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Homeland Security Fails Again: GAO Reports A Dangerous Lack of Port Security

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 21-01-2011

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While many American passengers boarding Airplanes are getting a choice of full body X-ray or getting their junk rubbed, foreign seafarers are basically getting “carte blanche” to anonymously enter the country. According to the report the Customs and Border Protection officers go on the Cargo Ships to inspect the cargo and the manifests etc, but hey have no portable electronic hook-ups to double check who they found on a particular ship with the lists pre-approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

This report should not come as a surprise as the State Department already warned DHS of this security hole, and told them it could be exploited by terrorists.

CBP conducts cargo vessel admissibility inspections on board the vessel without the benefit of tools to electronically verify a seafarer’s identity or immigration status because of a lack of available connectivity to network communications in the maritime environment. DHS has prioritized the acquisition of a mobile version of this technology capability but expects it to take several years before the technology is developed and available. CBP agrees that obtaining this capability is important but has not assessed the risks of not having it. Until CBP obtains the capability, identifying the risks and options to address them could better position CBP in preventing illegal immigration at seaports…By not having the ability to electronically verify the documents, CBP’s methods for inspecting cargo vessel crew offers less assurance that CBP is identifying fraud among documents presented by the foreign seafarers seeking admission into the United States.

Think about that for a second, my sixteen year old kid can access an excel chart he left on his home computer from his friends house but the folks trying to protect our borders, with the funding of the United States of America’s Department of Homeland Security cannot access a database that would help them to keep out unwanted people and cargo from entering the country.  Hey Secretary Napolitano, I’ll tell you what.  Since I am going down to DC for CPAC anyway, if you arrange to pay for my gas, the extra-hotel fees and meals and a taxi from my hotel to your office, I will bring my 16-year-old to DC with me. That way while I am in meetings, my son can meet with you and show you how to do it… at no other cost.

How bad is the problem? According to The GAO approximately five million seafarers enter US Ports each year, one million of them enter through this possible hole on cargo ships. The overwhelming majority of these seafarers, according to the GAO are aliens.

The Report warns:

Given the number of seafarers transiting U.S. ports each year and the continued threats posed by terrorism to the United States, it is important that seafarer risks are identified and actions are taken to ensure security of vessels and port infrastructure, while preventing illegal immigration.

The report casts doubt on the Department of Homeland Security’s data concerning illegal entries by foreign seafarers at U.S. seaports, saying it is of “undetermined reliability” because “DHS has no accurate and reliable estimate to gauge the extent of the incidents.”

The Department of Homeland Security is so poorly managed by Ms, Naplitano that they really even know the extent of the illegal entry by cargo ship seafarers :

In addition, both CBP and Coast Guard have reported challenges with respect to their reporting and tracking of the illegal entry events by seafarers, known as absconders and deserters, and based on our overall assessment, we found their data to be of undetermined reliability. Moreover, Coast Guard and CBP records of these incidents vary considerably, and consequently, DHS has no accurate and reliable estimate to gauge the extent of the incidents.

Wow, I feel real safe now.

Much of the “political argument about immigration surrounds the fact that the progressives unstated goal is open borders, that can be the only explanation for the fact that they have shown little desire to move their argument ahead by working on a policy for the United States to control who comes into the country.  Think about it, if they came up with a plan to secure our borders, it would undercut a major argument to their opposition.  Yet, all the come up with is the same amnesty bills with a brand new coat of paint.

The DHS under the present administration, works hard to find ways to warn people about conservative activists and heroes returning from service over seas, but they need years to figure out how to make one computer to talk to another so we can know who is entering the country on a cargo ship. A heck of a set of priorities we have!




YID With LID

Robaitaille Will Run Again for Governor

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 21-01-2011

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John Robitaille (R), who narrowly lost the race for Rhode Island governor last year, told WBRU-AM he is almost certain to run again in 2014.

Said Robaitaille: “Unless something changes in terms of my life, the state, I’d say that there is a high probability I will run for governor again. That’s where my heart is, that’s where my passion is.”


Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

The Ulsterman Report: Once Again, Sarah Palin Emerges Stronger

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 20-01-2011

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The script had been formulated long before the first bullet of deranged shooter Jared Lee Loughner rang out just outside a Safeway in Tucson Arizona last week.  The liberal wing of the Democratic Party, still gnashing their teeth over the rebuke against them in the November Midterm Elections, were desperate for a scapegoat.  The equally liberal media were only too happy to assist them by once again failing to actually report the facts, but rather quickly make those facts up to more fully coordinate with the much-desired outcome – that the shooting in Arizona was the result of rightwing bigotry, vitriol, rhetoric…etc.

The primary target of these attacks, once again, was Sarah Palin.

It remains a mystery why Palin so enrages the left.  From one side of their mouth they attempt to marginalize her as an inconsequential moron, some Alaskan redneck former beauty pageant breeder of too many children.  At the same time, they declare her dangerous, cunning, a too-powerful figure corrupting the minds of mainstream America.  The many contradictions contained within the liberals’ hatred (yes, I am using that word – because it is appropriate) of Sarah Palin willfully goes unnoticed by them.  They simply march on, gleeful in their collective and repeated attacks against the former governor of Alaska.  Sarah Palin is a woman.  Sarah Palin is a conservative. Sarah Palin is Pro-Life.  Sarah Palin is pro-gun rights.  Sarah Palin talks of her love of God and country. Sarah Palin has the audacity to openly (and effectively) mock liberalismWe must destroy her.

And so on that terrible day last week in Tucson, these same liberals, politicians and media figures alike, grabbed from the same script and pointed to Sarah Palin as the murder weapon.  The deserving evidence?  Non-existent of course – but in the odd and emotionalized world of the liberal mind, evidence and facts are mere suggestions – the outcome is the only thing that truly matters.  Destroy Sarah Palin – by any means necessary.  For by destroying Sarah Palin, by blaming her for the killings in Tucson, liberals hoped to destroy the Tea Party, and the now growing conservative movement throughout the United States.  Grandiose you say?  Perhaps – but it is also true.

First to the scene were the liberal bloggers such as Daily Kos who took a map Palin utilized months ago targeting specific districts in the November elections.  This kind of map is nothing new, having been used by both Democrats and Republicans a number of times in the past.  The DNC utilized just such a map in 2004, and longtime Democratic Party strategist Bob Beckel admitted such mapping and the term “targeting” has been around as long as he has been in politics – and ironically, the Daily Kos had “targeted” Giffords’ district most recently, as they felt she was far too conservative to be trusted.  A long rant on the Kos blog stated repeatedly that Giffords was “dead” due to her vote against Nancy Pelosi.

The mainstream media though happily took its cue from the far left liberal bloggers and pushed ahead with the Palin election map.  Look!  Palin is the true killer!  Even as mounting evidence suggested the shooter had nothing to do with the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Fox News, or even politics as a whole, the media persisted.  Even though Congresswoman Giffords was well known by her District and inside the Beltway as a political moderate who had most recently voted against Nancy Pelosi as House Leader, the media persisted.  Even as former friends of Jared Loughner described him as a liberal radical who blamed former President Bush for 9/11, the media persisted.  ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC – all of them, hour after hour, insinuated the shooting was the by-product of conservative rhetoric, with Sarah Palin being held up as the prime example.  Far left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman made the case against Palin with his typical vacuous snideness, blanketing conservatives with the description of “hate mongers”.  John Nichols of The Nation was even more misleading with the facts than most, forging a full on misrepresentation of Jared Loughner as a far-right extremist upset over Giffords’ vote for Obamacare and taking cues from Palin’s now infamous statement that conservatives should not retreat but “reload” when battling liberalism.  Here is a video showing the appalling contradiction of media coverage regarding the Arizona shootings vs the Fort Hood massacre of a year earlier:

And what is the outcome of all of this concerted effort by far left liberals to portray Sarah Palin and conservatism as the cause of the Tucson Tragedy?  If anything, liberals have simply managed to once again further marginalize themselves in the eyes of America.  Conservatives are rallying to defend Palin, and with polls indicating the vast majority of the public recognizes the liberal slant blame-game that has been the coverage following the shooting, so too are many independents ignoring the liberal media and Democratic politicians.

As for Sarah Palin herself, she has again emerged a stronger figure than before.  Even Barack Obama, during his speech at this week’s Tucson memorial service, seemingly sided with Palin in dismissing the Far Left’s attempts to place blame outside of the singular actions of a deranged gunman.  Whether or not Sarah Palin can develop into a viable Republican candidate for President of the United States remains to be seen, but one thing is certain – as an ever-popular conservative voice, she will not be silenced.  She will repeatedly prove her worth in battling the liberal horde and revealing the insipid hatred always bubbling beneath the surface that is the mainstream media and DC politics.

Don’t retreat Sarah.

Reload…

______

JOIN THE ULSTERMAN ON FACEBOOK!

facebook.com/Ulsterman1


Newsflavor

Moore Again Less: Filmmaker Flummoxed by Link Between More Guns, Less Crime

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

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From the files of clippings I've saved over the years, one of my favorite headlines — "Prison populations, costs climbing: $ 40b a year spent on inmates despite falling crime rate," as published in The Boston Globe on July 28, 2003.

Yes — "despite".

Not the only time I've seen a headline along these lines, though less often nowadays, its idiocy becoming too obvious to ignore.

As if to fill the void, a variation on the theme has appeared, especially in the wake of the Tucson shooting. It goes like this –  gun ownership rates climb despite falling crime rates. With any luck, this too will be consigned to the dustbin, but don't hold your breath.

Best recent example — agitprop filmmaker Michael Moore appearing on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show Monday and saying this –

[Video clip after page break]

 

MOORE: Why do we, more than any other country, do this? I think it's more than just the laws. There's a reason why we want to own these guns. You pointed out last week that we're number one in gun ownership and then, Yemen … (laughs)

MADDOW: … Is a distant number two. Yes, that's right.

MOORE: … a distant number two! So why us, why do we have this? And the majority of these guns, I mean, the vast majority of these guns are owned by people who live in safe parts of town or mostly in suburbs and rural areas, places where there are very few murders. And your sane producer was saying to me backstage here that he was talking to people there (in Tucson), they said everybody's packing there, I mean, the surgeons there at the hospital, they said they have guns, everybody has a gun, yet they all said we have a very low gun murder rate here in Tucson. So why do you have a gun then? Why do you have a gun? What are you afraid of? What is that thing that we're afraid of that we want to have a gun in the house?

"Yet" taking the place of "despite" — "everybody has a gun, yet they all said we have a very low gun murder rate here in Tucson."  But how can that be, liberals insistently point out?

Here's how, as described in a National Rifle Association fact sheet from last September titled "Gun Ownership Rises to All-Time High, Violent Crime Falls to 35-Year Low" and abundantly footnoted –

Coinciding with a surge in gun purchases that began shortly after the 2008 elections, violent crime decreased six percent between 2008 and 2009, including an 8 percent decrease in murder and a nine percent decrease in robbery. Since 1991, when violent crime peaked, it has decreased 43 percent to a 35-year low. Murder has fallen 49 percent to a 45-year low. At the same time, the number of guns that Americans own has risen by about 90 million. Predictions by gun control supporters, that increasing the number of guns, particularly handguns and so-called "assault weapons," would cause crime to increase, have been profoundly lacking in clairvoyance.

As to be expected from Moore, he couldn't let the discourse pass without playing the race card –

I am loathe to bring up what is in our head because we don't like to talk about it so much. But on this particular day, on Martin Luther King Day, I think this needs to be said. That imaginary person that's going to break into your home and kill you, who does that person look like? You know, it's not freckle-faced Jimmy down the street, is it really? I mean, that's not what really, that's not what really people, we never really want to talk about the racial or the class part of this, in terms of how it's the poor or it's people of color that we imagine that we're afraid of. Why are we afraid? What is that, and it's been a fear that has existed for a very, very long time.

Who is Moore kidding?  "We don't like to talk about it so much … we never really want to talk about the racial and class part of this …" There is nothing liberals want more than to talk about "this," preferably as soon as their feet hit the floor in the morning. Given the chance, they'll weave it into chit-chat about the weather, such as when dark clouds form on the horizon … clearly the tea partiers' fault for the forecast, dontcha see?

Just out of curiosity, does Moore include Second Amendment advocate Gabrielle Giffords among those trigger-happy racists eager to execute impoverished people of color? 

NewsBusters.org – Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Moore Again Less: Filmmaker Flummoxed by Link Between More Guns, Less Crime

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

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From the files of clippings I've saved over the years, one of my favorite headlines — "Prison populations, costs climbing: $ 40b a year spent on inmates despite falling crime rate," as published in The Boston Globe on July 28, 2003.

Yes — "despite".

Not the only time I've seen a headline along these lines, though less often nowadays, its idiocy becoming too obvious to ignore.

As if to fill the void, a variation on the theme has appeared, especially in the wake of the Tucson shooting. It goes like this –  gun ownership rates climb despite falling crime rates. With any luck, this too will be consigned to the dustbin, but don't hold your breath.

Best recent example — agitprop filmmaker Michael Moore appearing on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show Monday and saying this –

[Video clip after page break]

 

MOORE: Why do we, more than any other country, do this? I think it's more than just the laws. There's a reason why we want to own these guns. You pointed out last week that we're number one in gun ownership and then, Yemen … (laughs)

MADDOW: … Is a distant number two. Yes, that's right.

MOORE: … a distant number two! So why us, why do we have this? And the majority of these guns, I mean, the vast majority of these guns are owned by people who live in safe parts of town or mostly in suburbs and rural areas, places where there are very few murders. And your sane producer was saying to me backstage here that he was talking to people there (in Tucson), they said everybody's packing there, I mean, the surgeons there at the hospital, they said they have guns, everybody has a gun, yet they all said we have a very low gun murder rate here in Tucson. So why do you have a gun then? Why do you have a gun? What are you afraid of? What is that thing that we're afraid of that we want to have a gun in the house?

"Yet" taking the place of "despite" — "everybody has a gun, yet they all said we have a very low gun murder rate here in Tucson."  But how can that be, liberals insistently point out?

Here's how, as described in a National Rifle Association fact sheet from last September titled "Gun Ownership Rises to All-Time High, Violent Crime Falls to 35-Year Low" and abundantly footnoted –

Coinciding with a surge in gun purchases that began shortly after the 2008 elections, violent crime decreased six percent between 2008 and 2009, including an 8 percent decrease in murder and a nine percent decrease in robbery. Since 1991, when violent crime peaked, it has decreased 43 percent to a 35-year low. Murder has fallen 49 percent to a 45-year low. At the same time, the number of guns that Americans own has risen by about 90 million. Predictions by gun control supporters, that increasing the number of guns, particularly handguns and so-called "assault weapons," would cause crime to increase, have been profoundly lacking in clairvoyance.

As to be expected from Moore, he couldn't let the discourse pass without playing the race card –

I am loathe to bring up what is in our head because we don't like to talk about it so much. But on this particular day, on Martin Luther King Day, I think this needs to be said. That imaginary person that's going to break into your home and kill you, who does that person look like? You know, it's not freckle-faced Jimmy down the street, is it really? I mean, that's not what really, that's not what really people, we never really want to talk about the racial or the class part of this, in terms of how it's the poor or it's people of color that we imagine that we're afraid of. Why are we afraid? What is that, and it's been a fear that has existed for a very, very long time.

Who is Moore kidding?  "We don't like to talk about it so much … we never really want to talk about the racial and class part of this …" There is nothing liberals want more than to talk about "this," preferably as soon as their feet hit the floor in the morning. Given the chance, they'll weave it into chit-chat about the weather, such as when dark clouds form on the horizon … clearly the tea partiers' fault for the forecast, dontcha see?

Just out of curiosity, does Moore include Second Amendment advocate Gabrielle Giffords among those trigger-happy racists eager to execute impoverished people of color? 

NewsBusters.org blogs

US Senate Briefing, 1/19/11: Reid playing with filibuster. Again.

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

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Today, the new House Republican majority is set to fulfill a key pledge: holding a vote to repeal President Obama’s bloated health care spending bill. By now, Americans are familiar with many of the consequences of Democrats’ flawed, unpopular bill. And unsurprisingly, polls show most Americans continue to support repealing the law.

This week, Quinnipiac asked voters if Congress should repeal the health care law, and 48% said it should, while only 43% said the law should be left standing. CNN asked, “Would you rather see Congress vote to repeal all of the provisions in the new law or would you rather see Congress vote to leave in place all the provisions in the new law?” Fifty percent told CNN they’d prefer to see all provisions of the law repealed, with only 42% saying they’d prefer it to stay in place. And last week, Gallup asked if Americans would want their representative in Congress to vote for repeal. Forty-six percent said they wanted their representative to vote for repeal, while only 40% wanted to see it stand.

And if repeated polls showing Americans want President Obama’s law repealed and replaced aren’t enough evidence of support for repeal, Democrats in Congress might want to consider the fact that 26 states are now suing the federal government over the law. The AP reported yesterday, “Six more states joined a lawsuit in Florida against President Obama’s health care overhaul on Tuesday, meaning more than half of the country is challenging the law. . . . The six additional states, all with Republican attorneys general, joined Florida and 19 others in the legal action, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said. ‘It sends a strong message that more than half of the states consider the health care law unconstitutional and are willing to fight it in court,’ she said in a statement.”

Also worth considering is President Obama’s new desire for “a government-wide review of federal regulations, aiming to eliminate rules that stymie economic growth,” as The Wall Street Journal described it yesterday. But according to a report in today’s WSJ, “President Barack Obama’s government-wide review of federal regulations will have little effect on two of the president’s major regulatory victories: an overhaul of Wall Street and the health-care market, according to a White House budget official. . . . ‘New regulations will not be priorities for the lookback,’ the official said.” If the president is looking for rules that stymie economic growth, he needs look no further than the health care bill. As The Journal pointed out yesterday, “Business leaders say an explosion in new regulations stemming from the president’s health-care and financial regulatory overhauls has, along with the sluggish economy, made them reluctant to spend on expanding and hiring.”

The American people have made their wishes clear: poll after poll shows support for repealing the unpopular health care bill. Over half the states are suing the federal government over the bill’s constitutionality. The consequences of the bill, including “huge” premium hikes, a “mountain of new mandates” for employers, the loss of insurance plans, “cuts in Medicare,” and “an explosion in new regulations” stymieing economic growth are plain to anyone who cares to look. President Obama’s health care law should be repealed and replaced and following the House vote, the Senate should have the opportunity to stand with the American people and vote for repeal.

On The Floor

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has put the Senate in recess until January 24th in order to hold open the first legislative day while Democrats attempt to negotiate support among themselves for partisan changes some want to make to the filibuster rules.

Democrats claim that rules can be changed with a simple majority vote on the first legislative day, even though Senate rules require a 2/3rds vote to change them.

The House reconvened at 10 AM today to continue debate on H.R. 2, the new Republican majority’s bill to repeal the Democrats’ unpopular health care law. A vote on the bill is expected sometime this evening.

From the Communications Center

SRCC: Health Law Consequences: “Huge” Premium Hikes, “Mountain Of New Mandates” For Employers, Loss Of Insurance Plans, “Cuts In Medicare”

Around the Hill

CNN Poll: 50% Say They’d Rather See Congress Repeal Obamacare

AP: 26 states join Obama health care lawsuit in Fla.

The Wall Street Journal: Health Care, Financial Reform Skirt Obama Review

Politico: Cantor dares Reid to hold repeal vote

Gallup: Americans See Room for Improvement in Obama’s Leadership

The Wall Street Journal: Obama’s Rules Revelation

Liberty Pundits Blog

Lieberman Won’t Run For Senate Again In 2012, Insiders Say

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

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U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has decided not to seek a fifth term in 2012, after seeing his popularity drop in polls in recent years, political insiders and a Lieberman aide said Tuesday — and those sources say that the Democrat-turned-independent will make it official at a press conference  Wednesday in Stamford.

Lieberman’s Senate press secretary, Erika Masonhall, would not say Tuesday what Lieberman’s decision will be, issuing a statement saying only: “After many thoughtful conversations with family and friends over the last several months, Sen. Lieberman made a decision about his future over the holidays, which he plans to announce on Wednesday.”

However, “you can bet the farm” that Lieberman won’t run again, said a Democratic insider who is close to the 22-year Senate veteran.

And Tuesday night, a Lieberman aide who talked on condition of anonymity confirmed that “the senator will announce tomorrow that he will not seek re-election in 2012.

The aide added: “He recognizes that it would be a tough fight…[but so has] nearly every election he’s had…[and] he is fully confident he could have won re-election. He will quote Ecclesiastes – the passage ‘To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven.’ So, after what will be 24 years in the Senate, and 40 years in public life, he believes that it is time for a new season and new purpose under Heaven for him.”

“He plans to spend the next two years focused on his work in the Senate. This decision frees him to be an honest broker between Democrats and Republicans, and to continue to do what he always does, which is to be a bipartisan bridge builder, and work across party lines, to put principle before partisanship,” the aide said. “He has a long record of getting things done for Connecticut and the country, and he is looking forward to having the freedom to do that in the next two years.”

Those comments went well beyond a cryptic e-mail sent to the media by Lieberman’s Senate office at 1:35 p.m. Tuesday. The e-mail said that Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, “will announce his plans for 2012 at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at the Marriott Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut.”

Capitol Watch

Erekat lies yet again

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-01-2011

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From YNet:

Hours after Russian President Dmitri Medvedev declared his country recognizes an independent Palestinian state, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat described the statement as “an historic move to make the Palestinians proud for a very long time to come.”

Medvedev said Tuesday during a visit to Jericho that Moscow had effectively recognized Palestine back in 1988 and has no intention of changing its position now. He noted that all would benefit from the establishment of a Palestinian state, including the Israelis.

Talking to Ynet Erekat noted, “We appreciate the Russian recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders whose capital is east Jerusalem.”

Medvedev didn’t say a word about “1967 borders.” He simply said that Russia continues to recognize “Palestine” in the way that the Soviet Union did in 1988, which didn’t mention borders at all and which was pretty much ignored by the world community at the time. But it is hardly the first time Erekat has been caught lying.

The YNet article does mention that Israel’s Foreign Ministry strike is severely hampering Israel’s efforts to fight this latest wave of PLO diplomatic victories. One result is that Medvedev didn’t even visit Israel. This strike is really hurting Israel and it needs to be resolved quickly.



Elder of Ziyon

The Ulsterman Report: Once Again, Sarah Palin Emerges Stronger

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

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The script had been formulated long before the first bullet of deranged shooter Jared Lee Loughner rang out just outside a Safeway in Tucson Arizona last week.  The liberal wing of the Democratic Party, still gnashing their teeth over the rebuke against them in the November Midterm Elections, were desperate for a scapegoat.  The equally liberal media were only too happy to assist them by once again failing to actually report the facts, but rather quickly make those facts up to more fully coordinate with the much-desired outcome – that the shooting in Arizona was the result of rightwing bigotry, vitriol, rhetoric…etc.

The primary target of these attacks, once again, was Sarah Palin.

It remains a mystery why Palin so enrages the left.  From one side of their mouth they attempt to marginalize her as an inconsequential moron, some Alaskan redneck former beauty pageant breeder of too many children.  At the same time, they declare her dangerous, cunning, a too-powerful figure corrupting the minds of mainstream America.  The many contradictions contained within the liberals’ hatred (yes, I am using that word – because it is appropriate) of Sarah Palin willfully goes unnoticed by them.  They simply march on, gleeful in their collective and repeated attacks against the former governor of Alaska.  Sarah Palin is a woman.  Sarah Palin is a conservative. Sarah Palin is Pro-Life.  Sarah Palin is pro-gun rights.  Sarah Palin talks of her love of God and country. Sarah Palin has the audacity to openly (and effectively) mock liberalismWe must destroy her.

And so on that terrible day last week in Tucson, these same liberals, politicians and media figures alike, grabbed from the same script and pointed to Sarah Palin as the murder weapon.  The deserving evidence?  Non-existent of course – but in the odd and emotionalized world of the liberal mind, evidence and facts are mere suggestions – the outcome is the only thing that truly matters.  Destroy Sarah Palin – by any means necessary.  For by destroying Sarah Palin, by blaming her for the killings in Tucson, liberals hoped to destroy the Tea Party, and the now growing conservative movement throughout the United States.  Grandiose you say?  Perhaps – but it is also true.

First to the scene were the liberal bloggers such as Daily Kos who took a map Palin utilized months ago targeting specific districts in the November elections.  This kind of map is nothing new, having been used by both Democrats and Republicans a number of times in the past.  The DNC utilized just such a map in 2004, and longtime Democratic Party strategist Bob Beckel admitted such mapping and the term “targeting” has been around as long as he has been in politics – and ironically, the Daily Kos had “targeted” Giffords’ district most recently, as they felt she was far too conservative to be trusted.  A long rant on the Kos blog stated repeatedly that Giffords was “dead” due to her vote against Nancy Pelosi.

The mainstream media though happily took its cue from the far left liberal bloggers and pushed ahead with the Palin election map.  Look!  Palin is the true killer!  Even as mounting evidence suggested the shooter had nothing to do with the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Fox News, or even politics as a whole, the media persisted.  Even though Congresswoman Giffords was well known by her District and inside the Beltway as a political moderate who had most recently voted against Nancy Pelosi as House Leader, the media persisted.  Even as former friends of Jared Loughner described him as a liberal radical who blamed former President Bush for 9/11, the media persisted.  ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC – all of them, hour after hour, insinuated the shooting was the by-product of conservative rhetoric, with Sarah Palin being held up as the prime example.  Far left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman made the case against Palin with his typical vacuous snideness, blanketing conservatives with the description of “hate mongers”.  John Nichols of The Nation was even more misleading with the facts than most, forging a full on misrepresentation of Jared Loughner as a far-right extremist upset over Giffords’ vote for Obamacare and taking cues from Palin’s now infamous statement that conservatives should not retreat but “reload” when battling liberalism.  Here is a video showing the appalling contradiction of media coverage regarding the Arizona shootings vs the Fort Hood massacre of a year earlier:

And what is the outcome of all of this concerted effort by far left liberals to portray Sarah Palin and conservatism as the cause of the Tucson Tragedy?  If anything, liberals have simply managed to once again further marginalize themselves in the eyes of America.  Conservatives are rallying to defend Palin, and with polls indicating the vast majority of the public recognizes the liberal slant blame-game that has been the coverage following the shooting, so too are many independents ignoring the liberal media and Democratic politicians.

As for Sarah Palin herself, she has again emerged a stronger figure than before.  Even Barack Obama, during his speech at this week’s Tucson memorial service, seemingly sided with Palin in dismissing the Far Left’s attempts to place blame outside of the singular actions of a deranged gunman.  Whether or not Sarah Palin can develop into a viable Republican candidate for President of the United States remains to be seen, but one thing is certain – as an ever-popular conservative voice, she will not be silenced.  She will repeatedly prove her worth in battling the liberal horde and revealing the insipid hatred always bubbling beneath the surface that is the mainstream media and DC politics.

Don’t retreat Sarah.

Reload…

______

JOIN THE ULSTERMAN ON FACEBOOK!

facebook.com/Ulsterman1


Newsflavor

Lebanon: Déjà vu as country plunges into crisis … again

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 19-01-2011

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Written by Antoun Issa

Courtesy of Maya Zankoul

Maya Zankoul's above caricature of the latest Lebanese political crisis accurately sums up the collective mood on the Lebanese blogosphere. Another day in Lebanon, another political crisis, after a U.N.-backed tribunal issued a confidential draft indictment in the 2005 killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Al Hariri.

Liliane at From Beirut With Funk wonders, sarcastically, if a plug-in to rehash old blog posts of past years is in the pipeline to keep up with the cyclical nature of Lebanese political crises:

See just when you think that you cannot travel back in time, something in Lebanon happens and it takes you years back.

Yesterday, our Lebanese government, is no longer! Itcollapsed. 10 ministers from the opposition resigned (I don't honestly care why), and an 11th joined them, which makes the government unable to export decisions. THUS, bye bye government. Check this post of mine “Parliament out of reach, please try again later“, almost 4 years ago, deja vu? Oh and for the record, it took almost 9 months for the cabinet to form.

What else? are we afraid of a war again between Hezbollah and Israel? Oh well check the first 100 posts of this blog! No President? Let's go back 3 years, even Maz Jobranipointed it out! More scare that we'll have a civil war? hmmm should I continue? As BeirutSpring.com said, wish there was a plug-in so we can repost 3 year old posts.

Anxiety is expressed on From Miami to Beirut, the calm before the storm the UN indictments into the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri is set to bring:

The streets were calm this weekend.

Too calm.

And with the STL indictments scheduled to come out tomorrow.

One can only wonder..

Is this the calm before the storm?

Mustapha at The Beirut Spring dismisses the government's resignation as having little impact on the daily lives of ordinary Lebanese:

Anthony Chadid is trying to pin down the reason why the Lebanese no longer care about crises.

I think the people realized that with or without a government, their day-to-day life remains the same.

Habib Battah at The Beirut Report fears a return to the total political paralysis of three years ago when Hezballah and its allies staged mass demonstrations and sit-ins in the capital over a two year period. Battah reports gatherings of young men in various parts of the city:

At around 7AM, groups of young men mysteriously gathered at key intersections and neighborhoods across the Lebanese capital and then disbanded one hour later.

After listing each neighborhood where the young men gathered, it then connected the dots to form a rather intimidating net cast over nearly half the city.

According to news reports, members of the opposition such as Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri called the gatherings “spontaneous” outbursts of protest against the government, but on today's talk shows, pro-government politicians sarcastically questioned the possible spontaneity of multiple gatherings around the city at 7AM. MTV also said some of the men appeared to be holding walkie talkies.

However, Franco-Lebanese blogger Frenchy reports the rumours of gatherings in certain neighbourhoods of Beirut are beat-up stories by Hariri's media:

Nouvelle du jour: des rassemblements auraient lieu ce matin dans la partie ouest de Beyrouth, notamment dans les quartier s de Basta, Nourieh, Béchara Khoury et au Centre-Ville, les sources: les services de sécurités et les médias proches de Saad Hariri. La nouvelle sera démentie par les médias proches de l’opposition.

A l’annonce de la nouvelle, je n’ai pas pu m’empêcher de demander à quelques amis habitant ses quartiers s’ils ont remarqué quelque chose. Tout était normal, selon eux. « Circulez, il n’y a rien à voir ».

News of the day: Gatherings took place this morning in West Beirut, notably in the quarters of Basta, Nourieh, Bechara Khoury and Down Town. The sources? The secret services and media close to Saad Hariri. The news will be denied by media close to the Opposition.

As soon as this news was announced, I couldn't prevent myself from asking several friends living in this quarters if they noticed anything. Everything was normal, according to them. “Tell people, there's nothing to see”.

Responding to the upcoming UN indictment, the Angry Arab lashes the US for imposing it on Lebanon:

The judge of the Hariri tribunal received the indictment today.  Let me report to you the summary: blah, blah, blah and who gives a damn, really.  Basically, we are told to believe that while the widow of Hariri and his children were willing to scrap the tribunal the US insisted that it goes forward but NOT for political reasons in order to serve Israeli interests by pinning the blame on its enemies on Lebanon, but purely for emotional reasons because Obama, Bush, Feltman, and Hillary are so emotionally distraught over the death of Hariri-who is not dead enough as far as I am concerned-that they really want to find the real culprits because they can't sleep at night. I believe that.  Oh, yeah.  Just as I believe that the Obama administration support the choice of the Tunisian people for their leaders-after but not before-the ouster of their pro-US dictator.

Rami Zurayk at Land and People equally accuses the US of being behind the UN investigation into the Hariri assassination, with the intention of destroying the Lebanese Resistance (Hezballah):

The US (and France) are clearly siding with the March 14 who are, one must admit, generally better dressed than the March 8 people. The goal is to destroy the Resistance, led by Hizbullah, so that the Arab dictators can continue to rule and oppress their people. The Resistance, both in 2000 and in 2006, showed the Arab people that one is as strong as one’s will. Destroying the Resistance is also a precondition to “normalization” with Israel, meaning that Israel will openly help Arab regimes control and oppress their people (Israel is very good at that) in exchange for Palestine and for oil and oil money.

But the Lebanese opposition is formed of sectarian parties, which reduces its effectiveness in bringing about social justice, or rather it cancels it. So where is this all going? Towards another compromise “a la Libanaise”, surely. I just hope the lives of people is spared in the process. Time to reorganize, and to offer a social justice alternative to sectarian politics…

The Hariri International Tribunal, a March 14-Israeli-US tool constructed in order to damage Syria, Hizbullah and any one the US and Israel don’t like, will probably publish its indictment of Hizbullah in the very near future.

Political blogger Elias Muhanna at Qifa Nabki praised Hezballah leader Hassan Nasrallah for maintaining his poise throughout the crisis:

…allow me to reiterate a basic point that I’ve made several times before: can anyone doubt that the opposition has the big guns (rhetorically speaking) in Lebanon? Here we have Hasan Nasrallah, the leader of a conservative religious-political party and a militia stronger than the Lebanese army that is about to be accused by the United Nations of masterminding the assassination of a Sunni prime minister, and he sounds like the most reasonable, rational, straightforward politician in Lebanon. Note that I am not agreeing with the content of what he said (which was, let’s face it, just another shade of demagoguery like everyone else’s talking points), but simply pointing out the obvious: Hizbullah would be in a vastly different position in Lebanon today were it not for the leadership of Hasan Nasrallah. No one else would be capable of reconciling the manifold contradictions in Hizbullah’s projected identity and framing their program in as capacious and catholic a manner as Nasrallah. To understate his role is to misunderstand the rise of Hizbullah completely, in my opinion.

Meanwhile, some bloggers are exploring solutions to the symptoms of Lebanon's endless political woes. The Modern Dictator put forward dividing the country into a confederation, an idea once touted by the far-right Christian Lebanese Forces.

In order to understand why is Lebanon so messed up today, we have to understand historically what happened. Do you know what happened?

During the Ottoman empire there was no Lebanon, it was part of Greater Syria – but the region of Mount Lebanon always benefited from a certain “autonomy” because it was different – it had Maronites in it (you know, the Christians that are ruled by this loser). When the Turks left the region, Lebanon and Syria were placed under French mandate and Jordan and Palestine under British mandate.

Several years after that agreement, there was still no country called Lebanon; until on day the Frenchies noticed that Mount Lebanon was different religiously and culturally. They decided to separate it from Syria (which explains why Syria is so eager to win it back) and create Lebanon.

Overall, Lebanon is screwed up as a democracy because we are made of many different religions and cultures. And as much as everybody denies it: christians don't care much for muslims, muslims don't care much for christians and sunnis and shiia don't care much for each other. So how can you run a country on this basis?

So a confederation seems to be the closest thing to a possible outcome for Lebanon. Different regions would be managed individually, and the people would be responsible for the guys they elect in their canton. The only thing I would be afraid of would be that once we get divided into cantons, the clan leaders d'antan would come back and dominate their respective regions like their ancestors did – but it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Joseph el-Khoury at Arabdemocracy takes an opposite approach and – drawing from the recent Tunisian Revolution – calls for a grassroots secular and democratic drive to unify Lebanon and rid if of the sectarianism plague that underpins its frequent crises:

I get asked a lot about my solutions for the Lebanese problem, given that I spent a significant amount of time lamenting the absence of a political movement able to challenge the structural flaws in the Lebanese system. I still believe that bold grass-root work motivated by clear democratic, secular and socially responsible principles would be a winning formula. Interestingly, one element that could explain the success in toppling the regime in Tunis is the presence of an active secular left-leaning opposition with influence within the middle classes. The Islamist movement, although active, did not appear to have taken a leading role in the uprising. I might be wrong and the days to come will reveal the full picture.

Regardless of which side of the sectarian and political fence Lebanese sit, there is a shared sense of disenchantment and fatigue at the entire political system in Lebanon. As the recent turmoil threatens to tear the fragile country apart once again, many disconnected ordinary Lebanese respond with great apathy to a political process that has only caused them pain. The latest crisis only confirms to many Lebanese that no political party in the country has their best interest at heart.

Global Voices in English

What Riverdaughter said (yet again)

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

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Here:

And now we are made to feel sorry for Sarah? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t BLAME her for the shootings. But for being a careless, opportunistic, participant of the dehumanization of the left, yeah, I blame her for that. It’s regrettable that the left has lost its moral authority to call her on it because they’ve gone batshit crazy on Sarah since August 2008.

As commenters point out, however, if the Obama’s rump Ds are identified as “the left” by most voters — as indeed they are — then the term “left” has no meaning.

Recent quick hits

Scarborough Again Hits the Right (But Ignores the Left) In Newest Politico Column

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

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Carrying his sermonizing from his MSNBC morning show to Politico, Joe Scarborough railed against inflammatory political rhetoric in his latest Politico column – but hit conservative talk while ignoring leftist vitriol.

Calling them out by name, as he did recently on his show "Morning Joe," Scarborough pleaded with conservatives that if they can't be civil out of righteousness, they could at least practice civility for the sake of the Republican Party. "It's time to grow up," he lectured the Right, specifically pundits Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

Of course, Scarborough made no criticism whatsoever of inflammatory rhetoric from the Left – such as his MSNBC colleague Ed Schultz, who in 2009 joked about ripping Dick Cheney's heart out and playing political football with it, nor from vicious left-wing dilettante Randi Rhodes, nor from Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida who called his 2010 Republican opponent "Taliban Dan."
 

No, Scarborough was content instead to nitpick and moan, which he has been doing for, oh, a few columns in a row now. From criticizing the GOP to hitting Obama for not being strong enough, Scarborough's columns reek of liberal dissent rather than solid conservatism even as he constantly tells his television audience he is a "small-government conservative."

Scarborough called out GOP leaders for not condemning the "irresponsible language" of the Right, slamming Mitt Romney and criticizing former Gov. Tim Pawlenty for not speaking out against fellow Minnesotan Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R) for calling conservatives to be "armed and dangerous" in combating global warming legislation.

There's just one problem – whether Scarborough knew it or not, Bachmann's comments were taken way out of context by Paul Krugman at the New York Times. As NewsBusters reported recently, Bachmann's quote implored voters to be "armed and dangerous" with information to fight the legislation.

"I'm going to have materials for people when they leave," Bachmann told a radio show concerning possible energy tax legislation in 2009. "I want people to be armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax, because we need to fight back."

Bachmann clearly was using "armed and dangerous" to refer to people using information to oppose legislation, not violence.

Scarborough also hit Sarah Palin for her widely-publicized use of the term "blood libel" to describe the criticism she has received from the media for helping cause the Tuscon shootings with her rhetoric. Scarborough forgot, however, that the term has been used multiple times in the past – particularly on his own show.

Columnist Mike Barnicle, on the October 31, 2006 edition of MSNBC's "Scarborough Country," referred to Sen. John Kerry's treatment by Swift Boat veterans as "blood libel." Barnicle lamented that Kerry didn't properly stand up to the attacks "when he was undergoing a blood libel by the Swift Boat people." Scarborough, of course, did not rebuke Barnicle at the time for being insensitive or melodramatic.

In addition, Scarborough provided some nice rhetoric of his own Tuesday on his MSNBC show. He recommended that Palin, justifiably defending herself after the Tucson shootings, should have said less. "I know there are a lot of jackasses out there that are going to get upset at me. It just doesn't matter, because it's the truth," Scarborough insisted.

The former Florida Republican congressman did acknowledge that accusations against conservatives immediately following the Tuscon shooting were baseless. "The avalanche of condemnations that came pouring down on Palin, Fox News, and the tea party were off base and offensive," he wrote.

But, he warned, heated Right-wing talk could be a cause of a violent event down the road. "This would be a good time to prevent the next tragedy from destroying the political momentum," Scarborough argued.

NewsBusters.org blogs

Scarborough Again Hits the Right (But Ignores the Left) In Newest Politico Column

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

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Carrying his sermonizing from his MSNBC morning show to Politico, Joe Scarborough railed against inflammatory political rhetoric in his latest Politico column – but hit conservative talk while ignoring leftist vitriol.

Calling them out by name, as he did recently on his show "Morning Joe," Scarborough pleaded with conservatives that if they can't be civil out of righteousness, they could at least practice civility for the sake of the Republican Party. "It's time to grow up," he lectured the Right, specifically pundits Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

Of course, Scarborough made no criticism whatsoever of inflammatory rhetoric from the Left – such as his MSNBC colleague Ed Schultz, who in 2009 joked about ripping Dick Cheney's heart out and playing political football with it, nor from vicious left-wing dilettante Randi Rhodes, nor from Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida who called his 2010 Republican opponent "Taliban Dan."
 

No, Scarborough was content instead to nitpick and moan, which he has been doing for, oh, a few columns in a row now. From criticizing the GOP to hitting Obama for not being strong enough, Scarborough's columns reek of liberal dissent rather than solid conservatism even as he constantly tells his television audience he is a "small-government conservative."

Scarborough called out GOP leaders for not condemning the "irresponsible language" of the Right, slamming Mitt Romney and criticizing former Gov. Tim Pawlenty for not speaking out against fellow Minnesotan Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R) for calling conservatives to be "armed and dangerous" in combating global warming legislation.

There's just one problem – whether Scarborough knew it or not, Bachmann's comments were taken way out of context by Paul Krugman at the New York Times. As NewsBusters reported recently, Bachmann's quote implored voters to be "armed and dangerous" with information to fight the legislation.

"I'm going to have materials for people when they leave," Bachmann told a radio show concerning possible energy tax legislation in 2009. "I want people to be armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax, because we need to fight back."

Bachmann clearly was using "armed and dangerous" to refer to people using information to oppose legislation, not violence.

Scarborough also hit Sarah Palin for her widely-publicized use of the term "blood libel" to describe the criticism she has received from the media for helping cause the Tuscon shootings with her rhetoric. Scarborough forgot, however, that the term has been used multiple times in the past – particularly on his own show.

Columnist Mike Barnicle, on the October 31, 2006 edition of MSNBC's "Scarborough Country," referred to Sen. John Kerry's treatment by Swift Boat veterans as "blood libel." Barnicle lamented that Kerry didn't properly stand up to the attacks "when he was undergoing a blood libel by the Swift Boat people." Scarborough, of course, did not rebuke Barnicle at the time for being insensitive or melodramatic.

In addition, Scarborough provided some nice rhetoric of his own Tuesday on his MSNBC show. He recommended that Palin, justifiably defending herself after the Tucson shootings, should have said less. "I know there are a lot of jackasses out there that are going to get upset at me. It just doesn't matter, because it's the truth," Scarborough insisted.

The former Florida Republican congressman did acknowledge that accusations against conservatives immediately following the Tuscon shooting were baseless. "The avalanche of condemnations that came pouring down on Palin, Fox News, and the tea party were off base and offensive," he wrote.

But, he warned, heated Right-wing talk could be a cause of a violent event down the road. "This would be a good time to prevent the next tragedy from destroying the political momentum," Scarborough argued.

NewsBusters.org – Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Conrad won’t run again

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

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Another Democrat from a difficult state, North Dakota’s Kent Condrad, retires after an election that swept away Democratic beachheads across Red America.

Conrad was already skirmishing with an outside group on the airwaves; Democrats are likely to have a tough time holding the seat.





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Ben Smith’s Blog

Football gods punish Patriots again – ESPN

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 18-01-2011

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CBC.ca
Football gods punish Patriots again
ESPN
Since taking the field with a 18-0 record in Super Bowl XLII, just 60 minutes from perfection, the New England Patriots have not won a playoff game. In their latest postseason collapse, versus the new York Jets, New England's
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