Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obama's Selective Tampering

Funny how Obama was so very very sensitive to the Iranian elections not to tamper, yet when it comes to Honduras it's a completely different thing. Maybe he is more nuanced than I am. No doubt he'll talk them into giving their president his job back, or maybe he'll hold hands with Chavez as he invades their country.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday the coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was illegal and would set a "terrible precedent" of transition by military force unless it was reversed.

"We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there," Obama told reporters after an Oval Office meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

Zelaya, in office since 2006, was overthrown in a dawn coup on Sunday after he angered the judiciary, Congress and the army by seeking constitutional changes that would allow presidents to seek re-election beyond a four-year term.

Strange thing is, I found in the WSJ a piece that makes it sound like it's not a coup:
Honduras's Supreme Court gave the order for the military to detain the president, according to a former Supreme Court official who is in touch with the court.

Later, Honduras's Congress formally removed Mr. Zelaya from the presidency and named congressional leader Roberto Micheletti as his successor until the end of Mr. Zelaya's term in January. Mr. Micheletti and others said they were the defenders, not opponents, of democratic rule.

I would have sworn that usually a coup doesn't include official actions of the other branches of government against the president. Make one wonder what exactly he was up to.
"What was done here was a democratic act," Mr. Micheletti, who was sworn in as president Sunday afternoon, said to an ovation. "Our constitution continues to be valid, our democracy continues to live."

Mr. Micheletti is a member of Mr. Zelaya's Liberal party. But he had opposed his plans for a referendum that could have led to overturning the constitution's ban on re-election, allowing Mr. Zelaya to potentially stay in power past January, when his term ends.

Mr. Zelaya, a frequent critic of the U.S., has been locked in a growing confrontation with his country's Congress, courts, and military over his plans for the referendum -- planned for Sunday -- that would have asked voters whether they want to scrap the constitution, which the president says benefits the country's elites.

The Supreme Court had ruled the vote was illegal because it flouted the constitution's own ban on such referendums within six months of elections. The military had refused to take its usual role of distributing ballots. But Mr. Zelaya fired the chief of the army last week and pledged to press ahead.

I wonder why this hasn't gotten much press coverage.

The Telegraph has a quote:
"Today's events originate from a court order by a competent judge. The armed forces, in charge of supporting the constitution, acted to defend the state of law and have been forced to apply legal dispositions against those who have expressed themselves publicly and acted against the dispositions of the basic law," the country's highest court said.
I'm wondering how exactly this removal was illegal when, as reported, the courts and congress had him replaced because of his own disregard for the law.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Conyers in the News

Well first there is Senator Corruption himself:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has backed off his plan to investigate wrongdoing by the liberal activist group ACORN, saying "powers that be" put the kibosh on the idea.

Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, earlier bucked his party leaders by calling for hearings on accusations the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) has committed crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style "protection" racket.

I'd like the list of who is the "powers that be" so we can taken them out behind the woodshed for a little discussion on ethics. No doubt we never will.

Then there is Mrs Corruption.
Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers pleaded guilty this morning to conspiring to commit bribery and is free on personal bond.

U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn said, "The defendant now stands convicted."

The one count of conspiring to commit bribery is punishable for up to five years in prison.

No sentencing date has been set and it is not immediately clear if the plea deal requires Conyers to cooperate with the feds in the ongoing probe of city corruption.

Conyers, the wife of powerful Democratic congressman U.S. Rep. John Conyers, appeared before Cohn to answer charges in connection with the wide-ranging probe of wrongdoing at Detroit city hall.

I find it highly improbable that there is any connection, but you can bet that she'll never see a day of prison time. Not to mention if it were you or I we'd be in jail right now not on personal bond.

Nice to see that they both reached the news together.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Americorps IG Firing Causing a Stir

No doubt the reader has seen the reports on the Americorps IG who was fired by Obama due to a "Loss of Confidence" which no doubt stems from his investigating one of Obama's big supporters. It is refreshing to see that the Congress is calling for more information and not just giving Obama a pass.
In a statement, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says, "The White House has failed to follow the proper procedure in notifying Congress as to the removal of the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service. The legislation which was passed last year requires that the president give a reason for the removal. ‘Loss of confidence’ is not a sufficient reason. I’m hopeful the White House will provide a more substantive rationale, in writing, as quickly as possible."

McCaskill was the lead Senate sponsor on the Inspectors General Act of 2008 and is a loyal supporter and friend of President Obama. Her statement is the first significant sign of Democratic concern with this matter.

Well, McCaskill is showing concern. At least her concern is based on law, unlike the outrage over the Bush AG firings which was completely baseless.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just Not Thinking

So Insty links to an article related to a wheat fungus and then remarks:
Read the whole thing. It’ll probably hit America right after the “supervolcano” under Mt. St. Helens erupts (”These enormous eruptions can spew enough sunlight-blocking ash into the atmosphere to cool the climate by several degrees Celsius”), or something, in the middle of a Swine Flu pandemic. Oh, wait . . . .
Slight problem with his statement. This fungus is quite easily transportable, and could easily be brought and spread in the US by an enemy. Though more likely than not it will be brought here innocently and have major issues with the US wheat crop.

Or did Insty forget about little things like Dutch elm disease? It's not a matter of whether it will get into the US wheat crop as it is when.

Friday, June 12, 2009

DHS Support from McCarthyites

Some nutcase white supremacist goes out for a little killing spree and now the left is going nuts.
Greg Sargent's reaction to the murder at the Holocaust Museum yesterday -- "it's time to revisit criticism of 'right-wing extremists' report" -- wasn't atypical. You could hear the same insta-reaction around the Web, as confirmation bias did its work and two or three crimes by far-right figures were transformed into something larger. Here's Andrew Sullivan: "That DHS report doesn't look so iffy any more, does it?" Markos Moulitsas: "Attempt by Cons to justify their critique of prescient DHS report are an extra special dose of stupid." Benjamin Sarlin at The Daily Beast writes that "a much-maligned Department of Homeland Security memo on right-wing extremism is looking more accurate by the day." Doug J. at Balloon Juice says, "How many acts of right-wing terrorism have to occur before DHS is allowed to start keeping track of it?"
Nice. Wonder what these bastions of bullshit would be saying if it had been ELF or some "progressive" type that did something of the kind.

Similar crap coming out of the extreme Right on any Islamic nut job attacking people. Only a bit of difference being that the recruiting station that had a couple of military people killed got a minor note by the MSM (aka Ministry of Propaganda) while the abortionist and the Holocaust Museum attacker got major and repeated coverage.

But lets get to the point on DHS.
Why did the DHS report come under such fire? It wasn't because far-right cranks are incapable of committing crimes. It's because the paper blew the threat of right-wing terror out of proportion, just as the Clinton administration did in the '90s; because it treated "extremism" itself as a potential threat, while offering a definition of extremist so broad it seemed it include anyone who opposed abortion or immigration or excessive federal power; and because it fretted about the danger of "the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities." (Note that neither the killing in Kansas last month nor the shooting in Washington yesterday was committed by an Iraq or Afghanistan vet.) The effect isn't to make right-wing terror attacks less likely. It's to make it easier to smear nonviolent, noncriminal figures on the right, just as the most substantial effect of a red scare was to make it easier to smear nonviolent, noncriminal figures on the left. The fact that communist spies really existed didn't justify Joseph McCarthy's antics, and the fact that armed extremists really exist doesn't justify the Department of Homeland Security's report.
DHS isn't there for politics, though you'd think otherwise having read anything reported on Napolitano's watch. The issue erupting from all of this will likely cause more issues for people who have nothing to do with violent actions. And with the governments well understood ability to entice (read as "entrap") individuals into actions they would not take without that stimulus, can we doubt that people will be going to jail because someone believed they could be a threat and not that they actually were?

Monday, June 08, 2009

CNN Tubing while Fox Ascending

Ed Driscoll points out the Huffington Post entry from CNN's co-founder.

CNN co-founder Reese Schonfeld tells the Huffington Post (huh, why would a CNN man go there to post?) that “seven months after Barack Obama’s victory, CNN’s ratings have gone down the drain”:

Nine years ago, when FoxNews sprinted past CNN to become America’s number one news network, I attributed its ratings gains to the election of George Bush and the triumph of Fox-watching conservatives. I figured conservatives would be savoring their victory while liberals were averting their eyes in disgust. For the next eight years, I measured political sentiment in the United States by comparing the size of the FoxNews audience with the combined size of the CNN/MSNBC audience. In this space, I even predicted, with reasonable accuracy, the percent by which Barack Obama won the election based on the split in the news audience.

Now, seven months after Barack Obama’s victory, CNN’s ratings have gone down the drain. From May of last year to May of this year, CNN lost 22% of its total primetime audience. MSNBC was down 2%, while FoxNews was up 24%. In the key advertising demographic (25-54), Fox was up 31%, CNN was down 37% and MSNBC was down 26%. In hard numbers, Fox had 109,000 more viewers than last year while CNN lost 113,000. CNN averaged fewer than 200,000 25-54 viewers in primetime. Even MSNBC averaged more viewers than that.

Total day was nearly as bad, with Fox up 24% and CNN down 7%. MSNBC was down 2% in total viewing. Fox is beating CNN almost two-to-one in most categories.

There’s no need to throw any more numbers at you–Fox is gaining, CNN is wilting. Why is this happening when the country still seems about 58-42 in favor of Obama? My best guess is the passion of those who detest Democrats, liberals, and in particular, Barack Obama.

You don’t think it could also have anything to do with moments such as this and this, do you? And as P.J. Gladnick of Newsbusters asks, “Maybe the TV audience is growing weary of the MSM treating Barack Obama as Sort of God and want some realistic news coverage of his administration.”

It is odd that they always want to posture their losses as to being something wrong with Fox veiwers. Fox obviously gained many veiwers when they started because the conservative half of the country didn't want to listen to the propaganda the MSM or MoP if you like, was forcing down their throats. Now that Fox is gaining even more, would you think maybe the change is more complicated than the old "they hate the One" theme these companies have been pushing?

Maybe the public is tired of the slanted and irresponsible reporting. Or maybe they want reporting that doesn't just carry a party line. (I'm not saying Fox doesn't carry a party line, I'm saying they report less of the party line than the others do.)

You'd think that the MSM would learn from trends and maybe do a better job at analysis rather than falling for these moronic whines.

Under the Bus, but Never Got on Board

Mr. Mudd is a well-regarded career intelligence officer who has worked in senior positions at the FBI and CIA, including deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Mr. Obama nominated him on May 4 amid fulsome praise from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. But in a statement issued by the White House on the eve of a late spring weekend, Mr. Mudd said he was withdrawing so as not to become "a distraction to the president and his vital agenda."

The truth is that he risked being a distraction to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrats, who suddenly don't want to talk about what they knew about the interrogation techniques they once endorsed and long funded but now denounce. So Ms. Pelosi doesn't have to answer any questions about her changing claims about her CIA briefings, but a foot soldier like Mr. Mudd who did what his country asked him to do to keep the country safe is blackballed.

Another wonderful start. Makes you wonder what Obama is willing to do to get his act together when he has to continue to solve conflicts with the liars in his own party.