they were attacked by armed assailants, a military source said.

    The emergency services said more than 320 were wounded in a sharp escalation of Egypt's political crisis, and Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood urged people to rise up against the army, which they accuse of a military coup to remove the elected leader.

    [...]

    As an immediate consequence, the ultra-conservative Islamist Nour party, which initially backed the military intervention, said it was withdrawing from stalled negotiations to form an interim government for the transition to fresh elections.

    The military has said that the overthrow was not a coup, and it was enforcing the will of the people after millions took to the streets on June 30 to call for his resignation.

    But pro- and anti-Mursi protests took place in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities, and resulted in clashes on Friday and Saturday that left 35 dead.

    It leaves the Arab world's largest nation of 84 million people in a perilous state, with the risk of further enmity between people on either side of the political divide while an economic crisis deepens.
    It's a very tumultuous time in Egypt and very hard to predict the ultimate outcome. Normally looking at the backers of the country would give some clue, but the U.S. backed Morsi but their both Obama's credibility and determination are lacking. Saudi Arabia's is being rather cautious and ambivalent to the whole thing, even though the Muslim Brotherhood enjoys a fair amount of financial backing from rich and influential people within the country.

    Everyone is hedging their bets, so very few clues as to how this is going to work out. It'll be bloodier in days to come, but that's pretty obvious.

    Saturday, July 6, 2013

    Violence Continues in Egypt; Obama Calls for Inclusion of Muslim Brotherhood in New Government




    Despite the unrealistic hopes of the West, violent clashes in Egypt have continued. Morsi's supporters aren't letting things go without a fight.

    From The Wall Street Journal:

    Two days after Egypt's military replaced the country's president, it sent soldiers into the streets to quell demonstrations, as a week of tensions between Islamists and the military transformed into deadly confrontations that heightened some Egyptians' fears of civil war.  
    Demonstrations turned bloody Friday as hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters turned out to protest this week's military-led ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. Muslim Brotherhood officials said police opened fire on protesters in the Cairo suburb where Mr. Morsi and 12 aides were being held under house arrest, killing five people. The military denied those allegations.  
    Later in the day, armored personnel carriers arrived on the October 6 bridge, near Tahrir Square, to restore order after rival camps clashed with rocks, fireworks and, according to several witnesses, gunfire from automatic weapons.  
    At least 30 people died in violence across the country, with another 1,076 injured, officials said.  
    The street-level military intervention was a rare occurrence in more than two years of turmoil since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak—but it echoed a dominant Egyptian theme of Mr. Mubarak's long reign, one of a military-backed state pitted against Islamists. 
    Such fears were renewed late Friday as state television confirmed the arrest of Khairat El Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood's influential second-in-command. 
    Earlier Friday, the Muslim Brotherhood's leader addressed tens of thousands of supporters who gathered for "Rejection Friday" protests, urging them to continue protesting until Mr. Morsi is reinstated.  
    [...]  
    The military's unparalleled position in Egypt's public life is a result, in part, of the perception that it is a dispassionate defender of the country's broad public. The military made that face particularly visible in recent days, sending its jets into the sky above the fray—flying triumphal missions that left contrails in the shape of hearts, or the colors of the Egyptian flag, above Cairo.    
    But in intervening directly as jilted Islamists demanded Mr. Morsi's reinstatement, the military runs the risk of being seen as siding against Islamists and vindicating many Egyptians' fears of an impending civil war.
    Hard to say if a civil war is brewing-- there will certainly be more violence, but whether it will escalate to the point of being comfortably called a civil war is uncertain. What's definitely coming is years of political unrest. Egypt is in awful economic straits and has been unable to feed a large portion of its people for some time now-- a large part of why so many Egyptians demanded Morsi's ouster. No amount of violence can solve this basic problem, and Egypt is not in any position, politically nor economically, to really address this issue to a majority of Egyptians' satisfaction. The situation is dire.

    Meanwhile Obama is offering useless and pithy advice and holding out hope for the Muslim Brotherhood.

    From Bloomberg:

    The Obama administration’s call for an “inclusive” political process in Egypt with a role for the Muslim Brotherhood has been overshadowed by deadly clashes between security forces and supporters of the Islamist group.  
    [...]  
    While President Barack Obama’s administration has stopped short of condemning the July 3 military takeover, it has called on Egyptian leaders to pursue “a transparent political process that is inclusive of all parties and groups,” including“avoiding any arbitrary arrests of Mursi and his supporters,”Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said July 4 in a statement.
    Is it just me or does a lot of the Obama administration's public statements seem like bad corporate consultant speak? We need to further utilize the growing gap in technology industries so we can find the consumer niche that is profitable. Geez. Of course all of these power words are useless since any solution must address the economic chaos in Egypt. Of course no mention of that in any White House statement. They treat this as though it's a privileged Occupy Cairo movement. Ridiculous.

    As Egypt seeks a transition to democracy, it’s hobbled by the lack of a road map to follow, according to Amy Hawthorne, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former State Department official who worked on the country’s transition after Mubarak’s ouster.  
    First, the military made an arrangement with the Islamists to the exclusion of other groups in Egypt, she said.  
    “Now we might see the military doing a deal with non-Islamist groups and excluding the Islamists,” Hawthorne said.“The only way Egypt is going to be able” to establish democracy “is if all groups agree on the basic rules of the game.”

    Yeah... right. There's really no chance of any meaningful coalition government when Egypt itself is teetering along the brink. This talk about agreeing to the rules of the game is useless and it's not what's happening in Egypt. You might as well be talk about organizing and getting the rules down for kickball game while the Titanic seeks.

    And I just love how she ignores Morsi's move to enshrine himself as dictator, and to convert the Egyptian military into an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. It's as though all of that were just perfectly reasonable actions that should have no consequences. Oh, why can't the Egyptians just get with the program and do what Obama's chosen one, Morsi, wants them to do?

    These broad, generalized strokes that Hawthorne and her ilk like to paint when describing trouble spots is either willfully ignorant, or a vaudevillian attempt to say something palatable when there really isn't anything good to say. It's a slightly dressed up version of "can't we all just get along?"

    Obama's Lies to Pass Stimulus and Failure as Jobs President in One Graph




    Click to Enlarge

    Graph pulled from Real Science by Steven Goddard.

    Further proof, rather than trusting in your own experiences over the past four years, that spending $1 trillion was worse than doing nothing. Nice job Obama.

    Friday, July 5, 2013

    Misunderstandings on the Failed State of Egypt and Obama's Lack of Care




    Caroline Glick has a very interesting opinion piece over at CarolineGlick.com. I highly recommend reading the whole thing at the link below.

    Among Glick's observations is the fact that the state of Egypt is failing to feed and house its people. While many in the West either puzzle as to why the Egyptians overthrew Morsi or believe it to be some occupy-ish popular movement similar to the so-called "Arab Spring", the fact is Egyptians are in middle of a food crisis and an economic meltdown. Of course Morsi is not solely to blame for this state. Yet, his presidency focused more on consolidating dictatorial power and turning the Egyptian military into an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, rather than to address Egypt's pressing economic matters. Morsi's administration also seemed to be both completely clueless as to how to run an economy and wholly unfit for the job.

    From Glick's opinion piece:

    US reporters and commentators today portray this week's protests as the restoration of the Egyptian revolution [the "Arab Spring"]. That revolution, they remain convinced, was poised to replace long-time Egyptian leader and US-ally Hosni Mubarak with a liberal democratic government led by people who used Facebook and Twitter.
     
    Subsequently, we were told, that revolution was hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood. But now that Morsi and his government have been overthrown, the Facebook revolution is back on track.
     
    And again, they are wrong.
     
    As was the case in 2011, the voices of liberal democracy in Egypt are so few and far between that they have no chance whatsoever of gaining power, today or for the foreseeable future. At this point it is hard to know what the balance of power is between the Islamists who won 74 percent of the vote in the 2011 parliamentary elections and their opponents. But it is clear that their opponents are not liberal democrats. They are a mix of neo-Nasserist fascists, communists and other not particularly palatable groups.
     
    None of them share Western conceptions of freedom and limited government. None of them are particularly pro-American. None of them like Jews. And none of them support maintaining Egypt's cold peace with Israel.  
    [...]  
    There are only three things that are knowable about the future of Egypt. First it will be poor. Egypt is a failed state. It cannot feed its people. It has failed to educate its people. It has no private sector to speak of. It has no foreign investment.
     
    Second, Egypt will be politically unstable.
     
    Mubarak was able to maintain power for 29 years because he ran a police state that the people feared. That fear was dissipated in 2011. This absence of fear will bring Egyptians to the street to topple any government they feel is failing to deliver on its promises - as they did this week.
     
    Given Egypt's dire economic plight, it is impossible to see how any government will be able to deliver on any promises - large or small - that its politicians will make during electoral campaigns.
     
    And so government after government will share the fates of Mubarak and Morsi.

    Beyond economic deprivation, today tens of millions of Egyptians feel they were unlawfully and unjustly ousted from power on Wednesday.
     
    The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists won big in elections hailed as free by the West. They have millions of supporters who are just as fanatical today as they were last week. They will not go gently into that good night.
     
    Finally, given the utter irrelevance of liberal democratic forces in Egypt today, it is clear enough that whoever is able to rise to power in the coming years will be anti-American, anti- Israel and anti-democratic, (in the liberal democratic sense of the word). They might be nicer to the Copts than the Muslim Brotherhood has been. But they won't be more pro-Western.
     
    They may be more cautious in asserting or implementing their ideology in their foreign policy than the Muslim Brotherhood. But that won't necessarily make them more supportive of American interests or to the endurance of Egypt's formal treaty of peace with Israel.  
    [...]  
    Wednesday's overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government is a total repudiation of the US strategy of viewing the unrest in Egypt - and throughout the Arab world - as a struggle between the good guys and the bad guys.
     
    Within a week of the start of the protests in Tahrir Square on January 25, 2011, Americans from both sides of the political divide united around the call for Mubarak's swift overthrow.
     
    A few days later, President Barack Obama joined the chorus of Democrats and Republicans, and called for Mubarak to leave office, immediately. Everyone from Sen. John McCain to Samantha Power was certain that despite the fact that Mubarak was a loyal ally of the US, America would be better served by supporting the rise of the Facebook revolutionaries who used Twitter and held placards depicting Mubarak as a Jew.
     
    Everyone was certain that the Muslim Brotherhood would stay true to its word and keep out of politics.  
    [...]  
    Shortly after Mubarak was overthrown, the Obama administration began actively supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
     
    The Muslim Brotherhood believed that the way to gain and then consolidate power was to hold elections as quickly as possible. Others wanted to wait until a constitutional convention convened and a new blueprint for Egyptian governance was written. But the Muslim Brotherhood would have none of it. And Obama supported it.

    Five months after elections of questionable pedigree catapulted Morsi to power, Obama was silent when in December 2012 Morsi arrogated dictatorial powers and pushed through a Muslim Brotherhood constitution.

    Obama ignored Congress three times and maintained full funding of Egypt despite the fact that the Morsi government had abandoned its democratic and pluralistic protestations.
     
    He was silent over the past year as the demonstrators assembled to oppose Morsi's power grabs. He was unmoved as churches were torched and Christians were massacred. He was silent as Morsi courted Iran.
     
    US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson and Obama remained the Muslim Brotherhood's greatest champions as the forces began to gather ahead of this week's mass protests. Patterson met with the Coptic pope and told him to keep the Coptic Christians out of the protests.

    Obama, so quick to call for Mubarak to step down, called for the protesters to exercise restraint this time around and then ignored them during his vacation in Africa.
     
    The first time Obama threatened to curtail US funding of the Egyptian military was Wednesday night, after the military ignored American warnings and entreaties, and deposed Morsi and his government.
     
    This week's events showed how the US's strategy in Egypt has harmed America.

    In 2011, the military acted to force Mubarak from power only after Obama called for it to do so. This week, the military overthrew Morsi and began rounding up his supporters in defiance of the White House.
    Personally, I hold out a bit more hope for Egyptians laying down a viable framework for a more stable government in the future. This hope is a bit baseless, I admit. Ideally the Egyptian military can provide enough food until a new system-- one hopefully with a constitution-- can be constructed-- something that learned from the Morsi debacle. That's a very optimistic view when taking into account the huge obstacles Egypt faces, I know.

    The U.S. does still hold a fair amount of sway over Egypt in the form of massive amounts foreign aid, and if we had a president that was at all interested in stability in the Middle East there might be further cause for optimism. But Obama holds the American Leftist view of the world, a silly and ridiculously over-simplified viewpoint of victim and victimizer. Think of the ludicrous "A People's History of the United States" by Marxist historian Howard Zinn and you've got a pretty good grasp of Obama's beliefs.

    So Obama's real position is to simply continue the policy of apologetic redemption seeking-- useless apologies for actions embarrassing mostly from an American point of view, and redemption only in the eyes of Leftist Americans. As is evidenced by Obama's actions in the near past (his consistent support for an, at best, incompetent Morsi, his silence at the Muslim Brotherhood's attacks upon the Copts,  Morsi's power grabs and moves for destabilizing the Mid-East, Obama's threat against the Egyptian military for Morsi's removal), his concern for the Egyptian people, the Israeli people, and indeed all the people of the Middle East is minimal.

    It's pathetic and egotistical to the extreme, but Obama's first and foremost concern is to satisfy the American Left's pompous version of a "moral" America. Allies' and others' welfare is of little matter. As can be seen with Obama's brush-off of impoverished Africans' living conditions, Obama has little sympathy for the lives of others when they interfere with Leftist agendas designed to satisfy their own "moral" quest. So, if numerous lives of Egyptians, Israelis, and whomever else must be sacrificed for this self-indulgent, American apologist agenda/viewpoint, so be it says the Light-bringer.

    Thursday, July 4, 2013

    Happy Independence Day!!



    I hope everyone has a great 4th of July!


    Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    Egypt: Military Seizes Power then Calls for Presidential and Parliamentary Elections and Rewrite of Constitution









    Well, looks like Morsi is out. We can only hope that the next head is better. And perhaps Egypt learned something from the debacle that was Morsi's reign.

    From the Business Inside article by Michael Kelly:

    The Egyptian military chief has announced President Mohamed Morsi has been removed from power and the Egyptian constitution has been suspended.
    The Muslim Brotherhood leader, who served as head of state for about a year, has been replaced by Adly Mansour, who is the chief justice of Egypt's constitutional court. 
    Military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for presidential and then parliamentary elections, the establishment of a panel to rewrite the constitution, a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements, and a national coalition cabinet. 
    In the hours following Morsi's departure, Egyptian military forces have been arresting pro-Islamist supporters and Muslim Brotherhood officials. They also reportedly broke into a live Al Jazeera broadcast, arresting reporters and shutting down coverage. 
    Here's a live feed of Tahrir Square, where the crowd is jubilant. 
    Morsi, who has been moved to an undisclosed location, has rejected the military declaration and called for citizens to peacefully resist the "military coup." 
    His office tweeted that he urged "civilians and military members to uphold the law & the Constitution not to accept that coup which turns Egypt backwards. 
    Sisi warned that the armed forces and police will deal "decisively" with violence responding to the army's decision.
    Morsi wants Egypt to not move backwards? You mean away from his progressive policies of Jew hating/scapegoating and a de facto dictatorship?

    As I said, I hope the Egyptians learned a little from Morsi's time in power and will choose their leaders more carefully.

    Breaking: Reports of Military Coup in Egypt




    Tweets are coming in reporting of the Egyptian military moving toward presidential grounds in armored personnel carriers (APCs). Twitter feed here at Leagl Insurrection.

    If true, this doesn't bode too well for Morsi nor, in the long term, for Syrian rebels.

    Will update with links to story/post if I can find it.


    UPDATE: BBC reports:

    President Mohammed Morsi has repeated his offer of a consensus government, but still refuses to step down. 
    A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Mr Morsi belongs, tweeted that a "full military coup" was under way.  
    As the army deadline passed, cheers echoed in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where thousands of protesters had gathered.  
    BBC correspondents have reported an increased military presence in the capital and armoured vehicles have been seen moving through the streets. 
    The army had earlier held meetings with political and religious leaders to discuss the crisis.

    Of course it is only the Muslim Brotherhood saying it right now-- hardly the most reliable source.

    UPDATE 2: Pic of Egyptian APC reportedly moving toward presidential grounds:


    And outside presidential palace:


    More APCs


    Obama Warns Egyptian Military that a Coup Against Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Would Result in Cut Off of Aid


    "We must keep Morsi in power. Otherwise who will threaten Israel and further radicalize Egypt?"

    Amazing. Obama must love the Muslim Brotherhood, and I guess Obama thinks he's gotta to keep his hand-picked brutal leaders in power. An incredible number of protesters filled the streets of Cairo, have won the support of the Egyptian military. Together both have demanded that Muslim Brotherhood backed Morsi step down. In response Obama has threatened to cut off military aid to Egypt if there is a coup.

    From the NRO piece by David French:

    First, on May 10, 2013, the Obama Administration elected to waive human rights restrictions placed on American military aid to Egypt, freeing up $1.3 billion for the Muslim Brotherhood regime’s military without the required showing that the “Government of Egypt is supporting the transition to civilian government, including holding free and fair elections and implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association, and religion and due process of law.”  
    In other words, the Morsi government could keep funding the military even as it brutally oppressed dissent, including Egypt’s embattled Coptic Christian community.
    Fast-forward to Monday, July 1, 2013. The corrupt, oppressive Muslim Brotherhood government had just faced what some were counting among the largest public protests in history. And here’s our president
    On Monday, the US president, Barack Obama, indicated that Morsi had not yet lost his backing. “We don’t make those decisions just by counting the number of heads in a protest march but we do make decisions based on whether or not a government is listening to the opposition, maintaining a free press, maintaining freedom of assembly, not using violence or intimidation, conducting fair and free elections,” he said.

    Wait. What? Do you not remember that you just waived those very same human rights requirements not even two months ago? How much could you possibly care about these basic liberties?   
    Now fast-forward to today, July 3, when we learn that the Administration does actually care:

    Officials have also warned the Egyptian military that a military coup [against the Muslim Brotherhood] would trigger U.S. legislation cutting off all U.S. aid, which totals about $1.5 billion per year.

    For those keeping score at home, the Obama Administration waives human rights requirements when the Muslim Brotherhood is in power but then threatens to impose those very same waived requirements when the military — our decades-long ally within Egypt — threatens to assert control.

    Bizarre. Obama didn't back U.S. ally former Egyptian president Mubarak-- in fact he essentially demanded that Mubarak step down. And then Obama doesn't threaten to cut off aid to Egypt when Morsi openly threatened our ally Israel. He didn't threaten to cut off aid when Morsi moved to consolidate himself as dictator-- a failed effort no thanks to the U.S. But Obama does threaten to stop aid when Morsi is threatened by popular unrest.

    French is quite correct when he later states:

    It’s [Obama's foreign policy in Egypt] not chaos. It makes perfect sense in context with Administration actions from the Green Revolution to the “Arab Spring.” Allies are thrown under the bus with alacrity, enemies are wooed with money and weapons — and through it all, radicals prosper and Christians die.

    Obama has made his feelings clear in this matter: Enemies are friends, allies are enemies. It's the basic knee-jerk reactionary dogma of the hard Left, and now both America and the world are paying for this backwards worldview having been given power.

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Obama Claims Africans Must Maintain Lower Living Standard or Else World Will "Boil Over"



    Thus speaketh the Light-bringer: "Hey, the Earth demands that some folks live impovershed and without electricity, clean water and die young-- and it sure isn't going to be me. But maybe if you give a bunch of money to companies like Solydra we'll alllow you to raise your living conditions. Maybe."


    Displaying the basic spoiled Leftist's ignorance of the actual problems of poverty, Obama told Africans that they must remain in dreadful living conditions until new, and presumably "green," sources of energy can be found or else the Earth will "boil over."

    From CNS News:

    President Barack Obama said at a town hall event in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday that unless we find new way of producing energy "the planet will boil over" if people in Africa are allowed to attain air conditioning, automobiles and big houses. 
    “Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over -- unless we find new ways of producing energy.”  
    [...] 
    According to Obama, global warming constitutes “the biggest challenge we have environmentally,” one greater than all other environmental calamities like “dirty water, dirty air.” 
    However, the President’s statements do not reflect statistics released by the United Nations: Based on a data released in October, 2012, the World Health Organization estimated that “Global warming” is responsible for approximately 140,000 excess deaths each year. 
    By comparison, as many as three million people died from indoor and outdoor air pollution – in other words, over 20 times the number of alleged victims of global warming, according to the Word Health Organization. 
    The list of victims of unclean drinking water is even more staggering.
    According to UNESCO, unsanitized water causes billions of preventable diseases annually, from diarrhea (4 billion), cholera (120,000), malaria (300-500 million), intestinal parasites (25% of world’s population), typhoid (12 million), trachoma (6 million), and schistosomiesis (200 million). list from highest to least affected. 
    The president gave short shrift to these more traditional health concerns during his visit to the continent. Instead, Obama implied several times that the U.S. would only encourage growth in Africa should it be grounded in “clean energy strategies” and not in “corrupting” energy economies that gave rise to unprecedented levels of health and prosperity among Western nations.
    I sure hope Obama's gift of electric soccer balls are going to help people with the malaria and typhoid and diarrhea and such.

    The crux of the president’s new energy strategy is a $7 billion investment that Obama hopes will stimulate the alternative energy sector in Africa – much like the president sought to do with huge domestic investments in green energy companies like Solyndra. 
    “In partnership with African nations, we’re going to develop new sources of energy. We’ll reach more households – not just in cities, but in villages and on farms. We’ll expand access for those who live currently off the power grid. And we’ll support clean energy to protect our planet and combat climate change,” President Obama said Sunday at the University of Cape Town.
    Ah yes, these "green" initiatives that worked so well in the United States-- the investment billions of taxpayer dollars for absolutely no return (aside from political payoff)-- are going to go over great in Africa.

    The sad fact is the Left, spurned on by the eco-scare nuts their environmentalists wants the Third World to remain living in substandard conditions and for their populations to not increase. The fear is that as the Third World develops, it uses more gas, electricity, etc. to save lives (and there's already far too many of them according to this theory) and raise their standard of living, thus putting an intolerable strain on our Mother Earth. Kinda fortunate that those who believe this, generally enjoy a very high standard of living.

    This how you get the unbelievable crap like Population Matters and Pop Offsets-- which I find to be among the most blatantly arrogant and disgusting things to be seen in this movement. You see, Pop Offsets is essentially saying "Hey Third World people, stop having so many kids so I can still go on airplane flights, use my air-conditioning and heating, and go on long vacations!" It's unbelievable. My write up on PopOffsets is here.

    Obama's echoing this line of thought right down the line. This is completely expected with people like John Holdren as his "science czar." Obama's, of course, not mentioning the "there's too many of you people on the Earth" line, but could you realistically expect him too?

    In the meantime Africa, you'll just have to suffer until windmills and unicorns make it okay for you to live better. Sorry.


    Monday, July 1, 2013

    More Smart Diplomacy: John Kerry Says Spying on Allies not Unusual


    "Hey, if you've got nothing to hide, then you shouldn't mind us listening in and then figuring out ways to use our gathered intelligence to pressure you to fall in line with our wishes. Come on, everyone does it in peace time."

    Nor is it unusual, according to the Democrats, to spy on American citizens and the press, or to use the IRS and EPA to harass political opponents. I see no problem here. Move on. Move on.

    From the Daily Mail:

    The US spying scandal deepened today as Secretary of State John Kerry said it is 'not unusual' for governments to bug the offices of their allies. 
    The extraordinary statement has angered leaders across the world after leaked documents revealed America spied on 38 foreign missions and embassies including the European Union's Washington nerve centre. 
    As outrage grew across the EU over the damaging revelations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was first to lash out, declaring: 'Bugging friends is unacceptable.'

    Really? Kerry saying that the US normally bugs offices and spies on allies made people angry? Weird.

    Speaking to a press conference today, Kerry said: 'I will say that every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs and national security undertakes lots of activities to protect its national security and all kinds of information contributes to that. All I know is that is not unusual for lots of nations.'
    But the remarks did not wash with Merkel who responded, through a spokesman: 'If it is confirmed that diplomatic representations of the European Union and individual European countries have been spied upon, we will clearly say that bugging friends is unacceptable. 
    'We are no longer in the Cold War.' 
    Meanwhile, Martin Schulz, president of the EU Parliament, told French radio the United States had crossed a line.  
    He told France 2: 'I was always sure that dictatorships, some authoritarian systems, tried to listen ... but that measures like that are now practiced by an ally, by a friend, that is shocking, in the case that it is true.'  
    [...]  
    Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said U.S. spying was 'out of control, adding: 'The U.S. would do better to monitor its intelligence services instead of its allies.'
    A sensible suggestion that will, of course, be ignored.

    I thought electing Obama was going to improve our image with foreign countries, especially in Europe. I guess they're not buying the Light-bringer thing of '08. Oh, well...

    Action Obama Movie "White House Down" Flops


    Well, Action Obama let them all down. But not to fear...

    ...because a live action version of an eco-preachy 90s cartoon will save them.

    A show that managed to teach that no matter how politically correct the diversity of the characters may be, it's gotta be the two White people that hook up.

    Nice spelling there-- "surcumstances"?

    Heh.

    From Deadline.com (via Breitbart):

    But Sony Pictures’ White House Down really disappointed in #4, opening a third less than Hollywood expected and ensuring its high cost will make it impossible to earn out. But the studio is still hoping for a 4x holiday-aided multiple.
    Yeah, they should go ahead and mortgage the house on that expectation.

    Bur don't worry. Sony knows that there's a HUGE market for preachy Leftist agenda thumping movie, so they're bringing out Captain Planet! Gosh, I hope Whoopi Goldberg will be Gaia the spirit of the Earth again.